CES 2012: Cambridge Audio adds a smarter streamer, the Stream Magic 6

To be announced today at CES 2012 is Cambridge Audio's latest music streaming device, the £700 Stream Magic 6.

Due on sale in April, it will slot into the range above the current NP30, and combines high-resolution music streaming capability with 24-bit digital and asynchronous USB audio inputs, allowing everything from iPod docks and TVs to Blu-ray players and computers to be connected through its onboard digital-to-analogue conversion.

That conversion uses a pair of Wolfson WM8740 DACs in dual differential mode, downstream of the same 24-bit/384kHz upsampling, from Swiss company Anagram Technologies, seen in the recently-announced DacMagic Plus.

Three selectable digital filters are provided, and along with the usual S/PDIF optical and electrical digital inputs, the Stream Magic 6 offers 24-bit/96kHz driverless USB input, or up to 24/192 using a free driver available from the Cambridge Audio website.

It can stream WAV and FLAC high-resolution audio, along with popular codecs including MP3, AAC, WAV and OGG Vorbis as well as 88.2kHz files.

Music can be streamed from a home network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet – Ethernet is required for files above 16-bit –, and the company's Stream Magic Home portal allows the setting of favourite internet radio stations, as well as the set-up of subscriptions to podcasts and other streaming services.

The Stream Magic 6 ships pre-loaded with popular services including Aupeo!, BBC iPlayer Radio, Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius/XM and MP3Tunes, and Cambridge Audi says additional services will be added via Stream Magic Home, with automatic notifications to registered users.

The new model can be controlled via a free Stream Magic Remote app, created in-house by Cambridge Audio, for the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

This gives full control of the unit, including power on/off, and can also control its volume, or that of a compatible Cambridge Audio Azur amplifier or AV receiver.

It has conventional single-ended audio outs on RCA phonos, and also balanced XLRs to match the inputs on the company's new 851A amplifier – see separate story.

Cambridge Audio Technical Director Matthew Bramble says of the new model that 'With Stream Magic 6, we were able to take our learnings from the NP30 project and apply them to an even more exciting opportunity.

'The team always delights in eking out more performance from a tried and trusted platform and by using some high-end components and redeveloping the audio circuits, we’ve managed to deliver a truly stunning sounding product'.

Follow whathifi.com on Twitter

Join whathifi.com on Facebook

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.