Monitor Audio A100 Amplifier

For Essex-based Monitor Audio the sole method isn't loudspeakers, which it may make and sell standing on its head. After impressing with Essex's W100 AirStream active desktop computer stereo speakers and dabbling in loudspeaker docks it's entering the brand new world of streaming and amplification.

Sporting AirPlay as opposed to the A100 Bluetooth, is greatly geared toward the Apple bunch iPads and iPhones crammed with AIFF, AAC and ALAC files.

When using AirPlay from notebook or a desktop computer running OSX it is possible to indulge in total-fat 24/192 ALAC lossless files. DLNA additionally offers a way of appreciating lossless hires files FLACs including 24/192. In addition, the A100 has Airstream Direct, which lets you stream sound from a iOS apparatus in the lack of a wifi router.

It is possible to, however, hook the A100 up into a CD or TV deck using stereo phono analogue or its digital visual input signal input signal and will output signal to your powered sub.

Appearing from above just like segment an uncommon touch cuts using its footprint that is wedge shaped. There is no display window, only a smattering of lights and buttons. You'll find controls for changing the volume, powering on/off and three input signal buttons - AirPlay/ analogue, optical and DLNA - that burn brilliant white when picked.

The rear panel is more narrow than the outlets as well as the fascia feel a little. How this somewhat recessed, as well as they, means that my simply simply squeeze in. Pleasingly, the loudspeaker terminals are manufactured from high quality plastic that was metal as opposed to second-rate. The whole unit is made from die cast aluminium chassis and a stiff polymer.

You will find five input signals in the event you count the fact as well as the USB that DLNA shares the input signal that is wireless (AirPlay sources will consistently override DLNA), but there are only three LED-lit the dearth of display as well as source buttons does prove irritating sometimes.

An LED light indicates the action condition of the component in the center, which could burn different colours, staying pulsing or solid. Each single time you change the unit pulses blue as it spends about 20 seconds reestablishing a network connection, which can not hear what it is possible to see and is not easy to stomach in case you're using the A100 within a TV sound system.

With a large number of statuses (there are six colours and numerous) it is not unfair to say you will desire the instruction manual, which obviously is accessible as a downloadable PDF.

Monitor Audio does at least contain a fast start guide in the box, which gives directions for executing an over the air firmware upgrade and making a network connection to your wireless router. This guide is an IKEA-style occupation without any written directions other than to give an inventory of iOS devices which are not incompatible with creating a AirPlay link. Honestly, it is a little game, but you need to be fine in case you're proficient. At least this approach prevents the malarkey of coping with URLs and passwords in a browser.

Although there is a program for the A100 it does not offer much in the manner of controlling the essential features like source and volume collection. These, along with transportation controls, are found on the provided remote, which will be concerning the measurement of a big pebble.

The program is really quite uninspiring to look at it, it will take an age to reconnect together with the unit each single time you get it, does not consistently reveal all the networked sources and crashes sometimes. Maybe it is not surprising that Monitor Audio does not really mention the existence of the use.

Sound quality

With 2x 50W output signal, there is enough pull available to drive any little-to-moderate sized computer screens rated between 4ohms and 8ohms impedance. Beginning with all the analogue input signal linked to your CD drive I'm immediately enamoured aspect by the A100's smoothness and theatrical production.

What strikes me isn't merely the clarity that is astonishing a type A/B amp offers, but the awareness of equilibrium and airiness through the entire dynamic range. The amp does want at least 20 minutes approximately to get the sonic juices streaming correctly, but after completely warmed up it purrs taking the roughest of tracks in its step and effortlessly bounding.

The King's Singers' version is participating with back-tingling harmonies that actually must be heard to be considered.

Nor can it be a case of clarity over energy and heat. Chris Jones' Darlin' Cory's vocals at the beginning are participating, while the guitar strums with gusto and refinement.

Results are not any less remarkable, Silent Shout shows that bass expansion is very striking, underpinning the high and midrange notes.


Overall, the A100 is a reasonably easy proposal - wireless streaming, a few input signals that are wired as well as a high quality DAC and amplifier. There are not any builtin third party services for example Deezer Spotify or internet radio, and USB playback is seriously restricted. Trustworthy or while not as slick, DLNA compatibility at least supplies accessibility to rents and hi res sound downloads.

Monitor Audio A100 Amplifier photo