Tom DeVesto is a household name in audio circles. He has been involved in brands such as Kloss, Advent, Cambridge Sound works, Tivoli Audio, and now his latest company, Como Audio. And much of what he creates uses a lot of wood and has classic design harkening back to the old KLH radios that many of us owned or coveted back in the 1960’s. Como is now introducing two new products, the Amico and the twin speaker Musica with CD. The Como Amico is basically a portable version of last year’s Solo, combining classic design, great sound, the latest technology, and portability.
Not Your Kid’s Bluetooth Speaker
With the Amico, Como has taken its popular Solo design, which we looked at some months ago, and turned it on its end. Como says squeezing down the size and adding a battery that’s good for 8 hours of continuous playback was an engineering challenge. But the Amico still has most of the technology that’s in the Solo including:
- Custom Digital Signal Processor (DSP) 3
- 30 watt per channel RMS Class D digital amplifier
- Three-quarter inch dome tweeter and custom 3” long throw, 4-layer voice coil woofer
- Spotify Connect (you still need to pay for the Premium service)
- Dual alarms with Snooze and Sleep
- USB port for flash drive playback/and smartphone charging
- Dedicated remote control
- Hi-Res auxiliary input
- Output for a Como Ambiente speaker
- 2.8” TFT color display
- Headphone port
- Six radio presets
The Amico uses its bass port as a handle to make it easy to move around. Even though it has a wood veneer, the cabinet is still waterproof, but please don’t take it in the pool.
Every Port in a Storm
The colorful screen provides a variety of methods to get content into your Amico. We looked for a number of Internet radio stations, finding about 90% of the stations we hunted for. We searched for some stations by name, using the letter by letter keyboard on the screen and clicking on the remote control to select. It was slow but worked. Then we searched specific stations by genre, scrolling through scores of stations. Also a laborious process. I found myself thinking this would be a great place to use voice recognition, but, alas…
Connecting to an iPhone and to an Android device via Bluetooth was quick and painless.
As we mentioned, using Spotify requires signing up for their premium service. Then you’ll have to establish connectivity by setting up a new Wi-Fi network, sometimes a messy process.
While Como likes to call Amico a smart speaker, it’s also a clock radio with two programmable alarms. And it does have an FM receiver complete with a retractable antenna so you are not tied to Wi-Fi or an Internet connection.
We used a 3.5mm cord to connect to the Hi-Res port from a Pioneer Hi-Res player. We did have to jiggle it a bit to get it seated just right, but once we did it delivered more than credible Hi-Res sound.
Listening using headphones was also quite satisfying. The system comes with an output for a Como mated speaker so you can have stereo. Or it will pair with another Amico for either a stereo pair or a multi-room system.
But What Does It Sound Like?
Of course, the bottom line on any music system is how it sounds. And this sounds just great. I found it hard to believe that such a full-throated sound was coming from a unit that is only about 10″ tall and 5″ wide. I listened to a variety of Hi-Res rock, pop and classical pieces from a live performance of the Who’s Quadrophenia to Barbara Streisand live in concert and the third movement of Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony. In each case, sound reproduction was solid though less than what you’d get from a huge system. I was able to crank the Amico up all the way up without any distortion. Further, it produced a very rich, room-filling sound. Color me impressed. You can pre-order the Como Audio Amico from the website for $399.