Cambridge Audio CXR120
7.2-channel home theater receiver with Wi-Fi®
Our take on the Cambridge Audio CXR120 by Crutchfield's Steve Kindig
Audiophile sound quality from a home theater receiver
You don't have to choose between outstanding sound quality and home theater excitement. Cambridge Audio's CXR120 delivers both in one sleek, no-nonsense package. The CXR120 serves up the latest audio and video features your high-def home theater needs, along with the clean, clear sound Cambridge Audio is known for. This precision-built receiver includes potent, audiophile-quality amplification for seven speakers, plus decoding for the superior high-resolution surround sound formats available with today's video sources.
Up-to-the-minute connections for the latest audio/video sources
HDMI inputs let you connect up to seven high-def components for easy switching. The six rear-panel HDMI inputs support HDCP 2.2, which means they're ready for the 4K video sources, like Ultra HD Blu-ray. The CXR120's dual HDMI outputs let you run two displays at the same time; ideal if you have a screen in a second room, or want to use a projector for movies, but a TV screen for day-to-day use.
Plenty of sound choices, too
The Cambridge CXR120 gives you access to over 20,000 Internet radio stations from around the world; all sorted by location, language, and genre. Spotify® Connect is built in, too, so if you subscribe to Spotify Premium, you can play all your music and playlists and control the CXR120 with the Spotify Connect app on your Apple iOS or Android device. You can even stream music directly from your Bluetooth-enabled portable devices by adding Cambridge's optional BT100 adapter.
No-compromise British design
Cambridge Audio's London-based engineering team designed the CXR120 according to their usual high-end standards. The seven discrete amplifiers are all powered off a beefy toroidal transformer to maintain rock-steady power throughout the fluctuating demands of any music or soundtrack. Sound equipment is particularly susceptible to vibration, which is why Cambridge uses a low-resonance, acoustically damped metal chassis to eliminate as much vibration as possible. That ensures you'll hear the best possible sound quality from every audio source.
Power and processing:
- 7-channel amplifier
- 100 watts per channel into 8 ohms (1k Hz) at 0.006% THD, with 2 channels driven
- 60 watts per channel into 8 ohms (1k Hz) at 0.006% THD, with 7 channels driven
- Dolby® and DTS® surround decoding
- auto calibration for easy speaker setup (microphone included)
Digital Music Options:
- built-in Wi-Fi for listening to music from a networked PC, free Internet radio, and music services
- Spotify Connect lets you play Spotify's streaming music library through the receiver via your smartphone or tablet (requires Spotify app and a premium subscription)
- Bluetooth-ready with optional Cambridge Audio adapter
- plays high-resolution digital music files via USB storage device or a networked computer (up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution)
Audio Performance Features:
- high-current amplifier design
- toroidal power transformer for low noise and high-current output
- dual Cirrus Logic 32-bit DSPs for outstanding sound quality
- Cirrus Logic 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converters for all channels
- anti-vibration all-metal chassis
- HDMI 2.0 audio/video switching: 6 in, 2 out (1 additional HDMI input is v1.4)
- HDCP 2.2 technology ensures compatibility with 4K Ultra HD sources and TVs (rear-panel HDMI inputs and outputs only)
- digital audio inputs: 2 Toslink optical, 2 coaxial
- 3 analog audio inputs
- front-panel minijack input for connecting a portable player
- no phono input to connect a turntable you'll need to add a phono preamp
- front-panel USB port for audio playback from USB flash drives
- 7.1-channel analog audio preamp input
- Ethernet port for network connection
- preamp outputs for 2 powered subwoofers
- outputs for 7 speakers (Front L/R, Center, Surround L/R, Surround Back L/R)
- 1/4" headphone output
- RS-232C port for automated control systems
- detachable power cord
- direct IR flasher input and 12V DC trigger out
- 4K/60p and 3D video pass-through
- Audio Return Channel (ARC) function receives digital audio signals from a compatible HDTV's tuner or "smart" content via HDMI
- AM/FM tuner with 30 station presets
- illuminated remote control
- 16-15/16"W x 6-9/16"H x 17-5/8"D
- weight: 29 lbs.
