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Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6

High-performance network music player/DAC (Silver)

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  • Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6

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  • Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6

    iPad® app (iPad not included)

  • Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6

    iPad® app (iPad not included)

  • Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6

    iPhone® app (iPhone not included)

  • Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6

 

Our take on the Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6

by James Ralston
Cambridge Audio

Feast on an endless buffet of music

A network music player presents you with virtually unlimited ways to play your favorites or discover new music. Access your computer's music library, Internet radio stations, and online music services through your wireless home network.

Work magic with all your digital music

Cambridge Audio's feature-packed Stream Magic 6 is partly a network music player, giving you instant access to Internet radio stations, online music services, and songs stored on your networked computers and hard drives. But it also moonlights as an amazing standalone DAC that serves up pristine, nuanced sound from just about any digital source you can think of.

On the one hand, you get a simple, easy-to-use playback system for your digital music library, complete with a free downloadable control app for your favorite smartphone or tablet. On the other, you get the same sheer audio processing power as found in Cambridge's highly acclaimed DacMagic Plus digital-to-analog converter. That's a combination that's bound to keep high-end stereo lovers happy for a long, long time.

Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6


High-res audio

Advanced upsampling cleans up every source

The Stream Magic 6 upsamples all incoming audio data — whether it's from an Internet radio stream, a lossless FLAC file stored on your network, or a connected component like a CD transport — with its ATF2™ (Advanced Time Filtering) technology. This system performs interpolation and data buffering, and re-clocks the audio signal to almost completely eliminate "jitter" — timing errors in the music signal that can add harshness, compromise clarity and cause instruments and voices to sound less distinct. The upsampled audio signal is then fed through twin Wolfson WM8740 24-bit DACs, for clean, detailed, noise-free sound and outstanding stereo imaging with every source.

 Cambridge's free control app

A free app lets you use your tablet or smartphone to select digital music files or switch audio inputs.

Use your iPhone®, iPad®, or Android™ as the controller

While the Stream Magic 6 features a large, easy-to-grab control knob on the front for navigating through your music options, you'll have more fun if you get your smartphone or tablet into the act. Cambridge offers a free control app for your favorite Apple or Android device, which integrates all your music choices into a single simple interface. From the music stored on your home network devices, to thousands of Internet radio stations, to streaming services like Rhapsody® and Pandora® Internet radio, this app puts it all at your fingertips.

Connect your digital sources for better sound

The Stream Magic 6 lets you connect digital source components to your home audio or desktop system, for taking advantage of its excellent audio processing and D-to-A conversion:

  • coaxial digital input: ideal for connecting a CD or DVD player, Logitech Squeezebox™ Touch, Sonos® Connect, or any other digital audio component with coax out
  • optical digital input: ready to take on a set-top box, HDTV, game console, or other digital sources with optical digital output
  • Type B USB jack: feeds digital audio from your computer into the Stream Magic 6's onboard digital-to-analog converter, bypassing your computer's sound card to yield much clearer sound with stored music files
See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • plays music from your computers, networked hard drives, and the Internet
  • supported streaming music formats: WAV (up to 24-bit/96 kHz), FLAC (up to 24-bit/96 KHz), AIFF, MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, and WMA
  • free downloadable Stream Magic app lets you use your iPhone, iPad, or Android device as a music controller or full remote for the Stream Magic 6
  • access thousands of Internet radio stations plus digital music services including AUPEO!, Rhapsody, Pandora® Internet radio, MP3 Tunes, Live 365, and more
  • all input sources are converted to 24-bit/384kHz using Cambridge's advanced ATF2™ upsampling technology
  • dual high-performance Wolfson WM8740 24-bit DACs
Digital Inputs:
  • coaxial (S/PDIF) input — accepts signals up to 24-bit/192kHz
  • optical (Toslink) input — accepts signals up to 24-bit/96kHz
  • asynchronous USB (Type B) input — accepts signals up to 24-bit/192kHz from your computer (free USB driver download required for Windows® PCs)
  • front- and rear-panel USB inputs (Type A) for plugging in thumb drives or portable hard drives
Network Connections:
  • Ethernet port for wired connection to your network (required for 24-bit files)
  • built-in Wi-Fi® for wireless connection to your home network
  • accepts optional BT-100 Bluetooth adapter for wireless audio streaming from a mobile phone, tablet, or computer
Audio Outputs:
  • RCA analog stereo output
  • balanced XLR analog stereo output
  • optical and coaxial digital audio outputs (pass-through)
More Highlights:

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

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Network music player
  • 69" AC power cord
  • IR remote control (RC-Stream Magic 6)
  • WLAN antenna
  • 38" Mono-RCA cable
  • Three "AAA" batteries
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Important Safety Instructions

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.

Network Music Player Features
Wired & Wireless Connections
Front-Panel & Remote Controls

Network Music Player Features

Overview: The Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 network music player lets you access Internet Radio, select online music services, and your computer's stored music files on your home entertainment system. The Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 offers wired (Ethernet) and wireless (WiFi) connectivity to your home network, and provides both analog and digital connections to your integrated amplifier or A/V receiver. The Stream Magic 6 network music player even offers a USB (type-B) input for direct connection to your computer. The Stream Magic 6 includes an IR remote control and supports the Stream Magic Remote App for Apple iOS and Android devices.

