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It’s a family affair: Primo and Rivo

It’s a family affair: Primo and Rivo


“Which one is better, the Volumio Rivo or the Volumio Primo”? A question that is recurring in many variants, but it is not a meaningful comparison. Or is it?

The design of the two devices shows their family connection, but both have a different use case and target a different segment.

The Volumio Primo has Volumio’s streaming platform with a DAC and connects to an amplifier using the analogue output. It is a solution that targets the mid-range segment where the BlueSound Node reigns the market.

The Volumio Rivo has Volumio’s streaming platform and offers high-quality digital outputs. You connect this streaming bridge to an external DAC, preferably through USB or AES. The Rivo is a challenger in the higher end, used as a streaming bridge for DACs in the price category where Holo Audio, Denafrips and Gustard demand all the attention.

Simple, right? However …

We know that the Primo shines with a good power supply. We also know that the Rivo delivers great result out of the box using its AES output.

The real world question

Suppose you are looking for a streamer and DAC solution, and you have a 2000 Euro budget, how do on the one hand the Primo with a better power supply and on the other hand the Rivo with a separate DAC compare?

We have an opportunity to test this because we have the 1000 Euro SMSL SU-10 DAC available. The SU-10 is ideal for this test, as it is equiped with all possible digital inputs. The Volumio Rivo with an SMSL SU-10 DAC sells for 2000 Euros combined. A good AES cable from the Pro Audio world is not very expensive, so we will leave that out of the comparison for the sake of simplicity.

Together, the Volumio Primo and the Pura Dodo sell for 1700 Euros. With these devices, we can hopefully answer the question: which is better to invest in, power supply or a better streamer or DAC?