Monitor Audio Airstream A100
Stereo integrated amplifier with Wi-Fi® and Apple AirPlay®
Item #: 893A100B
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Item #: 893A100B
Your price: $499.99 Earn up to 500 Rewards points
No, it's not a cable box or a gaming console, though we'd forgive you for thinking so. When renowned speaker company Monitor Audio designed their first amplifier, they wanted to think outside the box. The result is the unique Airstream A100, an amp designed for the digital music age. Its cool, curved styling is just the tip of the iceberg. This integrated amp has built-in Wi-Fi and Apple AirPlay, making it easier to get your music playing wirelessly from an iPhone® or a computer. It's also a well-made amp, great for driving stereo speakers in a small or medium-sized room.
With built-in Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, and its unique design, the Airstream A100 is far from a typical integrated amp.
When connected to your wireless home network, the sleek Airstream A100 offers numerous options for music listening. If you have an iPhone®, iPad®, or iPod touch®, AirPlay lets you wirelessly stream music stored on those devices, or from apps like Spotify®, Pandora®, and YouTube™. You can also play music from a computer running iTunes®, so your entire music library can be at your fingertips and easily controlled using Apple's Remote app. Don't have a Wi-Fi network? Use the 'A100's AirPlay Direct feature to create a direct connection between your Apple device and the amp for AirPlay playback.
The Airstream A100 is also DLNA compliant, so you can stream music from almost any PC or network-attached storage (NAS) device. DLNA also makes it possible to stream tunes from compatible Android™ devices using an optional app. There's also an optical digital input, so you can connect your TV and bypass its minuscule speakers for much richer sound with your stereo speakers. No matter your digital source, your music will benefit from the 'A100's upsampling digital-to-analog converter (DAC), which brings out more detail and depth from digital music files.
Praise for the Monitor Audio A100 integrated amp from Soundstage! Access
Some audio products blow you away with detail; others lull you into a relaxing stupor with a smooth, sultry sound. Monitor Audio's little Airstream A100 struck a fine balance, confidently striding precisely between these two camps. I was smitten by its sound -- at once rich yet detailed, smooth but with a hint of sparkle, and surprisingly neutral.
Monitor's Airstream A100 is a honey of an amp that makes a compelling argument for never having to buy into traditional hi-fi of yore. With analog, digital, and wireless connectivity, an accomplished class-AB amplifier -- something its competitors can't boast -- and sound quality that reaches well past its $499 price, it comes highly, highly recommended. $500 never sounded so good.
The Monitor Audio Airstream A100 uses Class A/B amplification, for robust sound that can easily power most stereo speakers. If you need more power for hard-to-drive speakers or to fill a larger room with sound, there are stereo preamp outputs for connecting an external power amp. You can also use these outputs to beef up the bass with a separate powered subwoofer.
An integrated amplifier is essentially a receiver without a built-in AM/FM tuner. You get power to drive your speakers, audio controls, and inputs for music source components. Connect an iPod, a computer, a network music player, or any other device that can play Internet radio, and you may find you have no need for an AM/FM radio.
As I had read elsewhere, the setup (without iphone) was difficult. It was supposed to work by putting device into "direct" mode, connecting your laptop to the receiver's wifi apn, accessing the web configuration interface and setting your wifi details there. But after setting the details it never connected.
Eventually I just gave up and got an iphone to do the automagic wifi setup over usb, and got it working.
Note that this was with an older firmware, there is an update available online. It might work better after that.
The good thing is that after you have managed to set it up, it works well. Nice looking compact design also.
Pros: Design, size, convenience of use
Cons: Difficult initial setup
Unit did everything I hoped it would. I was concerned with compatibility with the latest operating systems on my iPad-air and iPhone 6. Crutchfield support gave me the manufacturers phone# and I spoke to a person there who uses the unit. My ? Was answered and I purchased the unit. I was able to,air play from all my devices easily. My old CD player is amplified beautifully and even my 30 year old Bose 601 speakers are driven perfectly. Internet radio airplays great. The unit is very ergonomic and intuitive. It seems everything has been anticipated. I buy a lot of devices and am usually tormented by lack of simple operation. This unit made my day and the sound is great.
Pros: Easy to connect and use. Great sound. My old and new devices are easy to use with it.
Cons: None noted so far.
In deciding between this A100 and the NAD 3020, I chose the A100 because of the input options (USB, bluetooth, optical, analog, airplay and airplay direct) and also the Class AB amplifier.
