Audio Pro is in the highly favourable position of having produced one of our favourite wireless speakers in the Addon C10. In the three years since its arrival, it has won three consecutive What Hi-Fi? Awards in its price category. Now, the Swedish firm has released a sequel, the sensibly named Addon C10 MkII, promising enhanced functionality, sound quality and design.
With the C10 MkII, Audio Pro builds on the original model's feature list, which boasted Bluetooth, AirPlay, aux and RCA inputs and access to music streaming services via wi-fi, by adding AirPlay 2 and Google Cast streaming smarts.
Essentially, the C10 MkII has three ways of being used in a multi-room environment: with Apple devices via AirPlay 2, Google Cast-compatible speakers via built-in Chromecast, and other Audio Pro wireless speakers via Audio Pro's own dedicated app.
The aesthetic design has also been tweaked, although the dimensions and driver configuration remain the same. Is it about to become the first wireless speaker capable of trouncing its triple-crown predecessor? Let’s see.
In the name of improved sound quality, Audio Pro has enhanced the electronics here and revised the bass port design.
Inputs RCA, Bluetooth
AirPlay 2 Yes
Google Cast Yes
Dimensions (hwd) 16.6 x 32 x 18cm
The dual 20mm textile dome tweeters and 13cm long-throw woofer that helped make the original such a sonic class-leader remain, but the tweeter grilles are now flush with the front baffle rather than slightly bulging.
This could be to accommodate the new removable mesh fabric grille, which is fixed with hidden magnets. Although it’s nice to have the option of a more understated and contemporary aesthetic (available in arctic white, coal black and storm grey hues) and it brings the new C10 more in line with the firm's latest speakers, such as the G10 and BT5, we are fans of the classic, slightly rock ’n’ roll Audio Pro look.
A quick glance at the premium-look brushed metal top plate – silver on the white model and gold-tone on our grey sample – shows that the number of preset buttons has been increased from four to six, allowing two more shortcuts to any playlist or radio station without needing to use the control app.
There are now also skip forward and backward buttons on this control panel, in addition to the play/pause button. They function with a high-end feeling click, too, with three small LED lights to indicate how you are currently accessing your tunes (labelled ‘wi-fi’, ‘BT’ and ‘line’) completing a classy finish.
Gone is the ethernet port on the back of the unit, the wi-fi/input switch and the 3.5mm aux in, and the retro leather handle has also been scrapped for the MkII edition to achieve the sleeker aesthetic. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t miss the handle, which made carrying the relatively weighty C10 around much easier.
There are still RCA inputs, meaning you can connect sources such as a phono stage-toting record player – but it’s probably worth mentioning that no RCA cables are included. There's a subwoofer output, too.
The headline-grabber here is that you now get three options for multi-room connectivity: aside from Audio Pro’s app, there's both Google Chromecast and AirPlay 2. We set two C10 MkIIs up with Audio Pro’s app (we name one 'White' and one 'Grey' for easy identification) and it’s surprisingly easy to get audio to play through one, both, or as a stereo pair.
The app itself is slick and easy to navigate, with a little musical note icon in the top left of our iPhone taking us to the exhaustive menu of streaming services it can access, plus the option to go Bluetooth. We log into Tidal and streaming our playlists and searching for songs is a painless and fuss-free experience. The Addon C10 MkII supports Apple Lossless, MP3, WMA, AAC and FLAC files.
For those who own the previous C10, Audio Pro says the C10 MkII can be used as the master speaker with the older version following a firmware update. Indeed, after setting up the older C10 through the Audio Pro app, we are able to use it as the master and sync the MkII with it for multi-room audio.
One thing for Alexa users to note is that Alexa voice control integration, which works well on the C10, is nowhere to be found on the MkII model. Because the C10 MkII has Google Chromecast and is built upon Google’s software, Alexa is now off-menu. The move toward Google is preferable and the compromise is worth it, but those who regularly use Alexa may disagree.
Throughout our listening session, we notice sonic gains through the low end afforded by the updated bass port design, especially during grime tracks such as Stormzy’s Vossy Bop. Bass is marginally cleaner and tighter on the new model and the performance is a touch more expansive too, particularly through the lower registers. We hear layered bass notes, such as the bluesy keys in Stormzy’s Lesson, in isolation and with an extra ounce of precision.
Without losing its predecessor's impeccable timing, the new C10 MkII offers a slightly more even presentation. We stream Daniel Avery and Alessandro Cortini’s Illusion Of Time and are treated to a neutral and transparent presentation where each musical passage and atmospheric element is given its due diligence. Leading edges of notes throughout the more lyrical passages are clearer and more perceptible.
If you’re waiting for a ‘but’, here it comes. In the same way that we prefer the older model’s leather handle and grille-free aesthetic, it proves a touch more sonically enthusiastic, lively and fun, if a little less refined, than the new speaker.
We stream Ghostpoet’s Concrete Pony and the original C10 offers a marginally more zealous and entertaining performance. Sirens, guitar feedback, percussion and whispered backing vocals are slightly more compelling, adding to the brooding nature of the track. It’s a small issue and only notable in direct isolation – but for those who favour an exciting listen over hi-fi transparency, it’s worth noting, especially if you're looking to upgrade your original to the MkII iteration.
When we tested the original C10, we pitted it against models almost double its price and found it bettered them. We’re happy to report that the case for buying a C10 stands today – if £500 ($500) is your maximum budget, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a speaker that comes close to the Audio Pro C10 MkII. We miss the handle, but in return we can't argue with three options for multi-room streaming or the levelled-up grippy bass and improved hi-fidelity performance.
- Sound 5
- Features 4
- Build 5
Read our guide to the best wireless speakers
Read our Audio Pro Addon C10 review
Read our Audio Pro Addon T3+ review