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Monitor Audio Airstream A100

Stereo integrated amplifier with Wi-Fi® and Apple AirPlay®

7 Reviews

Item # 893A100B

This item is no longer available.

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Our take on the Monitor Audio Airstream A100

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.

Monitor Audio's first amp breaks the mold

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.

Monitor Audio Airstream A100

With built-in Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, and its unique design, the Airstream A100 is far from a typical integrated amp.

Wireless music playback with AirPlay

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.

More digital delights

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.

— From Hans Wetzel's December, 2014 review in Soundstage! Access, part of the SoundStage! Network [Read the full review]

Not everything is digital

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.

Product Highlights:

  • 50 watts x 2
  • built-in Wi-Fi for easy connection to a wireless home network
  • Apple AirPlay for streaming music from an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or computer running iTunes
  • AirPlay Direct lets you make a direct wireless connection to the amp from a compatible iOS device  no network router required
  • DLNA 1.5 certified for streaming music with compatible devices and computers
  • upsampling digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for enhanced resolution with lossy digital music files
  • supported file formats: AAC, ALAC, MP3 (with AirPlay); FLAC, ALAC, AAC, LPCM, MP3, WMA, Ogg Vorbis (via DLNA or Airstream Direct connection)
  • front-panel USB port for playback and charging of an iPod or iPhone
  • Class A/B amplification
  • unique curved chassis can rest horizontally or vertically in the included stand
  • optical digital audio input
  • analog stereo RCA inputs
  • stereo preamp outputs for connection to a separate power amp or powered subwoofer
  • spring-post speaker terminals
  • remote control
  • 14-1/8"W x 2-3/16"H x 8-1/16"D (resting horizontally)
  • weight: 4.2 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

I have purchased this product to use for my patio. I am using it this with Definitive Technology AW6500 outdoor speakers, connected with my iPhone. The sound is clear and it rocks. So far, I have only used Airplay.

Anand, Flower Mound, TX

What's in the Box:

  • Integrated stereo amplifier
  • 6' AC power cord
  • Remote control
  • Vertical stand
  • Cable-strap
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Important Safety Instructions
  • Battery Disposal Note

Monitor Audio Airstream A100 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(7 Reviews)

Goofy and Great

Jon from Virginia Beach, VA on 10/26/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I use Airplay throughout the house: iMac, Apple TV 4, and Airport Express. I wanted stereo in the bedroom, but really didn't want another amp. The only powered speaker I liked was the Zeppelin, but it was too big. So I fell for the A 100's goofy shape and paired it with two KEF Q100s. The A 100 Quick Start Guide is a bit of a mess, but I got through it in about 30 mins. I joined my WiFi using the A 100's hidden front USB port and my iPhone. No manual is included because it is too detailed for most people; but it is a necessary reference, and easy to download. Print it, you will need it, if only to decode the meaning of various LED colors and flash rates. The A 100 is cleverly designed and versatile, with a minimum of multifunction front panel controls. On the back it even has an Optical IN, but since ATV4 no longer has Optical OUT, I am using it for the TV audio. Some have reported WiFi dropouts, but I have had none using the Apple Airport Extreme. There is a 'Standby' mode in which an audio signal will awaken the unit with no user action. It seems not to work. My wife hates remotes, but the A 100 remote is so cute she wants to sleep with it. The A 100 is in our bedroom, so magnificent sound is neither a requirement nor an expectation, but I am wholly enthralled, and I can't wait to try the amp with my Martin Logan electrostatics.

Pros: Innovative industrial design Clever, Versatile Magnificent sounding

Cons: Setup takes patience Speaker posts difficult to access Standby mode would be useful

Great Amp for Apple Streaming

John G from Ellicott City, MD on 7/19/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Bought a house with speakers in the ceilings of every room, but haven't had an "amp" since the 90s, so they just kinda sat there for a year or so - in the meantime, I played my digital music in the living room using a Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin (love it, but it's only in one room). I found the A100 online and bought it from Crutchfield. Easy enough to set up using manuals I found online, though it was a bit puzzling without the guide. Got it connected and Voila! Music everywhere! I connected my B&W Zeppelin to the amp out connectors to get the bass that wasn't coming through with the in-room speakers - perfect pairing. Love the results. Thanks Crutchfield!

Pros: AirPlay using any Apple product Connects with Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin for extra bass boost Easy enough to set up

Cons: None so far

Airstream A100 - great device and serves the purpose

Anand from Flower Mound, TX on 7/4/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have purchased this product to use for my patio. I am using it this with Definitive Technology AW6500 outdoor speakers, connected with my iPhone. The sound is clear and it rocks. So far, I have only used Airplay.

Pros: I personally thought it was easy to setup. The issue here is you need to follow each steps, though the quick start can use some verbiage and make it more intuitive.

Cons: Quick start needs to be better. Does not come with the complete manual.

Nice product, difficult setup

Anonymous from California on 11/19/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

Great device

Stuart from Pennsylvania on 4/13/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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.

Great sound and features but difficult inputs

somz from Chicago on 3/10/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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


Rodrigo from Charlottesville - VA on 9/30/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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.


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Performance Specs
Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms) 50
Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms) Not given
Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms) Not given
Frequency Bandwidth 20-20k
THD 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
Bluetooth No
Wi-Fi Yes
Total Analog Inputs 1
Phono Input No
Optical Digital Inputs 1
Coaxial Digital Inputs No
USB Input Type-A
Preamp Outputs Stereo
Headphone Output No
Dimensions and Warranty
Width (inches) 14-1/8
Height (inches) 2-3/16
Depth (inches) 8-13/16
Weight (pounds) 4.2
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years

Product Research


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.

SourceSupported Music Files
Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad AirPlayAAC, ALAC, MP3
DLNA-certified DevicesAAC, 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.

  • AirPlay: AirPlay lets you stream your favorite songs directly from your Apple iPod touch/iPhone/iPad (iOS 4.3.3+) or from your iTunes library (10.2.2+) on your Windows PC or Mac computer to the Monitor Audio A100, over your home's wireless network. By downloading Apple's free Remote App onto your Apple iOS device, you don't even need to be in the same room as the components or your computer to play, pause, skip, and stop the songs in your iTunes music library.
  • AirStream Direct: If you don't have a wireless WiFi router to connect your Apple iOS using Airplay, simply use the A100's
    AirStream Direct mode to still be able to stream music from your Apple iOS device to the Monitor Audio A100. Activating AirStream Direct mode creates a wireless network solely between the A100 and your Apple iOS device. If a telephone call is received while in AirStream Direct mode, music will pause and restart when the call is ended. While in AirStream Direct mode, cellular data will not function; so, iMessage, emails and mobile internet will not function simultaneously. More than one device can be connected in AirStream Direct mode, but only one device can play music in AirStream Direct mode.
  • DLNA Certified: The A100 also supports DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) streaming, allowing to access and enjoy digital music stored on your Windows PC, DLNA-compliant NAS drive, and most 3rd-party DLNA apps installed on your Android smartphone/tablet.
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 DeviceGenerationTested VersionConnector TypeMedia TypeControl TypeDisplay TypeCharge
USBAirPlayAudioVideoRemoteiPod/iPhoneArtist/Song TexTrack Info
3rd5.1.1YYYN YYNNY
classic 80GB1.1.2YNYNYYNNY
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.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.