“They’re tiny!” Those were the first words we uttered when we lifted the new Audio Pro Addon T8s from the box – the latest wireless speakers from Swedish hi-fi manufacturer Audio Pro.
They’re petite and beautifully finished, and once we start streaming songs over Bluetooth we’re hooked by their lively and confident sound.
The T8s are punchy and energetic. They’re more powerful and dynamic than their small stature suggests, and are driven by a 36W per channel Class D amp inside the master speaker (with all the connections).
We don’t expect a huge spread of sound from such small speakers, but the T8s go fairly loud, and confidently.
There’s a sparkle to the sound that holds our attention, with plenty of detail and zippy timing keeping us engaged as we stream song after song from our Spotify playlists.
The piano notes tinkle fluidly in Life on Mars? while David Bowie’s voice reaches clear, strong highs.
There’s decent weight to the sound, although the rumbling bass could be a touch tauter and deeper to match the low-end prowess of the rival Ruark MR1s.
The Audio Pros turn a deft hand to any song, confidently playing delicate vocal-led tunes from Kimbra in the same breath as synthesiser-heavy industrial rock from Nine Inch Nails.
They’re not quite as expressive and insightful as the Award-winning Ruarks, though, which have set the performance standard for small desktop speakers.
Standing just 16cm tall and 10cm wide, the T8s take up about as much space on your desk as a large cup of coffee. And they can be pushed up against the wall without affecting the sound too much.
The finish is impeccable: clean and crisp Scandinavian design with no clutter. The finely built cabinets are available in white or black, and the matt lacquer finish is smooth to the touch.
The remote control also gets a quality finish. Milled out of a solid piece of aluminium, it’s a far cry from the flimsy plastic remotes you often get at this price. It looks classy, feels reassuringly weighty, and has responsive buttons.
Bluetooth is the main connection here, with the higher-quality aptX codec boosting the streaming quality. Pairing takes a few seconds, and we don’t experience any dropouts when streaming from a smartphone.
More after the break
There’s a pair of RCA inputs and a 3.5mm input for other sources, (MP3 players that don’t have Bluetooth, for example) and a subwoofer output.
There’s no optical input, but the T8s can be used as TV speakers by connecting to the analogue inputs.
A single LED light changes colour depending on the input chosen: blue for Bluetooth, red for the RCA inputs, green for 3.5mm.
It’s a shame the USB port can’t be used for charging smartphones or tablets; it’s reserved solely for plugging in an optional Audio Pro wireless receiver (RX100 £85, or RXD200 £150) for linking to wi-fi.
Included in the box is a pair of rubber feet that angle the speakers upwards. It’s a nice addition, although we found the T8s sound just as capable without them.
There may be speakers with greater subtlety, better rhythm and more refinement, but the Audio Pro Addon T8s are great for their size and price.
Their punchy detail and lively character are enjoyable, while that stunning finish and petite size will garner many fans.
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