- warranty: 3 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- 7.2ch AV receiver
- 6' AC power cord
- USB-WiFi dongle w/ antenna
- Remote control (RC-CXR120/200)
- 3 "AAA" batteries
- Auto setup mic
- FM wire antenna
- AM loop antenna
- Owner's Manual (En/Fr/Sp)
- "Thank You" card
- Spotify brochure
The Cambridge CXR120 plain and simple, very easy to setup. Totally built for sound. After 1 week of use, the sound and performance are above and beyond my expectations. Very nicely built, overall very happy with my decision.
Joe, New River, AZ
Cambridge Audio CXR120 Reviews
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Features and Specs
Discrete Amplifier Design: The Cambridge Audio CXR120 AV receiver uses a highly-efficient discrete Class A/B amplifier design, an audiophile grade oversize toroidal transformer, and substantial extruded heat sink. This allows the CXR120 to deliver 120 watts RMS per channel into 6Ω (two channels driven), 100 watts RMS per channel into 8Ω (two channels driven), or 60 watts RMS per channel into 8Ω (all 7 channels driven).
Amplifier Assignment: The seven amplifier channels built into the receiver are typically used for 7.1 channel surround (Front L/R, Center, Surround L/R, Surround Back L/R, and Dual SW) in the main room. These seven amplifier channels can be configured to accommodate two types of home theater setups.
- 7.1ch (Surround): Seven speakers are powered in the main room - Front L/R, Center, Surround L/R, and Surround Back L/R. Zone 2 will need to be powered by a separate amplifier. Bi-amplification is not an option.
- 7.1ch (Height): Seven speakers are powered in the main room - Front L/R, Center, Surround L/R, and Front Height L/R (no Surround Back channels).
All Metal Chassis: Electronics (and therefore sound quality) are particularly susceptible to vibration; that's why Cambridge Audio uses a low resonance, acoustically-dampened metal chassis to eliminate as much vibration as possible; ensuring that the highest sound quality is extracted from each audio source.
24-bit/192kHz DACs: The Cambridge Audio CX series AV receiver utilizes a Cirrus Logic (CS42528) 192kHz/24-bit D/A converter on each of the unit's seven channels for exceptional sound quality. The 192kHz sampling and 24-bit word length capabilities of the DACs allows you to play high-resolution recordings and hear the increased clarity, detail and dynamic range of those recordings.
32-Bit DSP: The Cambridge Audio CX series receiver employs a Cirrus Logic 32-bit/300Mhz DSP (CS49834A) for compatibility with the latest Dolby Digital, DTS, and Dolby Pro Logic decoding formats.
- Dolby Digital: Dolby Digital, Dolby, Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD
- DTS: DTS, DTS-ES, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution, DTS 96/24, DTS Neo: 6
- Dolby Pro Logic: Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Pro Logic IIz
Note: Dolby Digital and DTS listening modes can only be selected if your audio source is connected to the A/V receiver via a digital audio connection (HDMI, optical, or coaxial). To enjoy true 7.1ch Dolby Digital TrueHD and DTS-HD surround sound, the receiver must be connected to your Blu-ray player via HDMI.
DTS-HD Speaker Remap: As there is no official speaker layout for discrete 7.1 channel audio, it could be possible that the original master track of a 7.1 soundtrack was mastered with a different speaker layout than the one being used in your home. DTS has addressed this issue for DTS-HD Master Audio and High Resolution Audio by including in the bitstream flags to tell the receiving AV Receiver which of a seven nominal 7.1 speaker layouts was actually used. By using special DTS Speaker Remap algorithms the CXR120 is able to electronically "reposition" the speakers (i.e. direct the audio propagation), so that the playback matches the original encoded layout for the best possible sound quality.
Direct Stream Digital (DSD): Enjoy studio-quality sound thanks to the Direct Stream Digital (DSD) audio codec; designed specifically for High-Resolution Audio. This 1-bit format utilizes a stream of very high frequency 1s and 0s to recreate audio waveforms at a higher resolution than conventional codecs. The result is clearer, crisper, High-Resolution Audio quality. The CXR120 supports DSD (2.8/5.6MHz) decoding thru HDMI only.
