Audio audio streaming Cambridge Audio Media Streamer Network Streamer Network Streamer Review 2019 Streamer

Cambridge Audio CXN V2 Network Streamer Review

The CXN V2 is an replace to the original release from 2015.

It retains all the tech introduced in its former model whereas boasting a quicker processor, larger playback management and better general internet radio. It also retains the same lovely floating design of your complete CX Collection of elements and is on the market in Brushed Black and Silver metallic finishes.

Highlights

Cambridge Audio CXN V2 Network Streamer

  • Dual Wolfson WM8740 24-Bit DACs
  • Digital Filter – Second Era ATF2up-sampling to 24-bit/384kHz
  • Balanced XLR and Unbalanced RCA
  • Ethernet & WIFI
  • UPnP, Local USB, S/PDIF, Toslink, Coaxial, Internet radio, Spotify Connect, Tidal, Bluetooth, Airplay, Chromecast
  • Audio Codecs: ALAC, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD (x64), WMA, MP3, AAC, HE-AAC, AAC+, OGG Vorbis

Cambridge Audio CXN V2 Network Streamer Closeup

Introduction

First off let me thank my very understanding wife who has allowed yet one more fantastic piece of audio gear into our residence. This can be a massive deal in our household. One: it’s finally a matching element stack. (Often, my elements are a hodge-podge of whatever-was-on-sale-at-the-time and Two: this marked the beginning of a transfer to an all-digital listening expertise in our most important room. No turntable, no CD participant (apart from testing the DAC) simply the CXN V2, a USB stick or two and a NAS.

Now, full disclosure, I had initially planned to have this assessment achieved months ago, but with the start of our 2nd, Milo, a full-time gig, personal shopper work, a month away in Tokyo and Hawaii (I’m bragging just a little) and a few hitches establishing my music library,… nicely, this is coming a bit late. My apologies. Additionally, the staff at Cambridge reached out following my assessment of the CXA 60 and provided to ship alongside the CXN V2 and I obliged. It’s the type of supply a HiFi nut like me couldn’t really refuse. So, bear in mind, this assessment isn’t utterly unbiased. Just slightly 🙂

The Cambridge CXN V2 sits slightly below its sibling the CXA60 in our custom-built wall cupboard in our front room. Related to it are a pair of Monitor Audio RX2s, a Synology NAS and, briefly, my previous Marantz CD5001. Once we created the wall unit, I didn’t make any provisions for a sub-woofer which is why I’m using the RX2s. The audio system function eight” woofers and are rear ported. The bass goes pretty low and is exaggerated barely by being tucked into a wall unit. I had initially used my B&W 685 S1s with the CXA60 and did deliver them up for my DJ arrange in the basement for this assessment however the majority of the time the RX2s have been in place as I like the sound of them greatest. That is contradictory to what I believed a number of months in the past. In the event you read my evaluation on the CXA60 I wrote:

“I also tried the CXA60 paired with my Monitor Audio RX2’s for a change. The larger 8” woofer on the RX2 yielded a bit extra bass nevertheless the general speaker cupboard dimensions mixed with rear firing reflex port led to a stuffy or muddier sound general when positioned inside the wall unit. I found the pairing with my 685’s greatest fitted to the wall unit”

So, one thing modified, and it have to be my want for extra low-end weight at the expense of general clarity. That is something I stored in thoughts for my listening. To the left of the CX-stack is our flat display TV and under that’s our hearth. In all, I’m fairly proud of the best way the entire arrange seems to be.

The CXN V2 has utterly modified our day-to-day listening. In methods, I truthfully didn’t anticipate.

Cambridge Audio CXN V2 Network Streamer Display

CAMBRIDGE CXN V2 NETWORK STREAMER SPECIFICATIONS

DAC
Twin Wolfson WM8740 24-bit DACs
DIGITAL FILTER:

2nd Era ATF2 up-sampling to 24-bit/384kHz

ANALOGUE FILTER:

2-Pole Dual Differential Bessel

USB AUDIO INPUT:

USB Sort B conforms to USB Audio profile 1.zero or 2.zero (consumer selectable)

DIGITAL AUDIO INPUTS:

S/PDIF Coaxial and TOSLINK Optical

Analog AUDIO OUTPUTS:

Balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA analog

DIGITAL AUDIO OUTPUTS:

S/PDIF Coaxial and TOSLINK Optical

COMPATIBILITY:

UPnP, Local USB media, USB audio 1.0 and a couple of.0, S/PDIF Toslink and Coaxial, Airplay, BT100 Bluetooth receiver (not provided), Internet radio, Spotify Join, Tidal, Chromecast.

