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We put the new, no-nonsense Audio Pro BT5 Bluetooth speaker to the test

From sound to design, we tested the long established audio brand’s new model

David RS Taylor
Friday 05 March 2021 17:01
<p>The high-tech audio set up does a great job for a compact speaker</p>

The high-tech audio set up does a great job for a compact speaker

The Bluetooth speaker market is busy, to say the least. You can see as much from the number of impressive speakers reviewed on this site. Such saturation can make brands fall into the trap of “more is more”, adding bells, whistles and all manner of sophisticated, niche connectivity options that about three people in Silicon Valley like using while farming our data.

Want a shiny traffic cone? You’ve got it. In the mood for a jet black monolith that seems to follow you around the room without even having eyes? Take your pick.

Read more: Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd gen Bluetooth speaker reviewed, Is it worth the price tag?

It’s a fantastic world, with something for everyone and a crosshair focus on developing ever-better technology that’s to be applauded. Sometimes, though, you want a speaker that is just that.

Enter Audio Pro’s BT5. The brand has been producing no-nonsense sound for more than 40 years, with great audio from small speakers. The BT5 aims to continue this journey. Does it succeed in its simplicity? We take a look.

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Audio Pro BT5

Output: 10W tweeter, 30W woofer

Frequency: 50 Hz - 20 kHz

Weight: 2.75kg

Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, 3.5mm aux input

Buy now £129, Currys PC World

Design

The BT5 is the speaker that your tabletop yearns for. Its subtle design – choose between driftwood, walnut and black finishes, all with an attractive grey fabric grille – provides a sleek, confident look that holds its own among the clutter (or lack thereof) of your home. You won’t be surprised to hear that Audio Pro is a Scandinavian company: the speaker is a classic bit of Scandi output, and would look at home in pretty much any setting with which you could challenge it.

The BT5 is mains-powered, so there’s no chance of garden parties without an extension cord (we wouldn’t recommend it), but that’s not what it’s for. This is a speaker to keep in one place, a fixed feature of your living room, and it looks more than good enough for that job. It’s also very simple to use. The buttons are a slight disappointment, feeling a little on the cheap side, but once you’ve set up your Bluetooth connections, you’ll hardly use them, and they still look the part. There’s no remote control either, which means you’ll be using the controls on your smartphone – but you already do that anyway.

Sound

Audio Pro labels itself “Sound of Scandinavia”. Note that it doesn’t quite say the brand is the sound of Scandinavia, but they’re big words nonetheless. Luckily, the BT5 backs this up, with no risk of the tinniness sometimes heard in speakers of this size. The sound is strong and rich, especially in the higher register, which also lends itself well to radio and podcasts. The bass is, again, very good for the BT5’s place in the market, producing a proper thump on a number of bass-heavy tracks.

The 40W overall output (30W woofer and 10W tweeter) fills most rooms easily, not losing any of its power. Its dynamic audio also shines through when listening to more complicated tracks – almost everything is picked up, an impressive level of consideration for the speaker’s price. We had no issues with Bluetooth connection, with sound remaining clear and uninterrupted throughout testing, but there is an option for wired listening, too, which performs similarly well. The high-tech audio set up does a great job for a compact speaker.

The verdict: Audio Pro BT5

Everything here is geared towards the simple life. The brand revels in this – even the website keeps information and flowery language to a minimum, letting design and reviews do the talking.

There’s a lot to be said for flashy products. When you invest in something, you almost want it to make a statement, and there are plenty of speakers that can do that for you. However, the BT5 is the sort of product that rooms really need, a product that brings a room together, adding to the design ethic, not distracting from it. It’s small enough not to cause a scene, but big enough to hold its own among the accoutrements of everyday life.

The audio is very impressive for the price: the dynamic range and power are things you’d expect in a speaker for twice the money, and the design looks high-end wherever you place the speaker in the room. It’s understated, and that’s a good thing. Long live simplicity.

For more audio product reviews, check out our write up of the new Bang & Olufsen beosound level speaker

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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