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Cambridge Audio CXN

Stereo digital preamplifier/network player, optional Bluetooth® (Black)

13 Reviews | 11 questions - 19 answers

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Item # 779CXNB

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Expected: 11/2/2017 Reserve risk-free

Was: $1,099.99

Price Break: -$100.00

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Overview

Our take on the Cambridge Audio CXN

Some high-performance audio gear seems like it was designed a decade ago, before music downloads and streaming services became the norm. But Cambridge Audio's versatile CXN was clearly engineered with today's audiophiles in mind. Its connections and controls will optimize your favorite digital music sources. It handles the most popular digital file formats and gives them all a sonic upgrade, from lossy sources like MP3s and Spotify®, to your CD collection, to high-res music files downloaded from HDtracks. Add an optional BT-100 Bluetooth® dongle and stream music from any compatible smartphone or tablet.

Cambridge Audio elevates your digital music listening


High-res audio

Some high-performance audio gear seems like it was designed a decade ago, before music downloads and streaming services became the norm. But Cambridge Audio's versatile CXN was clearly engineered with today's audiophiles in mind. Its connections and controls will optimize your favorite digital music sources. It handles the most popular digital file formats and gives them all a sonic upgrade, from lossy sources like MP3s and Spotify®, to your CD collection, to high-res music files downloaded from HDtracks. Add an optional BT-100 Bluetooth® dongle and stream music from any compatible smartphone or tablet.

Think of the CXN as three components in one. First, it's a digital preamp with an assortment of connections for handling your digital gear. Plus, it's a network player ready to stream your favorite audio sources using either a wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi® connection. And, of course, it's a high-performance DAC with state-of-the-art audio processing to improve the listening experience for all digital formats. While CD-quality or better sources will sound startlingly real, it's a real eye-opener to hear how good a 320kbps Spotify® stream can sound (premium subscription required).

Advanced upsampling and DACs for clean, clear sound from every source

Cambridge's sophisticated Adapted Time Filter 2 technology upsamples all incoming digital audio to a 24-bit/384kHz signal to resolve extremely fine detail. That happens for all incoming audio data — whether it's from an Internet radio stream, a lossless FLAC file on a USB flash drive, or a connected component like a CD transport. 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 24-bit DACs, for clean, detailed, noise-free sound and outstanding stereo imaging with every source.

All the right connections for your digital audio gear

Cambridge Audio CXN back panel

In addition to coaxial and Toslink optical digital audio inputs, the CXN is a network player designed to optimize music streaming and downloads. Connect to your amplifier using the RCA or balanced XLR audio outputs.

The CXN's versatile back-panel connections give you several ways to use its outstanding audio processing and D-to-A conversion to enjoy incredible sound from all your digital audio sources. For starters, there's a digital audio input with your choice of optical or coaxial connections. A coaxial connection is compatible with many CD/DVD players, and it's ideal for a Sonos® Connect player. An optical input should work for your HDTV, Apple TV®, or game console. And you'll find two flavors of USB input: Type A for plugging in a thumb drive, and Type B for connecting to your computer.

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 Apple® or Android™ device as the controller

While the CXN includes a backlit remote control, and 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's free Connect app works with your favorite Apple or Android device to integrate 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 Spotify®, this app puts everything at your fingertips.

Product Highlights:

    Features:
    • 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, or TV and enjoy superior sound
    • connects to your home network via wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi® for music streaming and downloads
    • supports Spotify Connect and Apple AirPlay®
    • provides access to 20,000 Internet radio stations
    • plays PCM digital audio sources up to 24-bit/192kHz
    • twin Wolfson WM8740 24-bit digital-to-analog converters in dual differential mode for precise stereo imaging
    • Anagram Technologies Adapted Time Filtering 2 (ATF2) 24-bit/384kHz audio up-sampling with jitter reduction for resolving fine detail
    • asynchronous USB technology for reduced timing jitter and better sound
    • 4.3" color LCD displays track/artist info and album art
    • illuminated remote control
    • free downloadable apps for iOS® and Android™ let you use a compatible smartphone or tablet as a remote control
    Connections:
    • Ethernet port for wired connection to a home network
    • Bluetooth ready — accepts optional BT-100 Bluetooth dongle for wireless audio streaming from a mobile phone, tablet, or computer
    • stereo balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA preamp outputs for connecting an amplifier
    • Toslink optical digital audio (1 in, 1 out) — supports files up to 24-bit/192kHz
    • coaxial digital audio (1 in, 1 out) — supports files up to 24-bit/192kHz
    • USB input (Type B) for connecting a Mac or Windows® computer — supports files up to 24-bit/96kHz
    • 3 USB inputs (Type A) for connecting a thumb drive, an optional Wi-Fi antenna, or the optional BT-100 Bluetooth receiver (1 front, 2 rear) — supports files up to 24-bit/96kHz
    • 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
    Specifications:

