This is a Review of RIVA Audio Riva S Premium Portable Wireless Bluetooth speaker. http://rivaaudio.com/riva-s/, available on Amazon. I used to be fascinated with wireless speakers, and just accepted their existence as another smartphone accessory. This fascination drove me to review a handful of Bluetooth sound bars in different shapes, forms, and colors, though with one thing in common – a compressed loud sound nowhere near the quality of wired speakers. That shouldn’t come as a surprise since some of these cute lightweight speakers were designed and manufactured by companies who invest more resources into celebrity endorsements rather than actual audio design or companies where speakers are listed in a product catalog along with phone cases, usb cables, and chargers. As a matter of fact, I mentioned in many of these reviews about the sound being just OK considering their size, and never bothered with a detailed sound analysis. But all this changed when I came across RIVA Audio debut product - Turbo X. These guys came out of nowhere and hit a homerun straight out of the gate. Actually, I shouldn’t say “out of nowhere” since RIVA Audio is a lifestyle brand of Audio Design Experts (ADX) and Turbo X speaker was a brainchild of legendary Rikki Farr. Some stars endorse products, while others get involved in the actual design of it. Since I already reviewed Turbo X and covered RIVA Audio background HERE, please refer to that review for additional info about the company. Based on the success of their debut release and probably the feedback they received from users to make Turbo X more portable, RIVA Audio latest release is a scaled down version under the model name Riva S. Typically with many other wireless speakers you see the release of a smaller and a more portable version first, and then a super sized follow up. In my opinion, this probably makes more sense from a marketing perspective to show the improvement in performance as you go up in size and price. With Riva S (RS) it got flipped around, but either way I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to review and to compare the mini-me version to its bigger brother Turbo X (RTX). Here is what I found. Unboxing and Accessories. Even so RS arrived in a familiar sturdy box packaging resembling a scaled down version of RTX, I was still pleased to see a clear image of the speaker on the front, detailed technical specification on the side, and a complete list of features on the back. I was also glad they included a speaker assembly drawing inside of the enclosure, providing a glimpse of how ADX drivers and bass radiators are positioned inside. Furthermore, there is a fantastic breakdown video of Riva S from audio-head which I highly recommend to watch: - here you can see an exclusive close up and a walkthrough of the design. Reading through the list of features on the box paints a very detailed picture of how many goodies RIVA Audio packed into their RS speaker which right away gave me an impression that despite minimizing the size, they only scaled down the performance without cutting the corners to make it "fit" inside of a smaller shell. As a matter of fact, not everything was scaled down, and a few things were actually added and improved. But overall unboxing experience here was very similar to opening up TRX, including being very careful when taking the top off, making sure you do it over the surface so you don't drop the bottom of the box. First surprise came when I removed the top cover to discover that RS was sitting inside of the premium travel bag, the same quality one as offered for RTX which cost an additional $30 while here it was included for free. This was a pleasant surprised since we are not talking about some cheap drawstring bag, but rather a high quality tight fitting travel carrying case with a durable exterior ballistic nylon and a velvet-lined soft interior. Along with a carabiner clip and a nylon handle this case is not just great for transporting but also offers a basic protection and cushioning. I use the same case for RTX when I take that speaker outside. But for RS, I have a mixed feeling about it. Don't get me wrong, this bag is fantastic, but considering IPX4 rating of RS, I would rather see a cheaper silicone skin for outdoor use where you don't even remove the speaker from it, and such skin further enhances and adds a rugged appeal to the speaker. This will enable to customize and personalize the colors to make it more fun, and you can easily remove it when you want a more sophisticated look indoors. Plus, in my opinion, this could probably lower the price of RS, bringing it closer to $200 mark, making a more noticeable price gap between RS and RTX ($300). As usual, a detailed instruction booklet was included, including RS shortcuts which covers keycodes for added features. When I received my original review pair of RS, this booklet wasn't included but I was made aware that RIVA Audio just released a new FW update with enhancements. While I updated fw on one of the speakers myself, the other one was sent to me as a replacement with a new firmware and this new booklet inside. Once you take RS out of the box, make sure to save these instructions . But if you don't, the entire booklet is available on-line and can be downloaded directly from: http://ffyzr22d10j2o8xt27yt7b1e.wpe...ntent/uploads/2015/12/RIVA-S-UG-English-5.pdf Underneath the speaker at the bottom of the box I found additional accessories, such as 40" 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable to connect RS directly to HO of your audio source, and 40" RCA to 3.5mm cable to connect to other audio components. Both cables have a decent build quality, not exactly premium but something that will last you awhile. Also, just like with the original RTX, you need to use the external power AC/DC supply with a proprietary connector. This DC power connector is common but it's not your typical micro-USB. The power supply is 19V @2.5A which obviously charges the speaker faster and perhaps more efficiently, but moving forward I would suggest to look into USB-C connector since they will allow a fast charging and access to internal processor for any future FW upgrades. The included charger