About the Cambridge Audio Edge NQ
Network streaming and panoramic preamplification
Network streaming and panoramic preamplification
As a streamer, Cambridge Audio's Edge NQ can hang with the very best. With a fantastic-sounding 32-bit/384kHz high-res DAC and inner componentry selected in blind listening tests, it does its thing beautifully. The same goes for its preamp circuitry, which handles your digital and analog sources with audiophile precision.
It's easy on the eyes as well. The tasteful brushed aluminum faceplate features a power button, headphone jack, large dual purpose volume/source selector knob, and a full-color 5" LCD screen. It looks really nice underneath the matching Edge W power amplifier.
Flexible analog and digital connections
Unite your analog and digital sources with transparent signal boosting that boasts an extremely low 0.0008% THD, thanks to Cambridge Audio's innovative PCB design. It replaces conventional capacitors with DC-coupled topology, which reduces distortion. And the solid-state volume control maintains perfect channel balance at any volume.
You have one balanced and two unbalanced analog inputs for connecting a CD player, tuner, or turntable with onboard or outboard phono preamp. Digital options include a pair of optical inputs, one coaxial, USB Type-A for music files loaded on a thumb drive, USB Type-B for connecting your computer, and HDMI ARC for TV audio.
High-res streaming and easy app control
The Edge NQ incorporates Cambridge's latest version of their StreamMagic technology, for smooth, revealing sound and compatibility with a wide range of streaming sources. The free StreamMagic app, available for Apple® and Android™ devices, natively supports Spotify® Connect, TIDAL, Qobuz, AirPlay®, Bluetooth aptX® HD and internet radio. And with Chromecast built-in, you can enjoy hundreds of other services, including SiriusXM, YouTube, and SoundCloud in up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution.
In anticipation of their 50th anniversary, Cambridge Audio asked their engineers a simple question — what would they make if anything was possible? More than three years later, a team of nine engineers delivered the Edge line, named after Professor Gordon Edge, the designer of Cambridge Audio's first product, the ground-breaking P40 integrated amplifier.
All Edge circuit components were blind-auditioned solely for their sonic merits — not price, specs, or measured performance. Only the most dynamic, present, clear, and musical ones were chosen. The Edge line embodies Cambridge Audio's signature British sound and 50 years of hi-fi expertise.
- stereo preamp/network player with built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC)
- digital inputs let you connect sources like a computer, disc player, media streamer, thumb drive, and TV and enjoy superior sound
- Wi-Fi dongle included
- connects to your home network via wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi® for music streaming and downloads
- supports Spotify® Connect and Apple AirPlay®
- plays PCM digital audio sources up to 32-bit/384kHz
- curved extruded aluminum front panel minimizes vibration-induced distortion
- 5" color LCD displays track/artist info and album art
- concentric front-panel volume/source selector knob
- front part of knob controls volume
- back part of knob selects source
- remote control
- free downloadable apps for iOS® and Android let you use a compatible smartphone or tablet as a remote control
- digital inputs:
- two Toslink optical inputs support files up to 24-bit/96kHz
- coaxial input supports files up to 24-bit/192kHz
- HDMI ARC input for TV audio
- USB Type B (Audio Class 2.0) for connecting a Mac® or Windows® computer supports PCM-based files up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD files up to 11.2 MHz
- USB Type A for connecting a thumb drive
- analog inputs:
- two unbalanced RCA inputs
- balanced XLR input
- stereo balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA preamp outputs for connecting an amplifier
- Ethernet port for wired connection to a home network
- Bluetooth 4.0 supports SBC, AAC, Qualcomm® aptX™ and aptX™ HD audio
- If connecting to a TV, please make sure you can select "PCM" output in its audio menu this DAC cannot decode multichannel Dolby® Digital signals
- total harmonic distortion: less than 0.0008%
- signal-to-noise ratio: 103 dB
- 18-1/8"W x 4-3/4"H x 15-15/16"D
- weight: 22.4 lbs.
