Usually you can spot an Audio Pro multi-room speaker a mile off, even if they're generally pretty compact. It’s something to do with the big koala face, the leather-esque handle and the compact dimensions.
Every one of the company’s range exhibits these qualities – except for the Drumfire. From a distance, this multi-room speaker and sub-woofer combination looks more like a stylish minibar than an audio product. At a total of 65 x 52 x 19cm (height/width/depth) it's one of Audio Pro's more sizeable efforts.
But get it playing and you're reminded this is an Audio Pro product. The Drumfire is scorchingly good.
Although we’re prepared to give it some good-natured ribbing for an aesthetic that abandons the recent trend of Audio Pro speakers such as the Addon C10 or Addon T5, the Drumfire is put together very well.
It’s coated in faux-leather, with handstitched threads, while the aluminium detailing shines against the muted fabric.
Available in either grey or a creamy white, we can’t imagine there are many living rooms or hi-fi spaces in which the Drumfire would be unwelcome.
The big bottom portion of the Drumfire houses an 20cm subwoofer powered by a 200W Class D amplifier to pump bass into the room.
On the back are a couple of dials for crossover frequency and volume level, and two switches: one that toggles the speaker's standby mode, and the other to manage phase.
On top of the sub is the second part of the Drumfire’s set-up, containing two 11cm woofers and a 25mm tweeter. This box has an RCA input for an external analogue source, as well as an ethernet port and 3.5mm input.
There are also four preset buttons so you can quickly get the Drumfire playing your favourite radio station. These are nice to use with good tactile feedback, and response times are good too.
More after the break
On the left are the buttons to change sources, with Audio Pro offering both Bluetooth and wi-fi connectivity as well as Spotify Connect for Premium subscribers.
The Drumfire will play a wide range of file formats, including MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC and Apple Lossless. If you’re running music from your server, you shouldn’t meet with many compatibility issues.
Connecting to each input is relatively straightforward, although you might have some trouble with the Audio Pro’s clunky app – it’s really the only thing bogging down Audio Pro’s otherwise-smooth user experience.
The app fails to recognise the Drumfire on our first two attempts, but after what IT technicians call a 'power cycle' (or turning it off and on again) it was ready to go.
When it gets going, boy does it go. We play AC/DC’s Highway to Hell and it fits this speaker perfectly. The iconic guitar strums break into our testing room cleanly, followed by forceful bass that carries an impressive amount of weight.
As the energy and intensity build up towards the chorus, the rapid bass-drum beats come through like a flurry of punches.
Each one strikes squarely and evenly, but that’s not to say the Drumfire has sacrificed detail for force. There’s an impressive sense of texture to the drums that means you can tell them apart even when they’re being thwacked in quick succession.
Its sense of timing is top-notch too, keeping on top of each beat while integrating them as a singular force. Other wireless speakers can have trouble in this area – especially when matched with a subwoofer too – but the Drumfire has none of those shortcomings.
The midrange is kept clean and clear as well, particularly noticable when Bon Scott’s powerful, growling vocals cut through the rest of AC/DC's clamour. And the Drumfire does the same with more delicate tracks as well.
We swap to Curse of the Contemporary by Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay and, as Marling readies herself to sing, you can make out the small, subtle change in pressure as her lips approach the microphone. It’s a transient sound, but the Drumfire puts it across well.
MORE: Best speaker deals 2018
Even when Marling’s voice strains to reach the high notes, the Drumfire keeps it open and spacious. There’s room for the song to breathe and come into its own, such is the Drumfire’s scale and authority.
Those qualities are matched with fluid and enthusiastic dynamism. Much like Audio Pro’s other speakers, the Drumfire is as expressive with small, impactful sounds (such as the gunshots in Childish Gambino’s This is America) as it is with the cacophany of sound that forms any of Dragonforce’s tracks.
There’s only one piece of advice we’d give to any prospective buyer: run it in. It’s definitely needed to get the most out of this speaker, as out of the box it errs on the looser, less insightful side of what is still a fairly impressive performance.
As an all-in-one system to which to connect a multitude of sources, the Drumfire is a great choice for the money.
Audio Pro’s sonic chops only get better as its speakers get bigger, and this hefty hunk of hi-fi is as good as we hoped.
See all our Audio Pro reviews