Tivoli Andiamo Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review
Hi-Fi reviewSRP: £189.00
What is the Tivoli Audio Andiamo?The Tivoli Audio Andiamo is a portable Bluetooth speaker that boasts the kind of stylish design and solid build quality you would expect from an Italian manufacturer. Andiamo means "let's go" in Italian, and the speaker itself is part of the Tivoli Go range of Bluetooth products. It's also the first portable speaker from a company more usually associated with tabletop music systems and internet radios.
The Andiamo uses an original speaker design that is intended to deliver the biggest sound from a smaller-sized unit. It has a claimed battery life of 20 hours, and comes with a leather handle to make it as portable as possible. It isn't cheap, costing £189 as at the time of writing (December 2018), but if it sounds as good as it looks then Tivoli Audio could have a winner on its hands. So let's go and find out.
DesignThe Tivoli Audio Andiamo has all the style and flair you'd expect from an Italian manufacturer, with an eye-catching round aluminium housing. It looks like an ultra-elegant sweet tin but with a leather band around the middle and a handy strap for carrying the speaker when on-the-move.The Tivoli Go is fairly chunky, but solidly built and pleasingly robust – which is exactly what you want from a portable speaker. It measures 135mm in diameter, is 55mm in height, and weighs 0.72kg. There's a choice of a silver finish and a tan leather strap, or a black finish and a black leather strap.
The Andiamo has all the style and flair you'd expect from an Italian manufacturer
Connections & ControlThe leather band around the circumference of the Tivoli Audio Andiamo hides both the connections and controls. The connections are composed of a 3.5mm auxiliary input, and a socket for an older-style 12V charger. The Tivoli Go doesn't include USB charging, so bear that in mind when out and about. The handle covers the connections to a degree, but this speaker isn't water-resistant, so don't get it wet.The controls are also built into the band around the middle, but can be quite hard to see because the icons are cut into the surface of the leather. The available controls are fairly limited, with a Bluetooth pairing button, volume up, volume down, and power on/off. That's it and I should point out that the volume buttons on the Andiamo are independent of the volume setting on your source device.
The connections and controls are built into the leather band around the middle
Tivoli Go Specs & Setup
The Tivoli Audio Andiamo isn't exactly feature-packed, but it has what is needed for a portable Bluetooth speaker. The relative girth of the Tivoli Go means that there's a decent-sized 2.5-inch full-range upward-firing driver, combined with a 3-inch passive driver. There's also 20W of amplification, which means the portable speaker can go fairly loud without sounding distorted.
The larger size of the speaker also means Tivoli Audio can include a fairly big battery, giving the Andiamo a claimed playtime of 20 hours. The speaker also includes 24-bit DSP equalisation, and support for Bluetooth 3.0. However, that's your lot: so there's no microphone for taking phone calls, and no remote app either, which means there's no multi-room capabilities or pairing with a second speaker.The Tivoli Go is incredibly easy to setup, in part because it has a fairly limited set of features. All you need to do is turn it on, press the Bluetooth pairing button and select it on your source device. Once paired the speaker goes beep, and the little blue light stops flashing and goes solid.
You can adjust the volume using the buttons on the speaker, which as I mentioned are independent of your source device. All other controls such as selecting and skipping tracks is done from the latter, but the lack of any remote app limits the setup, with no EQ options for example.
The battery life will depend on how high the volume is set, but at a sensible level I was getting a lifespan that approached the claimed 20 hours. The Andiamo will go into standby when not playing anything but this still uses power, so I'd recommend turning it off completely to maximise battery life. The power light turns red when the battery charge is low, so keep an eye on that if away from the charger.
The specifications are impressive, but the feature set is fairly minimal
Tivoli Andiamo Performance
I fully charged the Tivoli Audio Andiamo and then paired it to my iPhone X – a suitably painless process. I was then good to go and started testing the speaker with my usual favourite tracks to get a feel for its performance. I was pleased to see that the connection was stable, and I could move around within a 10m radius and not suffer any dropouts. To be honest you wouldn't want to move any further from the speaker because you won't be able to hear it, and at a sensible volume the battery life was around 20 hours.
