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Cambridge Audio CXN100 Network Player – The best got even better

The new Cambridge Audio CXN100 is more than just a streaming client based on Cambridge Audio StreamMagic, because it can also function as a D/A converter and digital preamplifier, with which the English hi-fi manufacturer Cambridge Audio promises high-end sound with digital diversity.

Story Highlights
  • The new Cambridge Audio CXN100 Network Player is characterised above all by a wide range of applications and a powerful sound.

It is a solution that has big shoes to fill, a fact that the English Hi-Fi manufacturer Cambridge Audio is well aware of when it presents the new Cambridge Audio CXN100, as it is the successor to the highly successful Cambridge Audio CXN V2 Network Player. The new Cambridge Audio CXN100 is being advertised as the best streaming client ever, with the latest streaming technology and a new D/A converter being the main features.

According to Cambridge Audio, the new Cambridge Audio CXN100 is now much more than just a new streaming client, as it is also a D/A converter and digital preamplifier and can therefore be used in an extremely flexible way.

The best just got better – the successor to the Cambridge Audio CXN V2

Overall, the Cambridge Audio CX Series is a very important product line for Cambridge Audio, and a state-of-the-art streaming solution is of course particularly important here. The so-called network players in this product line have already played a corresponding role at Cambridge Audio, and the new Cambridge Audio CXN100 must also clearly fulfil high expectations.

The development of the new Cambridge Audio CXN100 has therefore made no compromises whatsoever, is the logical promise of the manufacturer, who once again wants to have realised a solution that fully lives up to the company’s philosophy of Great British Sound.

Cambridge Audio StreamMagic Technology in its fourth generation

It goes without saying that the Cambridge Audio StreamMagic Technology is at the heart of the new Cambridge Audio CXN100, although the fourth generation of the streaming platform, the so-called Cambridge Audio StreamMagic Gen4 module, is now being used.

Cambridge Audio StreamMagic Technology has been regarded for years as one of the most versatile and reliable solutions on the market, as it is constantly being further developed and optimised by the English company.

This platform provides access to all relevant streaming technologies and services, meaning that the new Cambridge Audio CXN100 not only supports UPnP, Apple AirPlay 2 and Google Chromecast directly, but also TIDAL via TIDAL Connect, Spotify via Spotify Connect, and can also be labelled as Roon Ready ex works.

The associated app, the Cambridge Audio StreamMagic app for Apple iOS and Google Android, also provides numerous other offers, from Deezer and Qobuz to Internet radio and podcasts.

Network integration is of course possible via cable or WiFi, and if you want to play music directly from your smartphone, for example, you can do this easily via Bluetooth and content can also be played directly from corresponding storage media via a USB port.

New converter

Another significant innovation that the Cambridge Audio CXN100 has to offer compared to its predecessor is a new converter: the ESS ES9028Q2M DAC from ESS Technology Inc., which can process signals in linear PCM with up to 32 bits and 768 kHz as well as DSD up to DSD512. Content encoded in lossy MQA can also be processed here.

Thanks to a particularly advanced oversampling technology and a large dynamic reserve, according to the manufacturer, the 100-level volume control could be realised without reducing the digital word width and therefore without any loss of dynamics or resolution.

However, this potential is not only available to content via streaming, but also to external sources, which are available here in the form of an optical and coaxial S/PDIF interface. In addition to the USB port already mentioned for the integration of corresponding storage media, there is a USB port on the rear of the Cambridge Audio CXN100 Network Player for connection to a PC or Mac.

And while we’re on the subject of interfaces, this solution offers an optical and coaxial S/PDIF interface as outputs, as well as a pair of unbalanced RCA sockets and a pair of balanced XLR sockets on the analogue side.

The new Cambridge Audio CXN100 Network Player can be integrated into corresponding control solutions via control bus inputs and outputs as well as an RS232 interface.

Clear design of the Cambridge Audio CX Series

Even though everything inside the Cambridge Audio CXN100 Network Player has been redesigned, the design remains true to the Cambridge Audio CX Series line, which already looks very stylish and timelessly elegant.

The front is adorned with a very generously proportioned colour display, which is flanked by a few buttons for direct control of the most important functions and an equally generously proportioned rotary encoder.

“Of course, we were delighted that our successful CXN V2 network player won so many awards in 2023. Nevertheless, we didn’t want to rest on our laurels. We took the next step, the CXN100 represents the next generation of network players. We created it to take a leadership role in streaming Hi-Fi for customer groups with new usability requirements.”

James Johnson-Flint, owner of Cambridge Audio

Pricing and availability

The new Cambridge Audio CXN100 Network Player was recently unveiled at ISE 2024 and will be available from March 2024 in the Lunar Grey finish. The recommended retail price is given as € 1.049,-.

Getting to the point

The Cambridge Audio CX Series is a very important product line for Cambridge Audio, as it is able to inspire a particularly broad customer base with Great British Sound thanks to its excellent price-performance ratio. Within this product line, the streaming clients are an essential component, which is now presented in a further improved form with the new Cambridge Audio CXN100 Network Player. The latest technology in the form of the Cambridge Audio StreamMagic Gen 4 module and new converters form the basis for the Cambridge Audio CXN100 Network Player to be used particularly flexibly as a streaming client, D/A converter and digital preamplifier.

Price€ 1.049,-
ManufacturerCambridge Audio
Distribution AustriaAudio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH
Distribution GermanyCambridge Audio
Distribution SwitzerlandLakeside Audio SA
More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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