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Cambridge Audio CXA80

Stereo integrated amplifier with built-in DAC and USB input, optional Bluetooth® (Silver)

12 Reviews | 7 questions - 23 answers

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Item # 779CXA80S

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Overview

Our take on the Cambridge Audio CXA80

When you hear your favorite music played through the CXA80, you'll know you're hearing it the way it was meant to be heard. That's because the dedicated team of music lovers at Cambridge Audio poured a lot of engineering know-how into its design. Every facet of what goes on inside this potent integrated amp was carefully considered to ensure every last drop of detail in your favorite recordings comes shining through. Cambridge didn't forget the outside, either. The CXA80 sports a classic-yet-modern design that looks as beautiful as it sounds.

Designed for people who are serious about music

When you hear your favorite music played through the CXA80, you'll know you're hearing it the way it was meant to be heard. That's because the dedicated team of music lovers at Cambridge Audio poured a lot of engineering know-how into its design. Every facet of what goes on inside this potent integrated amp was carefully considered to ensure every last drop of detail in your favorite recordings comes shining through. Cambridge didn't forget the outside, either. The CXA80 sports a classic-yet-modern design that looks as beautiful as it sounds.

Flexible connectivity, including high-res USB

The CXA80 gives you versatile options for enjoying analog and digital music sources alike. Its asynchronous USB port provides a clean, low-jitter connection for streaming music files up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution from your computer. Optical and coaxial digital audio inputs let you connect other sources like a TV, CD player, Blu-ray player, or a network streaming device. All digital inputs feed the CXA80's high-performance Wolfson digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for a powerful sonic upgrade. And there's plenty of room for your analog sources, too, including a pair of balanced XLR inputs for a noise-free connection to high-end components. You can even stream music directly from your Bluetooth® enabled portable devices by adding Cambridge Audio's optional BT100 adapter.

Real power for the real world

At the heart of the CXA80 is a high-performance, 80 watt-per-channel amplifier. Cambridge Audio's conservative power rating only tells part of this amp's story. Each channel's 80 watts are generated by a power supply that employs an audiophile-grade toroidal transformer for plenty of steady, low-noise current. Separate windings and transformer taps for the left and right channels, along with twin rectifiers and separate power supply units for each channel, provide dual mono operation that delivers maximum stereo separation for a wide, enveloping soundstage. The transformer is also centrally located inside the chassis to minimize interference with sensitive preamp circuitry, and it's surrounded by hefty extruded heat sinks for cool, efficient operation.

In addition to its ample power output, this integrated amp uses symmetrical and separately laid out right- and left-channel circuits with a greatly reduced component count in the signal path compared to previous models. This keeps distortion and interference from cluttering the signal, for rich, multi-layered sound. The result of all that beefy construction is an amp capable of handling the heavy demands of 4-ohm speakers as well as all the dynamic peaks in music that make it sound real.

Tone controls, direct mode, and room for extra speakers

The CXA80 features two pairs of speaker connectors, front-panel treble and bass controls, and Direct mode for bypassing these tone controls if you desire even purer sound. There's also a subwoofer output and preamp outs for expanding your system, as well as a front-panel headphone jack for private late-night music listening.

Product Highlights:

