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Cambridge Audio Sonata AR30

Sirius-ready stereo receiver with iPod® dock (Silver)

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  • Cambridge Audio Sonata AR30

    Silver

  • Cambridge Audio Sonata AR30

    Back (shown in black)

  • Cambridge Audio Sonata AR30

    Remote

  • Cambridge Audio Sonata AR30

    Shown with Cambridge Audio CD30CD player (not included)

Item #: 779AR30S
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Cambridge Audio Sonata AR30

by Marshall Chase
Cambridge Audio

The sound solution for the less-is-more movement

On one hand, you want something that sounds much better than an iPod® or Bluetooth® speaker. On the other hand, you want something less complex than a surround sound system. You'll find your sweet spot in a stereo receiver. In addition to being easy to set up and use, many now offer Internet radio and other network music options. Add your music source and two speakers, and you're ready to relax and enjoy your tunes. You might even connect your TV for improved sound with movies and shows.

A bit of royal treatment for your ears

Britain's Cambridge Audio has been wowing music listeners with their high-fidelity audio components for over forty years. With the AR30, Cambridge has designed a receiver that won't take up much space, yet will deliver impressive hi-fi sound from classic and modern sources alike.

Cambridge Audio Sonata AR30

Solid power and performance

The AR30 delivers a conservatively rated 40 watts per channel that sounds like quite a bit more. The foundation of any amplifier's performance lies with its power supply. The AR30's substantial toroidal transformer provides plenty of rock-steady current for when your music's dynamic peaks demand it. Micro surface-mount circuit technology reduces signal paths to the absolute minimum. The result is a rich and highly detailed soundstage that will bring your music to life.

Read more

Digital music from your iPod and more

The AR30 comes with a separate dock for your iPod or iPhone® with built-in noise-canceling circuitry to ensure pristine sound quality. The dock charges your player while you listen, and it enables control through the included remote. You can also add an optional Sirius Satellite Radio tuner for heaps of original and exclusive programming, most of it commercial-free.

Highlights:

  • 40 watts x 2 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.05% THD
  • iPod® integration with included noise-canceling dock
  • Sirius Satellite Radio capable (requires Sirius subscription and optional SiriusConnect™ tuner)
  • 3 rear-panel audio inputs
  • front-panel mini-jack input for portable players
  • 20 AM/FM/Sirius station presets
  • Radio Data System (RDS) displays broadcast text from stations (where available)
  • remote control
  • binding post speaker connectors
  • 1 mono RCA output for powered subwoofer
  • headphone mini jack
  • sleep and alarm timers
  • detachable power cord
  • 10-11/16"W x 2-11/16"H x 11-1/4"D
  • weight: 8.6 lbs.
  • warranty: 3 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Stereo RMS Power (watts) 40
THD in Stereo 0.05 %
Frequency Bandwidth (stereo) 20-20k Hz
FM Sensitivity Not Given
Signal To Noise Ratio 80dB
Phono Signal to Noise Ratio Not Given
iPod Controls ---
iPod DAC Bypass ---
AirPlay Compatible No
Internet Ready No
Wired or Wireless Network No
DLNA Certified No
HD Radio Tuner No
Satellite Radio Ready No
Multi-Room No
Total Number of Zones 1
Audio Dubbing Yes
Multibrand Remote Control No
Learning Remote No
On-Screen Display No
Width (inches) 10-11/16
Height (inches) 2-13/16
Depth (inches) 13-1/4
Weight (pounds) 8.6
Parts Warranty 3 Years
Labor Warranty 3 Years
Inputs & Outputs
Headphone Output 3.5mm
USB Connections No
Phono Input No
Video Inputs None
Total Audio Inputs 3
Digital Audio Inputs None
Preamp Outputs 1
Speaker Output Pairs 2
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Stereo receiver
  • 5' AC power cord
  • iPod dock (DD30)
  • 2 iPod dock inserts
  • Remote control (RC-AR30/DR30+)
  • 3 "AAA" batteries
  • AM loop antenna (with base)
  • FM wire antenna
  • User's Manual (En/Fr/Sp)
  • Quick Start

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Controls
Connections

Features

Stereo Amplifier: The Cambridge Audio Sonata AR30 stereo receiver employs a true 40 watts RMS x 2-channel fully-discrete power amplifier (into 8-ohms). The amplifier can handle impedances between 4 and 8 ohms.

