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Cambridge Audio S20

Bookshelf speakers (Noir)

20 Reviews

Item # 779S20N

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Our take on the Cambridge Audio S20

All of Cambridge Audio's S-series speakers are carefully designed and tested at their London facility by a team of engineers fueled by a passion for incredible sound. Each S20 speaker uses a 1" soft dome tweeter for silky smooth highs. It features a state-of-the-art motor system with a neodymium magnet and critically selected voice coil assembly. The 4" woven composite woofer delivers accurate midrange and powerful, yet controlled bass with minimal distortion.

Great sound and simple good looks for any room

Cambridge Audio's compact S20 bookshelf speakers are no strangers to sonic agility and power. Delivering a deliciously crisp treble and surprisingly deep bass, these monitors are ideal as part of a home theater setup, as a stereo music system, or as hi-fi desktop computer speakers in smaller rooms. With their good looks and versatility, the S20 speakers make a great budget speaker pair. Want even more bass? Just add a powered subwoofer and listen to these babies really come to life!

Designed and engineered with passion


All of Cambridge Audio's S-series speakers are carefully designed and tested at their London facility by a team of engineers fueled by a passion for incredible sound. Each S20 speaker uses a 1" soft dome tweeter for silky smooth highs. It features a state-of-the-art motor system with a neodymium magnet and critically selected voice coil assembly. The 4" woven composite woofer delivers accurate midrange and powerful, yet controlled bass with minimal distortion.

A rigid phase plug at the center of the woofer cone improves the S20's off-axis response, so you can enjoy seamless audio even if you're not sitting directly in front of your TV or sound system. And the custom-designed first order crossover sends the right frequencies to the right drivers to keep your music and movie soundtracks sounding faithful to the studio original.

The solidly braced MDF cabinets help prevent unwanted resonance from coloring the sound. Plus, the pair is video shielded for safe placement next to older tube TVs or computer monitors.

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Product Highlights:

  • frequency response 80-20,000 Hz
  • handles 15-80 watts
  • sensitivity 85 dB
  • 8-ohm impedance
  • 1" soft dome tweeter
  • state-of-the-art motor system with neodymium magnet
  • 4" woven polyfibre woofer
  • rigid phase plug for improved off-axis response
  • magnetically shielded for safe placement next to tube TVs
  • rigid MDF cabinet with internal cross-bracing
  • binding post speaker connectors
  • 5-1/8"W x 7-7/8"H x 7-1/8"D
  • weight: 4.6 lbs. each
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • 2 Black bookshelf speakers
  • 2 Black cloth grilles (attached)
  • 8 Self-adhesive foam pads
  • Installation Guide

Speakers are very good for the low price. Easy set up and amazing sound.

D and D Allen, Perry, GA


Cambridge Audio S20 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(20 Reviews)

Great for surround duty in 5.1 HT setup

HT_GUY from New Jersey on 3/28/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These are the surrounds in my 5.1 HT setup. I started with a Yamaha HTiB (YHT-399U) and changed the front 3 speakers to the Sony Core bookshelves and center channel and the sub to the Dayton SUB-1200. These S20s put out a lot more bass than the tiny satellites that they replaced and blend with the fronts seamlessly despite being much more compact. Sound quality is clean, clear, detailed, and smooth with plenty of depth and no harshness. The build quality of the speaker visually is excellent and the sealed design means it can be placed close to a wall without any sound quality issues. All in all, it sounds like a larger speaker than it is and it fills the room with high quality sound when paired with my other speakers in my 5.1 HT setup.

Pros: everything

Cons: none

Cambridge S20

Basstoes from Rhode Island on 3/23/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This inexpensive pair of Bookshelf speakers is a great value. I got this pair of speakers for a small stereo system for my kitchen. On their own, they sons a little bit thin ( not much bass response). I added a small inexpensive subwoofer ( bought at a second hand store for $20), and the system came to life. So for a modest price, I now have a grey sounding small system.

Pros: Compact, cost effective, detailed sound

Cons: lacking in low end response

Top Notch Speakers

D and D Allen from Perry, GA on 2/9/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Speakers are very good for the low price. Easy set up and amazing sound.

Pros: Easy set up Amazing sound

Cons: None

Cambridge Audio S20

MH from Cincinnati OH on 10/5/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Small speakers, very well constructed, great for small room. The finish is very good, I really like the name on the speaker cover is darkened adds a nice touch. Bass is weak, maybe if the speaker was ported, it would be better. Overall very balanced and smooth for the price.

