RIVA Audio Launches WAND Streaming Series
After three years in development, the WAND (Wireless Audio Network Design) Wi-Fi multi-room wireless audio series, which supports 24-bit/192kHz Hi-Res Audio content, has launched from RIVA Audio.
“We didn’t want to be a ‘me-too,’ This is a multi-room-plus system with unlimited streaming capabilities and the most connectivity options,” Donald North, president and chief engineer, told Dealerscope during a demo of the new series, which consists of the compact Arena and full-range tabletop Festival speaker, with an optional glass-footed stand to come for the latter.
The Arena compact speaker offers 50 watts of power and feature RIVA’s patented Trillium three-channel audio technology, which yields stereo sound from a single source. It uses three ADX drivers and three passive radiators along with digital signal processing. There is also an optional battery pack that will enable the speaker to play for anywhere from 15 to 20 hours on a charge, with three hours needed for recharging. The Arena speaker also carries an “Away” mode setting, to make it listenable when no Wi-Fi is available, in effect, turning it into an access point that will connect with Wi-Fi via a smartphone, said North. An added benefit is moisture-resistance, so the speaker can be placed in high-humidity areas such as bathrooms.
The larger Festival tabletop wireless speaker has an interior-braced wood cabinet to reduce vibrations and colorations. It houses six custom ADX woofers and tweeters coupled with four passive radiators to produce up to 106dB of output without dynamic range compression, and its bass frequency is said to range down to 38Hz.
The speakers are Google Chromecast- and Spotify Connect-certified, in addition to being compatible with Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay and DLNA. They are also compatible with Google Home Digital Assistant.
Each of the speakers will work with specific third-party content’s apps in their native form, so there is no learning curve for the user, North said – or the listener can work everything from the RIVA WAND app. Built-in technology also enables the creation of group presets – different combinations of speakers which can be called up around the home, and up to 32 speakers can be accommodated on the network, he explained. RIVA’s engineering team, he said, spent a year on the tuning of the speakers to all types of music, and frequency responses have been tuned to each of 20 volume settings.
The Arena sells for $249, with the optional battery pack selling for $99 while the Festival is $499.
In terms of distribution, the company is targeting both custom installers as well as the traditional brick-and-mortar specialty retail channel, said North.