Riva  - Riva S


Riva S: the sound quality is there

Aprox. 249€

See specifications

The S is Riva's second enclosure. The latest is none other than the compact version of the Riva Turbo X, which had not completely convinced us from an acoustic point of view, but which still had good arguments in terms of use. Let's see if, a year later, Riva learned from her mistakes ...

Positive points

Deep bass considering the size of the speaker.

Its warm and musical.

Low distortion.

Solid, resistance to splashing water.

Quality finishes.

Easy to use, many indications.

Many accessories provided.

Bad points

Diffusion a bit narrow and that lacks a little clarity.

Latency in Bluetooth.

Poor quality hands-free kit.

A little weak autonomy.

No NFC chip.

No button for managing playback and navigation between tracks on the speaker.

Our review


We thank Macway for the loan of RIVA S.

The Riva S is a true miniature Turbo X: with a few details, its shape, manufacture and functionality are strictly identical. It retains its massive chassis, its shiny finishes and its good general resistance. We can also count on a cover to be placed on the connector to protect it against water splashes in all directions (IPX4). The Riva S comes with many accessories (a soft case with carabiner, a power supply with international adapters, a mini-jack to mini-jack 3.5 mm cable and a mini-jack to double RCA cable).

The user experience has hardly changed and remains generally satisfactory. The Riva S is easy to handle, even if its touch buttons are not very intuitive during the first minutes of use. Pairing is done quickly via Bluetooth (aptX, AAC, SBC), even with the absence of an NFC chip, and can even be done simultaneously on two devices. Another possibility is that TruWireless allows you to pair two speakers to get stereo. In terms of control, the Riva S offers volume control, power on / off, pairing as well as surround mode. Unfortunately, the manufacturer continues to ignore the management of music playback and it is therefore still not possible to stop, resume playback or even navigate between tracks. The connector, located at the back, allows you to connect a wired device via the 3.5 mm mini-jack or to charge a mobile device via the USB port. Small subtlety, the switch must be positioned to the right if you want to use the speaker on its battery.

The vocal indications are numerous, but a little too frequent. Fortunately, it is possible to cut them or replace them with sounds via the dedicated Riva application. The latter also allows you to control the volume, activate a power boost in Phono mode or even control music playback, but only with the native player on your smartphone. We therefore forget all music streaming services and other applications of this type.

In terms of autonomy, the manufacturer promises 13 hours of autonomy (at 70 dB) for his little baby, which is already less than some direct competitors or smaller speakers. The practice has disappointed us since we have never exceeded 7 hours of use at a good volume of listening in wireless. We therefore decided to repeat several tests at a content but still correct level (around 50% of the volume) and we gained 3 hours, for a total of around 10 hours. Strangely, it has not really done better wired. When a mobile device is charging on the USB port, the Riva S takes about 5 hours.

The hands-free kit which uses two on-board microphones really does not work wonders. The quality of capture and transmission is not good at all and it is also necessary to place yourself near the speaker to be heard a minimum. In the overwhelming majority of cases, our interlocutors really struggled to understand us correctly, as if the signal were under strong compression.


The Riva S is warm and quite musical considering its size. The quality of sound reproduction is similar between the wireless and wired connection, except for a better feeling of clarity in the latter.

The 3 speakers coupled to the 4 passive radiators deliver particularly deep bass for a speaker of this size. They indeed go down to around 60 Hz. The Riva S puts above all the low / low-mid register forward (between 150 and 500 Hz approximately), which brings a nice feeling of warmth, however a little too pronounced. We would have liked a little more clarity and therefore a little more high-midrange to rebalance everything. For example, bass often tends to be in front of guitars. Despite this, the voices remain intelligible and the whistling sounds are far from a problem. The whole gains in precision and breathes better with pieces lightly loaded with sources and below 80% of the maximum volume.

The Riva S does not overwhelm us with its stereophonic width. The scene is not really wide, even with Surround mode, which only adds a room effect to the signal. Despite the absence of a rear speaker, the speaker is not too directive and it is possible to benefit from a correct rendering on almost 180 °.

If the Riva Turbo X had marked us by its power, this is less the case with the S. Whether wired or Bluetooth, the Riva S does a little worse than its direct competitors. It is therefore necessary to increase the volume at least to 50% to begin to obtain a correct sound volume. So don't expect the whole house to vibrate. This will be enough to set the mood for an evening or add a little extra sound to outdoor activities. The distortion remains, however, well controlled, even at the maximum level.

The latency in Bluetooth is quite high (a little less than 300 ms). Favor the wire if you want to watch a film or a series without too much discrepancy between sound and image.


The Riva S wins the 4th star just in time. Even if its autonomy is a bit weak and it is not the most powerful, its sound reproduction is quite musical and the bass goes down well given its size. If you want a more affordable portable speaker in the same style (size, resistance, recharging of mobiles, etc.), also look at the JBL Charge 2+ and Charge 3.