With its products, Como Audio pursues the strategy of creating compact audio systems that are as simple as possible, yet at the same time extremely flexible and of high quality. Como Audio Musica is a very good example of what the company understands by this. Countless sources are available here in a compact, extremely elegant form, whereby the controls can almost be described as intuitive.
Como Audio LLC. is an extremely young company, and its aim is to offer customers in the flourishing market segment of so-called all-in-one audio solutions products with the best sound quality, an extraordinary, independent and above all elegant design, the simplest operation and, last but not least, a high level of durability.
Admittedly, many a company makes such demands on itself and its solutions, but in the case of Como Audio, these promises should be listened to. As young as the company is, there is – if I may say so – an old hand in the business who, with decades of experience, knows exactly how to run the business, namely Tom DeVesto.
Interesting vita of the company founder
Many people will probably not know what to do with this name, even though Tom DeVesto is considered to be one of the leading heads of consumer electronics in the USA and is even considered a visionary of the industry. However, almost everyone knows the company that Tom DeVesto founded with Herny Koss in 2001, as their solutions still seem to be omnipresent, namely Tivoli Audio PAL. In 2015, Tom DeVesto left the Boston-based company, and in 2016 he founded Como Audio, also in Boston, Massachusetts.
Considering this history, our introductory statement of Como Audio’s own definition and objectives should come as no surprise, especially since Tom DeVesto says that Como Audio gives him all the freedom he needs to realise his ideas and is ambitious to set new standards with his solutions.
Modern technology for flexibility and ease of use
It is essential to always rely on the latest technologies, says the company founder, without losing sight of the actual goal, namely to offer flexible, high-quality solutions that customers like to use because they are simple and easy to use. State-of-the-art technology should therefore not be seen as an end in itself, but should stand alone for flexible use and convenience.
A good example of how Como Audio, under the direction of Tom DeVesto, approaches product development is Como Audio Musica, a classic all-in-one audio system that clearly holds the top position in the company’s current range.
To describe a very important aspect of Como Audio, it is necessary to take at least a superficial look at the rest of the company’s product range. As described, Como Audio Musica is the current flagship in the product range, followed by the Como Audio Duetto, Como Audio Solo and Como Audio Amico. Ultimately, these products are all quite similar in design, as a modern interpretation of a classic radio, with tuners for FM and DAB+, Internet radio, network streaming and Bluetooth. The systems differ primarily in size and whether they are stereo or mono systems, whereby those solutions that are designed as mono systems can be expanded to a real stereo system by means of the additional Como Audio Ambiente speaker.
But why is it important to give this overview right at the beginning? Well, quite simply, of course, Como Audio Multiroom Audio Streaming places great emphasis on the importance of audio streaming, with the emphasis on your own products, where up to five Como Audio devices can be used in parallel in one zone, and in addition, at least theoretically, any number of zones can be set up. We will explain the details of this later.
The intelligent music system…
As already mentioned, all solutions from Como Audio present themselves, when viewed soberly, as a modern interpretation of a classic radio. However, the company prefers to speak of intelligent music systems that are designed as very compact solutions and can therefore be seamlessly integrated into any living environment.
Our current test device represents the most versatile solution in Como Audio’s current product range, and should leave almost no wish unfulfilled for the user when it comes to flexibility in music reproduction from a wide variety of sources.
Extremely compact, extremely elegant…
The main objective in the development is to ensure that Como Audio’s solutions can be integrated into any living environment and are available wherever they are needed. This is to be achieved primarily through particularly compact dimensions. Como Audio Musica, for example, measures no more than 405 mm in width, 143 mm in height and 165.5 mm in depth, this figure already including the rotatable and extendable rod antenna mounted on the rear. This brings the Como Audio Musica to 4.2 kg.
As important as compact dimensions are high-quality workmanship and a perfect design. Thus, the Como Audio Musica, like all solutions of the US-Americans, presents itself with a housing made of MDF, whereby MDF with a wall thickness of 12 mm is used to make it particularly robust and stable, thus free from resonances that could damage the sound. There is a choice of versions with multiple lacquer finishes in high-gloss white or high-gloss black, as well as versions with real wood veneer in walnut and hickory.
In almost all versions, the centrally located control panel forms an attractive contrast in matt black, only in the high-gloss white version is this also in matt white.
This control panel contains numerous buttons, three rotary encoders with push-button function, whereby the manufacturer expressly emphasises that these are not made of plastic, but of anodised or painted metal, depending on the version. The heart of the operating panel is a backlit 3.2 inch TFT colour display. The CD drive of the Como Audio Musica, designed as a slot-in, is located above the display, and the control panel is flanked on both sides by speakers, of which only the loudspeaker grill is visible in the form of metal grille covers that have been perfectly embedded in the housing.
