About the Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M
Continuing a hi-fi legacy
Continuing a hi-fi legacy
Digital audio sources are more common nowadays than ever. Switching from vinyl or tapes to a digital source may seem scary; after all, what if you were to miss out on the sound quality those sources provide? But, fret not — contemporary DACs are bringing 1s and 0s surprisingly close to analog in their sound.
Cambridge Audio has been making audio equipment for half a century. Each new release seems to raise the bar even higher for just how good things can sound. The DacMagic 200M continues the legacy of Cambridge's DacMagic line with some new high-performance goodies under the hood. Boasting twin ESS Sabre DAC chips, built-in Bluetooth with aptX, MQA support, and a high performance headphone amplifier, the folks at Cambridge have made sure the DacMagic 200M is a worthy heir.
No wires? No problem.
The DacMagic 200M has a built-in Bluetooth 4.2 receiver with aptX. The beauty of Bluetooth 4.2 and aptX is that they allow you to enjoy a CD-esque sound quality without needing to run a cable for input. Simply pair your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet, or computer to it and you're set.
Full MQA support
This is Cambridge Audio's first foray into the MQA world.
MQA allows larger high-resolution files (like FLAC or WAV) to be streamed by folding the track to make it small enough to be streamed efficiently without compromising on sound quality. MQA is TIDAL's preferred method of delivery for higher-than-CD-quality tracks. If you're an avid TIDAL user like me, your DAC needs to support MQA in order to take full advantage of what the service can deliver.
Thankfully, the DacMagic 200M supports MQA — both as a renderer and a decoder. The decoder section handles the first unfold of the MQA file and recovers all music-related information. The renderer section then completes unfolds two and three, thus giving you a full-resolution sound. What does all that mean? You'll get the most out of your MQA tracks without having to worry that you aren't getting the full picture.
The heart of the beast
Inside, you'll find a beefy Class A/B headphone amplifier with a very low noise floor that was built from the ground-up for audiophiles. Cambridge Audio also decreased the output impedance on the 1/4” headphone jack, ultimately leading to more power, less distortion, and less noise. Don't be afraid to run some serious cans on it. It'll handle higher impedance headphones with ease (Lookin' at you, Sennheiser HD660.)
Twin ESS Sabre Reference ES9028Q2M DAC chips handle the tricky switchover from digital to analog. They run in a dual mono configuration, meaning one handles the left channel and one handles the right. This allows each chip to independently process the incoming audio streams. That, in turn, gives the sound improved left/right channel separation and accuracy.
Cambridge chose this chipset because of its ultra-low distortion and jitter-free operation. These high-performance DAC chips can handle 32-bit/768kHz PCM and 64x and ultra-high-resolution DSD audio, so don't be shy when it comes to sources.
Inputs and outputs aplenty
On the back of the DAC, you'll find a pair of optical digital inputs, a pair of coaxial digital inputs, and a USB Type-B input for your computer. That means it can fit right in with a stack of audio components in a dedicated two-channel system, or on your desktop dishing out high-res sound from your Mac® or PC. It also has a pair of balanced XLR outputs and RCA outputs for connecting it to your home amplifier or receiver.
- Featured in our articles: Best headphone amps for 2023 and Best DACs for 2023
- twin ESS Sabre ES9028Q2M 32-bit digital-to-analog converters in dual mono configuration
- front-panel sampling rate indicator helps verify source quality, including MQA
- MQA indicators:
- green: signifies the output as an MQA file
- blue: signifies MQA Studio quality
- magenta: signifies the MQA Stream is pre-decoded and the DacMagic 200M is operating as a renderer
- steel and aluminum chassis
- three selectable digital filter settings for fine-tuning your sound
- Class A/B headphone amplifier with a full-size 1/4" front-panel headphone jack
- Bluetooth 4.2 for wireless playback from any compatible Bluetooth device
- supports high-quality aptX Bluetooth streaming for CD-like sound from compatible Bluetooth devices
- If connecting to a TV, please make sure you can select "PCM" output in its audio menu. This DAC Cannot decode multi-channel Dolby Digital signals
- supported sample rates:
- optical: up to 24-bit/96kHz PCM; DSD over PCM supported
- coaxial: up to 24-bit/192kHz; DSD over PCM supported
- USB: up to 32-bit/768kHz; Native DSD up to 24.576MHz (DSD 512)
- frequency response: 10Hz to 50kHz (±1dB)
- DAC: <0.0005%
- headphone amplifier: <0.001%
- signal-to-noise ratio: 115dB
- 2 optical digital inputs
- 2 coaxial digital inputs
- 1 USB Type-B input (cable sold separately)
- balanced stereo XLR outputs
- unbalanced RCA stereo outputs
- 1/4" front panel headphone output
- external power supply included
- 8-5/8"W x 2-1/16"H x 7-5/8"D
- weight: 2.6 lbs.
