Following on from its well-regarded Bluetooth speakers Riva Audio has announced that its new Chromecast-ready Wi-Fi Wand speaker range is now available.
The range includes two speakers -- the portable Arena and the "statement piece" Festival -- and the MDF- construction cabinets are available in a choice of black or white.
Unlike multiroom systems such as Bluetooth.or , the Riva systems offer a large number of different wireless options to users -- the most interesting to us being its Google-readiness. Services include , , AirPlay, DLNA and
They speakers are also dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz) for better connectivity in wireless-crowded setups. They will also accept ad-hoc WiFi ($98.99 at Amazon.com) connections directly from your phone -- handy for the portable Arena speaker.
The top-of-the-range Festival features six custom "ADX" woofers, six tweeters and four passive radiators and is able to to produce 38Hz and an uncomfortably loud 106 dB. All in a cabinet the size of a loaf of bread.
The portable Arena speaker uses three full-range ADX drivers with three passive radiators and is capable of 101dB of volume. The speaker can be made portable with the addition of the 20 plus hour battery pack which is available separately for $99.
The speakers will incorporate the same "Trillium" technology used in the company's Turbo X Bluetooth speaker which we said was "one of the loudest and best sounding compact Bluetooth speakers available".
The company was founded by live sound engineer Rikki Farr whose aim is to make speakers which sound "as close to live as it gets" -- hence the product names which describe different types of musical performances.
We heard the speakers at a recent event in New York and played lots of our own material and based on our initial impressions the speakers could have what it takes to compete with Sonos. Bass was deep, and the sound seemed well-balanced with almost everything we tried. We look forward to testing these in the CNET labs.
The Arena ($249) and Festival ($499) are available now.