Audio Pro Addon C-series Multi-room Sound System: affordable, fully capable Sonos alternative
Looking for a multi-room sound system, these speakers from Audio Pro are not only cheaper than most multi-room speakers but are capable of producing high quality audio backed by plenty of connectivity options.
Shopping for multi-room sound systems that you can put setup yourself without the need for costly installation? Not wanting to compromise on sound quality while at the same time trying to keep within your budget? Wanting to add as many speakers as you can afford to cover all the rooms and spaces? Audio Pro Addon series have you covered.
Impressive warm room filling sound that remains distortion free even at higher levels. No harshness. Sounds more expensive and higher wattage output than it is. Bass that you can actually feel.
- High quality audio to rival big players with more expensive speakers in the market
- Great value for room filling sound, dynamic output and deep bass
- Analogue input with RCA and 3.5mm
- Wired Ethernet
- AirPlay2, Bluetooth and Dual band WiFi support
- Love it or hate it retro design and look with exposed driver
- No Hi-res audio format support or hi-res streaming service support
- No wall mount bracket option
- Name can be confusing, Addon is not actually Add-on
- App could be better, Alexa integration is via app only except for Addon C5A which has it built-in
Audio Pro – BEST FOR CONNECTIVITY, SOUND & VALUE
From Sweden comes the retro looking award winning multi-room system. They consists of the Addon C3, Addon C5, Addon C10 and Link 1. The latter is used to turn traditional powered speakers or HiFi into a multi-room speaker, working with other Audio Pro speakers and app. These speakers carry the boom box design, moving away from the conventional cloth wrapped and cylindrical shaped speakers you see from most from competitors. For something that resembles the convention, Audio Pro has A10 and A40 for that (more on this at the bottom of the article).
The Scandinavian design gives the speakers a simplistic and minimalist feel with textured outer body, real leather handle and polished aluminium control panel. However, the expose speaker design, save for some grills on the pair of tweeters may not be for everyone especially family with children. It is just too tempting for the little fingers. Should you have little ones at home, you may want to keep it out of reach.
The smallest speaker, the Addon C3 has built-in rechargeable battery that last up to 15 hours at 50% volume or 9 hours at full volume on a full charge. This makes is not only a multi-room speaker a portable one too, one that does not need to be tethered to a wall socket making it completely wire-free. Outside of the home’s WiFi network, simply switch to Bluetooth or wired it directly to your device to continue playing. Unfortunately, there is no USB DC output to charge your mobile.
Audio Pro Addon C3 Portable Multiroom Speaker on Amazon
Interface and Connectivity Options
The Addon C3, C5 and C10 moved away from the fabric and rounded shape. What you get is a simple rectangular box with drivers, speaker grill, control panel on the top which includes Aux-in jack and a leather strap as handle. All speakers carry the signature 2.1 look with the tweeters on either side sandwiching the woofer in the middle. On the back you get plenty in way of connectivity, RCA, 3.5mm and Ethernet apart from WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity as well as Airplay and Spotify Connect support. There is also a convenient USB port to charge your device.
I was going to go for the Sonos play 5 until I the read reviews on the C10 so glad I changed my mind sound is just as good and £200 pound cheaper! I have listened to both the Bose and Sonos at my local independent retailer and was really impressed with the Sonos but I must say the Audio Pro won’t disappoint.
The C5 and C10 also supports sub-woofer output for that extra kick. Input can be re-streamed to other speakers. The readily available analogue input lets you revive your old kit from turntables to MP3 players or other mobile devices and share this with other multi-room speakers. For quick access to your favourite playlist or station, use four programmable preset buttons. Of course, the higher the model, the bigger the speaker and power.
Alexa Voice Control
Moving with the times, voice control is added into the Addon C5. Known as the Addon C5A, it supports Amazon Alexa, the smart home assistant inherently. Using far field microphone, you can control the music playback, get weather forecast, daily news briefing and control other smart devices by barking your commands at the speaker. Being Audio Pro, the Addon C5A still spots RCA and 3.5mm input and the essential Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity plus Airplay and Spotify Connect support.
As for other speakers in the range, these support voice control over the app. Support for Alexa put the Audio Pro speakers on a level playing field with the likes of Sonos. Stream your favourite music hands free with voice command. You will need to use the Audio Pro Control app to access Amazon’s voice assistant. Speak to Alexa through the app and hear your requests or response through connected speakers.
This implementation may not be as sleek but it is a step in the right direct. Our hope is that an Alexa skill will be introduced or an update will allow these speakers to appear in the Alexa app as devices so they can be grouped with Echo devices in each room making them the default player for the room.
Audio Pro Control App
The companion app is avilable for iOS or Android. Access major streaming services and Internet station using the app. Services include; Tidal, Spotify, Deezer, TuneIn, Qubuz, iHeart Radio and Napster. Everything about the speakers can be controlled via the app. These include grouping and customising individual speakers for personal playlist room-by-room. Here is also where you can fine tune your listening experience, set up stereo pair with dedicated Left and Right channels, set the treble and bass levels.