Audiophile Performance for Outstanding Reproduction: The Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 network music player provides audiophile performance for outstanding reproduction of your streaming music files. The Stream Magic 6 incorporates dual Wolfson digital-to-analog converters with bit-perfect signal path and jitter suppression, as well as Cambridge's advanced AtF2 upsampling technology and Dual Differential Earth Balanced Filter Topology for all sources.

  • Dual Wolfson Digital-to-Analog Converters: : The Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 employs two very high-quality Wolfson WM8740 24-bit DAC ICs in dual-differential mode for excellent stereo imaging. Since each channel has its own DAC to process information, completely separate and symmetrical analog filter circuitry can be implemented. This implementation allows both the left- and right-channel circuitry to operate identically, ensuring the Stream Magic 6 delivers fantastic sound-staging and stereo-imaging properties.
  • ATF2 Upsampling Technology: The Stream Magic 6 utilizes an asynchronous up-sampling process called "Adaptive Time Filtering 2nd Generation" that intelligently interpolates (converts) incoming audio data from 16-24 bits (at any standard sampling frequency between 32-96kHz) to 24-bit/384kHz for dramatically improved musical reproduction. ATF2 will enhance the audio clarity, richness, and dynamic range of your compressed music.
  • Dual Differential Virtual Earth Balanced Filter Topology: The Stream Magic 6 uses Cambridge Audio's proprietary Dual Differential Virtual Earth Balanced filter topology, configured as a low-order two-pole liner-phase Bessel filter, in order to take advantage of the achieved high-sampling rate. As a result your music will have extreme linearity with greater dynamic range.
  • Bit-Perfect Signal Path w/ Jitter Suppression: Music stored on computers and other hard drives inherently suffers from jitter, so the Stream Magic 6 implements a host of enhancements such as bit-perfect signal path and jitter suppression to vastly improve the quality of digital music playback. Total correlated jitter is less than 200ps.

Phase Filter Select: The Stream Magic 6's 32-bit DSP employs Cambridge Audio's own proprietary digital filter algorithms with three different filter options available - Linear Phase, Minimum Phase, and Steep. Controlled from one switch on the front-panel, they are extremely clever audiophile topologies specifically developed for audio playback and all offer excellent sound quality, but differ slightly to appeal to a wide range of listening tastes.

  • Linear Phase Filter: The Linear Phase Filter is the same as used in Cambridge Audio's flagship Azur 840C upsampling CD player. It uniquely features 'constant group delay' which delays all audio signals at all frequencies by the same amount - meaning all audio is fully time-coherent at the output.
  • Minimum Phase Filter: The Minimum Phase Filter does not feature constant group delay, but rather has been optimized without feed-forward so that the impulse response exhibits no pre-ringing in the time domain. Many audiophiles have argued that the pre-ringing, as seen in nearly all digital filter designs, may affect the transient attack of percussive instruments. Minimum phase implementation eliminates this and is a technology only seen previously in some extremely high-end CD playback systems
  • Steep Filter: The steep filter removes undistinguishable artifacts via re-calibration for a very slight roll-off at 20kHz, but an ultra-steep drop to the stop-band just after 20kHz.

Supported Audio Formats: Cambridge Audio's Stream Magic 6 network music player supports all the most popular formats via Network, UPnP, and USB connection.

  • Flac containing losslessly compressed PCM 16-24-bit/32-96kHz. *An Ethernet connection (not WiFi) is required for 24-bit files.
  • WAV containing uncompressed PCM 16-24-bit/32-96kHz. *An Ethernet connection (not WiFi) is required for 24-bit files.
  • AIF containing uncompressed PCM 16-bit/32-48kHz.
  • Microsoft Windows Media Audio (WMA 9 standard) with bit-rate of 32-320 kbps
  • MP3 (CBR or VBR) with bit-rate of 16-320 kbps
  • AAC, HE AAC, and AAC+ (CBR or VBR) with bit-rate of 16-320 kbps
  • Ogg Vorbis with bit-rate of 32-320 kbps

Note: The Stream Magic 6 does not support ALAC, WMA pro, WMA lossless, RAW, AU, or other music file types not mentioned.

Stream Magic Music Services: With Stream Magic, powered by the Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6, you can enjoy your favorite music streaming services through your home stereo system. Stream Magic allows you to access many of the world's favorite music streaming services for direct access through the Stream Magic 6 network music player. Here's a quick overview of each of the supported services.

 
Supported Services

Description

Internet Radio

These are radio stations from around the world broadcast over the internet. Currently, the Stream Magic 6 can access about 20,000 internet radio stations all sorted by Location, Language, and Genre. The list of available stations is constantly maintained and automatically updated to the unit via the internet. If you register on the Stream Magic website (www.stream-magic.com) you will also be able to browse the stations and set presets on your units from your PC. You can also add stations to your units that are currently not in the Stream Magic's Radio database, suggest new stations to us, and more.

