Cyrus ONE linear and Cyrus ONE Integrated Stereo Amplifier Review – made for each other…
Compact and yet an extremely fine loudspeaker system, easily integrated into any living room, this is how the new Cyrus ONE linear should present itself. The English hi-fi manufacturer Cyrus Audio Ltd. primarily recommends it as the optimal playing partner for the Cyrus ONE amplifiers. Therefore, they also offer a corresponding bundle, which we have asked to test.
How can hi-fi be best communicated to a generation whose daily companions include smartphones and tablets, which are thus accustomed to “small devices”? Small devices that can do “anything”, that can be the “digital centre of life”, that can provide information, act as a communication centre and play multimedia content from any source imaginable. These people find it difficult, if not impossible, to convey to them that “hi-fi” requires innumerable devices that also appear expansive, almost “clunky”. This target group is not accessible to what particularly ambitious hi-fi enthusiasts understand by a “real hi-fi system”.
But what this target group is very much open to is quality, this is often simply overlooked. So for this target group too, there is nothing to be said against a fine audio system that makes music playback a real pleasure. However, these people generally do not see “hi-fi” as a hobby, but rather as a solution that has to fit their personal lifestyle, which, and this is particularly essential, can be harmoniously integrated into their living environment.
This is where the hour strikes for those established hi-fi manufacturers who succeed in meeting this demand, thus offering high-quality solutions that do not compromise on quality in any way, but are as discreet as possible, do not take centre stage in a living environment, and last but not least are perceived as lifestyle solutions that do justice to the lifestyle of the target group just outlined.
For years, the English hi-fi manufacturer Cyrus Audio Ltd. has been dedicating itself to particularly compact solutions that meet these requirements, but the Cyrus ONE Series stands out in particular. The English company presented it for the first time at the High End 2016 in the form of the Cyrus ONE Integrated Stereo Amplifier and combined it with a loudspeaker system that, according to the manufacturer, is optimally designed for this purpose, the Cyrus ONE linear.
It was precisely this combination that sempre-audio.at was allowed to subject to a detailed test, which is also offered by the sales department as a Cyrus ONE bundle, so that the customer has an optimally coordinated hi-fi chain at his disposal, even though quite deliberately in a very, very compact form…
Let us begin our consideration first with the stereo integrated amplifier of the English, the…
Cyrus ONE Integrated Stereo Amplifier
Wait, didn’t Cyrus Audio Ltd. just introduce the Cyrus ONE HD at the High End 2018? Yes, but if you think that this Cyrus ONE HD replaces the Cyrus ONE, you are mistaken. In fact, the new Cyrus ONE HD extends the offer of the Cyrus ONE Series by another amplifier, so the Cyrus ONE is still up to date and therefore worth a closer look.
Cyrus Audio Ltd. speaks with the Cyrus ONE of a so-called Multifaceted High performance Amplifier and points out that they want to have a very compact, yet extremely versatile solution in their offer.
And it’s a product that directly follows the long history of the English, so the name Cyrus ONE may seem familiar and familiar to some people, because the English take the new stereo integrated amplifier from earlier solutions, but equip it with the latest functionality and technology, so that it can prove itself as an extremely flexible central interface of a modern hi-fi system.
The first thing that stands out is the extremely chic design of the Cyrus ONE, which is very, very compact. No larger than 220 mm in width, 390 mm in depth, and only 85 mm in height, this is how this solution from Cyrus Audio Ltd. presents itself, weighing no more than 5.6 kg. Nevertheless, it would not be Cyrus Audio if the Cyrus ONE would not also be equipped with an absolutely solid metal housing.
With the Cyrus ONE, the English introduced a new design line that could not be simpler. Reduced to the absolute essentials, this is probably the most accurate, because the front of the Cyrus ONE is adorned by two encoders alone, which seem to be massive and massive compared to the dimensions of the device as a whole. While the right rotary encoder is used to control the volume, the left one is used to select the active channel. Both encoders are equipped with a LED ring which visualizes the current position. On the top left you can still find the logo of the manufacturer, the name is discreetly written in the centre of the bottom, and on the bottom right in the corner there is a headphone jack. The front of the stereo integrated amplifier from Cyrus Audio Ltd. has nothing more to offer, but that’s all it needs. Keep it plain simple, seems to have been the intention of the developers…
Inside the stereo integrated amplifier from Cyrus Audio Ltd. is the most modern technology, which is the basis for impeccable quality, but also remarkable functionality. The manufacturer himself, as already mentioned, speaks of a Multifaceted High Performance Amplifier and states that he is using the third generation of Class D amplifiers developed by Cyrus Audio Ltd.
