Cambridge CXN (V2)
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Cambridge Audio's CXN (V2) was designed with today's audiophiles in mind. This versatile component offers digital convenience, plus the sound quality Cambridge is known for.
Think of it as three components in one. First, it's a digital preamp with an assortment of connections for handling your digital gear. Plus, it's a network player ready to stream your favorite audio sources. And, of course, it's a high-performance DAC with state-of-the-art audio processing to improve the listening experience for all digital formats.
The CXN (V2) handles the most popular digital file formats and gives them all a sonic upgrade, from lossy sources like MP3s and Spotify®, to your CD collection, to high-resolution music files on your computer. An available firmware update lets you use Chromecast built-in to stream a wide variety of apps from compatible devices over your Wi-Fi network. Or Add an optional BT-100 Bluetooth® dongle and stream music from any Bluetooth-compatible device.
Cambridge's sophisticated Adapted Time Filtering 2 technology upsamples all incoming digital audio to a 24-bit/384-kHz signal to resolve extremely fine detail. That happens for all incoming audio data — whether it's from an internet radio stream, a lossless FLAC file on a USB flash drive, or a connected component like a CD transport. The upsampled audio signal is then fed through twin Wolfson 24-bit DACs, for clean, detailed, noise-free sound and outstanding stereo imaging with every source.
Cambridge's free Connect app offers simple, intuitive browsing and control of all connected sources. Use the app to browse through your albums, build playlists, and set presets, without leaving your chair. From the music stored on your home network devices, to popular streaming services and thousands of internet radio stations, this app puts everything at your fingertips.
Great product. Functions as desired
Robert, Redding, CA
Average Customer Review(s):
Seeing that everything is going digitally, and in searching for the right Network streamer I decided on the Cambridge Audio CXN V2 after reading many stellar reviews. The reviews are accurate, this is an excellent device. Seeing that I was not going to need it as a Pre-amp I chose this over the Cambridge Azur 851N. The 851N does have balanced outs whereas the CXN V2 does not (FYI). I finally have converted all of my physical cd's (2000+) to digital and have a copy on my NAS as well as an external 2GB USB 3.0 Drive. So the unit runs great, quite quicker than I imagined, but is in fact a little on the quiet side output wise (not an issue in my setup, have multiple external powerful amps in my setup) again this is just a FYI, It is quite quick on my NAS AC5400 wireless setup, but I chose to get an external 7200RPM USB 3.0 Hard Drive and it is even faster, I also purchased an Audioquest Carbon Usb 3.0 Cable from that drive to the Cambridge (tried a forest, big difference to Carbon) Since this will be the main way we listen to music (other than online) it was worth the cost. It is hooked from the Cambridge to My Marantz SR7011 using a set of Audioquest Sydney RCA's. I have a Rotel RB-1590 Powering my B&K's and it sounds incredible. I am very tech savvy so it was not much of a learning curve for me, for some it may be. I am 100% thrilled with my purchase and have 0 regrets. Again only downside for me is the Decibel output is lower than I would have expected.
Pros: Great sound, very quick, especially if running of a local USB drive. Supports ALAC, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD (x64), WMA, MP3, AAC, HE AAC, AAC+, and OGG Vorbis. Cambridge upsampling technology called ATF2 which is short for Adaptive Time Filtering. Dual Wolfson WM8740 DACs 1 per channel. Everything run through it is upconverted to a Hi-res 24bit/384kHz sample size!
Cons: Low decibel output compared to other devices, all you have to do is just turn the volume up more provided you have the power. If you had say a Marantz 1500 series or 1600 series at 50w per channel you may need more (I have a 1607 in our bedroom but you can add an external 2 channel amp to the 1600 series) Didn't test it with that but that would be my guess.
I just purchased the CXN-V2 to replace my ancient Carver CT-17 preamp paired up to a rebuilt Carver M-500 amp. The old preamp was connected to an Airport express, for Airplay, and also to a MacBook Air to play audio during movie playback. So, when one channel started going on the CT-17, I found the CXN-V2 when looking for Airplay-compatible preamps. The CXN-V2 connected to my M-500 amp sounds absolutely incredible. It's an enormous improvement over the dying CT-17 preamp, that's for sure. Tips: * Faster boot up: Advanced users can manually set the IP address of the device - this cuts the startup time at least in half. * Volume control for an analog power amp: If you want to hook an analog power amp directly to the CXN-V2, you will need to turn on "digital pre-amp mode" under audio settings. This is off by default. It sends full line-level audio over the RCA out jacks, regardless of what you set the volume, if you don't turn on digital pre-amp mode. https://techsupport.cambridgeaudio.com/hc/en-us/articles/202826182-How-do-I-change-the-volume-of-the-CXN- * Remotely power an amp: The CXN-V2 can only send a power-on command to a Cambridge Audio amp, via their proprietary bus. However, I was able to use a SmartStrip SCG-3MVR to turn on the amp.