Aupeo! Aupeo! is a personal streaming radio station that lets you create your own individual music station or can recommend a station that matches your mood. Two subscription levels are available. A totally free service lets you experience the wonder of Aupeo! and listen to music you want, when you want. Or for just $4.95 per month ($49.95 annual subscription) you can enjoy higher quality, ad free music.
Pandora Pandora radio is the personalized internet radio service that helps you find new music based on your old and current favorite music selections. You can explore Pandora's vast music collection for Free. Simply drop the name of one of your favorite songs or artists into Pandora and it will create a custom internet radio station for you. It will quickly scan its entire collection of analyzed music (almost a century of popular recordings) to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. You can create up to 100 personalized stations.
Rhapsody Rhapsody is an online music subscription service which lets you listen to anything and everything in their catalog (over 10 million songs). With subscriptions starting as low as $9.99 per month, you don't have to worry about paying for individual songs, ripping CDs, or managing files any longer.
SiriusXM SiriusXM Internet Radio delivers a variety of commercial-free music including Pop, Rock, Country, R&B, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Classical and much more, plus expert sports talk and analysis. You also get exclusive entertainment, talk, comedy, family programming, local traffic and weather and news from your most trusted sources. To listen to SiriusXM Internet Radio, you'll need to subscribe to SiriusXM Internet Radio service and obtain a username and password. SiriusXM Internet Radio is only available to residents of the United States and Canada.
BBC iPlayer Radio BBC iPlayer Radio lets you Listen to live BBC Radio or catch up on the last 7 days of BBC programming from across the UK and World Service.
MP3 Tunes MP3tunes offers a Free online music Locker (2GB) which can store up to 400 songs from your computer's music library. Once you have uploaded your MP3 music files to the online music Locker, you can access it directly on your Apple iOS or Android network device. You can also increase your Locker size, up to 50/100/200 GB with a monthly or yearly subscription.
Live 365 You can listen to thousands of internet radio stations featuring online music in every genre, including hip hop, jazz, new age, rock, classical, oldies, and more. You can choose between a Free commercial-interrupted subscription or a $7.95 per-month commercial-free subscription.
Podcasts Podcasts are archived audio recordings downloadable over the internet. The Podcast services in your area will be available for access through the Stream Magic 6.

Note: Internet Radio, Podcasts, Aupeo!, BBC iPlayer Radio, MP3 Tunes, and Live 365 is available worldwide. Pandora, Rhapsody, and SiriusXM are only available in the USA and Canada.

20 Presets: The Stream Magic 6 supports up to 20 presets. These can be Internet Radio stations or streams from most online music streaming services. UPnP/Local media cannot be set as a preset.

Firmware/Software Updates: The Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 will offer firmware/software updates through its wired (Ethernet) or wireless (WiFi) connection. Check cambridgeaudio.com for the latest firmware/software updates.

Wired & Wireless Connections

Wired or Wireless Network Connectivity: The Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 offers a wired or wireless connection to your home network.

  • Ethernet (LAN): The Stream Magic 6 network music player is fitted with an Ethernet (R-J45) port to connect directly to your home's network hub. Only connect the LAN port of the player to an Ethernet port that supports 10BASE-T or 100BASE-TX.
  • WiFi: The Stream Magic 6 features built-in Wi-Fi (with a WLAN aerial antenna) to wirelessly connect to your home network. The Stream Magic 6 supports 802.11 b/g/n (in 2.4GHz only) with WEP, WPA, WPA2 encryption. The unit has a wireless range of 30-98'.

Note: It is not recommended to use a Wi-Fi connection for content above 16 bits, 44.1/48kHz (if lossless/uncompressed).

UPnP Compatible: The Stream Magic 6 network music player is a UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) AV Client. Being a UPnP Client means the it can connect to UPnP AV servers on a network and browse and playback their music content. A connection to the internet is not strictly needed for this. The Stream Magic 6 just needs to be able to connect to the server to access its content. Most operating systems and/or music playback software now feature UPnP server facilities built-in. This allow you to share the music on the computer's hard-drive with Clients, such as the Stream Magic 6. Your music library can include digital music located anywhere on your home network such as shared folders on your own computer (Windows or Mac), shared folders on another computer on your network, or music stored on a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) device on your network. Using UPnP, the Stream Magic 6 can connect to these devices and play back, or 'stream' non-DRM music files via the network to your home entertainment system. UPnP connection supports up to 24-bit/96kHz and Gapless playback.

Note: Not all servers support serving of all audio formats. Always make sure the server you choose also supports your formats of choice. For example, Windows Media Server does not currently serve FLAC format.

USB Ports: The Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 network audio player is fitted with Dual USB type-A ports (1 front/1 rear) to connect a USB flash  memory device or portable USB hard drive, and a rear-panel USB type-B port to connect your Windows or Mac computer.