  • 80 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (120 watts x 2 channels into 4 ohms)
  • 4-ohm capability allows use with a wide range of speakers
  • THD: 0.02% (20-20,000 Hz at 80% of rated power)
  • built-in high-performance Wolfson WM8740 DAC
  • toroidal power transformer for low noise and high-current output
  • separate transformer taps for left and right channels, twin rectifiers and separate power supply units for dual mono operation of the left and right power amplifiers
  • separate left and right channel heat sinks and symmetrical separated circuit paths for maximum stereo separation and minimal cross-channel interference
  • high-quality ALPs film-type volume control provides superb low-level channel balance and stereo imaging
  • relay-based input source switching with silver-plated contacts for maximum signal transfer
  • full-metal casework with thick, brushed aluminum front panel and acoustically damped chassis for enhanced resonance control
Inputs:
  • USB (Type B) input for connection to a computer
    • supported bit depth and sample rates: up to 24-bit/192kHz
    • dedicated Cambridge Audio USB 2.0 driver required for 24-bit/192kHz playback on a Windows® PC (free USB driver download available from Cambridge Audio website)
  • 2 optical and 1 coaxial digital audio inputs
  • balanced stereo XLR inputs provide connectivity for high-end and professional audio sources
  • 4 stereo RCA audio inputs, 1 front-panel minijack (3.5mm) audio input
  • Bluetooth®-ready with optional Cambridge Audio adapter
Outputs:
  • 1 stereo RCA preamp output and a dedicated mono subwoofer output
  • minijack headphone output
  • switchable A+B speaker outputs with binding-post connectors
Other Info and Specs:
  • class A/B amplifier design
  • asynchronous USB technology for reduced timing jitter and better sound
  • ground lift switch to eliminate potential noise through USB connection
  • remote
  • 16-15/16"W x 4-1/2"H x 13-7/16"D
  • weight: 19.1 lbs.
  • If connecting to a TV, please make sure you can select "PCM" output in your TV's audio menu. The built-in DAC cannot decode multi-channel Dolby® Digital signals.
  • warranty: 3 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Stereo integrated amplifier
  • 6' AC power cord
  • Remote control (RC-CXA/C/N)
  • 3 "AAA" batteries
  • 39" mono-RCA control cable
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Important Safety Instructions. "Thank You" card

Featured Video

This intergrated amp is fantastic. 80 strong watts per channel and all the inputs you need. I auditioned other amps in the same price range and the Cambridge CXA80 sounded the best. Worth a look!

Evan, Huntington, NY

Reviews

Cambridge Audio CXA80 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(12 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Performance Specs
Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms) 80
Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms) Not given
Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms) 120
Frequency Bandwidth 20-20k
THD 0.02%
Minimum Impedance 4 ohms
Signal to Noise Ratio Not Given
Digital Music Features
Built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) Yes
High-resolution Audio Playback FLAC, AIFF
Bluetooth Optional
Wi-Fi N/A
Connections
Total Analog Inputs 5
Phono Input No
Optical Digital Inputs 2
Coaxial Digital Inputs 1
USB Input Type-B
Preamp Outputs Stereo, Sub
Headphone Output 3.5mm
Dimensions and Warranty
Width (inches) 16-15/16
Height (inches) 4-1/2
Depth (inches) 14-9/16
Weight (pounds) 19.1
Parts Warranty 3 Years
Labor Warranty 3 Years

Product Research

Features

80 Watts x 2 Channel: Rated at 80 watts x 2 channel into 8Ω (or 120 watts x 2 channel into 4Ω), the Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amplifier is powerful enough to drive some of the most demanding speakers, yet has the nuance and subtlety demanded by modern recordings.

Dual Mono Design: The CXA80 integrated amp employs separate transformer taps for left/right channels, twin rectifiers and separate PSUs that give dual mono operation of the left and right power amplifiers for incredible presence, performance, and sound imaging.

Oversized Toroidal Transformer (Dual-Mono Windings): The CXA80 integrated amplifier 's power comes from an oversized audiophile-grade toroidal transformer, which keep magnetic flux level extremely low, benefiting the other internal components. Separate dual mono windings on a low-flux toroidal transformer further enhance performance and together these design details deliver incredible control over your speakers on a wide, enveloping, captivating sound stage. The toroidal transformer is mounted centrally inside the chassis of the integrated amp to reduce flux or magnetic disturbance from the volume pot.

Symmetrical & Separated Circuitry: The entire internal layout of the CXA80 is designed to minimize left/right crosstalk and provide astonishing stereo separation, thanks to its symmetrical and separated circuit paths. By entirely separating the left and right channel heat sinks, and using symmetrical and separated circuit paths for the two channels, the CXA80 will deliver stunning stereo separation and minimum cross-channel interference with great soundstage performance.

Volume Pot: An ALPs film volume pot delivers accurate volume control and superb low level channel balance.

Dynamic Thermal Tracking Transistors: The output power transistors used by the CXA80 incorporate integrated Dynamic Thermal Tracking. Integrated Dynamic Thermal tracking provides a far more accurate reading of the real temperature of a transistor, and relays it faster too because it's not a delayed heating effect. This enables Cambridge Audio to bias the amplifier more accurately and in almost real time; which means the CXA80 is always running at optimum performance.