Pros: * Setup was very easy. Plug in an ethernet cable, and turn it on. It offered to download a firmware update right away (I said yes). Once it was done, iTunes saw the CXN-V2 as an airplay device. * The integration between the CXN-V2 and iTunes is fabulous. The color screen on the CXN-V2 shows the album art of the song playing. When you turn the volume knob, it changes the volume in iTunes.
Cons: I'm using this as a pre-amp, but it's not really a pre-amp. There are very few inputs - just network streaming (airplay, internet radio streams, and others), a digital input, and USB input. This wasn't a big deal for me, since I only needed a pre-amp for airplay input and for my MacBook Air playing movies.
The CXN appears to be a quality component and the sound is very good. I am streaming FLAC files from a relatively cheap ($400) NAS and the sound is great. I have also used Media Monkey to stream directly from the computer and that is fine too. The only minor issues I have, as has been noted, the app leaves something to be desired. A good app would improve the interface and ability to access different sources and directories. Alternately, some better interface on the front of the unit could make it easier to navigate. Maybe if you could add favorite paths it would be beneficial. Or maybe you can and I just haven't figured it out yet.
Pros: Good sound Quality build Good solution for wifi streaming of music No need for CDs anymore
Cons: Interface App
Great product. Functions as desired
Actually it's 4 and a half stars. Great sounding gear. Easy to set up and easy to use. My only complaint is the lack of the Cambridge Connect remote app for use on the Kindle tablet. I upgraded from a Bluesound Node 1 and this sounds much better. A lot nicer to look at too.
Pros: Sounds great. Easy to use.
Cons: No remote app for the Kindle tablet.
I am running this through an old Yamaha avr. Set up was quick and straightforward. I haven't used anything but Apple Airplay yet lol. The sound at listening volume is rich and full. Much more detail. If this is as far as I get it was worth the price I paid!!!!!!
Sounds awesome!!! running it to my Yamaha AS1100. Love playing HI Res music from the front in the USB port. Great product
This little box kept me from having to buy a new receiver. I'm very happy with the sound of my current receiver but the built in streaming functionality is a joke. If I try to access my NAS music collection it just can't handle it (too many files and folders!?) and locks up. Along comes this beauty. Not only does this make files and streaming services sound better, it just doesn't seem to care how many files or folders I've got. If I jump around from NAS streaming to Spotify to Tidal to Internet radio it's virtually seamless, it just does what I want it to do! I can't say enough about the improvement in sound quality either, so much more clarity and detail. Build quality is also excellent. This is a solid piece. You could easily plop your massive AVR on top of this with little worry. The front display is a pleasure to look at with higher resolution than I expected. Yes, it's made outside the U.S. but doesn't seem like it. This is my first Cambridge piece and probably won't be my last.
Pros: -Beautiful sound and build quality -Handles large local libraries -Multiple connectivity options -Responsive
Cons: -App could use a text search feature for local library in addition to browsing
Very happy with this. No complaints about the sound. Connects to network quickly after startup. Usability is decent. Like the generous feature set and connection options. If I were to nitpick, I would suggest these improvements to Cambridge: 1) when using an attached USB drive, hide system folders and files from the unit's navigation 2) when using an attached USB drive, quickly scan the drive upon connection to enable searching and navigation via tags rather than having to rely solely on file folder navigation 3) increase number of steps for finder grained volume control 4) improve resolution/colors on album covers display 5) enable display of all the song file's metadata on the screen and app 6) add Last.fm scribbling support 7) fix occasional crashing of app during navigation of file folders 8) fix uncentered balance control display on iPad app.
Pros: Sound, features, functionality
Cons: A few nits (see detailed review)
Fantastic Sound, a bit tricky to setup the connection to be able to stream lossless files from my computer, as it requires a UPNP server program to be installed, once this was done, it has been incredible. Cambridge needs to update the Cambridge Connect app, as it is lacking the refinement one would expect from them.
Pros: Amazing sound, beautiful aesthetics,
Cons: Setup a bit tricky Cambridge Connect app lacks refinement.