    Sound is very good. App works fine, no problem. I try six network players (Yamaha, Marantz, Pioneer, Oppo) they all had problems with sound quality or apps. (network connection). Cambridge is so far the best.

    Anonymous, Wanaque, NJ

    What's in the Box:

    • Network audio player
    • 59" AC power cord
    • USB-WiFi dongle w/ WLAN antenna
    • Remote control (RC-CXA/C/N)
    • 3 "AAA" batteries
    • 38" Mono-RCA cable
    • Quick Start Guide
    • Important Safety Instructions
    • "Thank You" card
    • Spotify brochure

    Featured Video:

    Reviews

    Cambridge Audio CXN Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (13 Reviews)

    Cambridge Audio CXN

    Anonymous from Wanaque, NJ on 8/2/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Sound is very good. App works fine, no problem. I try six network players (Yamaha, Marantz, Pioneer, Oppo) they all had problems with sound quality or apps. (network connection). Cambridge is so far the best.

    Pros:

    Cons:

    Cambridge Audio CXN

    Anonymous from Greensburg, PA on 6/29/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am using the CXN with a CXA 80 amp and aeromax 2 speakers. Good sound from streaming internet radio. I am very pleased with the system. Setting up the streaming can be a bit tricky given wifi, blue tooth, a PC and ethernet options but the systems works well and offers great sound.

    Pros:

    Cons:

    Cambridge Audio CXN

    Anonymous from Marina, CA on 2/23/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Works for what I need , USB to computer, haven't used for anything else, no manual, online only

    Pros:

    Cons:

    For CDs & music files you've stored anywhere!

    John J from Charlotte, NC on 12/9/2016

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The DAC/channel do an amazing job to my ears. CXC - CXN - CXA80 + AT-LP5 tt - Klipsch Heresy IIs make just about sonically pure sound for this sub $5k rebuild. All the cabling now by AudioQuest has to be mentioned in this discussion. New to internet radio, the sound quality is on par with what's coming from the other components. My thirty year refurbish will be complete with an improved cartridge for the tt. Dreaming of Cornwalls now! Pre-amp ability of the CXN is nice paired with the CXA, set it to 20 out of 30 since there's no need to whisper around here. Cambridge Android app hasn't been much help yet without any subscriptions, been using the big remote. Music that I've known has a whole new life to it! Loving this Cambridge "British Sound" system.

    Pros: You'll hear it "the way it was meant to be heard." connectivity options

    Cons: Would be great to be able to hook the tt directly to it.

    Cambridge Audio CXN

    Anonymous from Huntington Beach, CA on 11/5/2016

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Sounds great because of the dual Wolfson WM8740 DACs. CXN box is sometimes not responding smoothly when commanding through the Spotify app in iPhone. The box is very consisting producing crystal sound regardless of the the source - USB, Bluetooth connection from Iphone, or Spotify. It will be great if the CXN box has a dedicated Cortex processor like the Bluesound Node 2. Overall, I really like the CXN built quality, especially the Balance output XLR.

    Pros:

    Cons:

    Heart of the Music System!

    Eli from Poughkeepsie, NY on 7/15/2016

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I'm pretty satisfied with the Cambridge Audio CXN Streamer/DAC. I also have the previous Magic Streamer. I use both around the house. It's important to familiarize ourselves with all the possibilities that the CXN offers. I have my "Classic" iPod connected via the ID 100 iPod dock, the "azur" 640 c, CD player. I listen to Apple Play through WiFi, listen to music and videos via the USB connection using my Mac Pro and also have access to additional music using a NAS hard drive. It's worth the investment. Most of the control can be done using an iPad.

    Pros: -Simple intuitive system of operation through direct use, remote control or using an iPad. -Apple Play is available in the system. iTune recognizes the CXN as it was an "Airport Wifi unit -There are four inputs for the DAC -The outputs are RCA and XLR and can be connected two two different music systems at the same time.