  • Dual USB (Type-A) Ports: The Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 features two USB type-A (1.1) inputs for music playback from a USB flash memory device or portable hard drive (up to 24-bit/96kHz). One USB port is on the front-panel, while the other is on the rear-panel. Your USB device must be formatted in FAT32 format with non-DRM music files. The Stream Magic 6 cannot supply greater than 500mA from the USB socket, itself. Good practice is to create folders for Artists within which you should have sub folders for each Album which then contain the tracks for that Album. Libraries with thousands of tracks in one folder will progressively slow down the Stream Magic product's media browsing.
  • USB (Type-B) Input:  A rear-panel 24-bit/192kHz USB (type-B) port enables the Stream Magic 6 to be connected to your Windows PC or Mac computer. The Stream Magic 6 will act as a very high-quality DAC/sound-card with very low jitter for your computer, offering genuine Hi-Fi-quality playback from your stored music and Internet radio. The Stream Magic 6 is both USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) and USB 1.1 (Full-speed) USB port compatible. It will also work with the new USB 3.0 ports where the PC will simply treat the Stream Magic 6 as if it were a USB 2.0 or 1.1 device.
    • PC Compatible: With the Stream Magic 6 switched to USB Audio 1.0 (this is the default setting), the Stream Magic 6 will work with the native Windows XP, Vista or 7 Audio 1.0 driver (no need to load any new driver) and accept audio up to 24-bit/96kHz. With the Stream Magic 6 switched to USB Audio 2.0, the Stream Magic 6 needs the Cambridge Audio USB Audio 2.0 Driver to be loaded and can then accept up to 24-bit/192kHz (and support ASIO and WASAPI Exclusive if required).
    • Mac Compatible: No extra drivers are required to connect your Mac computer. With the Stream Magic 6 switched to USB Audio 1.1,  the Stream Magic 6 will work with the native Mac OS-X 10.5 (Leopard) or above Audio 1.0 driver and accept audio up to 24/96kHz. With the Stream Magic 6 switched to USB Audio 2.0 the Stream Magic 6 works with the native Mac OS-X 10.5 (Leopard) or above Audio 2.0 driver and can accept audio up to 24/192kHz.

    Note: Click here to download the Cambridge Audio USE Audio 2.0 Driver.

Bluetooth Audio Streaming (optional): The Stream Magic 6 will support Bluetooth audio streaming. All you need is Cambridge Audio's plug & play BT100 wireless audio receiver (779BT100, sold separately) to stream music from your Apple iPod touch, iPhone, iPad; or other Bluetooth enabled smartphone tablet, laptop or MacBook to the Stream Magic 6. Simply plug in the Cambridge Audio BT100 Bluetooth Audio Receiver into the Stream Magic 6's rear-panel USB (type-A) port for wireless music streaming. The Cambridge Audio BT100 supports Bluetooth A2DP wireless audio streaming.

Note: The Cambridge Audio BT100 does not support Bluetooth AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile) or HFP (Hands Free Profile).

Digital Inputs & Outputs: The Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 offers digital audio inputs & outputs.

  • Digital Inputs: The Stream Magic 6 is fitted with two rear-panel digital inputs. The digital input consists of an optical (toslink) and coaxial (RCA) digital connection. The optical and coaxial digital input allow a wide range of digital source (CD, DVD, Game Console, etc.) to be connected to the Stream Magic 6. The optical digital connection supports up to 24-bit/96kHz, while the coaxial digital connection supports up to 24-bit/192kHz.
  • Digital Outputs: A rear-panel digital output (optical/coaxial) allows pass-through of the selected digital source for recording purposes (no up-sampling performed). These outputs loop or pass-through unprocessed digital audio from the selected digital input.  Both the optical and coaxial digital outputs are always active and can be used to connect and run equipment at the same time. A 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS signal can be passed through the unit's digital outputs. The 5.1ch signal is not decoded or processed (only pass-through).

Balanced & Unbalanced Outputs: The Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 features both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) audio outputs to connect to a wide variety of home stereo receivers and amplifiers.

  • Unbalanced: The Stream Magic 6 features an unbalanced stereo analog RCA audio output for connecting your stereo receiver or amplifier.
  • Balanced: The Stream Magic 6 features true balanced XLR analog audio outputs to connect high-end home receivers and amplifiers. XLR is a higher-quality output that can reject noise and interference with equipment with balanced inputs.

Note: The Digital Preamp Mode is used to connect the Stream Magic 6 directly to a separate power amplifier or active speakers. The Stream Magic 6 is supplied as default with Digital Preamp mode enabled. In this mode, the output from the Unbalanced and Balanced audio outputs is controlled by the front-panel Volume control. If you wish to disable this mode (and have fixed line-level level output from the Unbalanced and Balanced Audio outputs) switch the Stream Magic 6 off, then push and hold the Volume control in while switching the Stream Magic 6 on.

IR Emitter In (3.5mm): 3.5mm minijack input that enables modulated IR commands from multiroom or IR repeater systems to be received by the Stream Magic 6.

Control Bus In/Out (RCA): The Control Bus RCA input enables un-modulated commands from multiroom systems or other components to be received by the Stream Magic 6.  The Control Bus RCA output provides control bus output commands for further downstream units. This can be useful if using the iPhone app to control the volume on a Cambridge Audio amplifier.

Front-Panel & Remote Controls

Front-Panel Controls: The Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 network music player features easy-to-use front-panel controls with various push-buttons and a rotary-dial.

Slim-Line Remote: The Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 includes a slim-line IR remote control for wireless operation of the unit.

Stream Magic Remote App: The Stream Magic 6 can also be controlled using the free Stream Magic Remote App for Apple iOS and Android. The new Stream Magic Remote App gives you full control of the Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 from your Apple iOS or Android device. From the palm of your hand you can access music stored across your home network, control streaming music services, browse Internet radio stations and USB media using your Apple iOS or Android device. For added convenience, track information and album art is retrieved and displayed automatically on your mobile device's touchscreen. You can also edit preset stations and streaming services, while setting up a queue of your favorite tracks which will continue to play even if your Apple iOS or Android device is switched off or loses its network connection. In addition, the Stream Magic Remote App supports volume control, digital input selection, and powering off/idle; all from your compatible mobile device.