AUDIO FORMATS:

ALAC, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD (x64), WMA, MP3, AAC, HE-AAC, AAC+, OGG Vorbis

ETHERNET:

IEEE 802.three, 10 Base-T or 100 Base-T

WI-FI:

IEEE 802.11 b/g or n (2.4GHz)

MAX POWER CONSUMPTION:

30W

STANDBY POWER CONSUMPTION:

0.5W

DIMENSIONS (H X W X D):

Maximum together with sockets and controls: 85 x 430 x 305mm (three.four x 16.9 x 12.2”)

SECRETS Tags:

Cambridge Audio, Streamer, Streaming, Audio, Audio Streaming, Network Streamer, Network Streamer Review 2019

Design

Just like the CXA 60, the CXN V2 is properly packaged. Tear open the field and you’re greeted to giant foam helps and the element is snugly wrapped in a black material bag. Separately, in their own material bag are the distant, the management bus cable and batteries. Additionally included was a small start-up information. The CXN V2 carries the identical floating design styling as the remainder of the CX Collection. It measures 17” W x three.four” H x 12.2” D and weighs just 7.7 pounds. The front fascia is completed in brushed aluminum. It is obtainable in black or silver (I acquired mine in silver to match). Front and middle sits a 4.three” full-color show flanked by eight small buttons that deal with a lot of the management. To the left of the display are a USB input and a standby button. To the appropriate is a big knob that handles scrolling via the menus.

Round back Cambridge has continued their follow of labeling the connections twice, once proper aspect up and the once more the wrong way up. It actually helps when hunkering over the stack in search of a connection. The opposite means is to only put my iPhone in selfie mode and check out the rear that method. There are a shit-ton of connections. Starting from the left:

– Energy AC in
– 2 USB sort A inputs, one for the included WiFi dongle and the opposite for Native Media.
– Ethernet
– Digital inputs: Coaxial RCA S/PDIF and Toslink Optical
– Digital outputs: Coaxial RCA S/PDIF and Toslink Optical
– USB sort B for connection to a pc.
– Balanced XLR outputs
– Unbalanced RCA Outputs.
– IR in
– Control Bus in and Out

Bluetooth aptX may be had for an extra 75 bucks by way of the BT100 dongle. I initially received it once I had simply the CXA60. To be trustworthy I all the time had connection issues with Bluetooth and the CXA60. With Airplay on the CXN, I’ve by no means used Bluetooth since.

Cambridge Audio Network Streamer

The CXN V2 comes full of a remote which is the same match to the one which comes with the CXA amplifier so now I have a spare. Batteries are included (yay!). Remote features are separated by component-type, the highest three are energy, mute and brightness. The primary part is for the CXA amps. Under that may be a part dedicated to the CXN adopted by control for the CXC. For those who only had one piece of CX gear, a lot of the distant is type of ineffective. Thankfully, control may also be dealt with by an app in your smartphone. Extra on the app under.

The large selling level is that the CXN features Dual Wolfson WM8740 24-bit DAC and up-samples your information to 24-bit/384kHz.

Setup

As soon as I acquired the CXN V2 in place and all wired up to my CXA 60 by way of RCA, it was time to get issues began. I related the CXN to my network Wi-Fi. That is fairly straightforward and easy to perform by way of the menu. I merely turned it on and launched the setup wizard. It discovered my Wi-Fi and all I had to do was provide the password. Since there isn’t a inner storage on the CXN V2, I inquired with the parents at Cambridge as to what NAS I ought to think about, they usually really helpful both Synology or Western Digital. I opted for a Synology DiskStation 218j NAS. The Cambridge discovered it with out difficulty. Next up was connecting Spotify and Chromecast. My Marantz CD5001 was related to by way of optical.

Should you had an present amp you may choose to set the CXN V2’s analog outputs to the preamp after which use the control knob as a quantity knob.