    Cons: -As a preamplifier, an analog input for a turntable or tuner would have made a big difference. -No AES/EBU XLR input for the DAC (I'm sure it would bring up the cost)

    Wow!

    Matt from Denver, CO on 6/1/2016

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This unit is the brain of the digital half of my system. I have it paired with the Cambridge CXC and CXA80. Does a great job with Hi-Def audio files (24/192) and also makes compressed AAC files sound better to my ear. I use it primarily to stream audio files from my Synology NAS. It also acts as the DAC for the CXC. Great sound and great connectivity options. Love it.

    Pros: Sound quality and connectivity. Dual DACS.

    Cons:

    Cambridge Audio CXN

    Richard from Candler, NC on 5/30/2016

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I am using this Network Player with my Apple computer to digitize my CD collection. The built in DAC sounds wonderful especially with the computer's built in digital signal processing equalization function. I also enjoy the free radio stations available online via WIFI. I feel that the best performance is achieved with USB direct digital connection, however. This is easily the best digital sound I've ever heard. Used in conjunction with a computer, you can overcome the differences in equalization of various recordings and match your system output to your room's acoustics and to your own preferences without downgrading technical performance. I'm very satisfied with the ease of use of this product.

    Pros: Great sound and very easy to use.

    Cons: None

    CXN Music Player

    James from Santa Fe, NM on 5/8/2016

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Well, This is really great! If you have a CXA80 or CXA60 AMP and you know about or enjoy Spotify, then definitely buy the CXN player. Spotify is built in to this player. Internet radio connects fast and also sounds great. This player connected to my WIFI quickly using WPS protocol and no password. You can have an enormous amount of music at your fingertips with your computer or your phone controlling the player. The upscaling definitely is working. I listened to my old favorites from the 70's and 80's and was very pleased, it sounded the same as I can remember from the original vinyl records. That was a long time ago, it might even sound better than my recollection. Todays music sounds even better. My WIFI delivers about 6.5 to 7.0 MB which is robust for one. If you have anyone else on your network then you will get downgraded sound or freezes, so you will need more speed. I am getting better than CD quality sound and can control everything with my phone or computer. So just by using the Spotify and the CXN APP on my computer and/or cell phone I am completely thrilled with this technology and ready to retire my CD's. On a technical note I am using XLR cables to connect to my CXA80, this enables me to use the two DAC converters on the CXN. Thanks to ANN at Crutchfield for helping me with this. In addition to my CXA80 and CXN my system consists of two PSB bookshelf speakers and a PSB/NAD subwoofer.

    Pros: Excellent sound, easy setup, good apps for controlling the player.

    Cons: None, superb design, integration and execution.

    Cambridge CXN

    Michael from Tampa, FL on 4/15/2016

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This preamp is amazing. I never cared for digital formatted music before purchasing this CXN. I always thought vinyl/ albums were much more warmer and dynamic than CD's. This preamp with FLAC digital files sound better than the Vinyl/albums and CD's. It is much more dynamic and the highs are more pronounced and detailed. The bass is more extended and tighter. The sound all is warmer and the over all sound is punchier and louder giving more head room than before. I have this connected to my Acurus A-250(250RMS Watt) amp with an Acurus R-11 preamp. I have the CXN connected with the analog outs to my Acurus preamp analog inputs. I am leaving the Acurus preamp in the chain because I have a turntable and head phone preamp I use. I am using a pair of Anthony Gallo Reference 3.5 speakers. This stereo out performs many stereo costing 4 times the cost of this.

    Pros: Sound and Quality. Easy to use and user friendly lay out. Works great with Spotify and the quality is superb!

    Cons: ipad amp could use some updates. All the songs/ library do not load complete! Also they should have designed some analog inputs for a Turntable or etc.

    Great Product

    Ronnie from asheboro, NC on 3/12/2016

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have had this product for about two weeks and I love it. I hooked the CXN up to my Yamaha AX 596 Intergraded Amp and a pair of JBL Studio Series S38BE. Setting up the CXN was a breeze. It connected to my Home network with no problem and I was listening to internet radio stations in minutes after hooking it up. I was really impressed how good the stations sounded compared to regular radio stations. I have been storing all my HD Music files on a 128 GB flash drive so I Inserted it in the front USB port and listened to best music I have heard in years. I couldn't believe how the CXN made these HD files sound. I would recommend this product for any one who loves great sounding music. I also purchased the BT 100 to play my files from my Sony walkman NWZ-A17 and other Bluetooth devices. Works Great.

