It is time for another product from the Italian brand Volumio, the Rivo. This one is marketed as a high-quality streamer. We are going to find out just how high-quality the streamer is.
Some of the Rivo’s functionality is similar to the Integro and Primo: the ability to use a USB drive or a Micro SD card to play music files, all the capabilities of the Volumio software, the USB connection to connect a keyboard or mouse and an HDMI output to connect a monitor on which you can see the Volumio software. This is not necessary, through the app or a web page you can control and see everything on a phone, tablet, laptop or PC. But it can be done.
The Rivo has three main outputs:
- A SPDIF output
- A balanced output labelled “USB DAC”
- A balanced AES output
Do you want the long version or the short version?
This has become a bulky review. We give you the choice, you can also jump to the summary and read our final verdict there.
Which digital output, that’s the question
The three outputs have their own filtered power supply internally, so interference is minimized.
The disadvantage of USB is that both a signal and electricity flow through the cable. With the Rivo, Volumio has filtered the 5V output so that the DAC gets the cleanest possible current across the USB and the signal is buffered, cleaned and send out seperately to the DAC. These design decisions should give a good quality signal over USB to the DAC.
The AES output has its own circuitry and filtering, with the buffer for the AES output fed separately.
A lot of technical details, but how does it sound? We tested Rivo with the Sonnet Pasithea DAC. The Pasithea has a SPDIF, a USB and an AES/EBU input, so we got to try them all.