Cambridge Audio is unveiling six new products in the company’s new CX Series of Hi-Fi audio products at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, including an impressive new network audio player, two new AV receivers, two stereo amplifiers and a CD player.
The company has also announced a fresh new logo, noted simply as Cambridge, beginning with the CX Series of Hi-Fi equipment. The new logo represents a fusion of the company’s deep historic roots in Hi-Fi audio with a modern representation of their cutting edge technology and design. Over the course of the next year, additional product lines will be transitioned to this new logo from the previously held Cambridge Audio moniker, though the brand will continue to be known as Cambridge Audio.
As an established British Hi-Fi brand, Cambridge Audio has been able to call upon a passionate and trusted team of in-house engineers with decades of experience to develop the CX series. By utilizing such expertise the company now has a range of products that not only follow its sound-first philosophy but also meet the demands of the digital world and fit perfectly in any modern home.
Leading the new CX Series, the CXN Upsampling Network Music Player builds on the success of the Stream Magic 6 V2, adding a fresh new chassis design with a color TFT screen that can display album artwork as well as artist name, album name and song title on its front panel in a clean modern font.
The new CXN Upsampling Network Music Player can access music from multiple sources including via UPnP from a media server, PC or Mac on a home network as well as Spotify, utilizing Spotify Connect, iHeart Radio, other major streaming music services such as Pandora, Rhapsody or thousands of Internet radio stations, accessible via name, genre or location. The new CXN also adds new connectivity functionality through Apple® AirPlay® for streaming directly from Apple iOS devices and iTunes on a network. Additionally, the CXN can support playback of digital music files ranging from compressed MP3, AAC or WMA, up to studio master quality WAV, FLAC, AIFF or ALAC in 24-bit/192kHz resolution.
The CXN’s twin Wolfson® WM8740 DACs are configured in dual differential mode to ensure maximum fidelity to both left and right signals. An added feature is that the CXN can be used in a digital pre-amp mode and can be connected straight to a power amplifier through its analog outputs.
Cambridge’s unique ATF2 24-bit/384kHz upsampling draws every bit of detail out of any source, whether TV, computer, Blu-ray player or an iPod dock, virtually eliminating ‘jitter’, a common occurrence when playing digital files. By removing jitter in the player, Cambridge’s engineers have been able to achieve a much fuller sound profile with improved overall sound reproduction.
New in 2015, Cambridge is rolling out two new AV Receiver models in the CX Series including the CXR-200 which boasts 120-watts per channel or 200-watts per channel in stereo mode. Also announced is the CXR-120, a 60-watt per channel receiver that can output 120-watts per channel in stereo mode. Utilizing a Toroidal transformer, Cambridge’s engineers are able to provide high-quality power output to the amplifier circuits, without experiencing any clipping of the signal, resulting in improved bass response. Both models feature seven amplified channels and can be configured in multiple variations. The CXR-200 can be configured in 7.2, 5.2 plus zone 2, 5.2 plus height channels or 5.2 with bi-amped fronts or any standard configuration 5.2 and below. The CXR-120 can support 7.2, 5.2 plus height channels or any configuration of 5.2 and below.
Designed to be the digital hub of the living room with a full-color on-screen display (OSD), the CXR-120 includes seven HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs for dual screen connectivity, ideal for a home theater that utilizes both an LCD/LED TV and projector. The CXR 200 includes an additional HDMI input for a total of eight, while also adding the ability to send a completely different source to a second room, playing independently of the main zone and allowing for independent control as well.
In both models, one HDMI port is conveniently located on the front panel for easy access while connecting a video camera, tablet or computer. These front panel HDMI inputs also support Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) for improved performance from supporting mobile devices.
Maintaining Cambridge’s legendary history as an audio brand, both the CXR-200 and CXR-120 will feature an impressive audio section, complete with the ability to decode Dolby® TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio®.
