As Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music continue to grow in audience and influence, the way we listen to our music is becoming inextricably linked to our smartphones and computers, often with a sacrifice in terms of audio quality. Como Audio, founded by Tivoli Audio founder Tom Devesto, is trying to change that with its Solo and Duetto music systems.
The core motivation behind Como Audio's speakers is separating streaming from our smartphones, because our smartphones aren't dedicated streaming devices. Rather, they're home to Facebook and Twitter, along with the usual array of useless apps that are opened once and never touched again. Sometimes, they might even be used to make a phone call.
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With this in mind, the Solo and Duetto can be connected to Spotify, Internet Radio, DAB+ and FM radio, all without any input from a smartphone. Thanks to built in Wi-Fi and the physical control knobs and buttons on the front of the speaker unit, they can access the full spectrum of audio sources without being forced to stay within Bluetooth range.
That said, the units are still able to connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth, and they're also compatible with Google Chromecast and Amazon Dot if that's the way you prefer to roll. There are also two analog inputs, one optical input and one USB input.
Although the company is looking to embrace smartphone-free audio, Como has still created an iOS and Android companion app for its speakers. As well as allowing volume and play/pause controls, the app can switch between sources, tune stations and presets, change the EQ and shuffle music around a multi-room setup. These functions can also be controlled through the supplied remote control.
In the Solo, sound comes from two 30-watt amplifiers, a three-inch woofer and three-quarter inch dome tweeter, while the Duetto gets two tweeters and two woofers. These differences become clear when you look at the two side-by-side – the Duetto is significantly wider to make room for the extra components, and has a 3.2-inch display rather than the Solo's 2.8-inch one. Both units can be had in a gloss white or a walnut finish.
Como is currently trying to raise money on Kickstarter, where it's raised US$32,000 of its $50,000 goal with 36 days remaining. Pledges start at $5, but you'll need to reach into your pocket for $200 to put your name on a Solo, while $300 will put you on the list for a Duetto.
Should the funding goals be met and everything goes as planned, deliveries are expected to start in October. Although Como says it will ship worldwide, non-US deliveries will cost an extra $100.
Source: Como AudioView gallery - 10 images