    Pros: Easy to set up and use.

    Cons: A bit pricy but well worth every penny.

    A Must Buy for Music Lovers

    Tiptx4 from Ohio on 10/4/2015

    I couldn't live without it as I using it almost everyday that I'm home. I love how well this things sounds and is so well built. Looks so good added to my home theater system. Everybody that comes over always seem to make positive comments about how cool it looks and sounds. It's well worth the price I paid for it.

    Pros: Easy to set up and Very simple to use. I love how it will display the album cover on screen. I use it with the Cambridge App, Spotify, and all the Bluetooth music I can stream from. I do have the Cambridge BT100 for my Bluetooth streaming. This is one of the best purchases I have ever made. Works flawless with Tablets, Android and iPhone. Not one single complaint as this is a Must Buy for all Music Lovers. I listen to more music than I have ever did before. Cambridge has a winner here

    Cons: Not really a Con but I wish the Cambridge App did more of an Artist search as it's limited. It does more of a Genre search/station search. App is good as there are over 10,000 stations to listen too.

    As Described

    ChrisS from Kentucky on 7/2/2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I'm probably not the exact target market for this box. I was having trouble with my Sony 5800ES locking up and generally doing "bad things" with my DLNA streaming solution. I was hoping that this box would fix it. (Turns out the problem was with the android controlling app I was using.) I'm not looking to improve my streamed audio sound, which seems part of the point of this box. Just a few comments: Playing through the CXN with analog connection to the 5800 did sound different than streaming straight to the 5800. So I'm ready to believe that CA has done some work to improve the sound. The display is an interesting choice. It's nice enough when you are sitting right on top of it but it's just too small to be useful across the room. Chances are you are going to use some kind of Android or iOS app to drive data to the CXN and that UI's going to be a lot nicer than the "completely fine, but smaller than your phone and across the room" color display on the front panel. On that note, I did install the Cambridge Connect app. It's functional. I don't think it really shines compared to apps like BubbleUPnP but especially if you had a homogeneous Cambridge system (with cxn and CA receiver) I can imagine it could be pretty helpful. All the rest is as-expected. It's built nicely. The software update happened smoothly and automatically. The product works as described.

    Pros: It does exactly what it says it does.

    Cons: Much of this functionality is built into many receivers these days.

    Details

    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    General
    Signal to Noise Ratio Not Given
    THD 0%
    Number of Inputs
    USB Connections Type-B, Type-A (2)
    Ethernet Connections 1
    Phono Inputs None
    Preamp Outputs 4
    Network Streaming Services Internet Radio, Spotify
    Bluetooth Optional
    AirPlay Compatible Yes
    Dimensions
    Width (inches) 16-15/16
    Height (inches) 3-1/4
    Depth (inches) 14-7/16
    Weight (pounds) 7.7
    Parts Warranty 3 Years
    Labor Warranty 3 Years

    Product Research

    Variety of Sources
    Audio Section
    Remote Control

    Variety of Sources

    Wired or Wireless Network Connectivity: The Cambridge Audio CXN network audio player offers a wired (Ethernet) or wireless (WiFi dongle) connection to your home network for access to Internet Radio, select online music services, AirPlay, and music libraries stored on your computer.

    • Ethernet (LAN) Jack: The CXN 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 Dongle/Antenna: The CXN network audio player includes a USB-WiFi dongle/WLAN aerial antenna which plugs into the player's rear-panel USB port. This USB-WiFi dongle/antenna wirelessly connects the AV receiver to your home network. The CXN 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 WiFi connection for music files above 16 bits, 44.1/48kHz (if lossless/uncompressed).

    Internet Radio & Spotify Connect: The Cambridge Audio CXN gives you access to over 20,000 internet radio stations from around the world; all sorted by Location, Language, and Genre. The CXN also incorporates Spotify Connect. If you subscribe to Spotify Premium , you can play all of your Spotify music and playlists, plus control the CXN with the Spotify Connect app on your Apple iOS or Android device. Access to Internet Radio and Spotify Connect requires the free Cambridge Connect App for Apple iOS (7.1+) and Android (OS 4.0+) devices.