Auto Room Calibration: For quick and simple installation in any room, this receiver uses the included microphone to perform multiple measurements of the listening environment and automatically sets the receiver up for optimum use dependent on your room's acoustics. You can also choose to manually setup the receiver by manually calculating the size, distance, and level of your connected speakers.
Dolby Volume & Calibration Offset: Dolby Volume maintains a consistent volume across all content, programs and input sources. Dolby Calibration Offset is used to trim differences in input level between sources. Dolby Volume can be set from 1-9
Surround Parameters: The Cambridge Audio CXR120 lets you tweak and fine tune specific surround sound modes to suit your preference.
- Dolby Pro Logic II Music Settings: While listening in the Dolby Pro Logic II Music format, there are three further enhancements you can adjust; Panorama: (broadens the front stereo image to the surround speakers to provide a wraparound effect), Dimension (allows you to move the sound field forward or backward), and Center Width (allows you to adjust the width of the center channel).
- Center Image: In the Neo:6 Music mode, the Center Image feature adjusts the output of the left and right channels relative to the center channel, allowing you to make the center channel more or less dominant as needed. This improves the image of the center channel, especially when the listener is off-center.
- Pro Logic IIz Height Gain: The Height Gain Control in Dolby Pro Logic IIz enables the listener to select how much gain is applied to the front high speakers.
Stereo Modes: The AV receiver also provides two-channel stereo playback, multi-channel stereo playback, as well as stereo direct mode. The Stereo/Stereo + Sub mode lets you choose between conventional stereo left and right speakers or stereo speakers with subwoofer. The Multi-channel Stereo mode sends a stereo signal to all speakers with left speakers receiving left stereo and right speakers receiving right stereo; the center and sub will be sent a mono signal. Direct mode bypasses any DSP, tone control, and multi-channel post processing for analog and digital inputs.
Tone & Dynamic Range Controls: The Cambridge Audio CXR120 offers independent Bass & Treble adjustment. DRC controls the dynamic range of Dolby Digital movie soundtracks by compressing the audio to limit the difference in level between loud and quiet passages in the movie.
Audio Inputs/Outputs: The AV receiver offers a variety of analog and digital audio inputs/outputs.
- Digital Inputs: The CXR120 features two optical (toslink)) and two coaxial RCA) digital inputs.
- Binding Post Speaker Terminals: The receiver has binding-post terminals for all speaker connections. The binding-post terminals can accept bare wire, pin connectors, and banana plugs (single only). Speakers with an impedance of between 4-8 ohms are recommended.
- 7.1ch Analog Inputs: The CXR120 features a 7.1 Channel input (Front left, Front right, Center, Surround left, Surround right, Surround Back left, Surround Back right, and Subwoofer) for connecting a DVD Audio player, Super Audio CD multi-channel player, or other component that has a multi-channel port so you can playback the audio with 5.1 channel or 7.1 channel surround sound.
- MP3 Input: The A/V receiver is fitted with a front-panel 3.5mm input for temporary connection of your portable digital audio player.
- Headphone Jack: The receiver features a 1/4" stereo headphone jack on its front-panel for connecting a pair of optional headphones. Plugging in a set of headphones will automatically mute the main speakers and pre-amp outputs, while selecting a 2-channel stereo down-mix soundfield. Headphones with an impedance of between 32-600 ohms are recommended.
HDMI 2.0: The Cambridge Audio CXR120 receiver is fitted with seven HDMI inputs (6 rear/1 front) and two HDMI outputs to deliver crystal-clear, all-digital audio and video signals. The two HDMI outputs will display the same audio/video signal simultaneously. Six of the seven HDMI inputs and both HDMI outputs are HDMI 2.0 certified (the front-panel HDMI/MHL input is HDMI 1.4). The CXR120 receiver supports 4K/60Hz and 1080p video signals; as well as 3D video and Deep Color. Deep Color. The AV receiver's HDMI jacks support 2-channel and multi-channel linear PCM (up to 8-channel) and Bitstream (Dolby Digital, DTS, etc) digital audio formats.