Rugged Chassis Design: The Cambridge Audio AR30 has been carefully designed with a brushed aluminum front-panel, rigid metal chassis, and internal bracing to prevent resonance and improve sound quality.

Micro Surface Mounting Technology: The AR30 stereo receiver employs micro surface-mounting circuit technology for improved signal path performance.

AM/FM Tuner w/ RDS: The Cambridge Audio Sonata AR30 stereo receiver is equipped with a built-in AM/FM tuner with manual, seek, and preset tuning. You can store up to 20 AM and 20 FM station presets. The Radio Data System (RDS) feature displays radio broadcast information such as artist, title, and album when listening to compatible AM/FM stations. The receiver includes an external indoor AM loop antenna and FM wire antenna.

SIRIUS Satellite Ready: You can listen to SIRIUS Satellite Radio by connecting the SiriusConnect tuner (607SCH1 or 220SCH2P, sold separately) to the AR30's proprietary plug. SIRIUS Satellite Radio offers over 130 channels of music, news, sports, talk, and entertainment to choose from--all in digital quality. During SIRIUS playback you can display the channel number/name, category, artist name/song title, composer name, and channel number on the front-panel. A subscription is required in order to receive SIRIUS Satellite Radio.

iPod Dock: The Cambridge Audio AR30 includes an external iPod dock (DD30) which enables you to play your iPod's or iPhone's music through the stereo receiver. The iPod dock utilizes Quasi-Differential Noise Cancelling Technology for optimal sound quality. The iPod dock supports audio playback of your docked iPod/iPhone's music, podcast, and audiobook files; as well as streamed music apps. Using the receiver's IR remote control, you can navigate your iPod/iPhone's music library and control playback functions. You can also continue to use your iPod/iPhone's clickwheel or touchscreen to control playback. The iPod dock also charges your iPod or iPhone while connected. The included iPod dock is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features (as of 9/7/2012):

iPod/iPhone Model Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type Charge
Audio Video Out Remote iPod/iPhone Song/Artist Text Track Info
dock connector 3rd N/A N N N N N N N
clickwheel
color
4th 3.1.1 Y N Y Y N N Y
mini 1st 1.4.1 Y N Y Y N N Y
2nd 1.4.1 Y N Y Y N N Y
video 5th 1.3 Y N Y Y N N Y
classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y N N Y
120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y N N Y
160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y N N Y
nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y Y N N Y
2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N N Y
3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N N Y
4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y N N Y
5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y N N Y
6th 1.1 PC Y N Y Y N N Y
touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y N N Y
2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N N Y
3rd 5.0.1 Y N Y Y N N Y
4th 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N N Y
iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y N N Y
3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N N Y
3GS 4.3.5 Y N Y Y N N Y
4 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N N Y
4S 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N N Y
iPad 1 N/A N N N N N N N
2 N/A N N N N N N N

Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the device and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.

Controls

Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD): The Cambridge Audio stereo receiver features a front-panel VFD (vacuum fluorescent display) for the display of information, such as the selected input source, AM/FM station, volume level, and tone control.

Main Power + Standby/On Switch: The AR30 stereo receiver's main power on/off switch is located on the rear-panel. Once the receiver's rear-panel main power switch has been turned On, you can switch the AR30 On/Off using the front-panel Standby/On button.

Tone Controls: The Cambridge Audio AR30 offers Bass (100Hz) and Treble (10kHz) controls which are adjustable from -12 to +12dB.

Aux Level: You can adjust the input gain for the receiver's Aux input, so the receiver's Aux input matches the output level of your connected source.

Alarm & Sleep Timers: The Cambridge Audio AR30 offers an Alarm and Sleep timer function.

