There’s a strangely familiar feeling when holding down the pairing button on the Audio Pro Addon T3+ – as if we’re a teacher who’s been at the same school so long our classroom is now filled with the offspring of the children we taught many moons ago.
We remember hearing the first batch of Audio Pro’s Addon wireless speakers as if it were yesterday, marvelling at the brand’s consistency as it made the step to multi-room without losing any of what made these speakers so infectiously endearing.
Evidence of just how well designed the range has been lies in the fact it has picked up What Hi-Fi? Awards for the past six years. In 2020, it won the accolade for best budget multi-room system in addition to separate wireless speaker gongs for the Addon C10 and Addon C3, the latter of which is the wi-fi-enabled counterpart of the Addon T3+ we have here.
Build and features
The original Addon T3 was named our wireless speaker Product of the Year three years running from its release to 2017, being eventually overtaken only by its more feature-laden stablemates.
Battery life 30 hours (50 per cent vol), 12 hours (100 per cent vol)
Bluetooth version 4.0
Inputs Aux in, 3.5mm
Frequency range 60Hz to 20kHz
Dimensions (hwd) 11.5 x 21.5 x 13.5cm
Audio Pro admits its original plan was to discontinue that speaker and press on with only multi-room products from this year, but found demand for Bluetooth-only speakers was still high and saw an opportunity to improve upon one of its flagship products.
Audio Pro CCO Jens Henriksen claims the product name was chosen to indicate “the same winning concept as before, only better”. The original has undergone a few tweaks, rather than wholesale change: it keeps its pair of 2cm tweeters, split by a 9cm woofer, as well as its familiar boombox-style chassis, but carries a redesigned reflex port to the rear for optimised bass response.
Audio Pro has also retuned the DSP settings, which it claims has enhanced the sonic character, but managed to keep the 30-hour battery life (at half volume; 12 hours at full volume) that has made this rugged speaker such an outdoor party favourite.
There is also a new, unpainted finish named ‘RAW’ (above) that chimes with the company’s environmental interests and provides an alternative to the painted finish (in black or grey) of our review sample. It is, however, the sonic retuning that most concerns us. While it’s a high-risk strategy, it could also have high reward if it secures another half a decade of wireless speaker dominance.
If you have listened to one of Audio Pro’s Addon speakers before, the new signature should still be recognisable. Thanks to the physical design of its speakers, Audio Pro has always managed to give a great deal of body to its sound, and that is still the case. That slightly altered reflex port is still doing a job supporting the taut low-end delivered by the Addon T3+’s woofer, and the richness of its tone is present right the way up through the register as the tweeters reach their highest note.
There is still that fascinating depth to the performance, too, with a dimension rarely heard in wireless speakers at this price point. Where many competitors must settle for almost a sheet of sound, Audio Pro is able to place instruments front to back with a sense of organisation akin to more conventional speakers.
It makes it much easier to appreciate not only the detail on offer here but also the space in the mix that helps the Addon T3+ avoid becoming crowded or muddled when it is fed denser recordings.
Unfortunately, however, we hear an immediate difference in terms of its timing and dynamic range. Next to the older Addon C3, it is clearly less engaging and expressive – still as good if not better than most competitors, just not at the level we’ve come to expect from Audio Pro.
It isn’t as if the Addon T3+ is struggling to keep up or convey emotion in the music, but no longer does it lock into a groove so confidently or hold our attention so tightly.
Its case is made more difficult when you consider that the Addon C3 is currently available for just slightly more outlay – and for that you get wi-fi compatibility and, as it turns out, a more engaging performance. The only downside is a battery life lasting half as long, but that's a compromise we’d be willing to make in return for its impeccable sound.
The new Addon T3+ remains a very fine option for those keen to have 12 hours of outdoor music at full volume, even if it has fallen somewhat foul of Audio Pro’s high-risk strategy.
- Sound 4
- Features 5
- Build 5
Read our guide to the best wireless speakers
Read our Audio Pro Addon C10 review
Read our Audio Pro Addon C3 review
Read our Audio Pro Addon T3 review