- 4K/60Hz + HDCP 2.2: This unit supports the latest HDMI 2.0 standards thanks to the transmission of 4K video @ 60 frames per second on six of its HDMI inputs and both outputs. These HDMI 2.0 jacks also support HDCP 2.2 which fully complies with the latest copyright protection, a standard for 4K video transmission.
- 3D Pass-Ready: The Cambridge Audio receiver supports 3D HDMI pass-through from connected 3D-compatible Blu-ray, games and broadcast devices to 3D-compatible HDTVs (all 3D components must be connected via HDMI). Special eyewear will be required for viewing 3D content.
- Deep Color Support: The CXR120 also supports Deep Color content, which can display a larger color range than standard-definition schemes. The result is a more lifelike, vibrant picture.
- Audio Return Channel (ARC): The HDMI 1 output supports ARC. This feature allows audio to be sent from your compatible HDTV to your receiver through the same HDMI cable already being used to send audio and video to your HDTV. This eliminates the need for extra cables connected to your television.
Note: This receiver does not offer any analog video inputs or outputs.
4K Upscaling: The CXR120 AV receiver will upscale 1080p video to 4K. In "Pass-through" mode, the output video format will be same as the input.
Front-Panel HDMI/MHL Port: The receiver's front-panel HDMI port is MHL compatible. This MHL compatible HDMI port provides easy, direct connection of MHL compatible smartphones, like Android. Playback of up to 1080p video and multi-channel audio from the phone is supported. The receiver will also charge (5V/1V) your connected phone. Play, Stop, and other basic operations can be controlled from the AV receiver's remote control.
AV Sync: This feature automatically compensates for the timing shift between the audio and video of the receiver. If needed, the audio signal can be manually delayed to match the video signal.
Wired or Wireless Network Connectivity: The Cambridge Audio CXR120 offers a wired (Ethernet) or wireless (WiFi dongle) connection to your home network for access to Internet Radio, select online music services, and music libraries stored on your computer.
- Ethernet (LAN) Jack: The CXR120 AV receiver 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 CXR120 includes a USB-WiFi dongle/WLAN aerial antenna which plugs into the receiver's rear-panel USB port. This USB-WiFi dongle/antenna wirelessly connects the AV receiver to your home network. The CXR120 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 content above 16 bits, 44.1/48kHz (if lossless/uncompressed).
Internet Radio & Spotify Connect: The Cambridge CXR120 gives you access to over 20,000 internet radio stations from around the world; all sorted by Location, Language, and Genre. The CXR120 also incorporates Spotify Connect. If you subscribe to Spotify Premium , you can play all of your Spotify music and playlists, plus control the CXR120 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.
UPnP Compatible: The Cambridge Audio CXR120 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 CXR120 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 CXR120. 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 CXR120 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.
Front-Panel USB Port: The Cambridge CXR120 AV receiver features a front-panel USB (type-A) port for music playback from a USB flash memory device or portable hard drive (up to 24-bit/192kHz). Your USB device must be formatted in FAT32 format with non-DRM music files. The CXR120 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 receiver's media browsing.
Note: There are two rear-panel USB (type-A) ports used only for the included WiFi module/antenna and Cambridge Audio's BT100 Bluetooth adapter (sold separately).
Supported Audio Formats: Cambridge Audio's CXR120 AV receiver supports all the most popular formats via Network, UPnP, and USB connection; up to 24-bit/192kHz. 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 CXR120 does not support WMA pro, WMA lossless, RAW, AU, or other music file types not mentioned.
RDS AM/FM Tuner: The Cambridge Audio AV receiver features a built-in AM/FM tuner with RDS. RDS is a method for the transmission of additional information from local radio stations. It is only available in FM mode. RDS will only work if the local broadcasting stations have RDS transmission and the signal is strong enough. You can store up to 30 AM/FM presets for easy recall. The tuner can be set to USA or European tuning.
