Can you describe the improvements in sound quality with the CXN100's new DAC compared to the previous model?
“The CXN100 is a ground-up redesign of the CXN V2, and the DAC is right at the heart of this. We have moved away from Wolfson DACs, which we really loved, to the ESS DAC family, which we love even more! Versus CXN V2, the CXN100 boasts a streamlined design that centres around an ESS 9028 DAC. The circuitry surrounding the DAC has been completely retuned: for every component position, several contenders were tried and the best of them finally verified by blind listening tests to ensure that the new CXN100 remains true to that characteristic Cambridge Audio sound that our listeners know and love.
It is very hard to make direct comparisons between the sound of the CXN V2 and CXN100 given their different design topologies. The tuning process was mainly focused on making the CXN100 feel at home in the CX range. We are pleased to be able to say that the majority of blind listening panels prefer the sound of the CXN100 to CXN V2 (when heard in a stack with the CXA81).”
How does the latest StreamMagic generation in the CXN100 enhance the streaming experience for users?
“If the ESS 9028 DAC is the beating heart of the CXN100 then our flagship StreamMagic Sailfish CPU Module is its brain. The CXN100’s CPU is a considerable step up from the CXN V2's, and the interface is noticeably more responsive.
The software department work tirelessly to bring new features to the StreamMagic platform, and this upgraded module means that the CXN100 will stay up-to-date for years to come."
The CXN100 boasts a larger and higher resolution screen. How does this impact the user interface and overall usability?
"The higher specification of the CXN100’s CPU means that we have been able to improve both the resolution of the display as well as its speed and responsiveness. The mechanical design team have gone to great lengths to ensure that the interface has a fresh, premium feel."
What design enhancements have been made in the CXN100 that contribute to its audio performance?
"As mentioned, the CXN100 is a completely new product: there isn’t any aspect of its design that hasn’t been carefully reconsidered and updated. The biggest difference is certainly the DAC, which can cope with significantly higher bitrate audio.
Several other quality-of-life enhancements have been added, including built-in Bluetooth rather than via a dongle."
Could you explain the updated connectivity options in the CXN100 and how they improve on the CXN V2?
"Bluetooth is now internal, rather than via a USB dongle, and improvements in the StreamMagic app make setting up a new CXN100 a blissfully easy experience."
How does the new hardware in the CXN100 enhance its streaming capabilities and sound quality?
"The new ESS 9028 DAC can cope with audio up to 32 bits @ 768kHz where the CXN V2 was limited to 24 bits @ 192kHz. There is vanishingly little digital audio that the CXN100 can’t play at full resolution."
Charlie Crossley, Audio Hardware Engineer
Charlie is an Audio Hardware Engineer at Cambridge. His role involves electronic design and testing, spanning the whole of the product development cycle.
His music moment is 'I don't want to go home' by Nick Mulvey.