- warranty: 2 years/5 years registered
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # C10973
What's in the box:
- Stereo network preamplifier
- 5' AC power cord
- Remote control
- 3 "AAA" batteries
- Bluetooth antenna
- WiFi dongle
- Mono-minijack cable
- User Manual
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More details on the Cambridge Audio Edge NQ
Features & specs
|Phono Input Type||N/A|
|Optical Digital Inputs||2|
|Coaxial Digital Inputs||1|
|Digital XLR Inputs||0|
|USB Type A||1|
|USB Type B||1|
|Optical Digital Outputs||0|
|Coaxial Digital Outputs||0|
|Digital XLR Outputs||0|
|Discrete Sub Outs||No|
|Audio Features & Specs|
|S/N Ratio (Phono)||---|
|S/N Ratio (Line)||103|
|DAC Bit Depth||32-bit|
|DAC Sample Rate||384 kHz|
|Home Theater Bypass||No|
|Bluetooth Formats Supported||SBC, AAC, aptX-HD|
|Frequency Bands||2.4 GHz|
|Apple AirPlay||AirPlay 2|
|Apple Control App||Yes|
|Android Control App||Yes|
|12 Volt Trigger||Out|
|Parts Warranty||2 Yrs/5 Yrs registered|
|Labor Warranty||2 Yrs/5 Yrs registered|
Edge Series: Over three years in the making and utilizing a team of nine engineers, the Edge Series is the embodiment of Cambridge Audio's signature Great British Sound and pinnacle of 50 years of Hi-Fi expertise. When creating the Edge Series, Cambridge Audio chose components based on their sonic merits (not price, not specs, not measured performance). This "listen first, measure later" philosophy means blind-auditioning all price and performance levels and only going with those that sound the most dynamic, give the greatest presence, offer a revealing clarity; and are most musical. The Edge Series is designed and assembled in the UK.
Note: Cambridge Audio's Edge Edge Series components are designed to work in perfect synchronization with one another. Match the Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier with the Edge W power amplifier (sold separately) to create a hi-fi system with extraordinary sound.
Preamplifier Printed Circuit Board (PCB): With a revolutionary preamp circuit-board that reduces interference and creates an incredibly clean signal path, Edge NQ plays your favorite music with astonishing depth and clarity. Cambridge Audio designed the Edge NQ with a circuit board unlike most others. Conventional capacitors were replaced with a DC coupled topology, which reduces distortion for an unaltered, natural sound.
Precision Engineered Parts: Comprised of 31 precision-milled engineered parts, the Cambridge Audio Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier, provides incredible sound and control of your music. A solid-state volume control knob ensures perfect channel balance at any volume level.
32-Bit/384kHz DAC: The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier utilizes an ultra high-performance, state-of-the-art 32-bit/384kHz DAC (digital-to-analog converter) to bring your digital audio music files to life, with every detail and nuance delivered intact. The Edge NQ supports digital audio files up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD256 (11.2MHz) - via USB-B.
Balanced & Unbalanced Analog Connectivity: The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier offers balanced XLR & unbalanced RCA inputs and outputs. Balanced XLR is a higher-quality connection that can reject noise and interference from source components and amplifiers with balanced connections.
- XLR and RCA Line-Level Inputs: The Edge NQ features a balanced stereo XLR line-level input and two unbalanced stereo RCA line-level inputs to connect an analog, line-level source component (such as a CD or SACD player). There is no Phono input. To connect a turntable, you'll need a turntable with a built-in phono preamplifier or an external phono preamp (sold separately - see Accessories Tab).
- XLR & RCA Preamp Outputs: The Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier is outfitted with a balanced stereo XLR preamp output and an unbalanced stereo RCA preamp output for connecting to a power amplifier (such as the Edge W power amplifier, sold separately)
Note: If you wish to connect the Edge NQ to an integrated amplifier rather than a power amplifier, the streaming functionality can be used independently of the preamplifier. The preamplifier can be disabled via the dedicated Edge app for iOS and Android.
HDMI ARC: The Edge NQ features a HDMI ARC jack to connect the stereo network preamplifier to your TV's HDMI ARC input. The stereo network preamplifier's ARC jack only supports 2ch PCM audio (up to 24-bit/192kHz). It is not compatible with with Dolby Digital, DTS, or other multichannel audio formats.
Optical & Coaxial Digital Inputs: The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ's two optical (toslink) digital inputs and one coaxial (RCA) digital input allow it to act as a high quality upsampling Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) to improve the sound from other devices, such as set top boxes, games consoles, or disc players. The optical digital inputs support up 24-bit/96kHz stereo PCM audio, while the coaxial digital input supports up to 24-bit/192kHz stereo PCM audio.
- If a digital input is connected to a TV, you can enable TV mode in the input settings of the Edge Remote app. This mode minimizes lip-sync delays
on the audio path by bypassing MQA decoding and also reduces the chance of dropouts and glitches from some TVs.