Wow! Streaming mp3 files should not sound that good! I had originally looked for a component DAC but thought I might as well add streaming capability while I was at it. I wanted something with high quality sound and this does not disappoint. The channel separation is stellar. I have this running through an old pioneer sx650 amp and Audio Technica m50x headphones.
Sound is fabulous. Setup was simple. Adding music on a hard drive was easy. App for iPad could be a bit better.
Pros: Easy setup Great Sound
Cons: App could be better
Audiophile Performance: The Cambridge Audio CXN V2 network audio player provides audiophile performance for outstanding reproduction of your streaming music files. The CXN V2 incorporates dual Wolfson digital-to-analog converters with bit-perfect signal path and jitter suppression, as well as Cambridge's advanced ATF2 upsampling technology and Dual Differential Earth Balanced Filter Topology for all sources.
Digital Pre-Amplifier: By using a digital pre-amplifier, the audio signal remains in the digital domain for much longer, compared to a traditional analog integrated or pre-amplifier. Because the audio signal remains digital, and is only converted to analog at the very last minute, it is far less susceptible to analog signal deterioration. This means that the sound you hear is as close as possible to the original recording.
DSP Controlled Volume: The CXN V2's digital pre-amplifier uses a powerful 32-bit Blackfin DSP (Digital Signal Processor). Most digital preamplifiers use "bit reduction" to adjust the level of the volume output, however this results in much lower sound quality because digital information is being cut out of the original audio signal. Instead, the CXN V2's digital pre-amplifier uses the Blackfin DSP to control the level of the volume output, meaning that the entire digital signal remains fully intact for the best possible sound.
Fast Processing Power: The new CXN V2's increased processing power gives you a better online music listening experience and a greater level of playback control. The CXN V2 introduces MPEG-DASH and HLS compatibility which allows for higher quality, more consistent live streams, creating a richer online music experience.
Balanced & Unbalanced Outputs: The Cambridge Audio CXN V2 features both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) audio outputs to connect to a wide variety of home stereo receivers and amplifiers. The CXN V2 features true balanced XLR analog audio outputs to connect high-end home receivers and amplifiers. XLR is a higher-quality output that can reject noise and interference with equipment with balanced inputs. The CXN V2 also features an unbalanced stereo analog RCA audio output for connecting your stereo receiver or amplifier. The unbalanced and balanced outputs are simultaneously active.
Digital Outputs: The CXN V2 features two rear-panel digital outputs; one optical (toslink) digital output and one coaxial (RCA) digital output. These digital outputs allow pass-through of the selected digital source (no up-sampling performed). These outputs loop or pass-through unprocessed digital audio from the selected digital input. Both digital outputs are always active and can be used to connect and run equipment at the same time.
Ground/Lift Switch: When Grounded, the CXN V2 is connected to the earth connection of the PC directly. When Lifted the ground connection is made via a network designed to break any hum loops that may be caused by the source equipment. The Grounded setting is recommended, unless audible hum is experienced.
All-Metal Chassis & Toroidal Transformer: The CXN V2 network audio player has an all-metal construction to ensure all components are completely isolated for the very best possible performance. The CXN V2 also uses a large toroidal transformer to deliver perfect, low distortion power for all your music.
Wired or Wireless Network Connectivity: The Cambridge Audio CXN V2 network audio player offers a wired (Ethernet) or wireless (WiFi dongle) connection to your home network for access to Internet Radio, select online music services, AirPlay, and music libraries stored on your computer.
Note: It is not recommended to use a WiFi connection for music files above 16 bits, 44.1/48kHz (if lossless/uncompressed).
Online Music Services: The Cambridge Audio CXN V2 lets you access Internet Radio, Spotify Connect and Tidal. Access to Internet Radio and Spotify Connect requires the free Cambridge Connect App for Apple iOS (7.1+) and Android (OS 4.0+) devices.
Chromecast Built-In (via available firmware update): Chromecast built-in lets you instantly stream a variety of music apps from your Apple (iOS 7.0+) or Android (OS 2.3+) mobile device to the CXN V2 player. Chromecast built-in works over WiFi and allows you to connect more than one device at a time to the player, as well as control what's playing from anywhere in the house with your compatible mobile device. Simply tap the Cast button from a Chromecast Built-in compatible music app to start streaming to the CXN V2 player. You can search, browse, play, skip, and turn up the volume directly from the music apps you know and love on your compatible phone, tablet or laptop. While you cast your music, you can still use your phone to answer a phone call, play a game, send a text, and even leave the room, all without interrupting what's playing through the Cambridge Audio CXN V2.