I discussed I had a number of hitches. They have been all on my end. My music library is all iTunes and I have my library organized by playlists. The Synology DiskStation is a UPnP sort server that my group wasn’t recognized. The menu construction, search and selection criteria are determined by the server and never the CXN. The information on my NAS are principally mp3 with the occasional FLAC. Numerous the music was just mislabeled with artist’s names misspelled (read: bootlegged) and situated in multiple folders. It took a number of nights every week over the course of some months to type by way of the folders on the NAS and correctly arrange them by the artist. I’ve tried to figure out methods to get a semblance of my playlists again however to no avail. If anyone out there has a suggestion, I’m all ears. In any case, sorting by way of my library just turned arduous by way of the NAS.

Now should you’ve got your library correctly organized and are tech savvy sufficient to have that part of the equation found out, the CXN permits you to browse your music by Artist, Album, Genre, Monitor, Playlist, and Sensible Playlist.

Also, when you use the USB port with other tracks on a transportable drive, the music will present up into your music library (so long as the information on the USB system are organized properly), no have to restart the unit or something. Pretty cool!

CXN V2 Network Streamer Back

In Use

Navigating by means of the small display on the front of the CXN and utilizing the jog wheel is sort of straightforward. Merely put, the quicker you flip the dial the quicker it scrolls by way of the menus and lists. The display itself is an enormous “nice-to-have”. While small, it shows the album art, music info, bitrate and tracks time with a useful period bar. It does so for Spotify and internet radio. For those who tap on INFO on the unit, your album art goes full display.

Cambridge also has an app: CA Join. I exploit it greater than the distant, and it’s great. The app is suitable with iOS 7.1 and Android 4.zero or later. It has a clean and straightforward to make use of menu system. Load it up and it’ll simply find suitable units on the community. Click on on the system and also you’ll be taken to a display with all the out there NAS Drives or UPnP servers. Select the server and you may then browse your music assortment. Your music exhibits in an inventory or grid format and by tapping and holding you’ll be able to choose to play or add to the queue. It’s also possible to view the album art and music info by tapping on the thumbnail in the far proper of the display.

The INPUTS menu permits you to select between the analog, digital or Bluetooth. You can even choose Spotify Connect and it will take you to the Spotify app in your telephone or tablet. You may also hook up with Tidal in case you subscribe. The Radio menu is a boon, and something I didn’t even think about when deciding on the streamer. It has purchased radio again into my listening life and it’s just superior! In the Radio menu, you possibly can search for your favourite station by typing it in and including it to a numbered preset. To date, I’ve added BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6, 1xtra, Kool FM, CIUT 89.5FM Toronto, NPR, Rinse FM, Intergalactic FM, and WBMX to name a number of. If I had one grievance, it’s that the app on my iPad mini or iPhone eight doesn’t stay on the page you’re on when the telephone or tablet goes to sleep, otherwise you click away from the app. You need to navigate again via the app. It isn’t the top of the world or something, it’s just mildly irritating. You possibly can alternatively simply open the Spotify app and tell it to play your music by means of the CXN as nicely.

So yeah, the CXN isn’t simply your music library. It’s capable of so much more.

So how does it sound? I ended up switching between audio system. My B&W 685 S1s and the Monitor Audio RX2s. The speakers introduced music fairly in a different way. The RX2s with their eight” Metallic Woofer and rear firing port vs the 685s with 6.5” Kevlar woofer and front firing port. I began listening to my music library. Most of my music is mp3 at 320 kbps. Prior to proudly owning the CXN, I was listening to my music off my laptop computer fed to an Arcam rPAC and into my NAD 326bee, or immediately from the Macbook Pro to the digital enter of my CXA 60.

Pay attention, I’m not one to wax poetically about how the delicacies of the sound and richness of the efficiency, I simply turn up the quantity and luxuriate in. For tracks that includes vocals and ‘real’ devices, I most popular the B&Ws and with extra digital music I tended to want the RX2s. This isn’t a speaker check but matching your system to speakers is necessary and potential consumers of any of the CX collection ought to give totally different audio system a attempt before deciding a pair.

When switching between Spotify and mp3s information on my NAS, I truthfully couldn’t inform the difference in audio high quality. My music sounded great and barely higher (I feel) than simply with the CXA60. I’m absolutely prepared to admit that my judgment may be skewed by the great appears of the system, the convenience of use, and lack of muddle we now take pleasure in in our primary listening room.