- The digital inputs do not support Dolby Digital, DTS, or any other multichannel surround formation.
USB Ports: The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ is outfitted with a rear-panel USB-B input for playback of stored digital music files on your Windows PC or Mac computer, plus a rear-panel USB-A input for playback of music files stored on a USB thumbdrive or HDD.
- Asynchronous USB-B Input: The asynchronous USB-B input lets you connect the Edge NQ to your Windows PC or Mac computer for playback of 2ch PCM (32-bit/384kHz) and DSD256 (11.2MHz) music files. The asynchronous USB-B port allows the Edge NQ to act as a high-quality DAC/sound-card with very low jitter for your computer, offering genuine Hi-Fi quality playback from your stored Hi-Res digital music files. A separate USB driver will be required for playback of 192kHz or 384kHz PCM music files and DSD256 music files from a Windows PC. Windows PC will not require a separate USB driver for 24-bit/96kHz playback. Mac computers do not require a separate USB driver for PCM or DSD playback.
- USB-A MSC Input: The USB-A input supports music playback from a USB MSC (mass storage class device), including a USB thumbdrive or HDD formatted in FAT32 or NTFS. Compatible music files include WAV (16/24-bit; 32-192kHz), FLAC (16/24-bit; 32-192kHz), ALAC (16/24-bit: 32-192kHz), AIFF (16/24-bit; 32-192kHz), MP3 (16-320kbps), WMA (32-320kbps), AAC (16-320kbps), and Ogg Vorbis (32-320kbps). The Edge NQ cannot supply greater than 500mA from the USB socket, so an external HDD may require a separate external AC power adapter. The USB-A input does not support media playback from an Apple iOS or Android OS device, and is not compatible with USB hubs and card-readers.
- 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 unit's media browsing.
- There is also a rear-panel USB-A port (with a WiFi logo) that is designed specifically for the included WiFi dongle to wirelessly stream network audio.
Bluetooth 4.1 w/ aptX HD: The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier offers built-in Bluetooth 4.1 with support for wireless audio streaming (A2DP) and control (AVRCP). It can be used as a Bluetooth receiver or transmitter. You'll be able to wirelessly stream stored music, music apps, and other audio content from your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet, desktop computer, laptop, or music player to the Edge NQ stereo network preamp. In addition to Bluetooth's standard SBC audio codec and Apple's AAC codec, the Edge NQ also supports Qualcomm's aptX HD. aptX HD is an enhanced codec that supports 24-bit audio over Bluetooth and has been engineered to improve the signal-to-noise ratio, resulting in lower background noise. With the ability to support streams up to 24bit/48kHz, you're able to wirelessly stream from an aptX HD compatible device to the Edge NQ without sacrificing sound quality and listen to "better-than-CD" quality audio.
- You can pair multiple device to the Edge NQ, but only one Bluetooth-enabled source device can be connected and used for playback at a time.
- Make sure the included Bluetooth antenna is connected to the rear-panel of the Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier.
Front-Panel Headphone Jack: The Edge NQ's front-panel headphone output consists of a 3.5mm jack that allows connection of a set of headphones. Connection of a set of headphones will automatically mute the stereo network preamplifier's preamp outputs. Headphone impedance of between 12 and 600 ohms is recommended.
5 Year Warranty With Registration: The EDGE series comes with a standard 2 year warranty, which can be extended to 5 years if you register the product with Cambridge Audio. You can register your product by clicking here.
Wired or Wireless Network Connectivity: The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier offers a wired (Ethernet) or wireless (WiFi) connection to your home network for access to Internet Radio, Tidal, Spotify Connect, Chromecast built-in, AirPlay 2, and music libraries stored on your computer (UPnP).
- Ethernet (LAN) Jack: The Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier is fitted with an Ethernet (R-J45) port to connect directly to your home's network hub. Only connect the LAN port of the stereo network preamplifier's to an Ethernet port that supports 10BASE-T or 100BASE-TX.
- WiFi Dongle: The Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier offers 2.4GHz WiFi to wirelessly connect the stereo network preamplifier to your home network. The Edge NQ supports 802.11 b/g/n with WEP, WPA, WPA2 encryption. The Edge NQ comes with a WiFi dongle that plugs into the USB port (with WiFi logo) located on the back panel.
Note: Use a wired Ethernet connection for Hi-Res 192Hz PCM and DSD 128 (5.6MHz) audio files.
