Cambridge Audio has had a pretty big year. The company secured not one but three big wins at the 2023 What Hi-Fi? Awards.
But it was this success across the hi-fi spectrum that made me yearn for the company to revisit a category of products it has ignored for quite some time – speakers.
Sure, it's been a great year for speakers – the category remains as competitive as ever. Jump over to our list of the best speakers you can buy, and you’ll see it’s jampacked with awesome performers across various sizes and prices. It's fair to say Cambridge Audio has never been the biggest name in the category, but for me, there are two reasons I'd love it to re-enter this arena.
The first is that I feel high levels of nostalgia for the Cambridge Audio Aero 5.1 speakers from 2013. These are a personal highlight for me as they were the first “proper” 5.1 surround speakers I ever owned.
They were given to me as a hand-me-down and, stuffed into my tiny Deptford flat, I remember being amazed the first time I heard them. Transformers: Age of Extinction and Guardians of the Galaxy had never sounded so good in my modest domicile, and it was a proper lightbulb moment that made me truly appreciate how important audio quality is for movies, even at home.
Thankfully the team at What Hi-Fi? from that era, which includes more than a few familiar faces in the current team, were also impressed, awarding the package the full five-star set. Our Aero 5.1 review’s verdict sums up my experience: "Cambridge Audio has delivered an excellent 5.1 package that is as exciting, informative and seamless as we've heard for the money."
And this leads to the second part of my argument. “For the money” is the important part of that verdict. The Aero 5.1 was an incredibly cost-effective package at the time, and Cambridge Audio still has a fine track record of delivering great sound-per-pound performance value to this day.
In a cost of living crisis, if it could replicate this magic and offer fresh competition to the likes of Dali, Wharfedale and Q Acoustics, that would only be a good thing.
That’s why “bring back the Aero” is high up on my wish list for Santa this year – I'm certainly ready to make room for a new Cambridge Audio speaker system in my house. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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