    AirPlay Compatible: The Cambridge Audio CXN network audio player is compatible with Apple's AirPlay technology. With AirPlay, the CXN can connect wirelessly to any AirPlay-enabled Apple device. This allows you to stream music wirelessly from your iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, or your computer's (Mac or PC) iTunes library; via your WiFi network.

    • iTunes Streaming: The CXN network audio player is able to stream audio from your computer's iTunes account via AirPlay technology. When connected to the same network as a computer running iTunes, the CXN can appear as an output option in the pop-up menu at the bottom of the iTunes window. You can then browse your iTunes collection on your computer & stream music to the Cambridge Audio network audio player. You will need a Mac or Windows-based PC running iTunes (10.2.2 or later) connected to the same network as the CXN.
    • Apple Device Streaming: AirPlay also lets you wirelessly stream music and music apps stored on your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad to the Cambridge Audio CXN. You will need an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad (running iOS 4.3.3 or later) connected to the same network as the CXN.
    • Apple Remote App: Using the Apple Remote App (free download from iTunes) on your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad and your wireless home network, you don't even need to be in the same room as the components or your computer to play, pause, skip, and stop the songs in your iTunes music library. You will even see the iTunes music information, including your track titles & artist info on your Apple device. You will need an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad (running iOS 7.0 or later) connected to the same wireless network as the CXN.

    UPnP Compatible: The Cambridge Audio CXN network audio 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 CXN 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 CXN. 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 CXN network player 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/192kHz 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 CXN network audio player is fitted with two USB type-A ports (front/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 CXN 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 or NTFS format with non-DRM music files. The CXN 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 unit's media browsing.
    • Asynchronous USB (Type-B) Input:  A rear-panel asynchronous USB (type-B) port enables the CXN to be connected to your Windows PC or Mac computer for playback of music files up to 24-bit/192kHz. The CXN 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 CXN 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 CXN as if it were a USB 2.0 or 1.1 device.
      • PC Compatible: With the CXN switched to USB Audio 1.0 (this is the default setting), the CXN 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 CXN switched to USB Audio 2.0, the CXN 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 CXN switched to USB Audio 1.1,  the CXN 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 CXN switched to USB Audio 2.0, the CXN 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.

    Supported Audio Formats: Cambridge Audio's CXN network audio player supports many of the most popular formats via Network, UPnP, and USB connection. Supported codecs include MP3 (16-320kbps), WMA (32-320kbps), AAC (16-320kbps), WAV (16/24-bit; 32-192kHz), FLAC (16/24-bit; 32-192kHz), ALAC (16/24-bit: 32-192kHz), AIFF (16/24-bit; 32-192kHz), and Ogg Vorbis (32-320kbps).

    Note: The CXN does not support WMA pro, WMA lossless, RAW, AU, or other music file types not mentioned.

    DSD Audio: The CXN will only support DSD x64 (AKA DSD64 or 64FS) via DoP (DSD over PCM). However this is only possible via USB connection to a computer, using Class 2 USB Audio mode.

    Digital Inputs: The Cambridge Audio CXN's optical (toslink) digital input and coaxial (RCA) digital input allows 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 and coaxial digital connections support up to 24-bit/192kHz, 2ch PCM audio.

    Optional Bluetooth Adapter: Simply plug in the Cambridge Audio BT100 Bluetooth Audio Receiver (779BT100, sold separately) into the network audio player's rear-panel USB (type-A) port for wireless music streaming from many of today's most popular Bluetooth supporting devices; such as Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android smartphone/tablet, Windows Phone/PC, Mac computer/laptop, and more. The BT100 even supports the high-quality Bluetooth aptX CODEC, so you can stream audiophile quality music from your Bluetooth-enabled Android (OS 4.0+) device to the Cambridge CXN.

    Audio Section

    Audiophile Performance: The Cambridge Audio CXN network audio player provides audiophile performance for outstanding reproduction of your streaming music files. The CXN 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 CXN 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 CXN delivers fantastic sound-staging and stereo-imaging properties.
    • ATF2 Upsampling Technology: The CXN 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 CXN 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 CXN 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.

    All-Metal Chassis & Toroidal Transformer: The CXN network audio player has an all-metal construction to ensure all components are completely isolated for the very best possible performance. The CXN also uses a large toroidal transformer to deliver perfect, low distortion power for all your music.