24-Bit/192kHz DAC: The CXA80 has been designed from the ground up with built-in digital to analog conversion capabilities. Using a high-specification 24-bit/192kHz WM8740 DAC chip from Wolfson, the CXA80 offers a powerful upgrade for all your digital sources.

Fully Balanced Signal Management: Cambridge Audio engineers decided to go fully balanced rather than single-ended all the way through. As a consequence, any noise that that might be picked up in the audio signal while routing through the amplifier is cancelled before it's output.

Tone Controls + Direct Mode: The CXA80 integrated amplifier has independent Bass (20Hz) and Treble (20kHz) controls. Or, you can select Direct Mode which gives the audio signal a more direct path to the power amplifier stage of your amplifier, bypassing the bass and treble control circuits for the purest possible sound quality.

High-Quality Damped Metal Chassis: The CXA80 features a high-quality damped metal chassis, designed to ensure that nothing rattles or interferes with the electronics.

Digital Inputs: The Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amp is equipped with optical, coaxial, and USB digital inputs.

  • Optical & Coaxial Inputs: The CXA80 integrated amp features two optical (toslink) inputs and a S/PDIF coaxial (RCA) digital input so you connect all of your digital sources. The unit's digital inputs can decode 2ch PCM and Dolby Digital 2.0.
  • Asynchronous USB Port: The CXA80 provides an Asynchronous USB (type-B) port for playback of music files stored on your Windows PC or Mac computer. The CXA80 can handles up to 24-bit/192kHz audio from your computer with low jitter.

Balanced & Unbalanced Audio Inputs: The Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amplifier is fitted with both balanced and unbalanced analog audio connections. The CXA80 integrated amp  features four unbalanced stereo RCA inputs and a front-panel 3.5mm Aux input.  The CXA80 integrated amplifier also features a pair of balanced XLR inputs to connect high-resolution CD and SACD players. XLR is a higher-quality input that can reject noise and interference from equipment with balanced outputs.

Outputs: The Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amp is fitted with A-B speaker terminals, a mono-sub output, stereo pre-outs and a headphone jack.

  • A-B Speaker Terminals: The Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amplifier is equipped with two sets of gold-plated, binding-post speaker terminals (labeled A and B). The terminals will accept bare wire, spade connectors, single- and dual-banana plugs. (The red and black caps can be removed when using banana plugs.) The use of A and B speaker terminals allow you to hook up speakers in another room. When using a single pair of speakers, use speakers with a nominal impedance of 4Ω to 8Ω. When using two pairs of speaker, use only speakers with a minimum nominal impedance of 8Ω.
  • Subwoofer Output: The CXA80 integrated amp features a mono-subwoofer output for adding a powered subwoofer. To ensure there's no unnecessary high frequency noise affecting the subwoofer, the subwoofer output is filtered at 3kHz. This is high enough to prevent any phase shift associated with the low pass filter affecting what happens below 200Hz. The result is a phase linear subwoofer output signal which is clean and musical.
  • Pre-Outs: The Cambridge Audio CXA80 is equipped with a pair of RCA pre-outs to connect the integrated amp to an external power amplifier.
  • Headphone Jack: The CXA80 integrated amplifier offers a front-panel 3.5mm headphone output to connect a set of headphones for private listening. When headphones are connected, the output to both A/B loudspeakers is muted.

Remote Control: The CXA80 is supplied with an IR remote control that operates this integrated and other Cambridge Audio CX series components. The remote operates off of three "AAA" batteries (supplied). The CXA80 features a Control Bus Input and Output (RCA), which allows un-modulated commands from multi-room systems or other components to be received by the amp and loop out to another unit.

Optional Bluetooth Adapter: Simply plug in the Cambridge Audio BT100 Bluetooth Audio Receiver (sold separately) into the Cambridge Audio CXA80'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 CXA80 integrated amp.

Auto Power Down: The CXA80 integrated amplifier can be set to automatically go into "Standby mode" if there is no audio signal or operation for approximately 10, 30, or 60 minutes.