Choice of Speakers
Like most multi-room systems, you get a choice of different sizes. Audio Pro’s multi-room setups are as below:
- Addon C3: 2x5W + 15W Digital class D with Tweeter: 2 x 3⁄4” textile dome and Woofer: 3.5” long throw (built-in rechargeable battery)
- Addon C5 and C5A: 40W Digital class D amplifier with Tweeter: 2 x 3⁄4” textile dome and Woofer: 4” long throw, Sub output. USB DC output to charge mobile devices.
- Addon C10: 80W Digital class D with Tweeter: 2 x 3⁄4” textile dome and Woofer: 5.25” long throw, Sub output.
- Addon C-SUB: 200W Digital class D Woofer: 6.5” long throw with Passive radiators: 2 x 7.5″
These speakers can be set in different rooms, paired for stereo effect with dedicated left and right sides, grouped and play or play everywhere.
Audio Pro Addon C5A with Alexa Built-in on Amazon
Our favourite is the Addon C5A. Costing a little over half the price of Sonos Play:5 it comes with Alexa built-in so does not require a separate Amazon Echo or rely on the app for voice control and supports the Addon C-Sub. If you prefer even more power, get the Addon C10. With double the firepower at 80W output, it will fill any modern room, pushing out rich and precise notes with clear resonating bass. The Addon C10 takes what you like about the Audio Pro sound quality and push up even further, more dynamics, more bass and greater detail.
Other Options from Audio Pro
Other multi-room offerings from Audio Pro are the cylindrical fabric covered A10, an Apple HomePod look alike and equally generous in the fabric department, the A40 anniversary model. Both speakers stayed away from the retro look, favouring instead the scandinavian simplicity in design with elegance and sophistication. Both speakers carry the same level of connectivity enjoyed in by the Addon series. The A10 is seen as a direct competitor to Play:1 making it an affordable speaker for a small room. The A40 on the other hand is in a class of its own with a big ticket price nearly double that of the Play:5.
Audio Pro A10 Multi-Room Speaker on Amazon
For something even bigger, the floor standing Audio Pro Drumfire pushes 300W total output. It has a dedicated high and mid-range unit (100W output) and big subwoofer on which it sits on (200W). The result is not only does it produces the volume required to shake any house but does so with Audio Pro’s award winning signature audio. Price wise, apart from the A40, the A10, Addon series and Drumfire are unbeatable. You can’t get any better sound at these prices. It doesn’t however offer a home theatre solution like Sonos does. You can be creative, combining two speakers and a sub for stereo and extra low range.
Quick Comparison Table of Audio Pro’s Addon C-series Speakers
Mobile Devices: swipe left to see more.
|Addon C3||Addon C5||Addon C5A||Addon C10||Addon C-Sub||Link 1|
|Specifications||Amplifiers: 2 x 5W + 15W Digital Class D Tweeter: 2 x ¾” textile dome Woofer: 3.5” long throw||Amplifier: 40W Digital Class D, Tweeter: 2 x ¾” textile dome, Woofer: 4” long throw||Amplifier: 40W Digital Class D, Tweeter: 2 x ¾” textile dome, Woofer: 4” long throw||Amplifier: 80W Digital Class D, Tweeter: 2 x ¾” textile dome, Woofer: 5.25” long throw||Amplifier: 200W Digital Class D, Woofer: 6.5” long throw, Passive Radiators: 2 x 7.5”||Wireless streaming and multi-room adaptor|
|Streaming Services||Spotify Connect, Apple Airplay and all major streaming services supported||Spotify Connect, Apple Airplay and all major streaming services supported||Spotify Connect, Apple Airplay and all major streaming services supported||Spotify Connect, Apple Airplay and all major streaming services supported||Wireless Auto Connect pairs with nearest Audio Pro multi-room speaker||Spotify Connect, Apple Airplay and Audio Pro multi-room|
|Alexa Voice Control||Via Audio Pro Control App||Via Audio Pro Control App||Alexa built in||Via Audio Pro Control App||N/A||N/A|
|Audio Formats||MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, Apple Lossless||MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, Apple Lossless||MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, Apple Lossless||MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, Apple Lossless||MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, Apple Lossless||MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, Apple Lossless|
|Inputs/Outputs||Wi-fi + Ethernet, Bluetooth, Aux In 3.5mm Stereo, Power In||Wi-fi + Ethernet, Bluetooth, RCA and Aux In 3.5mm Stereo, Power In / Sub output, USB Phone Charge Port||Wi-fi + Ethernet, Bluetooth, RCA and Aux In 3.5mm Stereo, Power In / Sub output, USB Phone Charge Port||Wi-fi + Ethernet, Bluetooth, RCA and Aux In 3.5mm Stereo, Power In / Sub output, USB Phone Charge Port||Wi-fi + RCA in, Wireless Auto Connect for simple set-up||Wi-fi + Ethernet / 3.5mm stereo output, TOSlink optical|
|Portable Battery Power||✓|
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||11.5 x 22 x 14 cm||13 x 25 x 15 cm||13 x 25 x 15 cm||16.6 x 32 x 18 cm||23 x 23 x 23 cm||10.5 x 10.5 x 2.9 cm|
|Weight||2.45 kg||2.65 kg||2.93 kg||4.56 kg||8.18 kg||0.75 kg|
July 13, 2020 @ 1:27 pm
Audio Pro is not going to implement a Skill for Alexa any soon. Their integration with voice assistance is lackluster at best. That’s definitely a show stopper for me.