Paradoxically, one of the most popular demo/displays at CanJam this year wasn’t for anything headphone related. It was for a small Bluetooth speaker from Riva Audio.
I went into this room four times, and each time, the room was packed. Part of that was, no doubt, due to the in-show special they were running on their little portable speakers (you’re bummed you missed it, trust me), but most of it was due to the sheer quality of the sound in the room.
In short, it was awesome.
Riva has two offerings — the Riva S ($249), a water-resistant, 14-hour playback aptX-enabled Bluetooth speaker that has 7 drivers and a 3-channel 30wpc amplifier built-in. Interestingly, it also has a wireless function that allows you to sync two of them together for a true stereo image. And yes, it works like a charm. Better: it sounded pretty freakin’ great.
Note — yes, there was a turntable in the room, a pretty sweet-looking Audio-Technica. This was, apparently, because the speakers can be used directly — they have a 9dB gain boost in “Phono Mode”, specifically for vinyl based playback. During my time in-room, however, it was all-streaming, all the time.
The second offering is the Turbo X ($299). This, larger, version supports a 26+ hour battery-driven playback, with aptX Bluetooth speaker that has 7 drivers (60mm vs 40mm in the Riva S) and a 3-channel 45wpc amplifier built-in.
Both speakers are app-controlled and can be used as a speaker phone (yes, there’s a noise-cancelling microphone).
I’ve asked for a couple of these for “follow-up” — so stay tuned for that.