The Cyrus ONE is equipped with SID, the so-called Speaker Impedance Detection by Cyrus Audio Ltd. which offers an automatic adjustment of the amplifier output stage to the respective impedance of the speaker systems. With this, Cyrus Audio Ltd. wants to meet the demand to be able to optimally control almost any speaker system.
In addition, the English company promises that the Cyrus ONE will provide extremely attractive sound quality, citing high dynamics and clarity as key features.
The basis for this high quality level should be a sufficiently generously dimensioned toroidal transformer and a linear power supply. In addition, the small Cyrus ONE has no less than eleven separate power supplies for the most diverse circuits, in order to guarantee optimal separation and thus ultimately flawless signal processing.
Remarkable is that Cyrus Audio Ltd. does not do without the possibility of bi-wiring even in the Cyrus ONE, so the loudspeaker connections are designed accordingly.
In general, one should not be misled by the compact dimensions of the Cyrus ONE; when it comes to flexibility, the “little one” plays big.
Variety of connections up to a phono preamplifier
At the inputs the Cyrus ONE offers four pairs of analog RCA sockets, one of them designed as a so-called AV bypass. This offers the possibility to use the Cyrus ONE in combination with an AV receiver. A pre-out is also available for this purpose. In addition, the Cyrus ONE has an integrated phono preamplifier, even if it is only designed for MM pick-up systems, an extremely useful feature, especially for the target group targeted by Cyrus Audio Ltd. with the Cyrus ONE.
Bluetooth including aptX
It is interesting that the Cyrus ONE has an integrated Bluetooth module, so that mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, but also suitably equipped portable audio players, and last but not least notebooks can be used “wirelessly” as a source. This means that the complete range of different online content is available at a stroke, including services such as Spotify, Dezzer, Qobuz and many, many more. Fortunately, the developers opted for a module that also supports the aptX codec, so that a loss-free signal transmission in “CD quality” is achieved, provided, of course, that the source device also has such equipment.
Thus streaming with the Cyrus ONE is apparently limited to Bluetooth alone, integration into the network is not planned.
But wait, there is still something in the package…
The German distributor Bellevue Audio GmbH delivers the Cyrus ONE with a Google Chromecast Audio, so they use an established and more and more popular solution of a third party provider to enable streaming around the Cyrus ONE in a very flexible way.
Via Google Chromecast all imaginable contents are available in astonishingly good quality. You may not look at the little “plastic puck”, but compared to many other “IT solutions”, this high quality converter is even equipped for hi-res audio.
Headphones very welcome…
Another very interesting feature of the Cyrus ONE is its integrated headphone amplifier, which is discretely built in Class AB and is supposed to convince with a particularly high quality. The manufacturer does not see this as another feature that looks good in the data sheet, but as a serious option for all those who use high-quality headphones to enjoy music on their own.
And now let’s take a look at the speaker systems which, in the opinion of Cyrus Audio Ltd., are ideally suited as a play partner for the Cyrus ONE, but, we can anticipate this, they may well be the crowning glory of the chain for many other electronics as well.
Cyrus ONE linear
How could it be otherwise, of course the new Cyrus ONE linear is also a very compact speaker system, which can be called a typical shelf speaker system. A glance at the data sheet reveals that we are dealing with a solution that is 305 mm high, 200 mm wide and 295 mm deep. The weight of no less than 7 kg per unit is a first indication that the new Cyrus ONE is a linear, but definitely high effort.
A little IT can help…
For example, the housing of the new Cyrus ONE was developed linearly by means of computer analysis, whereby the manufacturer speaks of a “Delayed Cumulative Spectal Analysis”, and which is supposed to help reduce housing vibrations significantly, to more than 35 dB below the driver levels.
