A small and affordable way of taking your old hi-fi equipment and bringing them into the digital world. The re-streaming feature with other Audio Pro devices is a plus for those already invested in the brand’s ecosystem, and the rich, warm sound has appeal, though anyone after more precision and a more analytical sound should continue their search.
- Warm presentation
- Plug in old hi-fi kit and ‘re-stream’
- Compact design
- Not the most precise, defined sound
- Lacks upmarket features such as MQA and Roon support
- Re-steaming feature only for Audio Pro speakers
- Re-streamPlug hi-fi kit into the RCA input and re-stream the sound to wireless speakers
- Wireless connectivityAirPlay 2, Bluetooth 4.2, Tidal Connect, Chromecast and Spotify Connect
According to Oxford Languages (via Google), the word revivify popped up in the 17th century to describe something that “give(s) new life or vigour to”. That neatly sums up the Audio Pro Link 2.
The second version of the Scandinavian company’s streaming device gets a new form factor, an upgrade in features, but still adheres to the same philosophy as before in taking your old analogue equipment and bringing it into the modern age.
It’s been a big trend in the hi-fi world recently, with Cambridge Audio and WIM offering similar products at a more expensive price. Can the Audio Pro Link 2 breathe new life into your old hi-fi equipment? Here’s my verdict.
- Compact size
- Plain looks
- RCA inputs and outputs
The Audio Pro Link 2 is as small a music streamer you’re likely to find. Even the titchy Cambridge MXN10 is bigger in all dimensions. What that essentially means is that you can plonk the Link 2 among the rest of your hi-fi equipment without having to make space for it.
Aesthetically, the Link 2 isn’t the most visually arresting piece of kit. Aside from the shiny Audio Pro logo, this is a rather plain, minimalist streamer that seems designed to disappear into its surroundings.
On its fascia are four LED lights that signal which source is in use, although, while the lights are easy to see from afar, the lettering of the actual source is more difficult to ascertain unless you’re up close.
On top of the unit are touch sensitive controls for power, source selection, Bluetooth pairing, playback, volume, and presets (of which there are four). Again, much like the lettering on the front, these black buttons against the dark grey surface of the Link 2 are not the easiest to make out.
Around the rear are the physical connections: an Ethernet for a hard-wired connection, USB for adding a NAS, flash or hard-drive, digital outputs (coaxial and optical), as well as RCA line input and RCA line out: the output connects to an amplifier (and therefore speakers), while the input can be used to plug in another source like a turntable. It is missing the 3.5mm jack the Link 1 had for adding other physical devices.
Flip the Audio Pro Link 2 over and on its underside are mounting holes to stick it on a wall.
- Re-stream from analogue kit to wireless speakers
- No Roon support
- Compatible with Apple, Google, and Audio Pro set-up options
In addition to being a music streamer that props up your old hi-fi kit, by having the RCA line in, you could connect the Audio Pro Link 2 to a turntable, CD player or any other analogue device. And if you have Audio Pro wireless speakers in your home, you can re-stream audio to them.
So you could, for example, have a CD player, but be able to stream it to an Audio Pro speaker in another room. This only works with Audio Pro gear, of course.
Otherwise, you have other means of streaming to the Audio Pro Link 2. It’s covered for Spotify Connect (naturally), Tidal Connect, Apple AirPlay 2, built-in Chromecast, and Bluetooth 4.2. There’s no MQA support with Tidal however, nor is there any Roon compatibility like you’d get from the more expensive Cambridge MNX10 network player.
Setup can be done via Apple Home, Google Home or the Audio Pro Control app, and features will differ depending on what you opt for. I used both Google and Audio Pro, and found the former to be very quick and easy to set up, but the latter supports higher sample rates from the likes of Qobuz.
File support includes ALAC, AAC, FLAC, MP3, and WMA but there’s no AIFF or DSD compatibility.
The Audio Pro Control app offers four programmable presets (same as on the Link 2 itself), as well as native versions of Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer and Amazon Music, so all that’s needed is to sign in to control music directly from the app. You can also select a source, connect to other wireless speakers on the same network, listen to Internet radio, fiddle with the settings etc.
The app does look like it could use a fresh coat visually, but it is responsive to use and easy to navigate, though I’ve found if I leave the app open for long enough it has a habit of crashing, necessitating a restart.
- Warm, rich sense of tonality
- Not the most precise or detailed performance
- Spacious soundstage
What type of performance can you expect from the Audio Pro Link 2? You might think that a music streamer wouldn’t influence the eventual sound that comes from the speaker, but it – along with the other kit used – can impact the overall audio performance.
And tonally, what I hear when the Audio Pro when plugged into a system made up of a Cambridge Audio CXA61 amplifier and Q Acoustics 3010i speaker is a warm sound that gives music a rich sense of texture if not quite the level of insight and detail more expensive streamers can relay.
Swapping in and out with the (much more expensive) CXN v2 streamer, and the difference is that the Cambridge sounds clearer and more detailed. With the Milan Promenade track from the Succession season 3 album, it describes the soundstage in more spacious and bigger terms, it’s clearer and sharper when dealing with high frequency notes and has a higher ceiling in terms of dynamics. I also don’t have to turn the volume up on the CXA61 as high with the CXN as I need to with Audio Pro to reach a similar level of performance.
With Radiohead’s Everything In Its Right Place, the Audio Pro grants a lovely warmth to the synth chords in the track, and there’s enough dynamism on show coupled with the CXA61 to give the track heft and energy in its more soaring parts.
The midrange, and especially vocals, are relayed smoothly whether it’s the Radiohead track or Janelle Monae’s in Can’t Live Without Your Love. With the latter, there’s not the same sense of definition to the instruments in the track as I hear with the CXN – the Audio Pro Link 2 doesn’t (ironically) snap into the finger snaps at the beginning of the song. Its warmth has the effect of smoothing details out for a performance that’s more laid back and not the most precise in terms of digging out detail.
That warmth extends to the lower end of the frequency range too; again, it’s rich and warm in a pleasing manner, but perhaps lacks that sense of tautness and punchiness; especially when it comes to harder hitting tracks like GoGo Penguin’s Atomised.
It’s proved consistent in terms of its tone across various wireless sources, whether Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect or Google Cast (Qobuz) – the difference lies in the details with Spotify (of course) sounding the least defined of the three.
The Audio Pro Link 2 offers an enjoyably warm performance, though its relaxed approach likely won’t curry the favour of those after more precision and detail from their digital music libraries.
Should you buy it?
If you’ve invested in Audio Pro devices: If you’ve got Audio Pro wireless speakers in the home, this can act as a bridge in taking your old hi-fi kit and streaming it to your wireless speakers.
If you want higher fidelity: The specs cover the usual streaming options, and the laidback, warm tone of the Link 2 offers a comfortable listening experience. But if you’re after higher fidelity you’ll want to go up in budget.
If you’re someone who has invested in Audio Pro speakers, the Link 2 acts as a bridge to combining your old analogue hi-fi equipment to digital wireless speakers. The specs are good for the price, covering most wireless streaming options in Spotify, Tidal Connect, AirPlay 2 and Chromecast.
The rich, warm sound is enjoyable too, but for those looking for higher-fidelity sound and more comprehensive specs, the Cambridge Audio MXN10 is another streaming solution to consider.
How we test
We test every music streamer we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
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Tested for two weeks
Tested with real world use
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You’ve got three options for getting the Audio Pro Link 2. You can complete the setup through the Audio Pro control app, or if you’re using Android or iOS, use the Google Home and Apple Home apps to connect the Link 2 to your home network.
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