Au­dio Pro Net­worked Sound Gear

SmartHouse - - CONTENT - Writ­ten by DAVID RICHARDS

Are you, look­ing for a Blue­tooth and wire­less ca­pa­ble net­worked range of speak­ers as op­posed to a locked in pro­pri­etary sys­tem sim­i­lar to Sonos then your answer could be the highly praised Scan­di­na­vian brand Au­dio Pro.

This is a brand that has ab­so­lutely nailed qual­ity sound from a small speaker and if you re­ally want to pump up the vol­ume, they have a pair of sub­woofers that make Sonos and a few other net­worked speaker brands sound like yes­ter­day’s net­worked sound tech­nol­ogy.

I have the Ad­don C10 speaker hooked up to their Ad­don sub and the dif­fer­ence be­tween the Sonos Play 5 and the Sonos sub is chalk and cheese.

Firstly, you don’t have to put up with con­stant up­dates or the Sonos net­work drop­ping out. The Au­dio Pro will play over a wire­less or Blue­tooth net­work so all you have to do is hook it up to your favourite mu­sic stream­ing ser­vice and when it comes to sound evo­lu­tion in small for­mat net­work speak­ers Au­dio Pro has called upon their sound pedi­gree to de­liver a speaker range that is the best net­worked range out there.

Af­ter nail­ing the de­sign of their Blue­tooth mod­els which come in mul­ti­ple colours and in­clude pre-set pro­gram­ming and a han­dle Au­dio Pro has made it ex­tremly easy to con­nect to a net­work which ever room you are in.

Right now, sev­eral spe­cial­ist deal­ers and at least one ma­jor con­sumer elec­tron­ics re­tailer in Aus­tralia are look­ing to range the Au­dio Pro gear with some in the spe­cial­ist chan­nel us­ing the Sonos sys­tem to up­sell to the su­pe­rior Au­dio Pro of­fer­ing.

Lead­ing UK Hi Fi pub­li­ca­tion What Hi Fi wrote “Sim­plic­ity is the ul­ti­mate so­phis­ti­ca­tion,” said Leonardo da Vinci. That sen­ti­ment has been echoed by great minds as di­verse as Al­bert Ein­stein and Pep Guardi­ola and has been the sub­ject of mus­ings as far back as Con­fu­cius. It also ap­pears to have been a mantra adopted by Au­dio Pro, whose Ad­don wire­less speak­ers earned the Swedish man­u­fac­turer three What Hi-Fi? Awards last year.

The two big win­ners which are now on sale in Aus­tralia are the Ad­don C5 and the Ad­don C10 and for those who al­ready have a sound sys­tem and want a to add Au­dio Pro prod­ucts to your ex­ist­ing Hi Fi sys­tem there is an Au­dio Pro Link 1 to do the job.

The two Ad­don speak­ers are pretty much vis­ually iden­ti­cal but for the dis­crep­ancy in size.

Of­ten re­ferred to as fea­tur­ing a ‘koala bear’ de­sign be­cause of the two big dis­tin­guish­ing speak­ers the Ad­don C10’shas a larger mid/bass driver which is 13cm in di­am­e­ter, com­pared to the Ad­don C5’s 10cm driver.

The C10 also has a larger re­flex port and an 80W dig­i­tal class D am­pli­fier, dou­ble that of its sib­ling – so it’s able to delve an ex­tra 5Hz into those bass fre­quen­cies, and with a lot more power.

But apart from some re­ar­rang­ing of in­puts to the rear, the rest is es­sen­tially the same.

Across the top of the speak­ers is a large cir­cu­lar vol­ume con­trol but­ton and four smaller but­tons on the top: for power-on, play/pause, in­put se­lec­tion and Blue­tooth pair­ing to the left, and pre-sets to its right.

On the back are out­puts for sub-woofer and USB de­vice charg­ing.

The Au­dio Pro speak­ers are a dod­dle to pair, it’s a case of take your pick, direct, Wi Fi, Blue­tooth, these speak­ers seek out all avail­able prod­ucts con­nected to the home net­work.

Af­ter down­load­ing the Au­dio Pro app and once this is con­fig­ured all you need to do when you kick­start your mu­sic stream­ing ser­vice is point it to the Au­dio Pro gear.

Also com­ing is voice con­nec­tiv­ity via Ama­zon Alexa.

When you play mu­sic from these speak­ers you will quickly dis­cover that they are un­ri­valled es­pe­cially when com­pared with the pop­u­lar Sonos speak­ers or even big­ger more ex­pen­sive speak­ers.

As for the baby Ad­don C5 which makes the Sonos Play One look and sound like a cheap made in China speaker, (Which it ac­tu­ally is) you will no­tice a dra­matic dif­fer­ence is small speaker out­put. The Ad­don 5 is crys­tal clear and as What Hi Fi said, Its level of de­tail is in­sight­ful, ex­pos­ing the tex­ture and tim­bre of each in­stru­ment and vo­cal line alike with­out un­der­play­ing co­he­sion or or­gan­i­sa­tion in favour of nit-pick­ing anal­y­sis.

With is speaker there is a rear-fir­ing bass re­flex port – al­though Au­dio Pro’s en­gi­neers have tweaked the C3’s port to give it a more ta­pered shape, which they claim im­proves sound qual­ity.

The di­men­sions are iden­ti­cal as you jump from T3 to C3, and they also share the so­phis­ti­cated de­sign touches we’ve come to ap­pre­ci­ate from Au­dio Pro. The tex­tured sur­faces and em­bossed leather carry han­dle are very grown up for a wire­less speaker at this sort of price.

CON­CLU­SION

While Sonos was the pi­o­neer of net­worked au­dio it is brands like Au­dio Pro that is tak­ing net­worked au­dio to a new level for the sim­ple rea­son they are not net­work en­gi­neers that have wrapped sound out­put around a Sonos pro­pri­etary MIMO net­work card.

Au­dio Pro en­gi­neers are die hard Scan­di­na­vian sound en­gi­neers who have cho­sen open stan­dard Wi Fi and Blue­tooth as the means by which own­ers of their gear can con­nect great sound kit. Their au­dio out­put is not only su­pe­rior to other sim­i­lar net­worked prod­ucts their speak­ers se­ri­ously de­liver lis­ten­ing plea­sure while de­liv­er­ing mul­ti­ple con­nec­tion op­tions.

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