StreamMagic Online Music Services: With the implementation of Cambridge Audio's StreamMagic network platform, the Edge NQ lets you access Internet Radio & Tidal through Cambridge Audio's free Edge Remote App (for Apple iOS 12.0+ and Android OS 5.0+).
- Internet Radio: The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ gives you access to thousands of internet radio stations from around the world through the Edge Remote App. You save your favorite internet radio stations as presets right on the app.
- Tidal (Available Firmware Update): Tidal is now integrated into the Edge NQ through the Edge Remote App. This will enable you to stream high fidelity audio from your TIDAL music library directly to the Edge NQ using the Edge Remote app on your compatible mobile device. The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ must be running firmware v014-a-140 or higher in order to access Tidal.
- Qobuz (Coming Soon): Qobuz is not currently available through the Edge Remote app, but will be available in the future through a future over-the-network firmware update (not ETA).
Spotify Connect: The integration of Spotify Connect will enable Spotify users (with Free or Premium accounts) to instantly select and wirelessly stream music to the Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier from within the Spotify app (for Apple iOS or Android). Spotify is a digital music service that gives you on-demand access to one of the largest music libraries in the world. Spotify makes it easier than ever to discover, manage, and share music with your friends. You can browse music by artist, album, track, or most popular; and create your own music library with customized playlists. All files on Spotify can stream up to 320kbps, which is MP3 quality.
Chromecast built-in: Use the Google Home App (for Apple iOS 12.0+ and Android OS 6.0+) to enable Chromecast built-in. Chromecast built-in gives you access to hundreds of online music streaming services, internet radio, and podcasts. Chromecast built-in streams audio directly from the cloud, so you get the 24-bit/96kHz sound quality and the ability to enjoy crystal clear sound exactly the way the artist intended. Simply tap the Cast button from a Chromecast built-in compatible music app on your Apple iOS or Android OS device to start streaming to the Edge NQ. You can search, browse, play, skip, and turn up the volume directly from the music apps you know and love on your compatible smartphone or tablet. Chromecast built-in supports FLAC, WAV, AAC, and MP3 music files. While you cast your music, you can still use your smartphone to answer a call, play a game, send a text, and even leave the room - all without interrupting what's playing on the Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier.
- Online Music & Internet Radio: Chromecast built-in lets you play music from popular music services and search by artist, song, genre, album playlist, mood, or activity. You can also listen to your favorite internet radio stations and podcasts. Compatible music and internet radio apps include Apple Music, Tidal, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, GooglePlay Music, iHeart Radio, YouTube Music, Qobuz, and more (subscriptions and fees will apply). You'll also be able to stream your favorite music, playlists, podcasts, and more that are stored on your Android (OS 6.0+) device to the Edge NQ. You cannot stream stored content on an Apple iOS device using Chromecast built-in. If you're on your laptop or computer, you can also cast any music streaming website through the Chrome web browser to the Edge NQ.
- Multiroom Audio Distribution: Add more Chromecast built-in speakers and components (sold separately) throughout your home to create a whole house audio experience. You can play the same Chromecast built-in compatible music app (like Tidal, Spotify, or Pandora) on all speakers or groups of speakers in different rooms of your home. You'll be able control the multiroom audio system from the Google Home app on your Apple iOS or Android device, or using the Google Assistant and your voice on a compatible Google Home device.
- Google Assistant Voice Control: Purchase a Google Assistant enabled smart speaker (sold separately - see Accessories Tab) and gain voice control of compatible Chromecast Built-in music apps. You'll be able to access a specific music app and then select a specific station or song using only your voice. You'll also have voice control over Play, Pause, Skip, & Volume. The Edge NQ and your Google Assistant smart speaker must be connected to the same wireless (WiFi) network.
- Chromecast built-in currently supports a single account per user (up to 6) and streaming service.
- Click here for a complete list of Chromecast built-in compatible apps.
- A separate Google Assistant smart speaker (sold separately) is required for voice control. You will also need to agree to Google's Privacy Statement to use voice control.
