Cambridge Audio Edge NQ Preamplifier with Network Player - Dreamedia AV
Cambridge Audio Edge NQ Preamplifier with Network Player - Dreamedia AV
Cambridge Audio Edge NQ Preamplifier with Network Player - Dreamedia AV
Cambridge Audio Edge NQ Preamplifier with Network Player - Dreamedia AV
Cambridge Audio Edge NQ Preamplifier with Network Player - Dreamedia AV
Cambridge Audio Edge NQ Preamplifier with Network Player - Dreamedia AV
Vendor: Cambridge Audio

Cambridge Audio Edge NQ Preamplifier with Network Player

Premium Network Preamplifier with Hi-Res Streaming
$4,999.00
$4,999.00

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Cambridge Audio Edge NQ Preamplifier with Network Player

Unveiling the Pinnacle of Audio Excellence

Imagine a centerpiece of your home audio system that not only commands respect with its performance but also integrates seamlessly into your digital lifestyle. The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ Preamplifier with Network Player is a triumph of audio engineering, designed to be the heart of your high-fidelity system, offering unparalleled sound quality and a suite of features that cater to the modern audiophile's every need.

Exquisite Sound Quality

At the core of the Edge NQ's exceptional audio experience is a high-quality D/A converter with less than 0.0008% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD), ensuring your music is reproduced with absolute purity. The unit's impressive frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz +/- 0.1dB and a signal-to-noise ratio of over 103 dB mean your listening experience will be free from noise and distortion, presenting you with the truest representation of your music.

Connectivity for the Modern Age

In today's world, flexibility is key, and the Edge NQ delivers in spades:

  • Digital Inputs: Connect all your devices with ease, thanks to 2x TosLink, 1 coax SPDIF, 1 HDMI ARC, 1 USB Audio, 1 USB Drive, Ethernet, and RS-232.
  • Analog Inputs: Traditionalists will appreciate the inclusion of 2x unbalanced RCA and 1x balanced XLR for those high-end analog sources.
  • Wireless Connectivity: With Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet options, streaming is effortless, whether it's from your computer, smartphone, or any other device.
  • Streaming Services: Compatibility with Spotify Connect, TIDAL, Qobuz, Airplay, Chromecast Built-in, and Roon Ready ensures you have access to virtually limitless music.

Masterful Design

Crafted in the UK, the Edge NQ's design is both robust and sophisticated, fitting perfectly into any decor. The solid-state volume control ensures balanced channels for consistent sound at any volume, and the unique PCB design minimizes the signal path to reduce interference, ensuring a crystal-clear audio experience.

High-Resolution Audio Support

The Edge NQ is not just about connectivity; it's about delivering the highest quality audio. It supports high-resolution audio formats up to 32bit/384kHz & DSD256 on USB-B, allowing you to experience your music with all the nuances and details that the artist intended.

Stream With Ease

Using the Edge Remote App, available for both iOS and Android, you can control your Edge NQ from anywhere in your home. Stream your favorite tunes, adjust volume, and switch inputs with a few taps on your smartphone or tablet.

Detailed Specifications:

  • DAC Capabilities: Experience stunning audio clarity with up to 24bit/96kHz on optical, 24bit/192kHz on coaxial, and 32bit/384kHz & DSD256 on USB-B.
  • Outputs: The Edge NQ offers both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA outputs, catering to a wide range of amplifier connections.
  • Power Consumption: With a max power consumption of 100W and a standby power consumption of less than 0.5W, the Edge NQ is as efficient as it is powerful.

The Dreamedia Difference

At Dreamedia, we understand that a home audio system is more than just a collection of components—it's the soul of your home entertainment experience. That's why we're here to help you design and integrate the Cambridge Audio Edge NQ into your home theater system, ensuring it performs to its full potential and becomes a valued part of your daily life.

Your Music, Your Way

The Edge NQ is not just a piece of equipment; it's a gateway to your favorite music. Whether you're a vinyl enthusiast, a digital audio connoisseur, or a streaming service aficionado, this preamplifier is designed to bring your music to life.

A Commitment to Quality

Cambridge Audio's dedication to crafting audio equipment of the highest caliber is evident in every aspect of the Edge NQ. From its meticulous design to its exceptional audio performance, the Edge NQ is the embodiment of Cambridge Audio's commitment to delivering pure, unadulterated sound.