Pros: Great size, outstanding fit and finish.

Cons: Want any bass, you will need a sub.

Cambridge Audio S20 Review

Marco from Massachusetts on 8/14/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I ordered these as left-rear and right-rear surrounds.

Pros: Color matched my real walnut-wood mains and subwoofer. Sturdy connections for knob-and-wire or banana plug.

Cons: Not real wood, but colored vinyl, however the dark-oak color is close enough to complement my oiled-walnut speakers. I would caution people not to hang on wall (unless with strong screw anchor) because the units are too weighty for a mere picture-hanging nail.

Magic in a box

MW from Schenectady on 8/9/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Sometimes things just work...whether it's the proximity of the drivers, cabinet dimensions, sealed cabinet or whatever, these little guys are the real deal. The sum is surely greater than the individual parts. If you prize clarity of midrange and spacial cues, these will not disappoint. A little tight out of the box, but let them break in...I run them with a Qinpu A3 8.5wpc hybrid tube amp and have never been more delighted. Add a sub to fill out the lowest bass notes if you desire (I use a paradigm sub-8, also a sealed design) but actually enjoy listening to them sans sub. Also work well for studio monitors and mixing music...truly sublime.

Pros: Price and sound

Cons: None

Fantastic Value

Anonymous from Akron, OH on 6/27/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

When I was looking for a quality pair of bookshelf speakers, I read the reviews which called these the little beasts. For $100 I bought them and I'm very pleased.

Pros: Great sound quality. Surprising bass.

Cons: None.

Cambridge Audio S20

Anonymous from San Luis Obispo, CA on 6/17/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sounding little speakers! Perfect for rear speakers in my home theater. The one complaint I have is that they are listed as book shelf speakers which they certainly look like, but they are technically stand speakers and therefor were not attachable to the speaker mounts I already had. I had to hang them directly to the wall which the instruction sheet did not recommend.

Pros: compact, nice sound.

Cons: meant to be attached to stands, NOT wall mounts

Cambridge Audio S20 Speakers

Sherry from Coudersport, Pa. on 5/1/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very impressed with the Cambridge Audio bookshelf speakers! Superb sound which brings my old music of the 70`s & 80`s back to life. Would highly recommend these to anyone wanting a cost effective pair of speakers. They arrived as promised with great packing as well as fast delivery. Very good Advisors who are very knowlegable with their products!

Pros: size wood look

Cons: none

Good quality!

JB from 31028 on 3/25/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Good quality speakers.

Pros: Crisp sound.


Cambridge Audio S20 Speakers

BillM from Suwanee, Ga. on 3/3/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These little speakers sound terrific. I'm using them primarily for Pandora thru my Roku. To up the bass I connected a Bose sub and the sound is more than adequate for our family room; although they require the amp be bumped up slightly. The speakers deliver a rich sound, especially when you consider their small size.

Pros: Excellent size for our built in cabinets. My wife cannot stand large stereo speakers that distract from here shelving arrangements.

Cons: Screw type wire connections are a little tedious.

Nice little speaker!

RoyBoy from Odenton, Maryland on 1/31/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound for the size and cost of the speakers. Nice and neutral. Highs and midrange are crisp. Bass is a little soft, but what do you want from such a small enclosure. Fit and finish are nice for the price.

Pros: Great value! Nice sound.

Cons: Bass a little soft.

Excellent Little Speakers!

R_AK from AK on 10/31/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These are very nice looking, excellent sounding little speakers. I have them in dark oak and the veneer is good quality with a nice satin finish. I'm using them for my work/office setup as computer speakers powered by a Topping TP20-MK2 class T amp and they perform perfect for me. The frequency response is what the specs state (I measured 80hz - 20khz @ +/- 3 db with a bit of a hump at 111hz) so you'll want to use a sub to get any useable bass below 100hz. Other than that, the imaging and clarity is very good given the price. They sound just as nice as the Axiom M22s I run in my home theater setup. Off-axis response is also quite good. I would not hesitate to get another set.

Pros: Very nice looking, excellent sounding. Outstanding for the price.

Cons: Needs a subwoofer to round out the bass.

