Cambridge has well and truly cracked the tricky business of building brilliant music streamers. The proof is yet another What Hi-Fi? Award, this time for the Cambridge CXN V2.
Already an excellent streamer, Cambridge has made some small but significant changes to the new V2 model. Processing power has been increased to deliver a better digital experience, while Google Chromecast supported has been added for wider streaming support.
The feature list was already impressive, with Tidal and Spotify Connect built-in, alongside Apple AirPlay. This streamer is also capable of playing high-resolution music files of up to 24-bit/192kHz via the USB type B input or via the optical and coaxial inputs.
It’s the excellent sound quality that really singles the CXN out. There’s an enthusiastic drive to the performance, combining subtlety, solid timing and rich detail to deliver a sound that’s endlessly entertaining.
Music is punchy and dynamic and there’s powerful bass, which helps deliver a full-bodied but balanced sonic signature.
Midrange performance is particularly strong, with voices packed full of character. The CXN V2 isn’t fussy with file types either. It sounds fluid and dynamic with high-resolution and Spotify-streamed tracks.
Matching the sound quality is a premium design. There’s a 4.3-inch screen, which shows track, artist, album and artwork in full colour. It never feels cluttered and each bit of metadata is spaced nicely.
Add a smart remote and an app that’s continually being improved and you have a hi-fi streamer of rare all-round ability.
That’s why the Cambridge CXN V2 wins the 2018 What Hi-Fi? Award for best music streamer at £500 to £1000.