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The Audio Pro AddOn C3: Small size, mighty sound

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This big-sounding, versatile speaker is too good to miss

The Black Friday sales are a great time to grab some great audio deals, but it’s still unusual to find such a brilliant, versatile speaker as the Audio Pro AddOn C3. With this stunning Bluetooth and multiroom speaker, high-quality sound has rarely been as portable or as affordable. It might look cute and compact, but the AddOn C3 delivers an astonishingly grown-up sound.

Part of the secret is the Swedish manufacturer’s focus on audio above all else. Don’t get us wrong: the AddOn C3 looks fantastic, with a choice of black, white and grey textured finishes, embossed leather carrying handles and aluminium control panels. What you won’t get, though, is flashing lights or pulsing digital displays, superfluous sound modes and gimmicks. It’s all about what you hear.

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In this case, the two 3/4in textile dome tweeters and single 3.5in long-throw woofer produce a powerful, room-filling output with a smooth, rich hi-fi sound. The rear-firing bass port, specially re-tuned for this model, lends the sound deep bass and a warm low-end, while the tweeters go to work delivering crisp details and a sense of space, even in busy instrumental tracks. It’s no big surprise to see a portable speaker driving punchy rock and pop, but the AddOn C3 can handle everything from small-group jazz to classical, hard rock to complex electronica. You’ll be amazed that something this size can sound so good.

Of course, that size is one of the AddOn C3’s other big strengths. It stands under 12cm high and weighs just over 2kg, while the built-in lithium-ion battery will comfortably last for up to 15 hours at half volume or nine hours playing at full-tilt. All that makes it a brilliant speaker for outdoors or on the move, connecting to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth or the 3.5mm aux in.

But when you’re back at home it works just as well as a streaming, multi-room speaker. Hook it up to your network through an Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi 5 (or an Ethernet cable) and you’re good to go with Spotify, Apple Music, Quobuz, Tidal, Amazon Music and Deezer, not to mention any MP3, FLAC, WMA, AAC and Apple Lossless music you’ve got stored locally. It’s all accessible and easy to find thanks to Audio Pro’s slick app.

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This also handles all the usual multi-room tricks: you can group speakers together, switch between sources and send audio from different sources to different groups. The AddOn C3 is a superb solo speaker, but it’s also a fine first step into the world of multi-room. With the app, you can also set presets, giving you instant streaming from a playlist or internet radio station at the touch of a button on the speaker. What’s more, the sound holds up not just when you have the volume pumped up high, but for quieter, nighttime listening too. It’s an impressively versatile speaker.

Normally, this piece of top-notch audio engineering would cost £189, putting it right in competition with some of the best-loved Bluetooth and multi-room speakers around. But with Currys’ Black Friday deals you’re looking at an even more approachable £159. That’s pretty low for a speaker you can use both in and outside the house, and that will look and sound amazing in just about any room. Our advice? Don’t miss out.

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