Overall, the unit sounds great and has enough power to drive my 2 way bookshelf speakers with 6.5 inch woofers. The Class AB amplifiers sound smooth and warm, without any hint of harshness or edge. Unfortunately, the front USB input doesn't always work when I plug in my iphone. Often times I'll plug in my iphone and nothing will happen; the phone doesn't charge and I can't play any music. Only with a reset (any sometimes multiple resets) does the A100 recognize the iphone. Airplay connectivity is so-so as well, with the music sometimes cutting out though this may be due to my router. I contacted customer support at Monitor Audio and the rep was able to reproduce the USB input problem, so it's not just my unit. It's been over a month now and haven't heard back about a fix. Hopefully they'll come out with an firmware update.
Pros: great sound, power and features
Cons: USB input doesn't always work, airplay sometimes drops out
Very good product, especially if you have a MacBook and connect it via Airplay. However, due to its design there are certain limitations to connecting it to the stereo speakers.
Pros: Slim and modern design. Easy to manage (after you understand its properties)
Cons: 1) The speaker audio-in is too hard to reach if you have good cables with large end connections. I had to connect my B&W speakers with a zip wire instead of a better expensive wire because I could not insert the end of the cable into the audio in space. 2) Wheres is the manual?? I had to download it online. I would assume it should come with the product.
|Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms)||50|
|Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms)||Not given|
|Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms)||Not given|
|Minimum Impedance||4 ohms|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||Not given|
|Digital Music Features|
|Built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter)||Yes|
|High-resolution Audio Playback||No|
|Total Analog Inputs||1|
|Optical Digital Inputs||1|
|Coaxial Digital Inputs||No|
|Dimensions and Warranty|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
50W x 2Ch Amplifier: The Monitor Audio AirStream A100 features a powerful Class AB power amplifier section rated at 50-watts x 2-channels into 8Ω at 20-20kHz.
High-Resolution DAC: The AirStream A100 employs a high-resolution DAC for audiophile quality sound from a variety of digital music files.
|Source||Supported Music Files|
|Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad||AirPlay||AAC, ALAC, MP3|
|DLNA-certified Devices||AAC, ALAC, MP3, FLAC|
Wireless Connectivity: The Monitor Audio AirStream A100 features built-in WiFi (802.11 b/g) for streaming audio from your AirPlay enabled Apple iOS devices and DLNA certified devices.
Note: There are a couple of different ways you can register the A100 onto your WiFi network. One method is to use your USB-connected Apple iOS (5.0+) device to connect the A100 to your network. The second method lets you use your Windows PC, Mac computer, or Apple iOS (7.0+) device that is already on your wireless network to connect the A100 to your network.
Apple Compliant USB Port: The A100's front-mounted USB (type-A) port can be used to connect your Apple iPod/iPhone device; including 30-pin or Lightning connector Apple devices. The USB port supports playback of stored music and music apps on your Apple device, basic playback controls (Play/Pause/Skip), and charging of your iPod/iPhone's battery.
Note: The USB port is not compatible with USB mass storage class devices or Android smartphone/tablets.
Apple Device Compatibility Chart: The Monitor Audio A100 is "made for iPod/iPhone/iPad" and supports the following iPod/iPhone/iPad model functions (as of 8/8/2014).
|Apple Device||Generation||Tested Version||Connector Type||Media Type||Control Type||Display Type||Charge|
|USB||AirPlay||Audio||Video||Remote||iPod/iPhone||Artist/Song Tex||Track Info|
Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.
Analog & Digital Inputs: The Monitor Audio AirStream A100 is fitted with one optical (toslink) digital input and analog stereo (RCA) input for connecting external analog and digital audio devices.
Spring Post Speaker Terminals: The AirStream A100 is equipped with four spring post speaker terminals to connect a single pair of speakers. The spring post terminals will accept bare wire (up to 12AWG) and pin-connectors.
Preamp Output: The A100's stereo RCA preamp output can be used to connect an external power amplifier or powered subwoofer.
Simple Controls: Front panel controls and the A100's slender remote control provide effortless switching between all input sources, playback control for connected USB & DLNA devices, and system volume control.
Vertical or Horizontal Orientation: The Monitor Audio AirStream A100 can be mounted horizontally or vertically using the included vertical stand. The unit measures 3.6875" (w) x 12.875" (h) x 8.8125" (d) when vertically placed; see Specs for horizontal measurements.
Firmware Updates: Firmware and software updates can be installed via a wireless network connection or USB. Visit Monitor Audio's website for the latest firmware updates.
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Monitor Audio has been building highly refined, superb-sounding home loudspeakers since the mid-1970s. Crutchfield is thrilled to introduce them to our customers.