The RIVA Arena is a compact multi-room speaker from RIVA audio. It’s aimed at the same market as the Sonos Play: 1 and actually comes in at a higher price point. This is due to the huge choice of connectivity options that the Arena offers.
Unboxing the RIVA Arena is a quick and easy affair. Inside the box you’ll find the main Arena speaker unit, an instruction manual and a 1.83m power cable. The Arena is currently available in two colours, black or white, allowing you to pick a colour that you prefer.
Out of the box the Arena looks impressive with a wraparound metal grille that covers all but a small section on the back. The tops and bottom are plastic, with rubber feet on the bottom and all controls in a tidy arrangement on the top.
On the back of the Arena you’ll find a mount point, 3.5mm jack, AC power socket and a Home and Away toggle. There’s also a handy powered USB port to allow you to connect a portable drive or charge a phone or tablet should you need to.
The dimensions of the Arena itself are 127mm x 123.8mm x 180mm and it weighs in at 1.36Kg. It also has a splash proof design but it’s not something you’ll want to carry around.
Setup of the RIVA Arena is very straightforward you simply plug it into a wall socket and then when the blue light turns white it’s ready to connect. If you’re an Apple fan you must set the Arena up via AirPlay, alternatively Android users must use the Google Home app. In both cases you simply add your phone/tablet to your Wi-Fi and then connect to the speaker via the relevant app.
Once the initial setup is out of the way the quickest ways to play your music are via Bluetooth, Chromecast, AirPlay or Spotify Connect. Alternatively there’s the RIVA Wand app to play local content. The Wand app also lets you play with extra setings, name speakers and create groups. The Arena plays music in stereo but if you buy a second you can configure one for the left channel and the other for the right channel. Depending on how you’ve connected your device to the Arena, the light on the top around the Play/Pause button changes colour to let you know.
The speaker features an ADX driver and passive radiator on three of its sides (left, right, front). Their positioning also really helps the sound fill the room. In use it sounds amazing and seems to get better as you add more volume. Considering its size, it’s also surprising just how loud it can go.
View some images of the RIVA Arena in our gallery:
If you want to take the RIVA Arena with you on the go then you’ll have to purchase the optional battery pack accessory. This simply attaches to the base of the Arena and gives you up to 20 hours of music. If you want to use the battery with the Arena playing at a high volume then you should still get a good 12+ hours out of it.
The Away mode is a neat feature that allows you to use your Arena when away from a Wi-Fi network. Using this mode you can even create your own network of multiple speakers.
The RIVA Arena looks good and sounds absolutely incredible with truly impressive fidelity. It may cost a little more that some of its rivals but is well worth it if you need the flexible connectivity. Highly recommended.
The RIVA Arena was reviewed using a review unit supplied by RIVA.
Manufacturer: RIVA Official Website: www.rivaaudio.co.uk RRP: £225.00