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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Staff Reviews

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Good Reviews, good compromise between power and price. [ Michael  Aug 08, 2018 ]
Unit has built-in modern DAC, better power than the CXA60, and generally favorable reviews. Pro reviews indicate a 4 out of 5 star status and good value for the price. Major concern and reason I used Crutchfield is a comment regarding the integrity of the muting circuit in terms of either design or factory execution. Compared units include Rotel 1572 and NAD 368. [ Robert  Jan 16, 2018 ]
Right mix of features at a reasonable price. Good reviews. [ L  Jun 25, 2017 ]
Good sound lots for features for the price . [ Darrell  Apr 06, 2017 ]
The amplifier has been praised in What Hi-Fi?, The Absolute Sound, other publications and reviews available on Crutchfield. It is better priced given the features (included DAC converter, excellent connectivity, dual speaker outputs) than other similarly reviewed amplifiers. It will replace a NAD C 370 integrated amp, and seems to be of slightly better build quality than the NAD. [ James F.  Apr 01, 2017 ]
Power, quality and reputation of Cambridge Audio for 2 channel music. [ Kar Chun  Nov 30, 2016 ]
Check my "Fantastic" review. I'm elated with this amp. [ John  Sep 03, 2016 ]
I did extensive research on integrated amplifiers before buying the CX80. I looked long and hard at a Yamaha but in the end bought the CX80. It has the power I need to drive my Martin Logan Motion 15's and even more important it has the Wolfson DAC. We do a lot of streaming and getting anintegrated amp with a top end DAC was very important. I couldn't be happier. [ Joseph  Aug 29, 2016 ]
Specs, reputation, performance [ CORBIN  Jul 29, 2016 ]
The reviews for Cambridge CX series of amplifiers and other components are extraordinary. It seems this unit falls in the sweet spot of attainable price and high quality. [ Daniel  Jan 27, 2016 ]
I was looking for a quality integrated amplifier with DAC and USB capabilities. This was the one for me. [ Nelson  May 05, 2017 ]
Just upgrading my home audio. [ wayne  Jan 14, 2017 ]
I chose this based on Crutchfield customer reviews and other professional reviews found on the internet. I was looking for an integrated amplifier to build a stereo system with an emphasis on playing high-definition digital music. [ Dale  Jan 15, 2016 ]