  • Apple iOS Compatibility: The Stream Magic Remote App is compatible with the Apple iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad (requires iOS 4.0 or later).
  • Android Compatibility: The Stream Magic Remote App is compatible with the Android 2.3 and up.

Note: Your Apple iOS or Android device must be connected to the same network as the Stream Magic 6.

Ground/Lift Switch: When Grounded, the Stream Magic 6 is connected to the earth connection of the PC directly. When Lifted the ground connection is made via a network designed to break any hum loops that may be caused by the source equipment. The Grounded setting is recommended, unless audible hum is experienced.

 
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Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 Reviews

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5 out of 5

A Superb Sounding Contemporary Solution

Written By Chris W., Utah on Friday, June 06, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Like so many audiophiles, I am gradually ripping my CD collection. I therefore badly needed a device that would enable me to source the resulting lossless AIFF files from various storage devices around my house and play them in superb quality in my basement music room.

The Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 has most definitely exceeded my expectations.

Above all, it sounds fantastic, whether streaming losselessly or using the USB port. Better than any high end CD player I've owned from a wide range of renowned manufacturers. Prior to this purchase, I regarded Cambridge Audio as a strictly budget brand, but reviews of the SM6, and other CA components, suggested otherwise and I can only conclude what excellent value for money it is, in sonic terms alone.

Cambridge is clearly a company that has very successfully transitioned into a brand that offers exceptional value products at their price point. The SM6 is so good that, in a blind test, I'm pretty sure you'd believe any reasonably believable price tag you were told.

Build quality is beyond reproach. The unit itself is even packaged in a nice branded cloth bag - a nice touch that you'd more readily associate with more esoteric pricing strategies.

Best of all is the experience of listening to music as familiar as the roof of one's mouth and discovering nuances you never heard. The SM6 seems to do this to almost every disc I've ripped. I couldn't be happier.
Pros:
Great sound way above its price point, exceptional value for money, admirable build quality. Easy and intuitive to use and supported by excellent documentation at the CA website. Firmware upgrades are handled automatically - a real plus.
Cons:
App could be more versatile. Services like Spotify and Qobuz cannot be streamed via the app, but by installing the Splashtop app that enables you to control your desktop/laptop PC from an iPad or Android device, you can completely override this issue and enjoy endless adjustment of your music program from the comfort of your armchair. It works seamlessly.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Excellent audiophile quality media streamer

Written By BrianH, Schaumburg, IL on Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchased this unit to replace a Logitech Transporter. The Logitech is a fantastic product, but since they no longer produce the Transporter, I was concerned about future updates and having the latest compatibility. The Stream Magic 6 is a fantastic product, but it requires the user to have good working knowledge of home networking and servers. First off, I must respectfully disagree with a previous reviewer regarding this unit not being able to play AIFF files. Virtually my entire music library, which consists of over 1,500 CDs worth of music and over 1TB of data, is in AIFF format, and this player handles them beautifully. It also handles FLAC and ALAC files, which was of paramount importance to me since my music library resides in iTunes on my Mac. For those who plan to use the Stream Magic 6 with Mac, you will need to install a suitable UpNp server on your system. I tried several before deciding on TwonkyManager, which includes a server program along with added advanced capabilities. Once I had a reliable server installed on my Mac, it was a breeze to set up the Stream Magic 6. As far as the sound is concerned, it is VERY good with lots of detail, warmth and depth. I run the signal from the Stream Magic 6 through my Sony 7.1 receiver via optical digital cable, and the sound is super clean. The DACs in the Stream Magic 6 are truly audiophile grade. I also use the available iPad app to control the player, and find it to be reliable and very convenient. Highly recommended.
Pros:
Audiophile sound quality from twin DACs Upsamples lower bit rate files Handles virtually all audio codecs, including 24 bit and lossless Easy to use and convenient app for iPhone and iPad Solid build quality
Cons:
Can be tricky to set up and integrate with existing systems For Mac users, you must purchase a separate server program to handle your music files
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Won't play AIFF files

Written By cw, Honolulu, HI on Wednesday, January 08, 2014
 
I bought this piece because it claimed to play AIFF files. It doesn't. I wish it did because it's a good sounding unit and is relatively user friendly at a reasonable price. I couldn't keep it, but if you don't have any AIFF files, you should check it out.
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5 out of 5

Best thing since sliced bread

Written By rstross, Tecumseh, MI on Saturday, July 27, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I love this Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6. I've only had it for a week but, it is an impressive piece of machinery. This device is really two components in one: a kickin' Internet radio paired to a state-of-the-art digital to analog converter (DAC).

I am extremely busy. I don't have time to read everything and be some kind of techno-genius. I don't think that should be a requirement to enjoy your favorite music. The Internet radio feature allows you to access 20,000 radio stations from around the world. I love the sound that comes out of this thing! I love that I can get my local public radio, BBC and other international programs from all over the world. All without a computer! They keep track of all of these Internet stations so you don't have to!!! I love their iPad app. too - my son is 6 1/2 and we sit on the couch and browse by country - all around the world.