The Tivoli Go doesn't just look good, it also sounds great. The larger housing means that Tivoli can use a decent-sized driver and passive radiator combination, not to mention cram in 20W of amplification. As a result, this model not only sounds considerably bigger than most portable speakers, it can also go quite loud. That's handy when you're out and about because portable speakers are often competing with other noises, although the louder the volume, the quicker the battery runs down.
The Andiamo is also capable of a surprising amount of bass, although to get the best out of it you will needy to position the speaker on a solid surface. Anything unstable or prone to rattling will get shaken by the downward-firing passive driver. However, if you position the speaker sensibly, you'll be rewarded with an enjoyable clear and natural sound, that retains a pleasing precision. Naturally, there is no stereo imaging because there's only one driver, but that's par for the course when it comes to portable speakers.I started by listening to O Children by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and I was delighted that the full-bodied sound of the Andiamo reproduced the gravelly vocals and bass notes. At the other end of the frequency scale it was also able to deliver Ricky Lee Jones's Hi-Lili Hi-Low without sounding shrill. The complex arrangements of Limehouse Blues by Arne Domnerus were also present, as were the clocks that herald the start of Pink Floyd's Time. The Andiamo can go fairly loud, but if you really push it then the sound can feel strained and you'll run the battery down faster.
All these attributes combine to deliver a fantastic performance when listening to Suede's album The Blue Hour. This recording has an epic sweep to it, often sounding like a film soundtrack, and the Andiamo did a great job of retaining the band's intentions despite the limitations of a portable speaker. The choral chanting at the start of the album retained some depth, and the more complex arrangements had plenty of detail. The was also a naturalness to both the vocals, as well as the sound effects and spoken word sections, which was impressive for portable speaker.
The speaker was also able to deliver the urgency and drive of the two opening rockers on the original Memphis recordings of Primal Scream's Give Out but Don't Give Up. The feeling of clarity and precision allowed me to concentrate on the music, without worry about the inherent limitations of a single speaker. There was obviously no stereo imaging, but the essence of the recording remained, and listening to the album was highly enjoyable. The more soulful ballads were also delivered with a mellow quality that really suited to music, with the female vocals in particular sounding very natural.
The Andiamo looks good and sounds better, making it a great portable Bluetooth speaker
- Great sound
- Long battery life
- Genuinely portable
- Attractive and well made
- No microphone for calls
- No app or multi-room
- No USB charger
- Don't get it wet
Tivoli Andiamo Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review
Tivoli Audio Andiamo Go VerdictThe Tivoli Audio Andiamo looks good and sounds even better. It's beautifully designed and solidly constructed, making it suitably robust for those on the move. It's fairly big and weighty for a portable speaker, but that means it has a decent battery, so it can keep going for a whole day without any issues. It's easy to setup and simple to operate, with a choice of a Bluetooth or physical connection if necessary.
It also sounds great, with the larger size of the housing allowing Tivoli to fit in a reasonably big full-range upward-firing driver and plenty of amplification. As a result, the speaker can deliver a room-filling sound that retains clarity and a pleasingly natural quality, along with a surprising amount of bass. There's obviously no sense of stereo imaging, but you're never going to get that from a portable speaker.
The feature-set is fairly limited, there's no built-in microphone, remote app or multi-room capabilities, it also lacks USB charging and I wouldn't get it wet. Otherwise, this is a well-made and great sounding portable Bluetooth speaker and, as such, the Tivoli Audio Andiamo goes a long way to justifying its price tag and is worthy of recommendation.
What are my alternatives?The Yamaha MusicCast 20 isn't portable but at £179 it comes recommended for those interested in a highly-specified wireless speaker. This superb model not only sounds excellent but also includes built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, along with Yamaha's impressive MusicCast multi-room system. There's an effective remote app, the ability to pair with a second speaker, support for Hi-Res Audio, and even an alarm.
If you've got the budget and you're looking for a speaker that can make the Andiamo look cheap, then there's always the Dali Katch. This high-end portable Bluetooth speaker has the looks and build quality to match the Tivoli Go, as well as similarly limited feature set. Dali is also going for sound quality over bells and whistles, and as a result the Katch is a top-class performer that comes highly recommended.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £189.00
Ease of Use9
Value for Money8
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