Audio Pro just announced their latest set of wireless speakers, and they’re directly aimed at giving your TV a big sound upgrade as much as your music. The Audio Pro A48 floorstanding speakers have an HDMI ARC port for connecting directly to your TV, as well as Apple AirPlay 2 and Google Cast. Oh, and you can also plug in sound from audio equipment – that’s still a thing with speakers, almost.
The Audio Pro A48 is available from mid-September and will cost $1,200 / £1,200. They are the latest in the company’s lineup of possible “soundbar killer” (their words) speakers, with the much cheaper A28 bookshelf speakers and smaller A38 floor standing speakers completing the range, all offering the same connectivity, just at different punch levels.
Speaking of punch, the A48 speakers are a three-way design, which means they should deliver big, powerful sound with great dynamic range, based on our experience with Audio Pro gear. They’re very much aimed at being an alternative to one of the best high-end soundbars – that’s the kind of money you’d pay for a Sonos Arc with a subwoofer or a Sony HT-A7000 – for people who don’t like the idea of a soundbar.
All physical connections (power, HDMI, any other audio connections) go to the left speaker and the right speaker connects to it with a single cable that carries everything it needs.
They’re active speakers, meaning they already have all the amplification they need, so you can just plug in one of the best turntables directly (provided it has a built-in phono stage).
They’re available in black or white, with optional grilles on the front – and you can customize the grilles if you want to add more of your personal touch.
Analysis: What’s Wrong With a Soundbar?
Soundbars are one of the most popular products on the planet right now, for a few reasons – partly because so many people have upgraded their TVs in the last couple of years because so much more time has suddenly been spent at home in the 2020/2021 period to any reason and are now looking for a corresponding sound update; in part because Dolby Atmos has become a buzzword for home theater and the best Dolby Atmos soundbars have become increasingly affordable; and partly because of their convenience, as they just sit on your current TV stand and don’t take up much of your life.
But not everyone is happy with how soundbars work. Soundbars are small, and that means they have certain physical limitations on the kind of sound they can deliver, especially when it comes to scale and power. Smaller drivers and less volume inside the case mean less air is moved. High-end bars get around this just by bundling themselves with various drivers, which also helps create the multi-directional 3D effect of Dolby Atmos – but this often makes them weaker to sound.
We at really love a great Dolby Atmos soundbar with positional audio tricks, but some people just don’t want that – they’re happy to have stereo sound, but stereo sound as good as it gets, with serious speaker engineering that works just as well for music as it does for movies.
We’ve seen growing interest in this in recent years, as soundbars started to make people think more about TV audio, and many of the best stereo speakers started to include HDMI connectivity too – and we wrote about which loudspeakers. -speakers can do better than Dolby Atmos soundbars.
Soundbars are still perfect for most people, but more competition is never a bad thing, and maybe speakers like this will push the soundbars to improve the music game even further.