    Digital Pre-Amplifier: By using a digital pre-amplifier, the audio signal remains in the digital domain for much longer, compared to a traditional analog integrated or pre-amplifier. Because the audio signal remains digital, and is only converted to analog at the very last minute, it is far less susceptible to analog signal deterioration. This means that the sound you hear is as close as possible to the original recording.

    DSP Controlled Volume: The CXN's digital pre-amplifier uses a powerful 32-bit Blackfin DSP (Digital Signal Processor). Most digital preamplifiers use "bit reduction" to adjust the level of the volume output, however this results in much lower sound quality because digital information is being cut out of the original audio signal. Instead, the CXN's digital pre-amplifier uses the Blackfin DSP to control the level of the volume output, meaning that the entire digital signal remains fully intact for the best possible sound.

    Balanced & Unbalanced Outputs: The Cambridge Audio CXN features both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) audio outputs to connect to a wide variety of home stereo receivers and amplifiers. The CXN 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. The CXN also features an unbalanced stereo analog RCA audio output for connecting your stereo receiver or amplifier. The unbalanced and balanced outputs are simultaneously active.

    Digital Outputs: The CXN features two rear-panel digital outputs; one optical (toslink) digital output and one coaxial (RCA) digital output. These digital outputs allow pass-through of the selected digital source (no up-sampling performed). These outputs loop or pass-through unprocessed digital audio from the selected digital input. Both digital outputs are always active and can be used to connect and run equipment at the same time.

    Ground/Lift Switch: When Grounded, the CXN 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.

    Remote Control

    IR Remote: The Cambridge Audio CXN includes a slim-line IR remote control for wireless operation of the network audio player. The IR remote also operates other Cambridge Audio devices, like  CX series integrated amps and AV receivers.

    Cambridge Connect App: The free Cambridge Connect App for Apple iOS (7.1+) and Android (OS 4.0+) gives you full control of the CXN network audio player; including power on/off, source selection, and volume up/down. The Cambridge Connect App also gives you access and control over UPnP servers and NAS drives connected to the same WiFi network, Internet Radio from across the world, select online music services, USB media device plugged into the player, music stored on your Apple iOS or Android device, and Bluetooth audio (requires BT100 adapter). The free app also features a high-resolution display for album art and track information.

    Front-Panel LCD: The network audio player's front-panel color LCD displays album art and song/artist information. You can adjust the front-panel LCD's brightness level.

    Remote Connections: The Cambridge Audio CXN is fitted with the following custom remote connections.

    • 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 CXN.
    • 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 CXN.  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.

    Firmware/Software Updates: The Cambridge Audio CXN will offer firmware/software updates through its wired (Ethernet) or wireless (WiFi) connection.

    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 verify what’s in the box, 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.

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    Customer Q&A

    Crutchfield asked  
    Why did you buy this?

    Alex thanks Jeff [ Jeffrey  Oct 09, 2017 ]
    I have been toying with the idea of adding a digital streamer to my setup for a while. The CXN has been well reviewed in the major audiophile magazines and on Crutchfield's site. It offers essentially everything a streamer can offer and will integrate well with the CXA80 I am purchasing at the same time. [ James F.  Apr 01, 2017 ]
    It appears to be one of the best rated reasonably priced network music streamers. Many other high end streamers are twice the price or more. [ Gary  Dec 23, 2016 ]
    Network player to complement my Cambridge Audio CXA80. [ Kar Chun  Nov 30, 2016 ]
    The internet radio, pc/phone connectivity, dual DACs pre- CXA80. [ John  Nov 24, 2016 ]
    Best music streaming device out there. [ RONNIE S  Sep 09, 2016 ]
    After saving up for my first set of Monoblock amps (Emotiva's) I decided to try and go for the least amount of signal path I could do. So instead of a network player/preamp/power amp setup this item allows me to just go network player/power amp. This leads to 1 less item and 1 less cable to interact with the music stream. Since I've used receivers all my life this new setup is definitely going to be an ear turner. [ Tyson  Aug 14, 2016 ]
    Very happy with the 851N and Mini Xi Cambridge Network players I've ordered previously. [ Mike  Jan 02, 2016 ]
    looks like it does what I want [ Steven  Jan 01, 2016 ]
    I wanted high quality digital audio integrated with my CXA80 AMP. [ JAMES  Apr 07, 2016 ]
    Excellent product for the digital age [ Trey  Dec 10, 2015 ]

