Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II Integrated Stereo Amplifier - Dreamedia AV
Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II Integrated Stereo Amplifier - Dreamedia AV
Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II Integrated Stereo Amplifier - Dreamedia AV
Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II Integrated Stereo Amplifier - Dreamedia AV
Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II Integrated Stereo Amplifier - Dreamedia AV
Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II Integrated Stereo Amplifier - Dreamedia AV
Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II Integrated Stereo Amplifier - Dreamedia AV
Vendor: Cambridge Audio

Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II Integrated Stereo Amplifier

High-Fidelity Stereo Amplifier with Advanced DAC
$1,199.00
$1,199.00

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Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II Integrated Stereo Amplifier

Experience the Pinnacle of Sound with Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II

Imagine a sound so clear and powerful that it transports you to the center of your favorite musical performances or into the heart of the action in movies. The Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II Integrated Stereo Amplifier is not just a component in your home theater system; it's the heart that pumps life into your audio experience. With its robust power output and cutting-edge digital-to-analog conversion, this amplifier promises an audio journey like no other.

Power and Precision

The CXA81 Mk II comes with an impressive 80W RMS power output into 8 Ohms and an even more remarkable 120W RMS into 4 Ohms. This means that whether you're using bookshelf speakers or floor-standing models, the CXA81 Mk II delivers the drive and dynamism necessary to fill your room with sound. Its Class AB amplifier design ensures a balance of efficiency and performance, letting you enjoy your music with pristine clarity and detail.

Unsurpassed Audio Fidelity

The heart of the CXA81 Mk II's digital prowess is the ESS Sabre ES9016K2M DAC. Renowned for its outstanding signal-to-noise ratio and minimal harmonic distortion, this DAC supports high-resolution audio formats up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256. Whether you're a vinyl enthusiast or a digital audio connoisseur, the CXA81 Mk II serves up audio with incredible depth, nuance, and realism.

Seamless Connectivity

The CXA81 Mk II is a hub of connectivity:

  • Analog Audio Inputs: 1x balanced XLR and 4x RCA inputs cater to all your analog sources, ensuring a pure and balanced signal path.
  • Digital Audio Inputs: With 1x S/PDIF coaxial, 2x TOSLINK optical, and 1x USB audio, all your digital devices are covered. Plus, the integrated Bluetooth with aptX HD codec support allows for high-fidelity wireless streaming.
  • Outputs: The amplifier supports Speakers A+B, a 3.5mm headphone jack, preamp output, and subwoofer output, giving you flexibility in how you set up your sound system.

Designed for the Modern Audiophile

The CXA81 Mk II is not only built for exceptional sound but also for ease of use. Its ROON Tested certification ensures it works seamlessly with one of the most respected music servers and managers available. The inclusion of a remote control and built-in Bluetooth aptX HD receiver means you can dive into your music collection from the comfort of your couch.

Aesthetic Meets Function

The sleek design of the CXA81 Mk II, with its classic Cambridge Audio aesthetic, makes it a standout piece in any setup. The solid build quality is apparent in its weight and dimensions, ensuring it not only looks the part but feels it too. Its physical presence is a testament to the quality of sound it produces.

Premium Amplification Components

Cambridge Audio has a reputation for using high-quality components, and the CXA81 Mk II is no exception. Every aspect of this amplifier is designed to provide the cleanest, most faithful reproduction of your music. The improved analog signal path and power supply over its predecessor guarantee a listening experience that's both dynamic and soothing to the ears.

Dual Speaker Convenience

The ability to run two pairs of speakers is a feature often overlooked but greatly appreciated by audiophiles. Whether you want to fill multiple rooms with sound or enjoy the acoustic benefits of bi-wiring, the CXA81 Mk II accommodates your needs with ease.

The Dreamedia Difference

At Dreamedia, we understand that choosing the right amplifier is crucial to creating the ultimate home theater experience. That's why we're here to help you design a system that not only meets but exceeds your expectations. The Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II Integrated Stereo Amplifier is a testament to our commitment to quality and our passion for bringing the best audio experience into your home.

Technical Specifications

  • Power Output: 80W RMS into 8 Ohms, 120W RMS into 4 Ohms
  • DAC: ESS Sabre ES9016K2M
  • Frequency Response: <5Hz - 60kHz +/-1dB
  • THD: <0.002% 1kHz, <0.02% 20Hz - 20kHz
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >93dB (unweighted)
  • Dimensions: 115 x 430 x 341mm (4.5 x 16.9 x 13.4”)
  • Weight: 8.7kg (19.1lbs)

Included Accessories

Your CXA81 Mk II comes with everything you need to get started:

  • CXA81 Integrated Amplifier
  • Power Cable
  • 3 x AAA Batteries
  • Remote Control
  • Control Bus Cable
  • Bluetooth Antenna
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Safety Guide

In Summary

The Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II Integrated Stereo Amplifier is not just a purchase; it's an investment in unparalleled audio excellence. With its power, precision, and premium components, it stands as a centerpiece of any high-fidelity audio system. Its versatile connectivity and elegant design make it a joy to use and showcase in your home.

At Dreamedia, we're excited about the possibilities the CXA81 Mk II brings to your audio experience. We're here to assist you every step of the way, from selection to setup, to ensure that your investment pays off in endless hours of auditory bliss. Embrace the future of sound with Cambridge Audio and Dreamedia.

