About the Cambridge Audio CXN (V2)
An exceptional digital listening experience
An exceptional digital listening experience
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 favourite 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 including local files and streaming services like TIDAL and Qobuz.
Flexible streaming options
You can use Chromecast built-in or Apple AirPlay 2 to stream from a wide variety of apps to compatible devices on your Wi-Fi network. This player will also show up in your player list if you're using Roon (subscription required).
Advanced upsampling and DACs for clean, clear sound from every source
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.
Seamless control through a simple, easy-to-use interface
Cambridge's free StreamMagic 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.
- Featured in our article: Best network music players for 2023
- stereo network player with built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC)
- plays digital music from computers, music servers, and online services with your home stereo system
- connects to your home network via wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi for music streaming and downloads
- Wi-Fi USB dongle included
- Apple AirPlay® 2 for streaming music from an iPhone®, iPod touch®, iPad® or iTunes® to compatible devices on your network
- Spotify Connect lets you play Spotify's streaming music library via Wi-Fi, controlled by your smartphone or tablet (requires Spotify app and a premium subscription)
- Chromecast built-in lets you stream from a wide variety of apps to compatible devices on your network
- compatible with TIDAL and Qobuz high-res music streaming services
- free Cambridge StreamMagic app for iOS® and Android™
- works as a Roon player (requires subscription and Roon Core running on your network)
- Roon Core is media server software that runs on your computer, NAS drive, or other compatible hardware
- dual Wolfson WM8740 24-bit DACs for high-performance stereo playback of digital music
- 2nd-generation Adaptive Time Filtering (ATF2) upsampling to 24-bit/384kHz
- asynchronous USB technology for reduced timing jitter and better sound
- high-resolution playback of DSD, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, and ALAC files; also plays MP3, WMA, AAC, and OGG Vorbis files
- up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution for PCM files; up to 2.8MHz resolution for DSD files
- Ethernet port for wired connection to a home network
- stereo balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA analog audio outputs
- Toslink optical digital audio (1 in, 1 out)
- coaxial digital audio in/out
- USB input (Type B) for connecting a Mac or Windows® computer
- 3 USB inputs (Type A) for connecting a thumb drive, the supplied Wi-Fi antenna, or the optional BT-100 Bluetooth receiver (1 front, 2 rear)
- accepts optional BT-100 Bluetooth dongle (available separately) for wireless audio streaming from a mobile phone, tablet, or computer
- If connecting to a TV, please make sure you can select "PCM" output in its audio menu — this DAC cannot decode multichannel Dolby® Digital signals
- dimensions (measured by Crutchfield): 16-15/16"W x 3-1/4"H x 14-5/8"D
- weight: 7.7 lbs.
- warranty: 3 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # C11021K
What's in the box:
Cambridge Audio CXN (V2) owner's manual
- Network audio player
- 59" AC power cord
- USB-WiFi dongle
- Remote control (RC-CXA/C/N)
- 3 "AAA" batteries
- 38" Mono-RCA cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Important Safety Instructions
- Spotify brochure
Cambridge Audio CXN (V2) reviews
This review was collected as part of a promotion
More details on the Cambridge Audio CXN (V2)
Features & specs
|Optical Digital Inputs||1|
|Coaxial Digital Inputs||1|
|USB Type A||1|
|USB Type B||1|
|Optical Digital Outputs||1|
|Coaxial Digital Outputs||1|
|DAC Bit Depth||24-bit|
|DAC Sample Rate||up to 384 kHz|
|Bluetooth Formats Supported||O|
|Frequency Bands||2.4 GHz|
|Apple Control App||Apple iOS, Android|
|Android Control App||Apple iOS, Android|
|12 Volt Trigger||Yes|
|Parts Warranty||3 Years|
|Labor Warranty||3 Years|
Variety of Sources
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.
- Dual Wolfson Digital-to-Analog Converters: The Cambridge Audio CXN V2 employs two very high-quality Wolfson WM8740 24-bit DAC ICs in dual-differential mode for excellent stereo imaging. Since each channel has its own DAC to process information, completely separate and symmetrical analog filter circuitry can be implemented. This implementation allows both the left- and right-channel circuitry to operate identically, ensuring the CXN V2 delivers fantastic sound-staging and stereo-imaging properties.
