Audiophile’s Dream: Cambridge Audio CXN100 Review and Rating

The Cambridge Audio CXN100 is a seriously cool piece of kit for music enthusiasts. While it may be a bit on the lumpy side price-wise, it certainly doesn't disappoint when it comes to performance and build quality. With its stunning sound quality, versatile streaming capabilities, and user-friendly interface, it's a fantastic addition to any audio setup.
  • Sound Quality and DAC Performance
  • Streaming Capabilities
  • User Interface and Controls
  • Design and Build Quality
  • Value for Money
4.4/5Overall Score

The Cambridge Audio CXN100 is a seriously cool piece of kit for music enthusiasts. While it may be a bit on the lumpy side price-wise, it certainly doesn't disappoint when it comes to performance and build quality. With its stunning sound quality, versatile streaming capabilities, and user-friendly interface, it's a fantastic addition to any audio setup.

Specs
  • Sound Quality and Playback: Crystal-clear sound and play your favorite music in high-quality audio
  • Streaming Options: Stream music effortlessly from popular services
  • User-Friendly Interface: Vibrant, large screen that displays album covers and control the device effortlessly through a mobile app or tactile volume control
  • Design and Durability: Stylish and durable device
  • Connectivity: USB to Bluetooth, balanced and regular audio outputs, internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
Pros
  • Exceptional sound quality with the ESS ES9028Q2M DAC
  • Versatile support for a wide range of audio formats
  • Seamless streaming capabilities with StreamMagic Gen4
  • Intuitive user interface through the StreamMagic app
  • Stylish and durable design
  • Over-the-air updates for future-proofing
Cons
  • While not the most expensive, it might be considered a bit pricey
  • Slightly bulky in size compared to some other options on the market

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Introduction

Cambridge Audio CXN100
Image credit: CambridgeAudio.com

Are you an avid music enthusiast seeking to elevate your listening experience to new heights? Look no further than the Cambridge Audio CXN100. In this comprehensive review, I will take you on a journey through my own firsthand experience with this remarkable audio device. From its stunning sound quality and cutting-edge features to its sleek design and user-friendly interface, I’ll cover every aspect to help you make an informed decision about this high-end audio component.

Overview of the Cambridge Audio CXN100

Image credit: CambridgeAudio.com

The Cambridge Audio CXN100 is a versatile network music player that delivers an unparalleled listening experience. Equipped with the ESS ES9028Q2M SABRE32 Reference DAC, this device promises exceptional digital-to-analog conversion, ensuring that you hear every detail in your digital music collection. But what sets it apart from the competition? Let’s dive into the details.

Sound Quality and DAC Performance

Image credit: CambridgeAudio.com

When it comes to sound quality, I must say that the Cambridge Audio CXN100 truly excels. My ears were treated to an audio experience like no other. The ESS ES9028Q2M DAC is the heart of this device, and it shows. With PCM support up to 32-bit 768kHz and DSD playback up to DSD512, the CXN100 can handle the most demanding audio formats with ease.

The result? A warmth, depth, and nuance that you might not expect from digital audio. It’s a testament to Cambridge Audio’s 55 years of expertise in hi-fi design. The audio signal path has been meticulously simplified, and the carefully chosen components perform flawlessly to ensure an unadulterated listening experience.

Streaming Capabilities

Image credit: CambridgeAudio.com

In the modern world of music streaming, the CXN100 is a true champion. With its StreamMagic Gen4 module, this device offers seamless and stable streaming from various digital sources. Whether you prefer Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect with MQA, Qobuz, Deezer, or even high-resolution internet radio, the Cambridge Audio CXN100 has you covered. Furthermore, it’s Roon Ready, providing a consolidated browsing experience for your digital music collection.

What impressed me the most was the inclusion of Apple Airplay 2 and Chromecast built-in. This allows you to access Apple Music, Amazon Music, BBC Sounds, and more, broadening your music streaming options.

