When I think of Tivoli, the first thing that comes to mind are iconic designs like the Model One AM/FM radio—audio products that marry performance with quality components, natural materials, and craftsmanship. The anti mass-production look. The Andiamo is a compact portable Bluetooth speaker that’s part of the Tivoli Go collection, and it lives up to that Tivoli reputation.
Style to Spare and Capable Audio Performance
Most of the portable speakers that come through my office are made of plastic. Grill covers are typically wire mesh or cloth. LEDs abound. There are many variations in terms of form factor, but most share a typical “look” that screams Bluetooth speaker.
Tivoli’s Andiamo is a very different beast. It’s a round speaker (a bit over 5-inches across and just over 2-inches tall) and there is no plastic to be seen. Instead, the body is machined from a chunk of aluminum with a speaker grill artistically drilled in the top. A band of Italian leather wraps around the entire speaker, and forms a handle for easy carrying. Buttons are hidden beneath symbols embossed on the leather. There’s a discrete Tivoli logo on top, power and AUX inputs near the handle, and a single LED indicator light, but, otherwise, the speaker is uncluttered.
This makes for a very minimalist appearance, while the leather and aluminum add a premium look and feel. The Andiamo also has that retro, handcrafted vibe that Tivoli has perfected. I loved the silver and tan leather combo, but if you want something a little more modern looking, it’s also offered in black on black.
In terms of audio performance, there are limits to what you can do with a speaker this small. Tivoli put a 2.5-inch full-range driver inside, supplemented with a 3-inch passive radiator to boost the bass. It’s driven by a 20W amplifier—considerably more power than many compact portable speakers have on tap.
The result is a very enjoyable music listening experience. Obviously, there isn’t going to be a ton of depth or soundstage with this setup, but the Andiamo produces some pretty nice sounding audio nonetheless. The tone tends toward warm (many portable speakers are bright), and that made it sound better with older, pre-digital recordings. Not that it couldn’t handle some Depeche Mode, but I felt it excelled when going through my classic rock playlists.
With 20W of power on tap, it can get pretty loud, but this isn’t really a speaker that’s meant to dominate a party. I think it does better in a more intimate setting. Something felt very right about sitting back in a lounge chair with a drink, low lights, and the Tivoli Andiamo on a table by my side playing Cream or The Band.
Battery life is rated at up to 20 hours and my experience supports that. It uses a DC power adapter so you can’t just connect it a USB charger, but this approach means you can leave the speaker plugged in when not being carted around, and recharging takes just two hours.
Tivoli Andiamo Key Specs
• 1 x 2.5-inch 20W full-range driver
• 1 x 3-inch passive driver
• 24-bit DSP equalization
• Bluetooth 3.0
• 3.5mm AUX input
• Battery life rated at up to 20 hours (DC power adapter included)
• 5.3 x 2.2-inches, weighs 1.59 pounds
• Aluminum enclosure with Italian leather handle
• Available in silver or black
• MSRP $199.99
When it comes to a portable Bluetooth speaker, I suspect most people would be better served by something that’s a little more rugged and water resistant—one of Ultimate Ears’ offerings, for example.
But if you want a portable speaker that stands out with an elegant (verging on retro) design and premium materials instead of the usual rubberized plastics, then the Tivoli Andiamo is worth considering. At $199.99, there are plenty of decent choices that are cheaper, but it’s certainly not outrageously expensive. When it comes to blasting music at a party, the Andiamo can’t compete with bigger speakers that offer multi-driver, 360-degree sound. But it offers a great listening experience, with refined and warm audio. And it looks pretty stunning while doing it.
This post was last modified on November 29, 2018 12:57 pm