I used to stream through my computer, which pipes the sound through a crappy, cheap DAC that makes everything sound like it came out of a tin can. From my computer, there's no bass, and the treble sounds all jingly, and artificial. By comparison - on the Stream Magic 6, you get silence in quiet passages, big bass, and clean, crisp treble - without all of the artificial sounds that come from a cheap DAC.

Cambridge Audio has included their best DAC in this unit (ATF-2). You can hook up other digital inputs if you like and make use of that incredible DAC. I love the Stream Magic 6!
Pros:
- The best Internet radio ever (20,000 stations). - Awesome sound, clean and pure digital - good bass, nice treble, clear highs - ATF-2 State-of-the-art DAC. It's really something else again! I can't believe how good this sounds! - Good looks. Unit looks modern, sleek and uncluttered.
Cons:
I agree with other reviewers that the unit's interface is not user friendly and dreadfully slow too (takes a whole minute to turn on!). There is a slight learning curve. I recommend downloading the user manual from Cambridge Audio. Why have presets if there are no preset buttons on the front of the unit? How is my wife going to figure this out? Anyway, having said all of that, the sound is so awesome, I'm giving the Stream Magic 6 five stars!
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Love it

Written By Anonymous, Bucks County, PA on Saturday, July 06, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I've only had the Stream Magic 6 for approximately 2 months, but I truly enjoy it. The unit is good looking (I bought it in black to match my Arcam components), and well made. I consider myself technologically savvy, however the set up took a little time. Specially, linking the unit to my paid streaming accounts. I'd definitely recommend this unit for anyone who enjoys streaming their music and/or SiriusXM radio. It supports a number of streaming options.
Pros:
Great looking unit, well made and offers a lot of functionality. Love that it is wifi compatible.
Cons:
Unit interface isn't all that intuitive, however the APP is really nice.
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3 out of 5

Nice Product Bit Of A Learning Curve

Written By Kaline1968, Denver, Co on Sunday, April 21, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I was looking for a device that would allow me control media content as well as improve the sound of my existing digital library. I can hear an improvement in the sound of my existing library. I did not hear any difference in any of the digital filters. Set up was fairly straight forward even for an IT novice like myself. Large selection of internet radio choices. I downloaded the Stream Magic APP and found it average at best. I put 7 stations in memory, but when I tried to select a different station from the list of memorized stations, the app attempted to re-connect with my network and then settled back on the original pre-set. Several resets have not solved the problem. Frustrating. Additional bugs in getting it to recognize my NAS drive. Sometimes it sees it and then it disappears. I am sure that it wouldn't be a problem for people dealing with this technology every day, They would have experienced these problems before and would know how to rapidly solve them.

I don't have anything but praise for the sound quality and features of the Stream Magic 6. I decided to purchase this unit based on the versatility of the APP. It is not working for me. Perhaps you will have better luck.









Pros:
Great features and sound quality.
Cons:
App has problems still to be worked out. If you are an IT wizard you might be able to get it to function properly.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Four Month Reviews

Written By Jasonindenver, Denver on Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is a great unit for the DAC alone. Add in the streaming functions and it excels.

If you are looking for the sweet spot between digital audio handling/enhancement and value - this unit hits the mark. I added this to my 2-channel system streaming audio from a Mac mini media server and am blown away with the improvement in the sound quality. Details in my recordings are rendered at a level I have never heard before.

I actually think the app works quite well on my Ipad and enjoy being able to change everything from the comfort of my sofa or while in another room.

Setup was easy (even for a computer phobe like me) and the network connection was instant.

Pros:
Great sound quality and feature set.
Cons:
None
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Stream Magic 6

Written By Jim T, Denville, NJ` on Sunday, February 03, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Been trying to stream my large music collection through my stereo efficiently, but the problem was some of the lower quality MP3's sounded like just that, poor quality recordings. Cymbals didnt sound crisp, they almost had an echo to them. My father in law has a couple Linn streamers, and they sound fantastic, but I am not in a position to spend $5000 on a DLNA/uPNP streamer. I came across this Cambridge unit awhile ago. Read about it, read what people thought, and made the decision to try it out. My system consists of an older Denon AVR3806, DBX 3BX, 120X, Sony BluRay, Denon DVD, an Escient fireball system, Definitive SuperCube Sub, and B&W speakers. I am surprised at the sound this unit makes. My system isnt audiophile, but it is better than many and can show flaws in just about any source. The SM6 really cleans up lower quality sound files, and being able to stream my Pandora account to it seals the deal. Add to that an onboard DAC for any digital source I want to listen to, its just a total winner. Adding the StreamMagic app to my iPhone gives me access to any/all of the 15000 songs in my music library, all from the comfort of my couch. While the app crashes once in awhile, usually taking my queue with it, the instances are not all that common and few and far between. It seems to choke more often when serviing up a large queue. The SM6 has made listening to my music very convenient, making just about any file CD quality or better. I highly recommend this unit!
Pros:
Sound quality, ability to use the onboard DAC for multiple sources, aesthetic appearance, easy to use display, and easy to use I-device interface
Cons:
App seems to choke on large queues. Other than that, I cant think of any negatives.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

great equipment horrible interface

Written By Richard, Ohio on Sunday, December 02, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The equipment itself is great. Great sound, no problem hooking it up to my network, potential to be a great solution to playing high quality music on my home stereo system (Marantz SR8300, Polk Audio Towers). The way I select songs using the unit is frustrating to say the least. CA would be better off not marketing the Anroid app as it has been my experience it works less than have the time.
Pros:
Great sound. Easy setup. Highly recommend from both the standpoints. Crutchfield is always great.
Cons:
Horrible interface. Exceedingly difficult to choose a song from the computer. I use exclusively playlists I build on my computer as anything other than pushing play is frustrating. The company should pull the remote program using Android and its advertisement of it until they have made the program functional. Horrible decision by Cambridge Audio to push this through Android remote program given its current state. It will cost them future customers.
9 out of 10 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

nice!