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # C11217
What's in the box:
- Digital-to-analog converter (Lunar Grey)
- AC power adapter with attached 59" DC output cord (DC output: 12V 2A)
- 3 AC power plug adapters (US/Euro/UK)
- 1-7/8" Bluetooth antenna
- Quick Start manual
- Important Safety Instructions
More details on the Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M
Features & specs
|Built-in Rechargable Battery||No|
|Built-in Headphone Amplifier|
|Output Impedance (Unbalanced)||32 ohms|
|Output Impedance (Balanced)||N/A|
|Bit Depth (USB)||32|
|Max Sampling Rate (USB)||768 kHz|
|Bit Depth (S/PDIF)||24|
|Max Sampling Rate S/PDIF||192k Coax / 96k Opt|
|S/N Ratio (Unbalanced, in dB)||0|
|S/N Ratio (Balanced, in dB)||115|
|Supported File Types|
|PCM||Up to 768kHz|
|Stereo RCA Analog||None|
|Stereo 3.5mm Analog||None|
|Stereo XLR Analog||None|
|Other Headphone Outs||None|
|Line Level & Digital Outs|
|RCA Line Out||1|
|3.5mm Line Out||None|
|XLR Line Out||1|
|Optical Digital Out||None|
|Coaxial Digital Out||None|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
Overview: The Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M is a desktop digital-to-analog converter featuring a USB (type-B) digital audio input, and dual Optical (Toslink) and Coaxial (RCA) digital inputs. The DacMagic 200M is the first product from Cambridge Audio to support MQA, delivering studio-quality sound. It can convert digital audio files up to 32-bit/768kHz or DSD 512. The unit is also Roon Ready. The DacMagic 200M also has Bluetooth 4.2 so you can listen to music files from your smartphone or tablet. Balanced and unbalanced outputs send the analog signal to your home's integrated amplifier or A/V receiver, plus a 1/4" front panel headphone output lets you listen in private.
Chassis: The DacMagic 200M features a compact steel and aluminum chassis that measures 8-1/2" (w) x 2-1/4" (h) x 9-1/2" (d)(including connectors), so it doesn't take up too much room. The unit weighs 2.718 pounds.
DACs: The DacMagic 200M is equipped with dual ESS ES9028Q2M digital-to-analog converters (DACs) to provide exceptional sound quality.
Inputs: The unit has the following digital audio inputs:
- USB Type B: The USB input lets you connect your PC (Windows OS 10 and newer) or Mac (OSX 11.0 [Big Sur] and newer) for converting your digital audio files. Windows-based PCs require a Cambridge Audio USB driver to be installed before connecting. The USB input supports up to 32-bit/768kHz PCM, Native DSD 64x to 512x, and DoP (DSD over PCM) 64x to 256x.
- Digital Inputs 1 and 2: Both digital inputs give you the choice of an optical (Toslink) and coaxial (RCA) jack for connecting CD players, game consoles, laptops, and other digital audio sources. The optical inputs support up to 24-bit/96kHz PCM and DoP64. The coaxial inputs support up to 24-bit/192kHz PCM and DoP64. (Note: Only one coaxial or optical cable should be connected to each digital input.)
- Bluetooth: In addition to the wired inputs, the DacMagic 200M is equipped with Bluetooth (Version 4.2) with support for A2DP profile, as well as SBC, and aptX codecs. You can wirelessly receive Bluetooth audio from most smartphones, tablets, and laptops. A short Bluetooth antenna is provided, and connects to the rear panel.
