You could probably save some time by skipping this review for the Audio Pro Addon C10 and simply holding our verdict on the Addon C5 closer to your face and reading it again.
Granted, this might not be the most appropriate way to acknowledge the C10’s greater performance in almost every regard, but it would serve to demonstrate that this is another barnstormer of a wireless speaker from a company of rare consistency.
Another benefit is that it would save our photographer some work. Apart from the rear inputs having been slightly rearranged, physically the Addon C10 is just a scaled-up version of its smaller sibling.
That familiar driver configuration, featuring the koala design that has become these speakers’ distinguishing feature, is present once again. Only this time, the mid/bass has grown to 13cm from 10cm.
Coupled with a larger reflex port to the rear and an 80W digital class D amplifier, double that of the Addon C5, it means the Addon C10 can reach an extra 5Hz into those bass frequencies – and with a lot more authority too.
Despite being heavier set, the Addon C10’s connectivity diet is the same as the rest of Audio Pro’s multi-room family. You can feed it via wi-fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and AirPlay, as well as through its physical inputs for aux and RCA.
There’s also the benefit of Spotify Connect, but we’d be more inclined to use the Audio Pro control app, where you’ll be able to set up multi-room facilities for all the C-series products.
However, it’s just as intuitive for a single speaker, offering easy access to a number of major streaming services, including Spotify, Tidal and Qobuz.
It’s also where you’ll be able to temper bass and treble frequencies. It’s a basic, two-way control, rather than offering full EQ settings, but could be useful if the Addon C10’s generous low-end becomes overpowering, or for fine-tuning if making use of its subwoofer-out connection.
The beauty of these Audio Pro speakers is that they resist the temptation to overcomplicate things – part of the reason why so many of them have taken home What Hi-Fi? Awards over the years.
While relatively feature-laden, their design is geared towards unfettered sonic performance, and that is where each rises effortlessly to the top of its class.
Before the Drumfire arrived, the Addon C10 was both the biggest-sounding and outright best of Audio Pro’s offerings. Even now, it's the performance-per-pound pick of the range.
To begin, we play Nils Frahm’s All Melody. The scale of the sound is immediately impressive, digging down into the low frequencies with an assured combination of warmth and punch, but also affording the presentation an extra dimension in terms of layering.
The Addon C5 is a notably mature performer, revealing all the textured detail from instruments, but even its own performance appears to be quite forward compared to the three-dimensional organisation of this bigger brother.
Despite its size and muscle, the Addon C10 is also equally adept at capturing the subtler, more nuanced performances on this record.
Those more gentle, piano-led pieces aren’t dealt with the heavy hand sometimes to be expected from such a powerful wireless speaker. Instead it uses the extra room and warmth of that bottom end to paint broad but delicate strokes focused on dynamics and insight.
With most of these units’ workload likely to centre on vocal-led tracks, it’s fortunate that the Addon C10’s talents easily lend themselves to such performances.
Playing TV On The Radio’s Seeds, Audio Pro has again nailed the combination of mid-range focus, held up again by that solidity lower down the frequency range, and expression in Tunde Adebimpe’s vocal.
The C10 ties together harmonies without ignoring the detail in the differing vocal timbres that make up the set.
This is also an opportunity for the Addon C10 to flaunt its exceptional sense of timing. The extra bulk in its presentation does nothing to slow its footwork, only allowing it a firmer kick.
Coupled with that aforementioned dynamic range, it not only keeps time wonderfully but also has no trouble adding impetus to the leading beats that define the rhythms.
At some point, Audio Pro’s supremacy in the wireless speaker market is bound to wane, but with each Addon release, that date seems to be further off in the future.
Adding multi-room functionality to the range was a no-brainer, because you can never have enough of these speakers in your house. If you already own some of the Audio Pro arsenal, the Addon C10 is a worthy addition.
Best music streaming services 2020
It really seems to be a great speaker for the money... but there is one (fairly niche) thing that I didn't think of before buying. I thought I'd post here as it might be of some use to some people out there :)
In the UK, the BBC opted to remove all of their radio stations from Tune In. If like me, you generally listen to the BBC suite of stations, the preset buttons on the top of the unit aren't going to work for saving your favourite station. You can only save stations from the supported online services. BBC Sounds and Radio Player aren't supported (at the time of writing at least).
A shame as I think those buttons are a great idea. I was planning to save my most listened to BBC stations to them, then envisaged simply powering the unit on, hitting my preset and off I go. No need to get a device and app out, or to pair etc etc.
I thought I might be able to get around it using the AudioPro apps Alexa integration (there isn't Alexa in the C10 itself, but the app can use Alexa to make requests and the results play back from the speaker). I can use this to get the BBC stations to play, but they don't save to a preset.
If you have Alexa devices in your house you can probably link them to the C10. You may then be able to save the whole device>app>connect inconvenience... I'm a Google house, but I may well be able to do something similar with my nearest Google device over Bluetooth. However many speakers have auto power off, and so the smart device/speaker pairing is lost once you stop playing music.
Not had the C10 long enough to find out if that will be the case here...
Anyhow! A minor issue for me, but overall a great buy. Just thought it might be handy for some of you out there.
The software is soo poor, it's literally broken. My unit loses the connection to the wifi after being idle for a while, ("a while" ranging from a few hours to a day or so).
Then, I need to go through the full manual pairing process again. which is painful. I have to change wifi network on my phone (as the app doesn't support 5ghz), go to the speaker, press a button, and pair it in the app. Support from the audio pro team is non-existing, just different permutations of "try turning it off and back on again", with a "try and uninstall the app and install it again" sprinkled in there for effect. The store I bought it from, are happy to "replace the unit", but this is quite obviously a software problem, not a hardware problem. I requested a refund, but they insist on just replacing it.
Long story short, buyer beware, as a speaker its great. As a wifi speaker, it's completely unfit for purpose, and basically, its just collecting dust in my office and I'll have to pop a Sonos in there (which "just works" in my living room and bedroom) to actually get a wifi speaker in the office.
AudioPro added vTuner to the app (here in the UK at least) some time ago. I finally got around to trying it out and it seems that has access to all of the BBC stations as 128k MP3 streams.
You can search for the station you want to listen to using the vTuner section of the AudioPro app and start listening on the C10. If you then hold down one of the preset buttons it will save the station currently playing to that button.
No more pairing required! Just hit the preset button on the unit and it starts playing.
I'm finding the same. Every Few days I have to set it up again from scratch. Also you can't assign a Spotify playlist to the preset buttons.