Space is precious on your bedside table these days. With a lamp, phone charger and maybe even a book or ereader nestled there, finding room for good audio can be a challenge.
Tivoli’s Revive is a tidy little unit with a built-in light, speaker, and wireless charger for your phone. The unit has a wonderful modernist design that would feel at home on Don Draper’s desk, and should complement most bedroom designs.
The $399 unit is surprisingly small, so it won’t overcrowd your bedside table. A flat wooden surface hides a wireless phone charger on the right, above this floats the combined speaker and lamp, which is not much bigger than a Rubix Cube. If your phone doesn’t support wireless charging, or you want to charge another device, there’s a USB charger hidden in the back, alongside an auxiliary in.
Despite the small size, the speaker produces great sound. The Revive can get surprisingly loud without distortion, more than enough for my needs. This tiny cube can easily fill a room with sound if you want it to.
The sound is warm and flat, without much bass. With the volume at half way, I could hear the full range of sound across most genres, with only the bass feeling a little weaker than I’m used to in modern bluetooth speakers. Overall, this lack of bass is actually welcomed in the bedroom, as I mainly use bedroom speakers to listen to podcasts or stream ABC while I fall asleep, and bass heavy speakers can muddy the sound of a voice and require higher volumes.
The speaker can swivel on its stand to a few set positions, to either provide more directional sound or better aesthetics, with the speaker locking into position with a satisfying click. The speaker can only move a few degrees in each direction, so you can’t twist the speaker all the way around to swap the side of the wireless charger. That means the Revive is far more suited to the left hand side of the bed; placed on the right side, you’d have to lean over the speaker to place your phone on the charger.
Atop the speaker is an LED light behind frosted glass, that creates a warm glow of four different intensities. The light was never bright enough for me to comfortably read a book with, the spectrum goes from night light to mood lighting.
The Revive doesn’t include voice assistants from Google or Amazon, which seems an odd choice in 2020. As a smart speaker fan, I found this a step backward from the Google Home mini it was replacing. Connecting to the speaker is simple enough via Bluetooth, but in my small house I found disconnecting to be the real annoyance. The speaker would grab the audio from my phone as soon as I got home, so watching a quick YouTube video on the couch would pipe the audio into the bedroom unless I remembered to disconnect. Still, I understand the reluctance some people have in bringing an always listening speaker into their homes, particularly into their bedrooms, so I understand the choice to only support Bluetooth and cable connections.
Overall, the Tivoli Revive is an exceptional furniture piece that replaced three items on my bedside table; a wireless charger, a bedside lamp, and a speaker. If I’m honest, I love it’s design far more than the technology behind it; Bluetooth seems so archaic in a home filled with smart speakers. But the Revive is just so pretty, I’m willing to give it a pass.