Written By CAL, NY on Saturday, December 01, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Good sound, easy to set up.
Pros:
Easy connection to modem, great sound with my CD transport.
Cons:
A bit slow to connect wwhen you turn it on.
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4 out of 5

Great Product

Written By prc1966, Madawaska, ME on Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is a remarkable product, Plays all my music from my NAS & router via usb. Only problem is noisy when connecting 3.0 usb hard drive directly. 2.0 has no problem at all. Connecting USB memory directly no noise.
Pros:
Controls all your music files
Cons:
Noisy using usb 3.0
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6

Written By Cliff H, Clemmons, NC on Thursday, September 20, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is a remarkable product, and has transformed my listening habits. I never thought 128kps Pandora feeds could sound so good as they do through this unit. I only have two criticisms, first the iPad app could use some tweaks for better ergonomics, and second, Cambridge should offer the MOG service in it's streaming services choices. Otherwise, can't think of a way to improve it.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Fantastic!

Written By Andrew A, Los Angeles, CA on Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I recently bought a nice new set of speakers, and was streaming from my Apple Airport Express. The sound was ho hum. I experimented with a Denon streamer that was dismal, and decided to give this a try. The results were stratospheric.

First, the setup was a little challenging. It was initially very noisy, and I thought I had a dud. I tried an experiment - I plugged the unit directly into a Bryston power amp with absolutely no preamp in between, using XLR cables. Wow! When not playing, almost every DAC I've tried is noisy - put your ear up against the tweeter and you'll see what I mean. With the XLR cables, it became apparent (as I suspected) that it's really hard to cable a system like this with minimal noise. Taking out the preamp and using XLR cables absolutely kills EM interference.

I've tried it with a variety of sources and it is outstanding with everything. Interestingly it's the lowest quality inputs that it works best with. The airport express using an optical cable was incredibly better than using analog outs into a preamp. And the bluetooth is better than any other bluetooth I've listened to. I tried it with Pandora off a cellphone, and different music off an ipad from iTunes, and it's great with all of them. A definite improvement over just using airplay.

But now comes the best part. With pandora and internet radio, this absolutely rocks. While the upsampling algorithms can't totally make up for lossy compression, they sure go a long way. The sound is fantastic.
Pros:
-Great DAC and upsampling software -Nicely implemented remotes on iPod, iPad and Android (I tried all 3) -Best way ever to listen to Pandora! -XLR outs - fantastic!
Cons:
-Really hoping they add Spotify soon....
4 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Amazing sound quality

Written By CanDac, Vancouver, BC on Wednesday, July 18, 2012
 
I purchased one last month to solve two problems: 1. Get amazing sound quality via a DAC and 2. Connect to my Synology NAS to stream my music. This unit has done both. Not only was it easy to get started, it connect to my network without any work on my part, found my NAS drive automatically and the music it plays has so much depth. I love playing my old favorites again and again. Theres a very easy to use android app that makes navigating music and playlists simple. I would recommend this to any music lover without thinking twice.
Pros:
Very easy to setup Music depth is only believable once heard Android app makes everything feel like it should be
Cons:
Cannot think of anything
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Not Ready for Prime Time

Written By JohnG, Charleston, SC on Saturday, July 07, 2012
 
I purchased this unit specifically to play streaming media from my NAS device as well as remotely control the play with an iphone or ipad. The software was unable to recognize my Synology NAS device as a UPnP DLNA device. This was frustrating since I have a PS3 that has no problem. In addition, setting up Sirius internet play was easy but did not work. Response from Cambridge-Audio was that Sirius has changed some things which they recognize do not allow their current firmware to work properly with Sirius. I have not seen a fix. So basically, I have purchased an internet radio streaming device. YUK. Very disappointed.
Pros:
Easy setup ... good documentation
Cons:
Software not compatible with true DLNA and UPnP standards. Does not work with Sirius
Crutchfield response on Thursday, August 16, 2012
We reached out to Cambridge Audio regarding this review. They stated, "Cambridge Audio has released a firmware update (July 25th) that offers a host of improvements; Gapless Playback, digital pre-amp mode for the NP30, improved UPnP browsing, ability to control volume and balance from iPhone/Android apps." "In addition, while there was never a transmission issue connecting to Sirius XM, an administrative issue (Back office legal signatures) has been resolved resulting in seamless reception."
14 out of 18 people found this helpful
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2 questions already asked