At the rear, besides the already mentioned rod antenna, all connections are found, and there are numerous of them.
Much more than a simple radio
The Como Audio Musica is of course first of all a radio, but you can also use DAB and DAB+ in addition to an RDS-compatible FM tuner. Como Audio relies on a solution “powered by Frontier Silicon”, the world market leader in digital radios, and promises an always perfect reception. All available stations are called up via an automatic broadcast search and can be stored in broadcast memory locations. Information transmitted by the stations is of course shown on the display.
What about CDs or external sources?
As already mentioned, the Como Audio Musica also has an integrated audio CD player, designed as a slot-in drive. This drive can also read data media full of MP3s and WMA data.
At the rear of the Como Audio Musica there are also additional inputs available to be able to use external sources. For example, Como Audio Musica has an optical digital input (S/PDIF, TOS-Link) to connect a TV set. Analogue sources can be used via two 3.5 mm stereo mini jack sockets. Como Audio also refers to these connections when it indicates that Como Audio Musica is Google Cast for Audio and Amazon Dot-ready. These can be connected here, and a USB port also provides power to these devices.
However, this USB port can also be used to use corresponding storage media with audio data as source. This includes smartphones and tablets whose battery can be charged via this interface.
Bluetooth including aptX and NFC
Mobile devices can also be “wirelessly” connected to Como Audio Musica via its integrated Bluetooth 4.1 module, which supports A2DP as well as the codec aptX and AAC. This ensures that the best possible transmission quality is achieved depending on the source device, whereby the initial pairing is particularly quick and easy if the smartphone or tablet supports NFC (Near Field Communication). In this case it is sufficient to simply place the mobile device on the Como Audio Musica and a secure connection can be established on request.
Integration into the network
But Como Audio Musica only becomes really flexible when it is connected to the network, which can be done in two ways. First, an RJ45 Ethernet interface is available on the rear panel for integration into the network via cable. This is practical if the Como Audio Musica is used in a study, living room or dining room, for example, where it is not too much of a problem to lay a network cable. In other rooms, however, such as the bedroom or bathroom, it is better to use the integrated WiFi module, which in the case of Como Audio Musica with IEEE 802.11n is also equipped for high data rates. Installation is particularly simple and straightforward here via WPS, provided that the central router or WiFi access point also supports this function. One push of a button and Como Audio Musica is integrated into the wireless network.
Internet radio and music streaming via various services…
Once connected to the network, Como Audio Musica also functions as an Internet radio. In addition, it mutates into a dlna 1.5-certified UPnP music streaming client so that users can access their own content, for example stored on a central NAS (Network Attached Storage System). We were particularly impressed by the fact that the Como Audio Musica is not limited to lossy compressed data such as MP3, WMA and AAC, but supports almost all relevant data formats, including hi-res audio as ALAC, FLAC and WAV with up to 24 Bit and 96 kHz.
Integrated into a network, Como Audio Musica also provides access to various online services such as Spotify including Spotify Connect, Deezer, Napster and TIDAL and soon Amazon Music.
Elegant control via app and multiroom audio streaming
Of course, in this context, an app should not be missing which offers Como Audio in the form of Como Audio Control for Apple iOS and Google Android. This allows Como Audio Musica to be controlled in a very comfortable way, whereby the App is also the central interface for multi-room audio streaming.
As already described, up to five Como Audio devices per zone can be used in a multi-room network, whereby the number of zones is limited solely by the quality of the network according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Individual control is possible, as is the reproduction of one or the same music on all systems in the house.
But the aforementioned app is only one of the possibilities that Como Audio provides for a comfortable operation of Como Audio Musica.
From Como Audio’s point of view it is crucial that all functions of products like Como Audio Musica can be accessed directly at the device itself at any time, this is a central demand of many customers. And indeed, Como Audio Musica can be controlled very comfortably directly at the device. This is ensured not only by the display, which has a clearly structured menu system and always shows all relevant information including cover artwork, but also by the three rotary encoders and the numerous buttons, which are used for playback control and also as quick selection buttons, so that the stored music source can be recalled at the push of a button.
As a further option for convenient control, Como Audio Musica has a classic infrared remote control, which also offers almost all buttons and thus control options that are available directly on the device.
Impressively powerful sound…
With all the functions that Como Audio Musica offers, and also in view of its chic appearance, one cannot of course ignore another essential criterion, namely sound.
As already mentioned in the introduction, Como Audio prides itself on having a particularly finely playing audio system in the Como Audio Musica range.
