Xavian is Roberto Barletta’s baby. He’s Italian by birth but moved to the Czech Republic some 21 years ago. He badly wanted to alter the Italian pace of life. There were some personal reasons for that we won't get into. In the end, Roberto’s wife is a Czech lady and soon kids appeared. Ways of earning money had to be figured out. Since our Italian gent is an engineer by training and by profession, he established himself as a speaker manufacturer. No real surprise there, audio was his passion very early on. Yet in the beginning he tinkered mainly with transistor-based amplifiers.

In any case, Roberto runs his chosen business nicely these days. Xavian isn’t as big as Mission, KEF or Dali are or other companies of a similar sort. But come to think of it, on the European audio map, this particular brand is now quite established. To get to the point, here’s what I saw with my own eyes.

Hostivice is a rather small town with a population of about 8'000. It’s actually a part of Prague's western suburbs, with their administrative center in the capital. It's a picturesque place which reminded me heavily of typical sights seen in Poland.

Needless to say, I nearly instantly felt as comfy in Hostivice as in Warsaw. In the outskirts of this Czech town, Xavian have their headquarters. But this isn't just any random place in an industrial park. This company is placed inside a 100-year old mill with 1'500 square metres of usable space. The building itself is majestic and looks fantastic with this high tower as part of it. There’s a railway line, an overpass and lots of green nearby. This location literally steams with atmosphere. In the very beginning I foolishly thought that the Xavian crew used only one or two floors of the mill since only small blackboards inform outsiders that something related to manufacturing goes on inside. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Roberto and team use the entire facility. With the outer reconnaissance done, let’s take a look inside. 

Behind the first door, a rather large hall greeted me with a kitchen at the far end. This crew cook their own meals. Roberto is a foodie type and must have infected his people with that attitude. Lots of Italian accents abound: movie posters, spices, even an old Alfa Romeo engine cover on the wall. Roberto is fanatical about that brand. He still drives a quite old 166 model.

Leaving the kitchen, there’s the CEO's office and that of his two helping hands, Peter and Petra. Those two are responsible for social media, site updates, orders, customer service and sundry other office tasks. After leaving this room, we’re heading straight, at the same time bypassing Xavian’s temporary listening room which we’ll visit later.