Does the Stream Magic App give you control of Pandora features: thumb up, thumb down, pause, skip song, change station, create a new station, view/edit station details, etc.? [ John  Mar 22, 2014 ]
6 answers
  • The Pandora app I have is very Spartan. It has none of the cool features of my normal Pandora app. No artist info, thumbs up and down, etc. It does have the create station and change station. All of your stations are displayed on the main page. It shows the album cover and that's all. For the money they are asking for the Stream Magic you would think that they devote a little more time to the interface. I guess you have to remember that the British designed this product and the last cool things they exported were the Beatles and the Stones. The app will control the Stream Magic, but it is nothing special. The Steam Magic is a very nice product. It sounds great, and with the new lower price it should be very popular. If they updated the app they would have a real winner. 4Stars. [ TOM   Apr 01, 2014 ]
  • Yes. While a track is playing- using the Stream Magic mobile device app (I use the app on an iPhone), the cover art is displayed along with the album title and song and the file description (size and format). There is a pointing finger icon at the bottom of the screen which, when clicked, brings up a menu where you can view your current stations, create a new station, delete an existing one, view the Pandora track details, add bookmarks for track and artist, provide feedback (thumbs up/down), skip the track, get an explanation of why the song that's playing is part of this station you're listening to, pause the track and lastly, add the station to a favorites list for quicker access from the main Stream Magic menu. [ STUART   Mar 26, 2014 ]
  • John Unfortunately I am not using it with Pandora. I am running a Sonos unit through the Stream Magic to improve sound quality, and it is a noticeable difference. Sound quality and stereo separation are much better. Sorry I couldn't help more. Greg [ GREG   Mar 24, 2014 ]
  • Sorry, I don't use Pandora so I don't know the answer to that one. [ CHARLES S   Mar 24, 2014 ]
  • Yes. The Stream Magic App does give you full control over Pandora. The App kind of tries to be all things to all people and has a lot of ground to cover. So, it's not quite as intuitive as you might think. You start the app, tap on ... More at the bottom. Tap Streaming>. Tap Pandora>. This gives you a menu of Stations> Create Station> Delete Stations>. You can select one of your Stations you already created (there's a pause as they get downloaded from the Internet). Tap on the one you want to play. To skip, or give feedback, you have to tap on the little (i) icon at the upper right-hand corner of the screen. This gives you the album cover art, with the song title and artist (nice). Tap on the hand pointing right icon at the bottom (there's a pause button there too). This brings up a menu of options including Give Feedback and Skip. Give Feedback lets you give a thumb up or a thumbs down. Skip, skips the track. You should know that it's quicker to walk over to the unit itself. You can see the same hand pointing right icon, which gives the same menu. More importantly, if a track sucks, you simply click on the next track >| button and it instantly loads the next song. That's what I do, it's faster than anything. I figure they track when you skip a song too... How this unit streams Pandora is only 2% of what it does. The DAC in it is what makes it shine. I put everything through this little unit It is the best thing ever. [ ROBERT   Mar 24, 2014 ]
  • Yes it does - You can access all those features either through the controls on the unit, the remote or the iPhone app. [ ROBERT   Mar 24, 2014 ]
Can one stream spotify radio and control spotify via android app? Will this stream music files from my WD My book NAS ? [ Rohit  Feb 05, 2014 ]
5 answers
  • Yes, you can stream Spotify but through bluetooth from your Android. And yes, the Stream Magic will see your NAS, and you can control it through the Stream Magic Android app. [ William   Feb 06, 2014 ]
  • Don't know about the spotify question. Regarding the WD My book NAS, I only use it for the wireless. I would love to try the higher bit rate music, as I have downloaded a good bit of it, but neglected to connect the system through ethernet, but my partner only rolls on bluetooth. And it works for me since it works for her. If you saw her dance, you would understand. I can testify that it turns an Emotiva 600 amp, Klipsch speaker system into a freakin beast. [ Randall   Feb 06, 2014 ]
  • Thank you Robert. I was about to get myself a second sonos connect for my other listening room and but paused and wondered about the CA S6 as it is capable of streaming 24/96 Hi res files. But I don't want to lose MOG/spotify capability because those two internet radios have a gazillion albums 320kbps over wifi. It is not quite CD quality but to have it on hand as though you won the albums (albeit mp3) is very handy indeed. That's where sonos trumps again. Now if only sonos streamed 24/96. But I am debating how much difference it could make on well mastered original recordings anyway? Thanks again for you succinct advice. Regards, Rohit [ Rohit   Feb 06, 2014 ]
  • Cambridge Audio still doesn't stream Spotify. I emailed them and they said they were working on licensing but that was some time ago. It does stream Pandora. In order to play Spotify, I used an iPod through their iD100 iPod dock connected to the Stream Magic - an overly complex setup in my opinion. I have mine hooked up to a Synology NAS to play my music files. The WD is probably easier to set up. Cambridge audio even has a guide specifically for that NAS (sorry I'm not permitted to include links). [ ROBERT   Feb 06, 2014 ]
  • I don't use the CA for spotify, but it accommodates most music services like that. I do use it for internet radio. Most importantly I use it in place of a PC for accessing my digital collection of MP3 s , WAVs , FLACs etc. you connect a hard drive like the WD you described and use your iPad or cell phone with the stream magic app on it as a front end and it allows full visibility and msnipulation of all digital files on a connected USB device. The D/A converted is great. It's superior to using a PC as an intermediary for your digital music collection. [ THOMAS H   Feb 06, 2014 ]

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