Another great feature of both the CXR-200 and CXR-120 is the ability to listen to music wirelessly via an assortment of options including an optional BT100 Bluetooth receiver or via UPnP by connecting to either a wired Ethernet or wireless network. Both receivers feature the streaming module from the CXN which allows them to stream from many different services including Spotify, using Spotify Connect to over 20 milliion tracks and internet radio. All of the streaming functionality can be controlled by the new Cambridge Connect app from anywhere within network range. USB hard drive browsing is also supported in the CXR-200 and CXR-120.
Additionally, this network connection allows users to perform firmware updates by connecting to Cambridge’s development servers or via USB, providing an element of future readiness for years to come.
For the ultimate in video quality to match the company’s legendary audio processing, the CXR-200 and CXR-120 both include the ability to upscale 1080p content to full 4K as well as support for 3D content. Additionally, both models allow HDMI pass-through when in standby mode, allowing users to be able to watch connected sources without having to turn on the AVR, ideal for when they just want to quickly switch on the news!
Revamping its line of stereo amplifiers, Cambridge introduces two models in 2015 that fall under the CX Series – the CXA-60 and CXA-80, a 60-watt and 80-watt model, respectively. Designing both units from the ground up, Cambridge has added a completely new amplifier circuit design, utilizing highly-efficient Class A/B amplification. For the CXA-60 and CXA-80, the result is the ability to accurately reproduce quieter sections of music while handling the power and complexity of louder portions of music.
Additionally, the internal design of components were precisely laid out in order to minimize, left/right “crosstalk” and maximize the stereo separation between channels. This was accomplished by entirely separating the heat sinks and using symmetrical and separated circuit paths for the two channels. The result of this design allows both the CXA-60 and CXA-80 to achieve a sense of space, openness and immersive musicality. The CXA-80 goes a step further with a dual-mono design; this means it also has separate transformer taps for left and right channels, twin rectifiers and separate PSUs for dual mono operation of the left and right channel power amplifiers.
Again in addition to the CXA-60 specifications, the CXA-80 features a 24-bit/192kHz asynchronous USB Audio input as well as a balanced XLR audio input that can ensure the cleanest signal path be maintained from the source into the amplifier.
Maintaining its status as an audio-quality purist, both new models feature digital inputs as well as a high-quality Wolfson WM8740 DAC. With an acclaimed history in the audio industry, Cambridge maintains its focus on musical clarity and its ability to reproduce any track with incredible richness in sonic detail, from the subtlety of an orchestral ballad to a female’s vocals to the low reverberating bass notes found in a timpani drum or today’s synthesized dance music.
The CXA-60 features a total of 9 inputs, comprised of 5 analog inputs and 4 digital inputs while the CX-80 features a total of 11 inputs, comprised of 6 analog inputs and 5 digital inputs.
The CXA-60, CXA-80, CXR-120 and CXR-200 all include compatibility with the optional BT100 USB dongle which adds Bluetooth functionality for streaming music from any Bluetooth-enabled device and it can also support aptX Bluetooth streaming.
Wrapping up the 2015 CX Series, the Cambridge CXC CD Player offers an option for those consumers firmly rooted in the optical disc medium. The CXC offers a high-quality, yet cost effective approach to add a CD transport to any system.
The CXC features a low jitter transport mechanism, ensuring the CD is played as accurately as possible before being output via the coaxial or Toslink digital outputs.
When used in conjunction with CX Series amplifiers, the CXC allows for output of the CD signal in digital form from the source to the amplifier, utilizing the high quality Wolfson DACs in the CXA-60 and CXA-80 for the crucial digital to analogue conversion stages.
Availability & Pricing
All models in the new CX Series will be available from retail and online partners like SandduneTech in Q1 of 2015. Pricing for the new products are as follows: The Cambridge CXN Network Audio Player will sell for the suggested price of $999; the CXR-120 and CXR-200 will be available for the suggested retail price of $1,999 and $2,499 respectively. The CXA-60 will retail for $799, while the CXA-80 will retail for $999 and the CXC CD Player will retail for $499.