The only noticeable drop off in quality is when either utilizing Airplay from my iPhone or listening to a low bitrate stream off web radio. I understand why on the latter, the former nevertheless I can’t explain. I don’t fairly understand the technical ins and outs of Airplay from my iPhone to the Cambridge CXN V2 but there is a distinction. It isn’t main so it actually doesn’t bug me. The convenience of with the ability to have Airplay as an choice trumps the lower-quality sound. In the event you’re at all curious as to how the sound is by way of Bluetooth, you’ll be able to learn my evaluate of the CXA60 here.

Bitty McClean

Bitty McClean – Numerous
In case you’ve read any of my other critiques, we’re huge on Bitty McClean and his music will get common play via the CXN V2 by way of Spotify, especially on weekday mornings. Reggae supplies simply the correct get-up-and-go for our three and a half-year-old daughter to haul ass and prepare for daycare. Plus, she is aware of a few of the words. ‘Real Thing’ is one among her favs and unlike a few of the songs Winnie obsesses about, Bitty doesn’t get worse after the 54th consecutive play. ‘Tell Me’ from his Bond Road LP can also be an enormous fav. The bass has a lot of weight and the crooning vocals are clear. I want I might sing like him.

Keep It Together (Calibre Remix)

Blu Mar Ten – Maintain It Together (Calibre Remix)
As mentioned above, I decided to attempt the CXN V2 as a DAC for my getting older Marantz CD 5001. As a price range CD player, I by no means actually expected much from the Marantz, however it has served me properly over the past decade and since I not often take heed to CDs I’ve never sought to upgrade. Properly, the CXN V2 is a reasonably good improve. Enjoying Calibre’s remix of ‘Keep It Together’ by way of the CXN v2 had a slightly bigger and bolder sound when despatched by way of the CXN vs just into the analog input of the CXA60. I might nevertheless just connect the Marantz to the digital input of the CXA60 which has a single Wolfson WM8740 onboard but that wasn’t the main target of this evaluation.

I don’t subscribe to Tidal, but I’ve read that there are connection points, mostly on the Tidal end of issues.

Rollers Delight EP

T>I – Rollers Delight EP
I’ve been listening to plenty of Spotify as of late and have been rediscovering my love of Leap Up Drum and bass again. TI’s offering on Souped Up Data is an ideal example of this. Blue Lagoon ft. Current Worth turned up simply previous 12 o’clock will get the RX2’s woofers working arduous pushing air and the partitions in my house rattle. Even to the purpose where it reaches levels which are loud sufficient to be heard from the street outdoors my house, there isn’t any noticeable distortion.

Game 6 at Oracle Arena

NBA Finals – Recreation 6 at Oracle Area
Few issues are sweeter than the Toronto Raptors beating the Golden State Warriors in recreation 6 of the finals. Listening to them by way of the CXN by way of the RX2s made it all a bit better. My spouse and youngsters simply happened to be away for the previous few video games of the collection and I had the house to myself for the finale. Our cable box upstairs is often related to the digital enter of the CXA60, so I made a decision to hook up with the digital enter of the CXN V2 as an alternative. Come recreation time, I had armed myself with a spot of whiskey, a Rotisserie Hen dinner with fries (Swiss Chalet for Canadians within the know, don’t decide me) and had the quantity turned up good and loud. Turns on the market wasn’t an audible distinction from the CXA to the CXN V2. The ensuing sound was great, especially the gang chants which had a third-dimensional feel and I typically forgot that I used to be listening to two-channels versus my larger residence theater system which we usually watch games via. Because the Raptors finally ended the ‘Warriors Dynasty’ I was absolutely immersed within the action and hadn’t fiddled with the sound for a number of hours despite the fact that news protection of the insane post-game celebrations. Shout out to Plant-Man! #plantguy #kawactus

Conclusions

CXN V2 Network Streamer Review

At $999 this streamer is properly well worth the money. It’s a perfect associate to the CXA60 and more strong CXA80. Together they make for an exquisite digital do-it-all system that looks and sounds unimaginable.

Likes

  • Lovely Design
  • Every Connection I might ever want
  • Great sound
  • Straightforward to use

Would Like To See

  • This is asking too much but Inbuilt music organization ala iTunes that might assist shmucks like me.

Cambridge has ticked all the packing containers in creating value for the Cash Streamer. It appears nice, it sounds great, it’s straightforward to use and options nearly each connection the typical audiophile might ever want. I’m biased in fact but CXN V2 is simply unimaginable. I’m curious to see how the CXN ages through the years and the way it fares with the ever-changing digital world. For now, I’ll merely enjoy the number of music choices I now have at my fingertips.