  • Alarm: The alarm function can turn on the unit at a chosen time. The alarm can be set to playback your iPod or the AM/FM preset of your choice.
  • Sleep Timer: The sleep function will turn off the unit after a chosen time period has elapsed (15/30/45/60 minutes). It will also generate a command on the trigger output which switch off any appropriately connected source component.

Remote Control: The AR30 is supplied with an IR remote control that operates both this amplifier and the included iPod dock The IR remote can also control music playback functions of your docked Apple devices.

Connections

5 Rear-Panel Inputs: The Cambridge Audio AM10 stereo receiver is equipped with 3 rear-panel analog stereo RCA inputs (CD, DVD, Aux). These analog stereo RCA terminals are suited for many line-level sources.

Front-Panel Input: The Cambridge Audio AR30 features a front-panel 3.5mm auxiliary input for temporary connection of a portable digital audio player. Connecting an audio device to the front-panel 3.5mm auxiliary input will override the unit's rear-panel RCA auxiliary input. The Aux input can be renamed with a customized 5 character name.

Binding Posts: The Cambridge Audio AR30 stereo receiver is equipped with 4 binding-post speaker terminals to connect a pair of bookshelf or floor-standing loudspeakers. The binding-post terminals will accept bare wire, pin-connectors, and banana plugs (single only). The binding post terminals are color-coded (red/black) to distinguish positive and negative.

Subwoofer Output: The AR30 stereo receiver features a dedicated mono-subwoofer output to connect a powered subwoofer.

Record Output: The stereo receiver's analog stereo RCA record output lets you connect a tape recorder or CD-burner. The unit's record output is not affected by the volume control or tone adjustments.

Headphone Output: The Cambridge Audio Sonata AR30 is equipped with a front-panel 3.5mm headphone socket for connection of a set of headphones. The amplifier's speaker outputs are muted when headphones are connected. Headphones with an impedance of between 32 and 600 ohms are recommended.

Trigger Outputs:  The Cambridge Audio AR30 is fitted with three trigger outputs (3.5mm) which can automatically power On/Off connected components which feature 3.5mm trigger inputs.

Detachable AC Power Cord: The Cambridge Audio AR30 includes a detachable 5' AC power cord.

 
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Cambridge Audio Sonata AR30 Reviews

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5 out of 5

Sonata is a sweet unit

Written By JimJ, Blairsville, GA on Thursday, April 25, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This Sonata fits the bill for a very compact receiver. Quality of build is excellent and the features, including the ipod dock, are better than expected. I am using this with a Bose Acoustimass 5 systems and am pleased with the performance. Of course, Crutchfield made it easy.
Pros:
Size, features, quality.
Cons:
25W per channel might not be enough for some.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Pleasantly Surprised

Written By Mark, Knoxville, TN on Sunday, January 27, 2013
 
Having never heard the Cambridge Audio receiver, I was really impressed the first time I turned it on. I selected it for two reasons. 1.) It has a very compact footprint. It is going into a bathroom we are doing a total renovation on (torn out to the studs) and so I really don't have room for a large full size receiver, 2.) and also, with an additional tuner, you can receive Sirius stations, a definite plus for my wife and me.
Pros:
Many more features than I expcected. Sounds wonderful, and will still get plenty loud enough for me, even if it is only 40 watts. (Just for perspective: The first receiver I ever bought (in 1975) was a Marantz and only had 50 watts (but was considered a pretty robust output at the time). It also weighs 5 times what the Cambridge weighs, takes up 3 times as much room and doesn't have near the features of the Cambridge. (The Marantz still works fine 38 years later) But the Cambridge rocks.
Cons:
Okay, so I gotta get pretty nit picky to find something I don't like about this receiver: Here it is: The clock, from what I have been able to find out so far, can only display time in a 24 hour, military style format. For example, if it's 10:30 PM, the clock states it as 22:30. I much prefer the AM / PM designation, but, it does prevent one from accidentally setting the alarm (yeah, it's got an alarm clock on it) for PM when you meant to set it for AM. That is very unlikely in this case.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Cambridge Audio Sonata AR30, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_779AR30S/Cambridge-Audio-Sonata-AR30-Silver.html ).