In Summary

The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ Preamplifier with Network Player represents the zenith of audio innovation, marrying timeless design with cutting-edge technology. Its versatility, superior sound quality, and user-friendly features make it an essential component for any discerning audiophile. With the Edge NQ, you're not just purchasing a piece of audio equipment—you're investing in an unparalleled listening experience that will delight you for years to come.

At Dreamedia, we are proud to offer the Cambridge Audio Edge NQ as part of our curated selection of high-end audio solutions. We invite you to experience the difference that true audio craftsmanship can make in your home theater system.

Our Review

Cambridge Audio Edge NQ Preamplifier with Network Player Review

Introduction

Cambridge Audio is a brand synonymous with high-fidelity audio equipment, and the Edge series represents the pinnacle of their engineering prowess. The Edge NQ Preamplifier with Network Player is a testament to their commitment to audiophile standards, combining a high-end preamplifier with state-of-the-art network streaming functionality. The unit promises an uncompromising sound experience, catering to the modern listener's need for both connectivity and quality.

Design and Build Quality

Aesthetics

The Edge NQ's design exudes sophistication with a minimalist front panel that is both modern and timeless. Its elegant finish and sturdy knobs provide tactile feedback that complements the visual experience. The subtle use of materials and the sleek edges signify that this is a premium product, with every design choice made to enhance the user's interaction with the device.

Build

Constructed with high-quality materials, the Edge NQ feels substantial, and its 10.2kg weight is indicative of the quality components housed within. The dimensions suggest a confident presence in any hi-fi setup, yet it remains accommodating to various placement options. The robust build quality ensures longevity and maintains the integrity of the internal components, which is crucial for precision audio reproduction.

Features

Connectivity Options

The Edge NQ offers a plethora of inputs and outputs, catering to both digital and analog aficionados. The inclusion of balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA outputs is particularly noteworthy, as it allows for flexibility in connecting to a variety of external amplifiers. The balanced connections are crucial for minimizing noise and interference, especially in setups where cables run alongside other electronics.

Wireless and Streaming Capabilities

The unit's wireless capabilities are impressive, with Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as support for Airplay, Chromecast Built-in, and Roon Ready. This versatility ensures that users can stream their favorite music from virtually any device or service, including Spotify Connect, TIDAL, and Qobuz. The seamless integration of these services reflects Cambridge Audio's understanding of the modern listener's diverse streaming habits.

DAC and Format Support

The Edge NQ's DAC is formidable, supporting a wide range of high-resolution formats. The ability to handle audio up to 32bit/384kHz and DSD256 over USB-B is remarkable, ensuring that even the most discerning audiophiles can experience music as the artist intended. The meticulous engineering behind the DAC's performance is evident in its specifications, with an impressive THD and signal-to-noise ratio that guarantees pristine sound quality.

Performance

Sound Quality

When it comes to sound quality, the Edge NQ shines. Its exceptionally low THD and wide frequency response translate into an audio experience that is both accurate and immersive. The preamplifier delivers a soundstage that is expansive and detailed, with a level of clarity that brings out the nuances in every track. The meticulous design of the signal path and volume control ensures a balanced sound at any volume, preserving the dynamic range of the music.

Streaming Performance

In practical use, the streaming performance of the Edge NQ is laudable. The integration with streaming services is smooth, and the connectivity options are robust. However, users should be aware of the potential for network noise to impact audio quality. This is not a fault of the device itself but rather a common challenge in networked audio systems. Ensuring a clean network environment can greatly enhance the streaming experience.

Usability

The user experience is enhanced by the intuitive StreamMagic app, which provides comprehensive control over streaming and playback. The app is user-friendly and responsive, making it a pleasure to use. However, the media server software does have its limitations, particularly when navigating files on a NAS or connected USB drive. Users may need to exercise patience or look to third-party solutions for a more streamlined experience.

Software and User Interface

StreamMagic App

The StreamMagic app is a standout feature, offering a slick interface that makes interacting with the Edge NQ's streaming features a joy. The app's design is intuitive, and it performs well across various devices. While it competes favorably with other market offerings, there is always room for improvement, and Cambridge Audio appears committed to refining the app through updates.

