Cambridge Audio Minx S215 review

If you're happy with the compromises of a small-room system, this Minx set-up offers some wonderful sonic delights Tested at £500

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A must-hear speaker package if you’re seeking a small-room solution


  • +


  • +

    fine integration between speakers and sub

  • +

    good detail levels


  • -

    Sounds staunchly small-scale

  • -

    flustered by dynamic variances

  • -

    grainy treble

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Reviewed May 2011

We handed out an extremely positive four-star recommendation to Cambridge Audio’s £800 Minx S325 package in January this year, but this S215 system is the one we had really high hopes for.

The S215 seems ideal for smaller rooms and/or modest budgets.

For a start, they’re small to the point of in-room invisibility – those five identical MIN10 satellite speakers are a dinky 8 x 8 x 9cm, and even the X200 subwoofer is a bijou 22 x 21 x 22cm.

And they also boast the same quality of build and finish as the more expensive system (and the same ingenious binding-post arrangement that allows full-sized banana plugs to be used, should you so desire).

Make sure you run them in well
Behind each MIN10’s grille is a 5.7cm balanced-mode radiator, which promises wide dispersion, while the X200 features a 17cm driver and a pair of similarly sized passive radiators.

It has to be said that the system demands a good deal of running in – we gave them a good four days before we started testing proper – but once it is properly warmed up, this little Minx packages gives a very agreeable account of itself.

The DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack to the Mr & Mrs Smith Blu-ray sounds a little short of outright scale, certainly, but then that’s hardly startling news in light of the S215’s diddy dimensions.

A fine unity and coherence
Where the Cambridge really impresses is with the unity and coherence of the soundstage it presents, and with the gossamer-smooth integration between satellites and subwoofer.

Effects are located securely, dialogue remains distinct (even if it could project a little more), and the Minx doesn’t scrimp on the details.

Aside from that understandable lack of scale, though, there’s a dynamic reticence on display that robs soundtracks of some excitement, and a rather brash, coarse quality to the top of the frequency range that can become a touch wearing to listen to over time.

We think it’s a trade-off that some people will be prepared to stomach, though – after all, small-room systems on a budget don’t come much smaller than this.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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