also comes with interchangeable international power plugs. RIVA Audio considers the included I/O splash cover as another accessory, but I think it's more of a design feature. To cover the exposed usb, audio, and power ports on the back, you will find a rubber cover stored in the cavity at the bottom of the speaker. Typically you don't need to use it every time, and it's kept out of the way so you don't loose it. But when using RS outdoors or in the area where your speaker can get splashed with water - remove it to cover up the back ports. Unboxing. Accessories. Design. Despite its smaller size, 191mm x 64mm x 66mm, RS is still a hefty soundbar at 1.5 lbs - always a good indicator that you are dealing with a quality meaty drivers and not lightweight budget components. Of course, it doesn't guarantee the best sound unless you have a design synergy with other components driving that internal speaker. While reviewing RTX, I mentioned about the speaker having nothing "cute" or "colorful" about it - the version I reviewed was all black with a matching grill. I know that later they released an all white color version, but I still felt some monotony in the design. With RS you still have a very elegant design in a shape of a rectangular brick with hard plastic material at the top and the bottom and a metal mesh grill all around the sides. But this time RS offers different versions that use various finish combinations, one black speaker with metallic/silver mesh grill, and the white speaker in two flavors with the same metallic/silver and gold mesh grills. This simple change adds enough contrast to make it more appealing, and white/gold combo is a killer match for the latest iPod touch with the same colors. I know, the sound is the most important factor, but many consumers still look at wireless speaker as an accessory. The bottom of the speaker has two L-shaped rubber feet for an excellent non-slip grip with a surface as well as some dampening of the weight pressure, while I/O cover is more flush with the surface. RIVA Audio also took into consideration a minimal surface area to prevent resonation which can affect sound quality, and even at max volume there is no vibration or rattling. On the back of the speaker you have a standard 3.5mm AUX input to drive RS from an external non-Bluetooth source and use the included 3.5mm audio cable or 3.5mm to RCA cable adapter. Micro-usb port labeled as "USB DATA" is used for either firmware upgrade or to drive RS audio straight from USB port of your computer or even to connect to your smartphone/tablet through USB OTG. Next you have full USB port labeled "CHARGE OUT" to use RS as an external battery to charge your external devices. It will work as long as you have at least 30% of battery left, and the speaker is turned ON. Speaking of charging, you have 19V DC input with a common DC tip but still you have to deal with a proprietary wall charger. The actual power switch, labeled as "BATT", has been changed from push button on RTX to slide switch on RS. I prefer the slide switch better because it gives you a clearer indication of On/Off state, and you don't push it by accident like I have done it a few times with RTX and I/O cover. Also, you will find a Battery Icon which is not only an indicator when power is on or when charging (pulsating light) but also gives you an approximate charging capacity where 60-100% will show green, 30-60% - orange, and 0-30% - red. When you use RIVA Control app, you will be able to read the battery capacity with 1% accuracy. At the top you will find 6 capacitive touch control buttons with a proximity sensing power on wake, and by "wake" I mean hovering your hand over the surface without touch anything to lit up active buttons - a really cool effect. You have a Power button, this is your soft power on button vs hard power on (the slide switch) which completely turns off the power so there is no accidental battery drainage. Then you have "S" Trillium Surround enable button to activate/de-activate surround mode. BT button is for Bluetooth pair up and also to indicate the input - Blue for BT and flashing Green when AUX input is connected (make sure BT audio transmission is Paused to use it). Volume controls are Mute, Vol-, and Vol+ buttons. You also will find a dual-mic with noise and echo canceling pinhole openings placed symmetrically in the middle at the top of the speaker, for the occasions when you want to use RS as a speakerphone (Vol+ to accept the call, "S" to reject/hang up without a need to reach out to your paired phone. Despite only 6 buttons, there are many additional shortcuts you can access by pressing combination of various keys, just remember to keep that Keycodes shortcuts list handy. For example, Mute/Vol- locks the keys from accidental press. Vol-/Vol+ for a turntable mode to add Phono Mode boost (up to 9dB). S/Vol- or /Vol+ or /Mute helps you pair up 2x RS for a TrueWireless connection. BT/Mute gives you a Power Mode with 4dB boost, similar to Turbo Mode available in RTX, though keep in mind this will affect the battery life by as much as 40% reduction. Multi-User Mode, where 2 devices can connect to control one RS speaker - BT/Vol-. To disable annoying audio prompts, cycle through with BT/Vol+. Also, Playback control to Skip Next: Vol-/Vol+ and to Skip back: S/BT. Unfortunately, there is no Play/Stop shortcut, something I would have loved to see implemented since it's probably the most used function. Also, keep in mind all these functions/features could be accessed from within the Control App, but using shortcuts allow you to do this without even turning the phone screen on. Overall, I think the exterior design is nearly perfect. The speaker is small and compact, a lot easier and more secure to pick up (1.5lbs RS vs 3.5lbs RTX) and to carry with one hand, and all the controls are clearly labeled and easy to access. I also see some improvements in comparison to RTX. IPX4 water splash resistance rating is a welcome improvement. You do still have a glossy piano finish top which is a fingerprint magnet and visible on the black version of the speaker, so maybe making it matte might make more sense. Or at least include a wipe cloth as part of accessories. Design.