Firmware and Updates

Cambridge Audio has made the process of updating the Edge NQ's firmware straightforward, ensuring that users can easily access new features and improvements. This commitment to ongoing support is a reassuring aspect for buyers, as it promises an evolving product that adapts to the changing landscape of streaming technology.

Compatibility and Integration

System Matching

The Edge NQ is versatile enough to pair well with a range of amplifiers and speakers. However, achieving the best possible sound requires careful matching with compatible components. The preamplifier's neutral and transparent character makes it a good match for most high-quality systems, but the final pairing should be based on personal listening preferences and the characteristics of the other components in the signal chain.

Flexibility

The Edge NQ's ability to disable the preamplifier mode allows it to serve as a standalone network player, adding to its flexibility. This feature is particularly useful for those who may want to integrate the device into an existing setup or use it with active speakers. The Edge NQ's adaptability makes it a valuable addition to any home theater system.

Final Thoughts

The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ Preamplifier with Network Player is a formidable component that marries traditional high-fidelity audio with modern streaming capabilities. Its strengths lie in its exceptional sound quality, versatile connectivity options, and robust streaming features. While there are challenges, such as the somewhat cumbersome media server software and the need to mitigate network noise, these are relatively minor when weighed against the overall performance and quality of the device.

At the price point of $5499, the Edge NQ is an investment for the serious audiophile or the discerning music lover seeking a premium streaming experience. Its features and performance justify the cost for those who prioritize audio quality and build integrity. For potential buyers, the Cambridge Audio Edge NQ represents a sophisticated blend of the analog and digital worlds, offering a seamless and enriching listening experience that is hard to surpass.

Specifications

Audio Specifications

  • D/A Converter THD: <0.0008%, 20Hz - 20kHz, 24-bit, 1Vrms output
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz +/- 0.1dB
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (S/N): >103 dB (ref 1V output)
  • Crosstalk @ 1kHz: < -100dB
  • Max Preamp Output: 6Vrms single ended or 6Vrms + 6Vrms balanced

Digital Connectivity

  • USB Audio Input: USB Audio Class 2.0 supporting up to 24-bit 384kHz PCM, or up to DSD256
  • USB Drive Input: 1 x USB 2.0 current limited to 1A, FAT32 / NTFS / HFS / HFS+
  • Bluetooth: 4.1 A2DP/AVRCP supporting SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX HD
  • UPnP Connectivity: Yes
  • Chromecast Built-in: Yes
  • Roon Ready: Yes (Requires a Roon subscription)
  • TOSLINK Input: 16/24-bit 32-96kHz
  • Coax S/PDIF Input: 16/24-bit 32-192kHz
  • Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz), Encryption WEP, WPA, WPA2
  • Ethernet: IEEE 802.3, 10 Base-T or 100 Base-T

Inputs and Outputs

  • Analog Inputs: 2x unbalanced RCA, 1x balanced XLR
  • Digital Inputs: 2x TosLink, 1x coax SPDIF, 1x HDMI ARC, 1x USB Audio, 1x USB Drive, 1x Ethernet, 1x RS-232
  • Outputs: Balanced XLR, unbalanced RCA, 1/4" Headphone Output

Additional Features

  • Max Power Consumption: 100W
  • Standby Power Consumption: <0.5W
  • Dimensions: 120 x 460 x 405mm (4.7 x 18.1 x 15.9 inches)
  • Weight: 10.2kg (22.4lbs)

Network Integration

  • Streaming Compatibility: Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast built-in, Roon Ready
  • Music Services: Spotify Connect, TIDAL Connect, Qobuz, SiriusXM, YouTube Music

Remote Control

  • Edge Remote App: Compatible with Apple iOS 12.0+ and Android OS 5.0+
  • IR Remote: Included
  • 12V Trigger Out: Yes
  • RS232 Port: Yes
  • Auto Standby: Yes
  • Firmware/Software Updates: Available through wired (Ethernet) or wireless (Wi-Fi) connection

Design

  • Edge Series: Designed and assembled in the UK
  • Preamplifier PCB: DC-coupled topology
  • Volume Control: Solid-state for balanced channels