Cambridge Audio CXN (v2) network audio streamer review: This is a sweet-sounding, high-tech musical powerhouse

    A community audio streamer is designed to function a central hub for all of your digital audio sources. Cambridge Audio’s $1,099 CXN (v2) community audio streamer is arguably among the many finest you’ll discover. The CXN (v2) marries a super-rich characteristic set, copious connectivity choices, broad help for a number of ecosystems, and stable audio efficiency right into a near-perfect bundle that can match into nearly any state of affairs.

    Even higher, common firmware updates promise so as to add options and performance, making for an funding that you simply’ll get pleasure from for years to come back.

    Built for high-performance audio

    The CXN (v2) is designed to take a seat on the coronary heart of a high-performance audio system. It’s sculpted design and brushed metallic accents make this a chunk you received’t thoughts placing on show entrance and heart.

    Theo Nicolakis / IDG

    The Cambridge Audio CXN (v2) doesn’t have an enormous show on its entrance panel, however it conveys lots of data within the house afforded to it.

    The unit’s entrance panel show can be killer if it was an OLED panel. You’ll as a substitute must accept a pretty-good LCD show that I discovered to be crisp, sharp, and ok to get the job achieved. Tactile buttons flanking the LCD show are clearly and intuitively marked. The massive knob on the appropriate helps you fly by means of menus whereas urgent on the knob selects the highlighted menu merchandise.

    Flexible enter and output choices abound. Pick from sources that includes S/PDIF coaxial, Toslink optical, USB Audio, or connect plain-ol’ USB storage. Use the CXN (v2) as a USB audio gadget, and you’ll manually select between USB Audio Profile 1.0 or 2.0 as properly.

    In addition to S/PDIF coaxial and Toslink Optical (that are concurrently lively), you’ll discover unbalanced analog output and balanced (XLR) stereo output. Those with high-end audio gear crave parts with balanced connections as a consequence of their capability to reject cable-borne noise and interference. The solely output you received’t discover is HDMI, which frankly isn’t any large deal.

    The Cambridge Audio streamer is constructed for two-channel bliss. You’ll be capable to obtain full 24-bit/192kHz output from the CXN (v2)’s S/PDIF coaxial output. Analog outputs reap the benefits of the CXN (v2)’s twin 24-bit Wolfson WM8740 DACs.

    cambridge cxv2 rear panel Cambridge Audio

    The Cambridge Audio CXN (v2) provides copious enter and output choices, together with a management bus for integration with subtle multi-room audio techniques. Also, word the inclusion of balanced analog audio outputs.

    For a unit of this caliber, I view Bluetooth as a comfort as a substitute of a characteristic. Cambridge Audio should see it that means, too. If you really need it, Cambridge Audio provides an optionally available adapter, the BT100, that helps aptX for better-quality streaming. It received’t take you into the realm of high-res streaming, although, as a result of it doesn’t help aptX HD. Should Bluetooth be vital to you, word that the adapter that occupies one of many USB ports that might in any other case be used to host a storage gadget.

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