- ATF2 Upsampling Technology: The CXN V2 utilizes an asynchronous up-sampling process called "Adaptive Time Filtering 2nd Generation" that intelligently interpolates (converts) incoming audio data from 16-24 bits (at any standard sampling frequency between 32-96kHz) to 24-bit/384kHz for dramatically improved musical reproduction. ATF2 will enhance the audio clarity, richness, and dynamic range of your compressed music.
- Dual Differential Virtual Earth Balanced Filter Topology: The CXN V2 uses Cambridge Audio's proprietary Dual Differential Virtual Earth Balanced filter topology, configured as a low-order two-pole liner-phase Bessel filter, in order to take advantage of the achieved high-sampling rate. As a result your music will have extreme linearity with greater dynamic range.
- Bit-Perfect Signal Path w/ Jitter Suppression: Music stored on computers and other hard drives inherently suffers from jitter, so the CXN V2 implements a host of enhancements such as bit-perfect signal path and jitter suppression to vastly improve the quality of digital music playback. Total correlated jitter is less than 200ps.
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.
- mpeg-DASH: Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH), also known as MPEG-DASH, is an adaptive bitrate streaming technique that enables high quality streaming of media content over the Internet delivered from conventional HTTP web servers. MPEG-DASH is the first adaptive bit-rate HTTP-based streaming solution that is an international standard.
- HLS: HTTP Live Streaming (also known as HLS) is an HTTP-based media streaming communications protocol implemented by Apple Inc. as part of its QuickTime, Safari, OS X, and iOS software. HTTP Live Streaming provides mechanisms for the player to adapt to unreliable network conditions without causing playback stalling.
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.
Variety of Sources
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.
- Ethernet (LAN) Jack: The CXN V2 network music player is fitted with an Ethernet (R-J45) port to connect directly to your home's network hub. Only connect the LAN port of the player to an Ethernet port that supports 10BASE-T or 100BASE-TX.
- WiFi Dongle/Antenna: The CXN V2 network audio player includes a USB-WiFi dongle/WLAN aerial antenna which plugs into the player's rear-panel USB port. This USB-WiFi dongle/antenna wirelessly connects the AV receiver to your home network. The CXN V2 supports 802.11 b/g/n (in 2.4GHz only) with WEP, WPA, WPA2 encryption. The unit has a wireless range of 30-98'.
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.
- Internet Radio: The Cambridge Audio CXN V2 gives you access to over 20,000 internet radio stations from around the world; all sorted by Location, Language, and Genre.
- Spotify Connect: The CXN V2 also incorporates Spotify Connect. If you subscribe to Spotify Premium , you can play all of your Spotify music and playlists, plus control the CXN V2 with the Spotify Connect app on your Apple iOS or Android device.
- Tidal: TIDAL is a global streaming service that offers over 30 million songs in high-fidelity CD sound quality. TIDAL has two pricing tiers; either $9.99 or $19.99 a month. Both pricing levels allow you to access TIDAL's entire music library. The $19.99 tier has the added benefit of high-fidelity sound at CD-level quality.
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.
- Supported Content: Chromecast built-in offers Internet Radio apps like TuneIn & iHeart Radio; plus online music service apps like Pandora, Spotify (requires Premium subscription), Tidal, Google Play Music, and more. Click here for a complete list of compatible apps. You can even wirelessly stream exactly what's playing on your Android phone or tablet through the CXN V2 player. Or, if you're on your laptop or computer, you can also cast any music streaming website through the Chrome browser.
- Google Home Multiroom: Using the Google Home app for Apple iOS 8.0+ and Android OS 4.0.3+, you can sync multiple speakers with Chromecast built-in in multiple rooms of your home to play the same song from a Chromecast built-in music app throughout your house at the same time. Friends and family can even use their own Chromecast compatible phone or tablet to cast music to your system by connecting to your home's WiFi network.
- Google Home Voice Commands: With a Google Home voice-activated speaker (sold separately - see Accessories Tab) and the Google Home App (for Apple iOS 8.0+ or Android OS 4.2+), you can use your voice to control select functions of the CXN V2 Player. With a simple voice command, you can play music from Chromecast compatible music services by artist, song, genre, album, playlist, mood or activity.
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.