Great little speakers

RichC from Long Island, NY on 7/5/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great little speakers! I was looking for a set of small-ish speakers for my home office to go with the Cambridge AR30 receiver I bought a few months ago. I have limited flat spaces, so I bought a pair of Sanus BF13 stands to go with them. The sound great. There's an appealing brightness to the sound. The bass is more than adequate for a small room but you can always add a subwoofer to give you a bigger punch. Overall, I'm very pleased and would recommended them.

Pros: Small size; fit and finish; bright sound.

Cons: None

retro gamer

rogersyd from Hartford, CT on 4/13/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Amiga demo scene music has never sounded better! Great little speakers for the price. I have terrestial radio, pc, and hand-held gaming device audio comming through these speakers (via a nad326) and for those sources, these speakers are a great buy.

Pros: price

Cons: none to speak of

Nice little speakers

David R. from Saxapahaw, NC on 3/25/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Out of the book, they were a little stiff and peaky in the midrange, so I've been playing bass-heavy EQ'ed music through them to loosen up the speaker cones, and they've opened up nicely. They have plenty of bass response for music playback without a sub in my 10'X10' bedroom. Overall, they're really, really nice for 4 inch bookshelves at a great price.

Pros: Big sound in a small package, aesthetically pleasing, solid binding posts


Good Value Speakers

DonAZ from Tucson, AZ on 3/15/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought these to replace 25-year old KEF Series C speakers that took on a distortion in the right speaker. My amplifier is 25-years old with 35-watts per channel, if I recall correctly. The mid- and high-end on these new speakers is very good. I put in a Police CD and listened to "Roxanne" (lots of high-hat and guitar chords) and "King of Pain" (wonderful bass line). As mentioned, mid- and high-end is excellent. Bass is very good for speakers this size, though not quite as good as my old KEF. But plenty adequate for my needs. And the price/value ratio is very good. No complaints.

Pros: Small, compact, good mid- and high-end.

Cons: Adequate but not great bass, as is to be expected with speakers this size.

For their size.....they do alright.

k2k from Poconos, PA on 2/14/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

For the size of these speakers, they put out a nice, clear, full, balanced sound. They have more bass than I expected. I'm using them as my B speakers with my Onkyo S9050, so I don't have to blast my A channel, JBL floorstanding speakers, when I just want to watch some TV. With the S20's, the TV audio is plenty loud and clear. These will work well for listening to music too. Albeit, for a smaller room. For critical listening however, they won't fill the living room with a huge wall of sound, that's what the big floor standing JBL's are for.

Pros: solid binding posts, decent build quality, adequate sound reproduction. Good deal at this price point.

Cons: none right now...

decent speakers

shmendrick from washington, d.c. on 8/23/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

decent sound, compact size; we use them with my old (great) Bose 301 series III speakers

Pros: good sound, nice appearance for bookshelf

Cons: none

Cambridge Audio S20

Silver Streak from Littleton, Co. on 8/6/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Their sound is great for there size; O'L Henry K. would still be proud.

Pros: Very well built, even have the upgraded speaker wire attachments. Over all workmanship is very good.

Cons: A little bit power hungry, but that is to be expected in a acoustic suspension speaker.


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Enclosure Acoustic Suspension
Video Shielded Yes
Tweeter Type Dome
Tweeter Size (inches) 1
Midrange Size (inches) N/A
Woofer Size (inches) 4
Woofer Composition Woven polyfibre
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range 15-80
Sensitivity 85 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Frequency Response 80-20k Hz
Connector Type Post
Bi-amp Inputs No
Height (inches) 7-7/8
Width (inches) 5-1/8
Depth (inches) 7-1/8
Weight (pounds) 4.6
Mounting Bracket Included Keyhole
Recommended Stand Height (inches) 24-28
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years

Product Research

Overview: The Cambridge Audio S20 Bookshelf Loudspeakers feature a two-way design with a 1" soft-dome tweeter and 4" mid-bass woofer loaded in an acoustic suspension enclosure. The S20 bookshelf loudspeakers deliver crisp treble and deep bass. You can also add a Cambridge Audio S-series powered subwoofer (779S90B, sold separately). The S20 bookshelf loudspeakers are ideal for a stereo or home theater application. These speakers can be table-top or wall mounted.

Driver Technology
Enclosure Design
Mounting Options

Driver Technology

Two-Way Drivers: The Cambridge Audio S20 bookshelf loudspeakers employ a two-way speaker design.

