Riva Waves Its Magic Multiroom Music WAND

Have you heard of Riva Audio? Yeah, me neither—until earlier this evening when I attended a press reception in the Riva Audio suite at the Westgate Hotel in the midst of all the craziness that is CES. Riva currently offers two extremely well-reviewed models of portable, rechargeable, Bluetooth speakers: the water-resistant Turbo S and the larger, more powerful Turbo X. (You can read Lauren Dragan’s review of the Turbo X here. But that’s just the beginning for the young company, because Riva plans to introduce a wireless, multiroom speaker ecosystem later this year.

Riva’s new WAND series will likely include the Riva WAND 100, a compact wireless speaker that can be configured for single or stereo pair use and will have an optional battery pack for use as a portable speaker. The Riva WAND 300 is an all-in-one, tabletop-style wireless speaker system that, as Riva proved in a demo of the prototype, can really fill a room with sound—and sound good, too. Riva will also have an adapter to use with the company’s Turbo Series speakers in order to include them in the WAND ecosystem.

You could take the jaded, I’ve-seen-it-all approach and dismiss the WAND system as just another one of the many, me-too wireless streaming audio systems on the market. But the reason why the Riva system piqued my interest is because WAND components will support Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DLNA, Airplay, Spotify Connect, and Google Cast, among others. I was able to speak with Riva’s founders, engineers, and designers about the WAND system architecture and their overall concept for it, and I was incredibly impressed with not only the knowledge these folks have about audio (and all the various analog and digital technologies that go along with it) but also with how incredibly focused they are on doing it right—especially when it comes to designing the Riva WAND app that will eventually be used to control the system.

Very tentative pricing for the WAND 100 is $249/each. The WAND 300 will be around $500 each. Keep your eyes and ears open for Riva later this year because when the WAND system comes out, you’ll definitely want to take a look and a listen.

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