    11 questions already asked

    No, it doesn't require one to function. [ SAHAN  Jan 28, 2017 ]
    Cambridge Audio usually do not include RCA cables. Good luck and best regards, Eli [ Eliezer  Jan 16, 2017 ]
    CXN does not require Bluetooth if connected to same router. Two apps required, stream magic and Cambridge connect both from the Google play store. Cambridge connect allows 20 preset channels. I use a Toshiba 10 inch Android tablet.. The USB library portion with a front panel flash drive inserted is rather basic. [ WILL  Aug 08, 2016 ]
    Yes, a smart phone allows you a lot more latitude. The CXN receives it's signal from the internet, either wirelessly from your router or hard wired from your router with a LAN connection. I generally use Spotify, but there are a bunch of good internet stations available, some of them put out a 320k signal, but you usually have to pay a monthly fee to get the good signal and no advertising. I have been very pleased with my unit even if the instructions are pretty minimal. [ Steven  Aug 06, 2016 ]
    Yes, it gives access to thousands of radio stations. Also it provides many more radio presets. Bluetooth not required, [ JOSEPH T  Aug 06, 2016 ]
    The Android or iOS app provide the similar functions as the remote does. However, the app has a better UI and touch screen operation, i.e. more user friendly than the arrow button on the remote. One thing that the app cannot do is to turn the unit on. The app can only turn off the unit while it is on. Of course, the remote can do both. No Bluetooth is required to use the app. But, it needs wifi in order to work with the unit. Both the unit and your tablet running the app must be on the same local network. [ Thomas  Aug 05, 2016 ]
    I use an iPad and the answer is yes. Your best bet is to go to their site and look at "support" I'm sure you'll be able to locate the information you are requesting. My general answer is yes and you would only require Bluetooth if you are playing music from your Android device. [ Eliezer  Aug 05, 2016 ]
    I'm far from being an expert but the venting on the top of the CXR 120 probably puts out enough heat to make it 'unhealthy' for the CXN. Cambridge probably does consumers a disservice by showing pictures of the units stacked on one another - a few inches space for ventilation is probably best if you can. [ Michael  Mar 30, 2016 ]
    The CXN player will have better sound due to extra technology in it. An example of this extra technology is that the left/right channel audio will be better aligned (less jitter). Also, since it does not have an amp built into it, its preamp processing and decoding will not pick up any EMI from the amplification process. I hope that helps! My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=101 [ Paul  Mar 24, 2016 ]  Staff
    Thanks for your question. For information on comparing two or more models I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences and help you make the best choice for your system and your budget. [ Kenny  Mar 24, 2016 ]  Staff
    No it does not have subwoofer input. [ TJ`S SHOP N  Feb 17, 2016 ]
    I can't see why not. It's got a lot of outputs, but only one set of RCA jacks. If you connect to your power amp with the balanced outputs, that would free the RCA's to your sub. Don't expect any help from the owner's manual: there isn't one. [ Steven  Feb 17, 2016 ]
    You can also access control of your NAS files via other UPnP apps like the excellent BubbleUPnP for Android, not just the Cambridge Audio app, which is not that great. You can browse and select directly from the CXN screen as well using the knob on the unit, but it is pretty cumbersome that way. [ Peter  Dec 08, 2015 ]
    As long as your NAS drive is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Cambridge Audio CXN, you can wirelessly access the files stored on your NAS drive via the free Cambridge Connect App for Apple iOS (7.1+) and Android (OS 4.0+). [ Larry  Oct 30, 2015 ]  Staff
    yes only the one made for this unit cost is $100 from crutchfield. takes a lillitle while to pair but works well with my ipads and samsung tablets [ colin  Sep 14, 2015 ]
    You can purchase the Cambridge BT 1100 for $99 in order to make the CXN Bluetooth capable. [ Trey  Sep 14, 2015 ]
    The USB ports on this model are actually not designed to work with Apple mobile products. However, the Cambridge Audio CXN network audio player is compatible with Apple's AirPlay technology. So you can connect and wirelessly stream music from your iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, or your computer's (Mac or PC) iTunes library via your WiFi network. [ Larry  Dec 22, 2015 ]  Staff
    I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: Yes, the CXN can act as a preamp and be connected via the RCA composite outputs to an amplifier. If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Krissy  Aug 03, 2015 ]  Staff
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