User Interface and Controls

Image credit: CambridgeAudio.com

Cambridge Audio has taken user-friendliness to the next level with the CXN100. The big hi-res colour screen is a joy to navigate, displaying album artwork with stunning clarity. The redesigned volume control is a tactile delight, doing its job with precision.

The real star of the show, though, is the StreamMagic app, which serves as your remote control. It provides an intuitive way to manage your connected sources, curate playlists, program presets, and browse albums from the comfort of your listening position. Plus, if you have other Cambridge Audio components like the CXC and CXA, the CXN100 can also work with their supplied physical remote control.

Design and Build Quality

Image credit: CambridgeAudio.com

The Cambridge Audio CXN100 not only sounds exceptional but also looks the part. Crafted from aluminium and steel, it boasts elegant and minimalistic lines that will endure both physically and aesthetically for years to come. It’s a piece of audio equipment that adds a touch of sophistication to any setup.

Additionally, the ability to receive over-the-air updates ensures that your investment will remain up-to-date with the latest features and services. Cambridge Audio’s commitment to creating long-lasting products is commendable and aligns with its goal of minimizing its impact on the planet.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Exceptional sound quality with the ESS ES9028Q2M DAC.
  • Versatile support for a wide range of audio formats.
  • Seamless streaming capabilities with StreamMagic Gen4.
  • Intuitive user interface through the StreamMagic app.
  • Stylish and durable design.
  • Over-the-air updates for future-proofing.

Cons:

  • While not the most expensive, it might be considered a bit pricey.
  • Slightly bulky in size compared to some other options on the market.

Conclusion

Image credit: CambridgeAudio.com

In conclusion, the Cambridge Audio CXN100 is a seriously cool piece of kit for music enthusiasts. While it may be a bit on the lumpy side price-wise, it certainly doesn’t disappoint when it comes to performance and build quality. With its stunning sound quality, versatile streaming capabilities, and user-friendly interface, it’s a fantastic addition to any audio setup.

Cambridge Audio’s commitment to quality and longevity ensures that the CXN100 will continue to deliver exceptional audio experiences for years to come. Great sound shouldn’t cost the Earth, and the CXN100 proves that you can have both quality and sustainability in one package.

FAQ

Q1: Is the Cambridge Audio CXN100 compatible with multiroom systems?

A1: Yes, the CXN100 is compatible with Google Home, Apple Airplay, and Roon multiroom systems, allowing you to enjoy synchronized audio throughout your home.

Q2: Can I use the Cambridge Audio CXN100 as a standalone DAC for other audio components?

A2: Absolutely! The CXN100’s ESS ES9028Q2M DAC is of exceptional quality and can be used to enhance the audio quality of other compatible devices.

Q3: What streaming services are available on the Cambridge Audio CXN100?

A3: The CXN100 supports a wide range of streaming services, including Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect with MQA, Qobuz, Deezer, Apple Airplay 2, Chromecast built-in, and more.

Q4: How does the Cambridge Audio CXN100 handle software updates?

A4: The CXN100 can receive firmware updates over the air via the StreamMagic app, ensuring that you have access to the latest features and services.

Q5: Is the CXN100 compatible with high-resolution audio formats?

A5: Yes, the CXN100 supports high-resolution audio formats, including PCM up to 32-bit 768kHz and DSD playback up to DSD512, delivering exceptional audio quality.

Q6: Can I control the CXN100 with a physical remote control?

A6: Yes, the CXN100 is compatible with the physical remote control supplied with CXC and CXA components, offering a convenient alternative to the StreamMagic app.

Q7: Does the CXN100 have built-in internet radio support?

A7: Yes, the CXN100 offers high-resolution internet radio support, thanks to its MPEG-DASH support, expanding your listening options even further.

With its impressive features and performance, the Cambridge Audio CXN100 is a solid choice for audiophiles who demand the best in sound quality and streaming capabilities.

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Matt Williams
Matt Williams
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