The basis for this is the already mentioned very solid cabinet which, despite its compact dimensions, should offer sufficient volume for sound development.
In addition, a classic two-way bass-reflex construction is used, relying on two 19 mm fabric tweeters and two long-throw 7.6 cm woofers with four-layer voice coils and oversized magnets for a powerful drive. The bass reflex system is led out to the rear and has a flow-optimised design. The system’s loudspeakers are driven by Class D amplifiers, which provide a power output of twice 30 watts and rely on DSP-based signal processing. This also allows for bass and treble as well as balance control.
What else is there to say…
The Como Audio Musica naturally has two independent alarm times as well as a snooze function and a sleep timer. With the alarm options you can access all available sources except USB. In standby mode the display acts as a clock and you can choose between an analogue and digital display. Time and date are automatically updated. The backlight of the display can be dimmed. In addition to an analogue output, the Como Audio Musica also has a headphone connection, in the form of a 3.5 mm stereo mini jack plug, but unfortunately this is found on the back. Normally, the Como Audio Musica is powered via the integrated switching power supply, but as an alternative, operation via an external 20 V DC 3 A power supply not included in the scope of delivery is also possible.
Please allow me, by way of exception, to mention here a personal experience that probably perfectly sums up the special advantages of Como Audio Musica. However, I have to go back a little in order to do so.
As you can imagine, our household has many an audio system, and even more so, you can enjoy music in almost every room in a variety of ways. This is also true in the bathroom, because why should you have to do without music here of all places. Whatever solutions I have implemented here, I have not been able to convince my wife of anything. She simply ignored various Bluetooth speakers, which could easily be connected to the smartphone. Even the in-wall speakers, coupled as a second zone with the AV receiver in the living room, of course with elegant cabling that is not visible in any way, could only inspire me. Streaming clients and thus direct access to personal playlists, easy to control via tablet or smartphone, met with absolute incomprehension. Even the fact that hi-fi audio was possible with them only elicited a brief “What for?
The fact that I dared to put the Como Audio Musica in the bathroom simply for testing purposes initially earned me a “Another one of those things…” with a deep sigh, and the mere fact that the Como Audio Musica was already equipped with an extremely fine sound at that time, The fact that the sound was so rich, which is one of my wife’s favourites, and that it was a very elegant and compact solution that fitted harmoniously into our interior, prompted her to leave it where it was for the time being.
The first explanations of what was possible with it, however, were probably only given by my wife out of deep affection and love for me. At least up to the point when it came to the service. The fact that almost any source could be called up directly at the push of a button, including music streaming, aroused interest. “No App?” was the question, but my answer that there was an App that could do everything was again the wrong one. “I don’t need an app to start it?”, exactly that, and only that was the decisive point, and my wife’s whole attention was already focused on Como Audio Musica, which has since been used as the very first solution of its kind. Every day, as if it had never been any different…
All the technical refinements that Como Audio Musica has to offer, the flexible control via app, the countless sources that can be accessed, multi-room capable… nice to have, but these days almost a matter of course. So in the end it is features like a fine design, a really always convincing sound and especially an intuitive, easy handling that count. And Como Audio Musica can also claim all this on the plus side.
Getting to the point
The Como Audio Musica combines in a particularly elegant and compact way everything you would expect from a modern, innovative all-in-one audio system. The special attraction of this solution is that music from a wide variety of sources is not only performed with an extremely fine sound, but that it is also accessible via a very intuitive, direct way. For those who prefer, everything can be accessed via an app, while a remote control provides convenience, and for those who prefer it simple, music can be enjoyed directly at the touch of a button on the device. The Como Audio Musica is thus truly an “intelligent” music system that adapts to the user’s wishes.
The new Como Audio Musica is based on the latest technologies, trying to create a real lifestyle solution with elegant design, without losing sight of the real goal, which is to offer a flexible, high quality solution that the customer likes to use because it is simple, easy to use and sounds good. State-of-the-art technology should not be seen here as an end in itself, but should serve only to provide flexible use and comfort.
|Manufacturer:||Como Audio LLC.|
|Distribution:||Audio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH|
|Price:||Como Audio Musica Walnut € 699,-|
Como Audio Musica Hickory € 749,-
Como Audio Musica White € 749,-
Como Audio Musica Black € 749,-
|The Good||– Very elegant design|
– perfect workmanship
– fine sound
– amazingly strong bass
– can also play louder
– Simplest operation directly on the device
– intuitive app
– Remote control
– innumerable sources
|The Bad||– Headphone jack on the back|
– no touch screen