by Leo Jakobson | December 16, 2016
Tom DeVesto, the pioneering consumer electronics and high-end audio designer behind Cambridge SoundWorks and Tivoli Audio, has a new outlet for his pursuit of exceptional sound, elegant design, and simplicity of use.

Boston-based Como Audio has released its first pair of high-fidelity music systems, the Solo and Duetto. While it does have a free app -- Como Control -- the both are designed to make music available at the touch of a button from the many, varied sources it comes from, ranging from Bluetooth (and NFC for ease of pairing) and FM radio to Spotify and DAB/DAB+ for Internet sources. There are also plenty of hard-wired inputs, ranging from 3.5 mm to USB and optical for TV audio. Three support high-res audio files. Both models are compatible with Google Cast and Amazon Dot.

"Today music is everywhere, through so many content sources, and the list keeps expanding and evolving," says DeVesto, the founder and designer of Como Audio. "I wanted to make it easy to access all of the music content available through one device that would deliver robust, true high-fidelity sound in a compact wooden design that would not only produce great room-filling sound, but have the ability to sync music throughout the house."

In terms of music quality, the company certainly succeeded in that regard. It's surprising to realize that sound is coming out of that small a package. And it's so clean and clear that it's fairly easy to get it loud enough -- without realizing it -- to make your upstairs neighbor thump on the ceiling.

The Solo feature a Digital Signal Processor with a 60-watt RMS digital amplifier, three-quarter-inch soft dome tweeters and a custom 3-inch long-throw, four-layer voice coil woofer with oversized magnets. Duetto is the same, with a second set of drivers. Duetto also has a 3.2-inch TFT color display for album art and meta data, compared to Solo's 2.8-inch model. Both are backlight adjustable. Other features include six preset station buttons; EQ controls for Bass, treble, balance, and loudness; and alarm; and a telescoping external FM/DAB antenna. 

Both are manufactured in a cabinet made from nearly half-inch MDF finished in either furniture-grade walnut or hickory, or a high-gloss multi-layer piano lacquer in black or white, and feature either anodized aluminum or painted metal knobs. A variety of customization options are available to corporate buyers, ranging from engraved plaques to custom woods and colors, depending on quantity.

The Solo is 5-inches high, 9.5-inches wide and 4.7-inches deep, weighs about six pounds and retails for $299-$349. Duetto is 5.3-inches high, 14.6-inches wide and 5.5-inches deep, weighs 6.6 pounds and retails for $399-$449. It is available from www.comoaudio.com

A free app available on iPhone or Android controls everything, including multi-room synchronization, and a remote control is also included, even though they can be controlled entirely from the device, as ease-of-use is core to DeVesto's design philosophy. The app is easy to set up and connect -- even the Bluetooth pairing to a smartphone was very smooth -- and the small remote lets you work easily and efficiently through preset stations, volume control, alarms, and the like. This is good, because again, the quality of the sound makes it easy to play the music a bit louder than you realize -- until it goes off in the morning. Call it the neighbor's revenge.