On-Screen Display (via HDMI): The Cambridge Audio CXR120 AV receiver features an intuitive color on-screen display menu. The color OSD menu provides icon and text information about your system's settings. These menu displays can only be output to your TV via HDMI. The unit's front-panel LCD also displays the receiver's menu adjustments, as well as input source.
Firmware/Software Updates: The receiver allows you to update its firmware & software via a network connection (wired or wireless).
Auto Power Down: The Cambridge Audio CXR120 feature an automatic power down function and will by default shut down if no audio playback has been detected for 30 minutes, 1 hour, 4 hours, or 8 hours.
IR Remote w/ HDMI CEC: The Cambridge Audio CXR120 includes an IR remote control for wireless operation of the AV receiver. By pressing the appropriate button, you can turn the backlight on and illuminate the remote control's buttons. The AV receiver also supports HDMI-CEC, which synchronizes the operation of this unit with other HDMI-CEC devices when connected via HDMI.
Cambridge Connect App: The free Cambridge Connect App for Apple iOS (7.1+) and Android (OS 4.0+) gives you full control of the CXR120 AV receiver; including power on/off, source selection, volume up/down, and Zone 2. 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, Online music services, USB media, music stored on your smartphone/tablet device, and Bluetooth audio (requires BT100 adapter). The free app features a high-resolution display of album art and track information.
Optional Bluetooth Adapter: Simply plug in the Cambridge Audio BT100 Bluetooth Audio Receiver (779BT100, sold separately) into the receiver'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 CXR120 AV receiver.
Remote Connections: The Cambridge Audio CXR120 is fitted with the following custom remote connections.
- IR Input/Outputs: The receiver has two minijack (3.5mm) remote inputs and two minijack (3.5mm) remote outputs for use with external IR receivers
- 12V Trigger Outputs: The CXR120 feature two minijack (3.5mm) trigger outputs that can be used to signal to external devices for simple automation functions. The outputs are 0V for Off and 12V for On at up to 100mA.
- RS232C Port: The RS-232C port is to be used in conjunction with an external controller to control the operation of the unit by using an external device.
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Why did you buy this?
I trust Cambridge Audio products [ Michael May 30, 2018 ]
Cambridge Audio products exhibit premium quality from construction and materials to design and audio / video performance. Worth the extra expense. I also own a Cambridge CD player and have been very impressed with its sound quality and construction. [ Bradley Mar 25, 2018 ]
Sound, sound, sound. [ B Dec 14, 2017 ]
Its very difficult to find a combination of video receiver with audiophile quality music amp.While it misses the D-Atmos and DTS:X,the combination that I've mentioned is very difficult to find. This is perhaps the best at such a price point and infact 2x of this price point.I have auditioned many.The cheapest that could beat a CRX on both was perhaps a McIntosh!! Many claim for Yamaha 89/90 series & likewise including Arcam.They give a good fight for the video, can't come close for hi-def music [ Binu Rajendran Nov 28, 2016 ]
already own older version [ James Oct 03, 2016 ]
3 questions already asked
I'm not sure but I think u can l'm set up for 5.1 sounds great without biamping [ JOE E Jun 15, 2018 ]
Unsure but probably. I'd ask them directly in the UK. [ DAVE Jun 15, 2018 ]
I am not sure this will help but I used the pre-amp out to feed a bid B&K amp for another room. It worked fine, but you could probably also do the bi-amp thing, even though most people are getting away from that these days. [ Dfinkelsteinmd Jun 15, 2018 ]
The receiver has binding-post terminals for all speaker connections. The binding-post terminals can accept bare wire, pin connectors, and banana plugs (single only). You will find this information, and more, by clicking the "Details" tab on the receiver's main webpage and scrolling down below the "Features & Specs" table. I hope that helps. My Bio: https://www.crutchfield.com/bio/Ryan [ Ryan Aug 10, 2017 ] Staff
HDMI 2.0a inputs are needed to support High Dynamic Range (HDR) video content. As this update to the specification came out after the development of Cambridge Audio's CXR receivers, the HDR format is not supported and is a hardware change; meaning that it will not be possible to add this to the current CXR models. I hope that helps. My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=159 [ Larry Apr 22, 2016 ] Staff
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