Cambridge Audio CXA80
Stereo integrated amplifier with built-in DAC and USB input, optional Bluetooth® (Black)
Our take on the Cambridge Audio CXA80 by Crutchfield's Dave Bar
Designed for people who are serious about music
When you hear your favorite music played through the CXA80, you'll know you're hearing it the way it was meant to be heard. That's because the dedicated team of music lovers at Cambridge Audio poured a lot of engineering know-how into its design. Every facet of what goes on inside this potent integrated amp was carefully considered to ensure every last drop of detail in your favorite recordings comes shining through. Cambridge didn't forget the outside, either. The CXA80 sports a classic-yet-modern design that looks as beautiful as it sounds.
Flexible connectivity, including high-res USB
The CXA80 gives you versatile options for enjoying analog and digital music sources alike. Its asynchronous USB port provides a clean, low-jitter connection for streaming music files up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution from your computer. Optical and coaxial digital audio inputs let you connect other sources like a TV, CD player, Blu-ray player, or a network streaming device. All digital inputs feed the CXA80's high-performance Wolfson digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for a powerful sonic upgrade. And there's plenty of room for your analog sources, too, including a pair of balanced XLR inputs for a noise-free connection to high-end components. You can even stream music directly from your Bluetooth® enabled portable devices by adding Cambridge Audio's optional BT100 adapter.
Real power for the real world
At the heart of the CXA80 is a high-performance, 80 watt-per-channel amplifier. Cambridge Audio's conservative power rating only tells part of this amp's story. Each channel's 80 watts are generated by a power supply that employs an audiophile-grade toroidal transformer for plenty of steady, low-noise current. Separate windings and transformer taps for the left and right channels, along with twin rectifiers and separate power supply units for each channel, provide dual mono operation that delivers maximum stereo separation for a wide, enveloping soundstage. The transformer is also centrally located inside the chassis to minimize interference with sensitive preamp circuitry, and it's surrounded by hefty extruded heat sinks for cool, efficient operation.
In addition to its ample power output, this integrated amp uses symmetrical and separately laid out right- and left-channel circuits with a greatly reduced component count in the signal path compared to previous models. This keeps distortion and interference from cluttering the signal, for rich, multi-layered sound. The result of all that beefy construction is an amp capable of handling the heavy demands of 4-ohm speakers as well as all the dynamic peaks in music that make it sound real.
Tone controls, direct mode, and room for extra speakers
The CXA80 features two pairs of speaker connectors, front-panel treble and bass controls, and Direct mode for bypassing these tone controls if you desire even purer sound. There's also a subwoofer output and preamp outs for expanding your system, as well as a front-panel headphone jack for private late-night music listening.
- 80 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (120 watts x 2 channels into 4 ohms)
- 4-ohm capability allows use with a wide range of speakers
- THD: 0.02% (20-20,000 Hz at 80% of rated power)
- built-in high-performance Wolfson WM8740 DAC
- toroidal power transformer for low noise and high-current output
- separate transformer taps for left and right channels, twin rectifiers and separate power supply units for dual mono operation of the left and right power amplifiers
- separate left and right channel heat sinks and symmetrical separated circuit paths for maximum stereo separation and minimal cross-channel interference
- high-quality ALPs film-type volume control provides superb low-level channel balance and stereo imaging
- relay-based input source switching with silver-plated contacts for maximum signal transfer
- full-metal casework with thick, brushed aluminum front panel and acoustically damped chassis for enhanced resonance control
- USB (Type B) input for connection to a computer
- supported bit depth and sample rates: up to 24-bit/192kHz
- dedicated Cambridge Audio USB 2.0 driver required for 24-bit/192kHz playback on a Windows® PC (free USB driver download available from Cambridge Audio website)
- 2 optical and 1 coaxial digital audio inputs
- balanced stereo XLR inputs provide connectivity for high-end and professional audio sources
- 4 stereo RCA audio inputs, 1 front-panel minijack (3.5mm) audio input
- Bluetooth®-ready with optional Cambridge Audio adapter
- 1 stereo RCA preamp output and a dedicated mono subwoofer output
- minijack headphone output
- switchable A+B speaker outputs with binding-post connectors
Other Info and Specs:
- class A/B amplifier design
- asynchronous USB technology for reduced timing jitter and better sound
- ground lift switch to eliminate potential noise through USB connection
- 16-15/16"W x 4-1/2"H x 13-7/16"D
- weight: 19.1 lbs.
- If connecting to a TV, please make sure you can select "PCM" output in your TV's audio menu. The built-in DAC cannot decode multi-channel Dolby® Digital signals.
- warranty: 3 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Stereo integrated amplifier
- 6' AC power cord
- Remote control (RC-CXA/C/N)
- 3 "AAA" batteries
- 39" mono-RCA control cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Important Safety Instructions. "Thank You" card
This intergrated amp is fantastic. 80 strong watts per channel and all the inputs you need. I auditioned other amps in the same price range and the Cambridge CXA80 sounded the best. Worth a look!
Evan, Huntington, NY
Features and Specs
|Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms)||80|
|Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms)||Not given|
|Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms)||120|
|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||FLAC, AIFF|
|Total Analog Inputs||5|
|Optical Digital Inputs||2|
|Coaxial Digital Inputs||1|
|Preamp Outputs||Stereo, Sub|
|Dimensions and Warranty|
|Parts Warranty||3 Years|
|Labor Warranty||3 Years|
80 Watts x 2 Channel: Rated at 80 watts x 2 channels into 8Ω (or 120 watts x 2 channels into 4Ω), the Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amplifier is powerful enough to drive some of the most demanding speakers, yet has the nuance and subtlety demanded by modern recordings.
