Riva Turbo X Bluetooth Speaker Review

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The Riva Turbo X is one of the most exciting compact Bluetooth speakers to date. This ultra-compact wireless speaker is a game changer, so much so, it has won multiple awards including from the likes of CNet, The Absolute Sound, International CES, Sound & Vision to name a few. So what makes the Riva Turbo X so special? Let’s take a look…

Riva Turbo X – At A Glance

  • Power Output: 45W
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 3.5 x 4.1 inches
  • Weight: 3lbs
  • Bluetooth Range: 33 Feet
  • Battery Life: 26+ Hours at 75 dB or 6+ hours of battery playing time in TURBO
    mode at max volume

The Sound

The Riva Turbo X sounds unlike any portable Bluetooth speaker you have ever come across. The Turbo X delivers 45 WATTS of power, as much as some TV soundbars! This is extremely impressive for a speaker which only weighs 3lbs and 9.1 x 3.5 x 4.1 inches in size.

Unlike most compact Bluetooth speakers which feature 1-3 speaker drivers, the Turbo X has a total of seven. Three full-range drivers deliver crystal clarity while four custom-designed bass radiators allow the Turbo X to produce solid low-end. The multiple speaker drivers make the Turbo X more of a sound system rather than a single Bluetooth speaker. This could be the reason the Turbo X has won so many awards! The Turbo X also features Riva’s TRILLIUM® Sound Technology. Trillium is effectively a surround sound feature. Internal processing enables the Turbo X to deliver a front/left/right sound profile commonly referred to as a virtual left/right. The speaker is producing a surround effect using internal processing rather than having physical speakers left and right. This is similar to how soundbars achieve their surround sound effect.

The Turbo X also features a couple of sound modes. A standard or music mode is designed for general listening with minimal processing from the speaker. The Turbo and Phono modes deliver up to 100dB of sound with the addition of Turbo X’s smart bass. The phono mode is specifically for those wishing to listen to vinyl using the Turbo X. If you are going to listen to vinyl, a recommendation is to go via a phono preamp and into the ⅛ inch AUX input rather than connect wirelessly. You will lose the detail and sound characteristics which vinyl is known for if you choose to pair wirelessly.

The fourth sound mode is one rarely found on compact Bluetooth speakers. Turbo X’s Conference Mode is specifically configured for voice calls. The sound EQ is set up to enhance vocal clarity so you get clear voice clarity. The built in microphone incorporates noise and echo cancellation processing technologies so the speaker won’t affect the sound for either the caller or yourself. This is great for general home use but could also function as a conference call speaker for the office boardroom table.

The Turbo X’s sound is exceptional. When you crack the volume full on a normal compact Bluetooth speaker, you usually get some vibration and distortion. With the Turbo X cracked up to 100dB the sound remains clean without any vibration.

Riva Turbo X Bluetooth Speaker Review 1

Riva Turbo X Features

Ground Control App

The Riva Turbo X can be controlled remotely via the official app, Ground Control. Through the app, you can control volume control, switch between sound modes as well as general controls like play, pause, skip etc. You can also pair a new Bluetooth device, monitor battery life and rename the Turbo X from the app. Ground Control is available for both Android and iOS.

26 Hour Battery

One of the most impressive features on the Turbo X is the 26-hour battery life. The 26-hour battery life can only be achieved when listening at an acceptable 75dB. As soon as you crack the Turbo X up the battery life does get eaten up somewhat. Having said that, even if you run the Turbo X at full power it’ll last 6 hours.

Another great feature is the USB port on the input panel. This allows you to charge your phone. A handy feature when out camping or away from a socket. Just be aware that this will reduce the battery life of the Turbo X.


The Turbo X is splash-resistant with waterproof seals on the bottom of the speaker. In addition, Riva supplies you with a handy cover for the input panel. This means you can place the Turbo X right near the action without worrying about damage from spills or splashes.

Proximity Sensing

The Turbo X also has a proximity sensor around the control panel. When you move your hand over the control panel, the buttons light up so you can see what you’re doing. This feature is handy in poor light conditions but also saves battery by turning off when not needed.

What’s in the Box?

Included with your Riva Turbo X is the following:

  • External power supply
  • 8′ 3.5mm-to-RCA connector
  • 4′ 3.5mm-to-3.5mm connector
  • Splash-resistant I/O cover
  • Owner’s manual

For an extra $30 you can also purchase the Riva Turbo X travel bag which holds the speaker and its cables.


If you’re looking for the ultimate compact Bluetooth speaker, then the Riva Turbo X is it. While the Turbo X is slightly more expensive than its competitors, it must be noted, this is no “normal” portable speaker. With the surround sound feature, you get an exceptional audio experience when playing games or watching movies. This is especially useful if you’re traveling or want to watch in a room without a sound system. At 3lbs, anyone can pick up and move the Turbo X and, there aren’t any cables to hook up. The ability to charge your phone via the USB output solidifies the Turbo X’s status as the ultimate portable Bluetooth speaker, or should I say – sound system.

Matt Hallowes
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Matt Hallowes
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