  • 1" Soft-Dome Tweeter: The S20 bookshelf loudspeakers feature a 1" soft-dome tweeter for smooth, accurate highs. The tweeters use high flux density, self shielding neodymium magnet assemblies for improved sensitivity and better dynamics.
  • 4" Mid-Bass Woofer: The S20 bookshelf loudspeakers utilize a 4" woven polyfiber cone mid-bass woofer for dynamic mid & bass response. Each mid-bass woofer uses a rigid phase plug for improved off-axis integration. The 4" mid-bass woofers also feature a high-quality rubber surround edge for reliable cone termination. In addition, an optimized magnet motor-assembly is used for extended lower frequencies.

Two-Way Crossover: The S20 bookshelf loudspeakers utilize a 1st order, 2-way crossover to deliver high-frequencies to the tweeters and mid-/low-frequencies to the mid-bass drivers. High-quality laminate core inductors give cleaner bass with improved dynamics, while polypropylene film capacitors in critical path areas give a high-resolution high frequency response.

Frequency Response: The S20 bookshelf loudspeakers have a frequency response rating of 80 to 20,000 Hz.

Power Handling: The Cambridge Audio S20 bookshelf loudspeakers can handle between 15 to 80 watts (RMS).

Enclosure Design

Acoustic Suspension: The Cambridge Audio S20 bookshelf loudspeakers employ an acoustic suspension (sealed) enclosure for deeper, accurate bass.

MDF Cabinet: The S20 bookshelf loudspeakers feature a rigid MDF cabinet with internal cross-bracing to prevent any unwanted distortion caused by vibration and resonance.

Wood Veneer Finish: The S20 bookshelf loudspeakers are available in a black or dark oak wood veneer finish.

Removable Grille: The Cambridge Audio S20 bookshelf loudspeakers include removable black cloth grilles.

Magnetically Shielded: The enclosures have been magnetically shielded, so you can safely place the speakers next to your television or computer monitor.


Binding Posts: The Cambridge Audio S20 bookshelf loudspeakers are equipped with a set of binding post terminals. The binding post terminals will accept bare-wire, pin-connectors, spade-connectors, and banana-plugs (single only).

Color Coded: The terminals are color-coded (black/red) to distinguish between positive and negative.

Mounting Options

Applications: The Cambridge Audio S20 bookshelf loudspeakers are ideal for stereo and home theater applications. You can even add a Cambridge Audio S-series powered subwoofer (779S90B, sold separately).

Placement: Ideally, the bookshelf speakers and listening position should be positioned equal distances apart.

Table-Top Mounting: The Cambridge Audio S20 bookshelf loudspeakers include 8 self-adhesive foam-feet (4 each) to simply place the speakers securely on a desk, table, shelf, or speaker stand securely and safely.

Wall Mounting: The S20 bookshelf loudspeakers can be wall-mounted using the rear-mounted keyhole slot or dual threaded inserts (with optional bracket).

  • Keyhole Slot: The Cambridge Audio S20 bookshelf loudspeakers feature a rear-mounted keyhole slot for mounting the speakers to your walls (screws not included).
  • Dual Threaded Inserts: The S20 bookshelf loudspeakers feature dual rear-mounted M6 threaded inserts that will accommodate an optional articulating wall-mount bracket (sold separately). Two M6 machine screws have to be removed to access the threaded inserts on each speaker.

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.

Staff Reviews

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

The Little Beasts

Written by Mike, Technical Support Advisor 4, on 10/10/2012 3:45:00 PM

Recently, I wanted to update my computer speakers. I've tried a few different cheapo 2.1 speaker systems over the past few years; I was ready to spend a little more and get a small, simple system with better dynamic range and frequency response.

The Cambridge S20 speakers are developing an underground reputation as "The Little Beast." They are fairly small bookshelf speakers, only 5 inches wide, 8 inches tall, and 8 inches deep. Despite their small stature, these speakers have impressive bass response. But their primary strength is the clarity and definition in the midrange and high frequencies. Thanks to these "Little Beasts," I can hear details in my music collection I never knew existed.

The only complication from upgrading my speakers if that I now have to re-import my CDs in FLAC format. Due to the increased detail in these S20s, I can really hear the improvement in lossless audio formats. It reminds me of when I bought a high definition television — only then did I appreciate high-resolution video content.I guess I have something to keep me busy this winter.

I highly recommend these speakers. They're a steal at this price.

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