Our Review

Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II Integrated Stereo Amplifier Review

Introduction

Cambridge Audio has long established itself as a purveyor of high-fidelity audio products, consistently delivering equipment that strikes a fine balance between performance and value. The integrated amplifier space, teeming with contenders, is a segment where Cambridge Audio's CXA81 Mk II seeks to carve out its niche. This successor to the acclaimed CXA81 aims to enhance the listening experience for audiophiles and casual listeners alike.

Design and Build Quality

Exterior Design

The CXA81 Mk II maintains Cambridge Audio's minimalist yet functional design ethos. The chassis exudes a sleek and modern appeal, with a brushed metal finish that should blend seamlessly with a variety of home theater setups. Although it doesn't deviate significantly from its predecessor in terms of external design, the amplifier feels robust and meticulously crafted. The layout of inputs and outputs is intuitive, albeit with reversed speaker outputs that could be a minor inconvenience during setup. At 8.7 kg, it has a reassuring heft, indicative of quality internal components.

Internal Components

Internally, the CXA81 Mk II boasts a raft of premium components. The amplifier's analog signal path and power supply have been refined, which should translate to a cleaner, more dynamic power delivery. The attention to component quality suggests a device that not only performs well but is also built to last.

Features

Power and Compatibility

With its 80W RMS into 8 Ohms and 120W RMS into 4 Ohms, the CXA81 Mk II is adept at driving a wide range of speakers. Whether you have floor standers that require a bit more grunt or bookshelf speakers that benefit from finesse, this amplifier is up to the task.

Digital-to-Analog Conversion

The inclusion of the ESS ES9018K2M SABRE32 DAC is a significant upgrade. This high-end DAC chip supports high-resolution audio formats up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256, enabling the CXA81 Mk II to deliver a level of sonic clarity and detail that can be revelatory.

Connectivity Options

Cambridge Audio has generously equipped the CXA81 Mk II with a plethora of connectivity options. The inclusion of balanced XLR inputs is a welcome feature, often reserved for higher-end amplifiers. The Bluetooth with aptX HD codec support is a nod to modern listening habits, though the absence of a phono stage might leave vinyl enthusiasts needing an external solution.

Additional Functionalities

The ability to run two pairs of speakers is a boon for those looking to power multiple rooms or zones. However, the lack of tone controls could be seen as a double-edged sword; purists will appreciate the signal path's integrity, while others may miss the ability to tailor the sound to their liking.

Performance

Audio Quality

The CXA81 Mk II's sound quality is exemplary. The new DAC chip provides a noticeable improvement in sonic resolution from digital sources. Listening tests reveal a sound that is detailed and nuanced, with a balanced soundstage that should satisfy even discerning ears. When compared to competitors in its price bracket, the CXA81 Mk II holds its own, offering a compelling blend of warmth and detail.

Power Efficiency

The maximum power consumption of 750W might raise eyebrows, but it is commensurate with the amplifier's robust output. In real-world usage, the CXA81 Mk II is efficient, only drawing significant power during demanding passages.

Bluetooth Performance

The integrated Bluetooth functionality performs admirably, with the aptX HD codec ensuring that wireless audio transmission retains a high level of fidelity. While some audiophiles may have reservations about wireless audio, most users will find the convenience and quality more than satisfactory.

User Experience

Setup and Usability

The CXA81 Mk II is straightforward to set up, with clear labeling and a logical arrangement of inputs and outputs. The user interface is uncluttered, allowing users to focus on the listening experience rather than the operation of the device.

Headphone Output

The headphone output is robust, though the relatively high output impedance may not be ideal for all headphones, particularly those with lower impedance. Users should ensure their headphones are compatible to get the best experience.

Final Thoughts

The Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II stands out for its combination of power, clarity, and connectivity. It provides a sound that is both engaging and faithful to the source material. The unit's versatility and the quality of its internal components make it a strong contender in its price range. While it may not cater to every niche (such as vinyl enthusiasts without a separate phono preamp), for most users, the CXA81 Mk II represents a savvy investment that will elevate their home audio experience. Whether you're a seasoned audiophile or someone looking to delve deeper into high-fidelity audio, the CXA81 Mk II deserves your consideration.

Specifications

Power Specifications

  • Power Output (8 Ohms): 80W RMS
  • Power Output (4 Ohms): 120W RMS
  • Max Power Consumption: 750W
  • Standby Power Consumption: <0.5W

Amplifier Details

  • Number Of Channels: 2
  • Amplifier Class: Class AB
  • Frequency Response: <5Hz - 60kHz +/-1dB
  • THD (Total Harmonic Distortion): <0.002% 1kHz, <0.02% 20Hz - 20kHz
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >93dB (unweighted)

Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC)

  • DAC Model: ESS Sabre ES9016K2M
  • USB Audio Support: Up to 24-bit/384kHz PCM, DSD256 or DoP256
  • Bluetooth Codec: aptX HD (24bit 48kHz)

Connectivity

  • Analog Audio Inputs: 1x balanced XLR, 4x RCA
  • Digital Audio Inputs: 1x S/PDIF coaxial, 2x TOSLINK optical, 1x USB audio
  • Bluetooth: Yes, 4.2 A2DP/AVRCP
  • Outputs: Speakers A+B, 3.5mm headphone, Preamp Output, Subwoofer Output

Additional Features

  • ROON Tested: Yes
  • Remote Control: Yes
  • Bluetooth aptX HD Receiver Built-in: Yes

Physical Specifications

  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 115 x 430 x 341mm
  • Weight: 8.7kg

Included Accessories

  • Box Contents: CXA81 Integrated Amplifier, Power Cable, 3 x AAA Batteries, Remote Control, Control Bus Cable, Bluetooth antenna, Quick Start Guide, Safety Guide

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