7 questions already asked

It does not have a tuner. I can't say I have the perfect solution for you, but I have a SONOS connect hooked up to mine which has TuneIn radio, which gives you a wider variety of stations and it's a higher quality digital stream of your local stations. [ Andrew  Apr 15, 2017 ]
No, radio over IP is [ Evgeny  Apr 07, 2017 ]
No, there is no radio tuner on both CXA's, as they are not receivers.They are good at internet streaming audio which are very good. [ Lei  Apr 06, 2017 ]
No, it is an integrated amplifier (preamp + amplifier). An expensive option is the Cambridge CXN network player. With CXN, you can stream most radio stations via the internet. I have been able to do this with my CXA80 and CXN set-up. Alternative option is to connect a Bluetooth receiver, Cambridge BT100, Chromecast, etc. to stream a music service (Spotify, Pandora, etc.). Fidelity of radio stations are low quality versus streaming music services. [ Kar Chun  Apr 06, 2017 ]
Both of these are integrated amps and don't have a tuner. Cambridge does make a receiver that that does have a tuner. I have the CXA80 and CXN network player that includes internet radio and up samples the bit rate to make it sound really good, even at 128 kb. I know the CXN is a little bit pricey but well worth it. [ Howard  Apr 05, 2017 ]
The CXA60 and CXA80 are not receivers so they do not have tuners.They are integrated amplifiers(preamp and power amp on the same chassis). All inputs must come from other sources such as cd players, tuners, music streamers or turntables through a separate phono preamp. [ Thomas W.  Apr 05, 2017 ]
No radio tuner built it. You'd have to buy an extra component such as NAD 427 for radio stations. I found me a decent tuner on eBay. [ GONZALO  Apr 05, 2017 ]
No they don't. And I'm in the process of solving the same problem. For good o' antenna reception you can purchase a separate AM/FM Tuner (anywhere from a $150 Denon Pro to $4000 McIntosh). You'll find out quickly that only a handful of Tuners are available by this age and most are available at Crutchfield. Another method is to get the Cambridge BT100 and stream internet radio from your phone/bluetooth internet devices. Lastly you may already have another piece of equipment, e.g. a home theater receiver, that has built in radio tuner. In that case you may be able to use that as an input for the CXA. [ Samsung55  Apr 05, 2017 ]
These amplifiers don't have a radio receiver. You can attach a network streaming device such as Bluesound Node 2 for receiving internet radio, hook up an external radio receiver [ S  Apr 05, 2017 ]
No they don't, you'd have to get a separate tuner or one of the Cambridge "Receivers". CXA + CXN gets you internet radio, but after the firmware update a month or so ago I get commercials in more of the stations now. [ John  Apr 05, 2017 ]
Neither has a radio tuner. To listen to radio you can buy a separate tuner, or, better yet, connect the amp to your computer and listen to internet radio. [ David  Apr 05, 2017 ]
No - you can't bi-amp the way you described. This amplifier doesn't support no-amping. "Bi" means 2 - - you need 2 amps to bi-amp [ S  Dec 31, 2016 ]
Go to their website, and peruse the manual. I believe there are some specifics. For a bi-wired pair of speakers, you'll only be able to run that one pair. Don't let that discourage you `cause with digital sources this 80 watts rivals the 125/ch from my old Yamaha. Plus it's even a more clean sound! [ John  Dec 30, 2016 ]
The pre-out can be used while also using the amp in this integrated amp. You can connect a second amp to it to power even more speakers. I hope that helps! My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=101 [ Paul  Apr 04, 2016 ]  Staff
The manual does not state compatibility with any other voltages. The ones we offer are made for use in the North American market so we can only confirm the 110 volt option. I hope that helps! My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=5 [ Ryan  Jan 18, 2016 ]  Staff
The Cambridge Audio CXA80 does not have a dedicated phono input for connecting a turntable. You can still connect a turntable to this integrated amp though by using a phono pre-amp. Here's a link to the portion of our site where you can find the phono pre-amps we carry: http://www.crutchfield.com/g_50500/Phono-Preamps.html?tp=48772 [ Larry  Oct 30, 2015 ]  Staff
I have an inexpensive Polk sub running off the MONO SUB OUT. I haven't had any issues. Volume is controlled on the Polk sub. I do not over drive it. I use it as a bit of low end support, not for a means of wall shaking. Although, the MONO SUB OUT will provide that option, if you so desire. [ THOMAS  Jul 31, 2018 ]
Go to the sub out on the cxa [ DEVON  Jul 31, 2018 ]
yes It can [ DEVON  Jul 31, 2018 ]
I believe you would use the CXA80 pre-outs (2 rca connector wires) to connect to the HRSW12V Pre-ins assuming there are two connectors (one for each channel) on the sub input panel. More modern subs often have the single subwoofer input (the sub out from the CXA80) in order to be more easily compatible for use in 5 and 7 channel systems. In that case the two channels are integrated and appropriately filtered by the CXA80. Not sure the "main out" use except if you want to filter out the lower frequencies to whatever whatever the "main out" is connected two. It may just mean the the sub can connect to either a main speaker line or the preamplifier (pre) out, but again, if you run both preamp out line level feeds from the amplifier to two pre-in inputs in the subwoofer, that should provide you the correct inputs. The sub will include some built in filter to avoid high frequency signals that could harm the sub, and, likely adjustable volume and cross-offer frequency controls to tailor the sound from the sub with your other speakers. That will take trial and error and may differ by type of music and listening preference. [ Robert  Jul 31, 2018 ]
I have this going to a powered Klipsch sub, and then have the CXA80 powering two tower speakers, and everything sounds really, really great. Hope this is helpful. [ Brian  Jul 30, 2018 ]
Cambridge Audio BT100 for Bluetooth connectivity via built-in USB (rear). BT100 supports A2DP for iPhone. Otherwise, use a different Bluetooth receiver for connection via the RCA input. [ Kar Chun  Dec 30, 2016 ]
Sorry don't use a smartphone; still among the dinosaurs. But the amp is nice. [ ADAM  Apr 08, 2016 ]
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