AirPlay Compatible: The Cambridge Audio CXN V2 network audio player is compatible with Apple's AirPlay technology. With AirPlay, the CXN V2 can connect wirelessly to any AirPlay-enabled Apple device. This allows you to stream music wirelessly from your iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, or your computer's (Mac or PC) iTunes library; via your WiFi network.
UPnP Compatible: The Cambridge Audio CXN V2 network audio player is a UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) AV Client. Being a UPnP Client means the it can connect to UPnP AV servers on a network and browse and playback their music content. A connection to the internet is not strictly needed for this. The CXN V2 just needs to be able to connect to the server to access its content. Most operating systems and/or music playback software now feature UPnP server facilities built-in. This allow you to share the music on the computer's hard-drive with Clients, such as the CXN V2. Your music library can include digital music located anywhere on your home network such as shared folders on your own computer (Windows or Mac), shared folders on another computer on your network, or music stored on a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) device on your network. Using UPnP, the CXN V2 network player can connect to these devices and play back, or 'stream' non-DRM music files via the network to your home entertainment system. UPnP connection supports up to 24-bit/192kHz and Gapless playback.
Note: Not all servers support serving of all audio formats. Always make sure the server you choose also supports your formats of choice. For example, Windows Media Server does not currently serve FLAC format.
USB Ports: The Cambridge Audio CXN V2 network audio player is fitted with two USB type-A ports (front/rear) to connect a USB flash memory device or portable USB hard drive, and a rear-panel USB type-B port to connect your Windows or Mac computer.
Supported Audio Formats: Cambridge Audio's CXN V2 network audio player supports many of the most popular formats via Network, UPnP, and USB connection. Supported codecs include MP3 (16-320kbps), WMA (32-320kbps), AAC (16-320kbps), WAV (16/24-bit; 32-192kHz), FLAC (16/24-bit; 32-192kHz), ALAC (16/24-bit: 32-192kHz), AIFF (16/24-bit; 32-192kHz), and Ogg Vorbis (32-320kbps).
Note: The CXN V2 does not support WMA pro, WMA lossless, RAW, AU, or other music file types not mentioned.
DSD Audio: The CXN V2 will only support DSD x64 (AKA DSD64 or 64FS) via DoP (DSD over PCM). However this is only possible via USB connection to a computer, using Class 2 USB Audio mode.
Digital Inputs: The Cambridge Audio CXN V2's optical (toslink) digital input and coaxial (RCA) digital input allows it to act as a high quality upsampling Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) to improve the sound from other devices, such as set top boxes, games consoles, or disc players. The optical and coaxial digital connections support up to 24-bit/192kHz, 2ch PCM audio (not compatible with Dolby Digital or DTS).
Optional Bluetooth Adapter: Simply plug in the Cambridge Audio BT100 Bluetooth Audio Receiver (779BT100, sold separately) into the network audio player's rear-panel USB (type-A) port for wireless music streaming from many of today's most popular Bluetooth supporting devices; such as Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android smartphone/tablet, Windows PC, Mac computers, and more. The BT100 even supports the high-quality Bluetooth aptX CODEC, so you can stream audiophile quality music from your Bluetooth-enabled Android (OS 4.0+) device or Mac computer to the Cambridge CXN V2.
IR Remote: The Cambridge Audio CXN V2 includes a slim-line IR remote control for wireless operation of the network audio player. The IR remote also operates other Cambridge Audio devices, like CX series integrated amps and AV receivers.
Cambridge Connect App: The free Cambridge Connect App (for Apple iOS 7.1+ and Android OS 4.0+) gives you full control of the CXN V2 network audio player - including power on/off, source selection, and volume up/down - from your compatible smartphone or tablet device. The Cambridge Connect App also gives you access and control over UPnP servers and NAS drives connected to the same WiFi network, Internet Radio from across the world, select online music services, USB media device plugged into the player, music stored on your Apple iOS or Android device, and Bluetooth audio (requires BT100 adapter). The free app also features a high-resolution display for album art and track information.
Front-Panel Color Screen: The network audio player's front-panel color screen displays album art and song/artist information. You can adjust the front-panel color screen's brightness level.
Remote Connections: The Cambridge Audio CXN V2 is fitted with the following custom remote connections.
Firmware/Software Updates: The Cambridge Audio CXN V2 will offer firmware/software updates through its wired (Ethernet) or wireless (WiFi) connection.
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