The Good The Riva Turbo X delivers excellent sound for a portable Bluetooth speaker, offers strong battery life, and has a built-in speakerphone with echo cancellation. It's water-resistant and has a proximity sensor that allows you to wave your hand over the speaker to light up the buttons on top. A USB port on back allows you to charge your smartphone or tablet.
The Bad It's expensive, and you probably need to buy the optional $30 carrying case if you plan to take the speaker on the road; battery drains a little even when speaker isn't in use.
The Bottom Line While it isn't a bargain at $350, the Riva Audio Turbo X is one of the loudest and best sounding compact Bluetooth speakers available.
This Bluetooth speaker goes to 11
You've probably never heard of Riva Audio. I hadn't. But this audio newcomer, founded by Rikki Farr, who's had a storied career in the music business, has created a higher-end portable Bluetooth speaker called the Turbo X. It's one of the best sounding portable Bluetooth speakers currently on the market, although it's a little too pricey at $350. (It's available online in the UK for around £225, but not in Australia. A rough conversion would be AU$470.)
The speaker's design is elegant and straightforward but -- from the outside, anyway -- it doesn't scream premium speaker. (I'm not huge fan of glossy finishes, and the Riva features shiny plastic on top.) The speaker comes in black or white and -- while I'm not sure which color I prefer -- I'd say that the white model would be well suited for a kitchen or bathroom, and would blend in well with most modern decors.
The Turbo X is splashproof thanks to a hidden rubber gasket on the bottom the speaker that you can pull off and use to cover the ports on the back of the speaker. It's an innovative way to add some water-resistance, but the rubber gasket didn't quite sit completely flush against the back of the speaker when covering the ports and was slightly off. Not a huge deal, but when you're dealing with a $350 speaker, you expect that sort of stuff to be perfect.