Cambridge Audio CXN100 Music Streamer Ticks the Audiophile Boxes

If you’re looking for a dedicated music streaming player for your system, then the new Cambridge Audio CXN100 offers nearly all of the features you could think of, including Spotify Connect and Roon Ready compatibility.

The CXN100 is a “grown up” version of the competitive, entry-level WiiM Pro — a streamer I like a lot —  and this is because the Cambridge instead uses a full-size metal housing, a bright, readable screen and a fuller range of outputs.

The CXN100’s predecessor, the CXN V2, has been my favorite streamer for many years, and the new version looks to improve on it in a number of ways. Firstly, the internals have been completely redesigned and now include the StreamMagic Gen4 module with
“MQA compatibility.” The onboard DAC has been upgraded too, from the Wolfson DAC to the ESS ES9028Q2M Sabre32 Reference chip, and the company says it has improved the post-DAC analogue stage with better signal-to-noise ratio and reduced distortion.

The screen, which is the best feature of the CXN V2, has been enhanced for the CXN100. It boasts an increase from 4.3 inches to 4.8 inches and is now surrounded by fewer, though more-dedicated physical buttons.

Cambridge Audio

The CXN100 offers compatibility with music streaming standards including Spotify Connect, Roon Ready, Tidal, Qobuz, Chromecast built-in and Apple AirPlay. The system also includes Bluetooth, USB, digital coax and digital optical connections. Analogue output is available through balanced XLR or unbalanced RCA sockets. As a stereo streamer it sadly doesn’t include spatial music support.

While the WiiM Pro and Pro Plus are unbeatable for the money, they’re not the last word in usability. For instance, these models lack a screen, and the unlit, capacitive buttons are not really much fun to operate.

At the end of the day, it is the screen and controls that set the CXN streamers apart from almost every other competitor, including WiiM, the Bluesound Node and Sonos Port. If you like the flexibility of having a host of streaming options, and want to own something that looks spiffy sitting on your AV unit, then the CXN100 appears to be a great option.

The Cambridge Audio CXN100 is available now for $1099 or £899.

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