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RIVA Turbo X review

This rock-solid wireless speaker is no lightweight in the sound department

I'm a music nut who's constantly on the lookout for new artists to listen to, and new gear on which to listen. I love old-school receivers, amps, and speakers, but I'm also into newer tech like wireless. When I'm not writing articles for the Crutchfield website, I'm developing and editing content for the Crutchfield catalog, playing the guitar, watching baseball, coaching soccer, or diving deep into the recesses of my music collection.

More from David Brown

I’ve heard my share of Bluetooth speakers, but the RIVA Turbo X is definitely a cut above most. About the size of a brick and weighing in at a hefty three pounds, the Turbo X is great if you’re looking for a portable wireless speaker that can put out lots of sound.

I took the Turbo X home to try out. Out of the box, it was charged up and ready to go. When I powered it on, a friendly British voice emanated from the speaker to tell me that it was in pairing mode. The voice prompts also let you know when your Bluetooth device is wirelessly paired with the speaker – a nice touch.

I used my smartphone to play Spotify playlists through the Turbo X. When we had friends over, it provided background music on our screen porch. I didn’t come close to maxing out the volume.

RIVA Turbo X Bluetooth speaker

Play music wirelessly from your smartphone with RIVA Turbo X.

Before guests started arriving, I sat and listened for a while. I was impressed by the clarity and dynamic punch this Bluetooth speaker offers. The sound is also rather spacious for such a compact speaker. On “Unknown Legend” by Neil Young, I was surprised by how lush the backing vocals in the chorus sounded. Vocal clarity in general was excellent – the Turbo X has a real knack for putting them front and center.

Later, I brought the Turbo X inside to see just how loudly it can play. Wow. Much of its three-pound weight must be dedicated to amplification for the three built-in drivers. This thing can crank. And if you’re at maximum volume and still need more, activate “Turbo” mode, for an EQ boost that takes the volume level even higher. It’s probably ideal for a tailgate party at a football game, but way too loud for any room in my house.

This speaker also does bass really well. The latest album from Alabama Shakes, Sound and Color, sounded rich and full in the low end. Placing the speaker on my kitchen counter in the corner accentuated it, but the bass was prominent even sitting out on a table in the middle of my dining room.

RIVA Ground Control app

The free RIVA Ground Control app lets you monitor battery life, control the volume, and activate Turbo and Surround modes.

The Turbo X also has a built-in microphone, so you can use it as a speakerphone. I tested it out with my kids by calling their mother who was out of town for the night. The clarity of her voice was far superior to my smartphone, and it was great to all be able to talk at once instead of passing the phone around.

I also loved the long battery life of this rechargeable speaker. It can last up to 26 hours, which is important if you’re taking it out of the house and away from power outlets. No reason to fear a stoppage of music with that much battery power.

 Another cool feature is the free app for your phone or tablet. It lets you activate Turbo or Surround mode (for more spacious sound) remotely, as well as adjust the volume of the speaker. My favorite feature of the app is that it will tell you exactly how much battery life you have left. No more guesswork as you’re getting ready to leave the house and unsure if the battery is almost dead.

If you’re looking for a portable wireless speaker that doesn’t skimp on sound – in quantity and quality – the RIVA Turbo X is a great choice.

  • manny from hollywood florida

    Posted on 5/5/2015

    I have been purchasing home audio and car audio equipment from crutchfield for the last 2 years never had a bad experience with this company fast shipping great customer service 5 stars i give them.

  • Dale D'Aquila from wickliffe ,Ohio

    Posted on 5/7/2015

    My first order has been hassle free

  • Sean

    Posted on 5/10/2015

    A great contest form a great Company. Thanks Crutchfield!!!

  • Jimmy Carnline from Austin, TX

    Posted on 5/10/2015

    Just what I've been looking for.

  • mike mclarney from United States

    Posted on 5/13/2015

    My baddy has one of these and it is Great!!!!!

  • Steve Mcintyre from #10 Marguerite Longview, Texas, 75601

    Posted on 5/17/2015

    Awesome sound

  • Carolyn Jackson from Penfield

    Posted on 5/17/2015

    I have always been happy with the product and service.

  • Jeff Hickey from Riverside, Ca 92509

    Posted on 5/18/2015

    I love this store, all the great things at amazing prices!!!

  • Regis Maloney from Tonalea, AZ.

    Posted on 5/19/2015

    Crutchfield has the best quality audio gear by far.

  • Carroll Webb from United States

    Posted on 5/20/2015

    good products at great prices

  • mike Skully from United States

    Posted on 5/21/2015

    this really looks like a great speaker!!!

  • Matt from OH

    Posted on 5/21/2015

    I need one of these to compare to the Bose soundlink my coworker just bought and keeps bragging about.

  • Sean

    Posted on 5/24/2015

    Digging the white speakers these days for some reason.

  • John from Salisbury, NC

    Posted on 5/27/2015

    I have had nothing but a good experience with the orders I have gotten from Crutchfield. They are a trustworthy company and I will order again.

  • Jeremy Barberg

    Posted on 5/29/2015

    Looks As great as it sounds

  • Milton from Miami

    Posted on 11/10/2015

    How this speakers compare to the Fugoo xl , UE megaboom and Jbl extreme ? . How it compares to the Riva S that is coming soon ? I'm looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker with great sound .

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