AirPlay 2: AirPlay 2 is an advanced and easy-to-use wireless multiroom audio platform for iTunes, Apple Music, and other compatible Apple iOS apps. With AirPlay 2 you can play any sound from your Apple iOS device (running iOS 11.4 or later) or Mac computer (running OS X 10.13.2) through the Edge NQ and other compatible AirPlay 2 products throughout your home. You can choose to play audio in one room, play the same audio in grouped rooms, or play the same audio in every room. If you are an Apple Music subscriber, you can even play different music in different rooms (you can control and group directly from Apple's Music App and Home app on your Apple iOS device). You will also be able to ask Siri-enabled devices (like your Apple iPhone, iPad, or Watch) to control playback of your Apple Music on the Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier. You can even watch videos and movies from YouTube and Netflix on your compatible Apple iOS device or Mac computer with perfectly synced audio on the Cambridge Audio Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier
UPnP Compatible: The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier 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 Edge NQ 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 Edge NQ. 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 Edge NQ network stereo network preamplifier can connect to these devices and play back, or 'stream' non-DRM music files via the network to your home entertainment system. Compatible music files include -
- Hi-Res Audio Formats: WAV (16/24/32-bit; 24-192Hz), FLAC (16/24-bit; 32-192kHz), ALAC (16/24-bit: 32-192kHz), AIFF (16/24-bit; 32-192kHz), and DSD128 (5.6MHz).
- Compressed Audio Formats: MP3 (16-320kbps), WMA (32-320kbps), AAC (16-320kbps), and Ogg Vorbis (32-320kbps)
- Use a wired Ethernet connection for Hi-Res 192kHz PCM and DSD 128 (5.6MHz) audio files.
- 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.
Roon Ready: Roon links your personal music files with the millions of tracks available on Tidal and Qobuz, so you can manage your music files and discover new music tracks. Roon will transform and enhance the experience of browsing your music. Photos, bios, credits, reviews, lyrics, composers and more are found automatically, delivering an interactive liner-notes experience for your entire collection.
- A Roon system starts a Core device that manages your music collection from many sources, and builds an interconnected digital library using enhanced information from Roon. The core can be your Mac or Windows PC with Roon software, or a server from one of Roon's hardware partners.
- You'll be able browse and play music using Roon apps on on Mac, Windows, Apple iPhone/iPad, and Android devices.
- Roon streams formats up to 384kHz/24-bit PCM and DSD256 to Roon Ready devices, and intelligently converts audio to the optimal resolution for other devices.
Note: The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ is Roon Ready and not a Roon Core device. You will still need a Roon Core device (sold separately) to enjoy Roon.
Edge Remote App: The Edge Remote App (for Apple iOS 12.0+ and Android OS 5.0+) lets you control the Cambridge Audio Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier from your compatible smartphone or tablet device. The Edge Remote app allows you to select between analog and digital source inputs (including RCA, XLR, Optical, Coaxial, Optical, and USB); access wireless streaming content (such as Bluetooth, AirPlay, Spotify, Tidal, Chromecast, Internet Radio, and UPnP media library), plus operate playback functions and control volume level. can assign your favorite radio stations, playlists, albums and songs as presets (up to 99) using the Edge Remote app. The free app also features a high-resolution display for album art and track information.
Front-Panel Display & Controls: Gone are the rows of buttons and dials you often see on high-end audio gear. Instead, the Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier features one high-quality dual concentric volume and source select control knob, enabling you to navigate menus and control the volume with a simple twist. There is also 5" high-resolution TFT display that is designed to present album artwork in beautiful clarity, adding to the overall listening experience.
IR Remote: In addition to front-panel controls, the Edge NQ comes with an IR remote for wireless operation of the stereo network preamplifier. The remote provides Power On/Off, Source Selection, Volume/Mute, Play/Pause, Previous/Next Track, and 6 Presets.
Note: Advanced music playback and browsing functions will be handled from the compatible music app on your Apple iOS or Android device.
12V Trigger Out: Use the 12V Trigger Out (3.5mm) to synchronize Power On/Off between the Cambridge Audio Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier and the Edge W power amplifier (sold separately) or other brand of power amplifier with a 12V Trigger Input.
RS232 Port: The player's RS232 port is used for control of the Edge NQ in custom install situations from an external controller (sold separately). A full protocol is available for the Edge NQ on the Cambridge Audio website.
Auto Standby: The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ stereo network preamplifier will automatically go into Standby mode after 20 minutes of no audio signal or inactivity. This function can be enabled or disabled from the Edge Remote app on your compatible Apple iOS or Android device.
Firmware/Software Updates: The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ will offer firmware/software updates through its wired (Ethernet) or wireless (WiFi) connection using the Edge Remote app on your compatible Apple iOS or Android device.