- iTunes Streaming: The CXN V2 network audio player is able to stream audio from your computer's iTunes account via AirPlay technology. When connected to the same network as a computer running iTunes, the CXN V2 can appear as an output option in the pop-up menu at the bottom of the iTunes window. You can then browse your iTunes collection on your computer & stream music to the Cambridge Audio network audio player. You will need a Mac or Windows-based PC running iTunes (10.2.2 or later) connected to the same network as the CXN V2.
- Apple Device Streaming: AirPlay also lets you wirelessly stream music and music apps stored on your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad to the Cambridge Audio CXN V2. You will need an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad (running iOS 4.3.3 or later) connected to the same network as the CXN V2.
- Apple Remote App: Using the Apple Remote App (free download from iTunes) on your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad and your wireless home network, you don't even need to be in the same room as the components or your computer to play, pause, skip, and stop the songs in your iTunes music library. You will even see the iTunes music information, including your track titles & artist info on your Apple device. You will need an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad (running iOS 7.0 or later) connected to the same wireless network as the CXN V2.
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.
- Dual USB (Type-A) Ports: The Cambridge Audio CXN V2 features two USB (type-A) inputs for music playback from a USB flash memory device or portable hard drive (up to 24-bit/192kHz). One USB port is on the front-panel, while the other is on the rear-panel. Your USB device must be formatted in FAT32 or NTFS format with non-DRM music files. The CXN V2 cannot supply greater than 500mA from the USB socket, itself. Good practice is to create folders for Artists within which you should have sub folders for each Album which then contain the tracks for that Album. Libraries with thousands of tracks in one folder will progressively slow down the unit's media browsing.
- Asynchronous USB (Type-B) Input: A rear-panel
(type-B) port enables the CXN V2 to be connected to your Windows PC or
Mac computer for playback of music files up to 24-bit/192kHz. The CXN V2 will act as a very high-quality DAC/sound-card with
very low jitter for your computer, offering genuine Hi-Fi-quality
playback from your stored music and Internet radio. The CXN V2 is both USB 2.0
(Hi-Speed) and USB 1.1 (Full-speed) USB port compatible. It will also work
with the new USB 3.0 ports where the PC will simply treat the CXN V2 as if it
were a USB 2.0 or 1.1 device.
- PC Compatible: With the CXN V2 switched to USB Audio 1.0 (this is the default setting), the CXN V2 will work with the native Windows XP, Vista, 7, or 8 Audio 1.0 driver (no need to load any new driver) and accept audio up to 24-bit/96kHz. With the CXN V2 switched to USB Audio 2.0, the CXN V2 needs the Cambridge Audio USB Audio 2.0 Driver to be loaded and can then accept up to 24-bit/192kHz (and support ASIO and WASAPI Exclusive, if required). Click here to download the Cambridge Audio USE Audio 2.0 Driver.
- Mac Compatible: No extra drivers are required to connect your Mac computer. With the CXN V2 switched to USB Audio 1.1, the CXN V2 will work with the native Mac OS-X 10.5 (Leopard) or above Audio 1.0 driver and accept audio up to 24/96kHz. With the CXN V2 switched to USB Audio 2.0, the CXN V2 works with the native Mac OS-X 10.5 (Leopard) or above Audio 2.0 driver and can accept audio up to 24/192kHz.
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.
- IR Emitter In (3.5mm): 3.5mm minijack input that enables modulated IR commands from multiroom or IR repeater systems to be received by the CXN V2.
- Control Bus In/Out (RCA): The Control Bus RCA input enables un-modulated commands from multiroom systems or other components to be received by the CXN V2. The Control Bus RCA output provides control bus output commands for further downstream units. This can be useful if using the iPhone app to control the volume on a Cambridge Audio amplifier.
Firmware/Software Updates: The Cambridge Audio CXN V2 will offer firmware/software updates through its wired (Ethernet) or wireless (WiFi) connection.
The Cambridge Audio CXN (V2) replaces these items
- digital audio inputs to take advantage of built-in audiophile-grade DAC (optical, coaxial, USB)
- connects to your home network via wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi® for streaming music files (built-in support for Spotify® Connect and Apple® AirPlay®)
- twin Wolfson 24-bit digital-to-analog converters plus Adapted Time Filter 2 for reduced jitter
58 questions already asked
Simply incredible! The music quality is superb. I wish I had purchased this earlier on. Be patient with it and use the online manual to help set it up, and it will go well. It's a high quality piece of equipment and interacts well with music apps. Love it!
Carl from Mystic, CT