Master Quality Authenticated (MQA): The DacMagic 200M includes full decoding MQA technology (Core + Renderer), which allows you to play back MQA audio files and streams and listen to audio that is the quality of the original master recording. Audio streaming services such as TIDAL use MQA technology to stream master-quality audio to their subscribers. The front panel LED glows blue to indicate you are playing an approved or verified MQA Studio file. The LED glows green to confirm you are playing and decoding an MQA music file. If the LED glows magenta, the unit is rendering an MQA file or stream, delivering the final unfold of the MQA file.
Outputs: The DacMagic 200M features balanced and unbalanced outputs on the rear panel. The balanced outputs have XLR connectors, and are better at rejecting noise and interference, especially in long cable runs to an XLR equipped amplifier or receiver. The unbalanced outputs feature RCA connectors. It is possible to use both the balanced and unbalanced outputs at the same time, allowing you to connect the DAC to different amplifiers or powered speakers simultaneously. The XLR and RCA outputs can be set to a fixed output (not controllable by the DAC's volume knob) or a variable output (controllable by the volume knob).
Headphone Output: The DAC's front panel has a 1/4" (6.3mm) unbalanced headphone jack. The headphone output is always variable, regardless of the XLR/RCA output setting.
Power Requirements: The DacMagic 200M is powered by the supplied AC power adapter with an output of 12V DC / 2A. The AC adapter is separate from the DAC to further improve sound quality. Three AC plug inserts are provided for the power adapter, allowing you to use the DAC in North America, Europe, and the United Kingdom. The Input is rated at 100-240V ~ 50/60Hz, 0.75A.
Auto Power Down (APD): The unit will automatically power down and switch to standby mode after 20 minutes of inactivity. You can turn APD on or off by pressing the Volume Knob for 5 seconds (Off) or 10 seconds (On).
Standby/On: The Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M's front-panel Standby/On button turns the unit On or Off. When in Standby (Off) mode, the unit draws less than 1-watt.
Source Button: The DacMagic 200M features a front-panel Source button. You can press this button to cycle through the DAC's four inputs: USB, Digital Input 1 (D1), Digital Input 2 (D2), and Bluetooth. The corresponding LED will light up to show which source you have selected.
Volume: The unit has a large rotary digital volume knob.
Filter: The DacMagic 200M's Digital Filter button lets you cycle through the three available filter modes, each with a different sonic signature:
- Fast: The Fast setting is designed to provide a very clean sound spectrum, and minimize extraneous noise by using a sharp linear phase filter. This setting is suggested as a default, but you should try all settings to see which best suits the acoustics of the room.
- Slow: The Slow setting lowers phase distortion and improves temporal characteristics by reducing pre- and post-impulse ringing. The Anti-Aliasing effect is less effect in this setting.
- Short Delay: The Short Delay setting features excellent Anti-Aliasing filtering, and minimizes pre-impulse ringing while providing a quick temporal response. Minor phase distortion may be slightly higher at this setting.
Sample Rate LEDs: When a digital stream is input, the corresponding LED of the incoming digital sampling frequency will light up. LEDs are provided for 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 352kHz, 384kHz, 705.6kHz and 768kHz. When playing DSD or PoP streams are detected the DSD LED will light up, along with the relevant 64x, 128x, 256x, or 512x LED. There is a single MQA LED that will glow in green (MQA), blue (for MQA Studio), or magenta (MQA rendering).
Ground/Lift Switch: The DacMagic 200M features a rear-panel Ground/Lift switch. The Ground position is the default position, and the DAC and the USB host use a common ground for the highest link reliability. The Lift position can be used if an electronic hum is heard through the speakers.
- Frequency Response: 10Hz to 50kHz (+/-1dB)
- THD+N (1kHz 0dBFS): <0.005% (A-weighted)
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >115dB (A-weighted)
- Crosstalk (at 10kHz): < -110dB
- Output Impedance: <50 ohms (unbalanced); <100 ohms (balanced)
- Maximum Output Level (Fixed or variable): 2.1V rms (unbalanced), 4.2V rms (balanced)
- Frequency Response: 10Hz to 50kHz (+/-1dB)
- THD+N (1kHz 0dBFS): <0.001% (at 100mW into 32 ohms)
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >115dB (A-weighted)
- Maximum Output Power: >300mW (at 32 ohms); >65mW (at 150 ohms)
- Recommended Headphone Impedance: 10 ohms to 600 ohms
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