Dual Mono Design: The CXA80 integrated amp employs separate transformer taps for left/right channels, twin rectifiers and separate PSUs that give dual mono operation of the left and right power amplifiers for incredible presence, performance, and sound imaging.
Oversized Toroidal Transformer (Dual-Mono Windings): The CXA80 integrated amplifier 's power comes from an oversized audiophile-grade toroidal transformer, which keep magnetic flux level extremely low, benefiting the other internal components. Separate dual mono windings on a low-flux toroidal transformer further enhance performance and together these design details deliver incredible control over your speakers on a wide, enveloping, captivating sound stage. The toroidal transformer is mounted centrally inside the chassis of the integrated amp to reduce flux or magnetic disturbance from the volume pot.
Symmetrical & Separated Circuitry: The entire internal layout of the CXA80 is designed to minimize left/right crosstalk and provide astonishing stereo separation, thanks to its symmetrical and separated circuit paths. By entirely separating the left and right channel heat sinks, and using symmetrical and separated circuit paths for the two channels, the CXA80 will deliver stunning stereo separation and minimum cross-channel interference with great soundstage performance.
Volume Pot: An ALPs film volume pot delivers accurate volume control and superb low level channel balance.
Dynamic Thermal Tracking Transistors: The output power transistors used by the CXA80 incorporate integrated Dynamic Thermal Tracking. Integrated Dynamic Thermal tracking provides a far more accurate reading of the real temperature of a transistor, and relays it faster too because it's not a delayed heating effect. This enables Cambridge Audio to bias the amplifier more accurately and in almost real time; which means the CXA80 is always running at optimum performance.
24-Bit/192kHz DAC: The CXA80 has been designed from the ground up with built-in digital to analog conversion capabilities. Using a high-specification 24-bit/192kHz WM8740 DAC chip from Wolfson, the CXA80 offers a powerful upgrade for all your digital sources.
Fully Balanced Signal Management: Cambridge Audio engineers decided to go fully balanced rather than single-ended all the way through. As a consequence, any noise that that might be picked up in the audio signal while routing through the amplifier is cancelled before it's output.
Tone Controls + Direct Mode: The CXA80 integrated amplifier has independent Bass (20Hz) and Treble (20kHz) controls. Or, you can select Direct Mode which gives the audio signal a more direct path to the power amplifier stage of your amplifier, bypassing the bass and treble control circuits for the purest possible sound quality.
High-Quality Damped Metal Chassis: The CXA80 features a high-quality damped metal chassis, designed to ensure that nothing rattles or interferes with the electronics.
Digital Inputs: The Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amp is equipped with optical, coaxial, and USB digital inputs.
- Optical & Coaxial Inputs: The CXA80 integrated amp features two optical (toslink) inputs and a S/PDIF coaxial (RCA) digital input so you connect all of your digital sources. The unit's digital inputs can decode 2ch PCM and Dolby Digital 2.0.
- Asynchronous USB Port: The CXA80 provides an Asynchronous USB (type-B) port for playback of music files stored on your Windows PC or Mac computer. The CXA80 can handles up to 24-bit/192kHz audio from your computer with low jitter.
Balanced & Unbalanced Audio Inputs: The Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amplifier is fitted with both balanced and unbalanced analog audio connections. The CXA80 integrated amp features four unbalanced stereo RCA inputs and a front-panel 3.5mm Aux input. The CXA80 integrated amplifier also features a pair of balanced XLR inputs to connect high-resolution CD and SACD players. XLR is a higher-quality input that can reject noise and interference from equipment with balanced outputs.
Outputs: The Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amp is fitted with A-B speaker terminals, a mono-sub output, stereo pre-outs and a headphone jack.
- A-B Speaker Terminals: The Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amplifier is equipped with two sets of gold-plated, binding-post speaker terminals (labeled A and B). The terminals will accept bare wire, spade connectors, single- and dual-banana plugs. (The red and black caps can be removed when using banana plugs.) The use of A and B speaker terminals allow you to hook up speakers in another room. When using a single pair of speakers, use speakers with a nominal impedance of 4Ω to 8Ω. When using two pairs of speaker, use only speakers with a minimum nominal impedance of 8Ω.
- Subwoofer Output: The CXA80 integrated amp features a mono-subwoofer output for adding a powered subwoofer. To ensure there's no unnecessary high frequency noise affecting the subwoofer, the subwoofer output is filtered at 3kHz. This is high enough to prevent any phase shift associated with the low pass filter affecting what happens below 200Hz. The result is a phase linear subwoofer output signal which is clean and musical.
- Pre-Outs: The Cambridge Audio CXA80 is equipped with a pair of RCA pre-outs to connect the integrated amp to an external power amplifier.
- Headphone Jack: The CXA80 integrated amplifier offers a front-panel 3.5mm headphone output to connect a set of headphones for private listening. When headphones are connected, the output to both A/B loudspeakers is muted.
Remote Control: The CXA80 is supplied with an IR remote control that operates this integrated and other Cambridge Audio CX series components. The remote operates off of three "AAA" batteries (supplied). The CXA80 features a Control Bus Input and Output (RCA), which allows un-modulated commands from multi-room systems or other components to be received by the amp and loop out to another unit.
Optional Bluetooth Adapter: Simply plug in the Cambridge Audio BT100 Bluetooth Audio Receiver (sold separately) into the Cambridge Audio CXA80'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 Phone/PC, Mac computer/laptop, 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 to the CXA80 integrated amp.
Auto Power Down: The CXA80 integrated amplifier can be set to automatically go into "Standby mode" if there is no audio signal or operation for approximately 10, 30, or 60 minutes.
Our Product Research Team
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Cambridge Audio's CXA amplifiers let you hear your music the way it was meant to be heard, with ample power, high-quality Wolfson DACs, and discrete amplification.
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