A Digital Higher Education
Meet Cambridge Audio's new CXN100
Your latest excuses about why you're not streaming are dead in the water.
A surprising number of our customers have not adopted audio streaming, not because they're exclusively analog (many have CD collections), nor because they're Luddites (they're probably reading this on a smartphone), but because they're not quite sure how the whole thing works.
"What is a streamer?" is one of the more common questions we get. "And why would I need to get a special audio product for something my computer and phone already do?"
Well, your computer and phone have high-res screens, but you still have a TV. They contain speakers and amps, but you still have a stereo. If you have good headphones, you probably use a dedicated headphone amp even though your iPhone and iMac both come with headphone amps. You already know there are very good reasons to get a dedicated product, and these include quality of performance, degree of immersion, and ease of use.
Dive in with Cambridge Audio
Today, we use the new Cambridge Audio CXN100 to ease you gently into the fine waters of streaming audio.
First, the CXN100 is a "streaming DAC, " meaning it has a streamer section and a digital-to-analog converter. The streamer front end means the CXN100 can connect to your Wi-Fi or Ethernet network and access online music streaming services such as Qobuz. It can also be controlled with Roon or Cambridge Audio's free control app.
The analog output can connect directly to your preamp, like any other analog source. Or, since it has a volume control, it can also connect directly to a power amp, giving you a straightforward single-source system.
The New $1,000 Star
The price point and performance of the CXN100 puts it in a real sweet spot, one that we like to call "entry-level high-end." The star of our under-$500 level is, of course, the Bluesound NODE, the 'simply add to cart, don't even call us' digital source for anyone who wants fuss-free, good-sounding digital streaming in a secondary role or a budget system.
The CXN100 is the new star of the $1,000 level. Its full chassis design offers a physically separated power board and a totally new analog stage that Charlie Crossley, one of Cambridge Audio's top engineers, spent hundreds of hours tuning. XLR outputs are also available.
Cambridge Audio has always been renowned for the quality it brings at the price, making the CXN100 a game-changer source for a budget system. As you go up in system quality, it complements a mid-level turntable, offering you the best of both worlds, analog and digital.
FInally, in higher end systems with an analog focus, the CXN100 gives you digital convenience that you will not be embarrassed to have playing when you have your hi-fi friends over.
Warehouse Treasures: Naim's Show Stopper
In our continuing Warehouse Treasures series, we present the very last of our stocks of this highly limited turntable system, the Naim Solstice Special Edition.
If you're in the market for a high-end analog source and worry about the matching cartridge, tonearm, table and phonostage, the Naim Solstice Special Edition takes away all this concern. The system is a matched table and arm with Naim Equinox MC cartridge, a phonostage, and its external power supply.
Naim Audio, historically not a turntable manufacturer, has partnered with Clearaudio for the table and paired it with Naim's cult ARO arm, which has been in development for over 30 years. And of course, the electronics is where Naim's experience can really shine, and they have used lessons learned from the flagship Satement series to handcraft the perfectly matched phonostage and power supply.
Campfire Tales to Warm Your Heart
By Jake Spencer, Upscale Audio's social media specialist
Diving into my journey with Campfire Audio's Trifecta has indeed been an eye-opening experience. Coming from a background where high-end speakers were my go-to for quality sound, my recent shift towards becoming a headphone enthusiast has remarkably changed how I listen to music. This change might have a lot to do with my personal life—getting married, adopting three cats, and moving towards working from home have all nudged me towards preferring the sonic sanctuary of headphones.
Previously, enjoying high-quality sound meant being anchored to my desk and an amplifier, but that's no longer the case. Despite my role at Upscale Audio, I'll admit that my initial understanding of in-ear monitors (IEMs) was pretty limited. The Trifecta was my foyer to this world, and what an introduction it was! The first time I heard music through them, I was blown away by the clarity and richness it brought to songs I thought I knew inside out, all without an amplifier. This newfound freedom to enjoy my music anywhere profoundly changed my experience with my music.
One track, 'Ask Me Why (Evacuation)' by Joe Hisaishi from The Boy and the Heron soundtrack, particularly showcased the Trifecta's incredible sound. Listening to its hauntingly beautiful piano composition, I felt emotions I didn't know could be stirred by music played through just earphones and an iPhone, especially without being tethered to my desk.
Instead, I was out in a park, soaking in the sunshine, which made the experience even more magical. The Trifecta's rich sound and wide soundstage have turned every listening session into an immersive journey.
Without a doubt, Campfire Audio has revolutionized how I engage with music. It's changed my expectations of what authentic high-fidelity sound can be, proving that extraordinary audio quality isn't confined to traditional setups. Now, I can't imagine returning to how things were before, so hopefully, they never notice that I haven't returned them to the store yet!
New Video: Cambridge Audio CXN100 with Upscale's Kevin Deal and Jordan Perez
Kevin's faith in the world was restored when he found Jordan listening to Black Sabbath's Paranoid on the Cambridge Audio CXN100 streaming DAC. So he pulled our newest employee into the video room to make this overview of this brand-new digital star.