The new Cyrus ONE linear is designed as a two-way bass reflex system. For the low/midrange driver a 5 inch chassis with Kevlar reinforced diaphragm is used, which ensures high stiffness at very low weight and thus a precise, impulse-true reproduction. An elaborately designed driver based on a double-wound, copper-coated voice coil made of aluminium is also intended to make a significant contribution to accurate performance. According to the manufacturer, the new Cyrus ONE linear should be able to deliver a well-founded bass, accurate and powerful, whereby the bass reflex system, which is led out to the rear, also contributes to this. The 25 mm diameter tweeter driver is based on a classic fabric dome tweeter, promising a very detailed reproduction, but always well balanced and therefore never perceived as aggressive or harsh.
Also for the crossover of the new Cyrus ONE linear, the development team relied on the computer-aided analysis described above and relies on a solution that guarantees highest signal fidelity and a smooth phase response in the transition between high and low frequencies by means of high-quality electrolytic capacitors. In the new Cyrus ONE this intervenes linearly at 2.1 kHz.
Primarily for the Cyrus ONE, but not only…
The new Cyrus ONE linear has an impedance of 8 Ohm and a sensitivity of 86 dB. As described, it is primarily designed as an extension for the Cyrus ONE Integrated Amplifier, but can also be used with a variety of other solutions, with a power output between 20 and 120 watts. The frequency response is specified by the manufacturer as 50 Hz to 24 kHz.
As we already mentioned, the new Cyrus ONE linear is basically designed as a so-called shelf speaker, so it hardly needs any space, but should be given some “leeway”. The manufacturer recommends a distance to the rear wall of about ten to 30 cm, as this supports the bass reproduction and provides an optimal midrange reproduction. In principle, however, the new Cyrus ONE linear was designed in such a way that it offers, as the manufacturer himself puts it, a typical “British linear tuning”, i.e. it was developed with the aim of guaranteeing the most neutral reproduction possible. This intention has even been recorded in the name.
The Cyrus ONE linear is available in white and black, High Gloss Black and High Gloss White, whereby in both versions the front speaker grill is always in black.
From the practice
One thing should be noted right at the beginning, already optically alone the two solutions Cyrus ONE and Cyrus ONE linear form a really very fine, perfectly coordinated team. It doesn’t matter whether you choose the white or black version of the Cyrus ONE linear, both versions fit perfectly into any modern living environment, as does the elegant compact amplifier Cyrus ONE in elegant black.
And this combination hardly requires any space, just for the loudspeaker systems you should of course think about the optimal placement. However, we can state in this respect that the Cyrus ONE linear proves to be very “good-natured” and uncritical when it comes to correct placement for the best possible results. Nevertheless, we would still recommend to choose appropriate speaker stands and an at least somewhat “airy” placement in the room in case of doubt. But even on a solid sideboard or lowboard with an appropriate distance to the wall, these compact speaker systems perform splendidly, this only as a first hint to not anticipate the conclusion too much.
Let’s start with the amplifier as well, whereby we would like to emphasize the variety that the Cyrus ONE offers. Due to the four analog inputs, the integrated phono preamplifier and the Bluetooth module, almost any source can be connected, and since you will find the small part from Google in the scope of delivery, streaming from the network is also available ex works, even including the possibility to use it in a multi-room network. Only maybe a D/A converter with at least one optical input for TV sets would be fine here. But this shortcoming can easily be remedied with an external converter.
On the other hand, vinyl lovers can connect even high-quality drives without worrying about an additional phono preamplifier. At least if you own a record player with MM cartridge, the Cyrus ONE offers everything you need in impeccable quality.
The handling is exemplary solved, and we are not only talking about the control elements directly on the device, and also not about the included infrared remote control. In addition, the developers used the amplifier’s integrated Bluetooth module to control it via app and thus smartphones. So the Cyrus ONE Remote is available for Apple iOS as well as Google Android, and it offers access to all functions of the Cyrus ONE. Thus all possibilities are provided here to guarantee an intuitive operation.
We have already praised the excellent design, and we must also praise the impeccable workmanship, the amplifier and of course the speakers.
With this we would have arrived at the Cyrus ONE linear, which impressed us particularly by its sovereignty. Even in our somewhat larger test room with about 50 m2 of space, the Cyrus ONE linear did not show any weaknesses on the Cyrus ONE, but rather proved once again that they don’t have to be real hi-fi machines and that “less often is more”.
Concerning the sound we were frankly a bit sceptical at first, because the English hi-fi company Cyrus Audio Ltd. emphasizes quite emphatically that they trusted in a “linear” tuning, just by giving the speakers this nickname. And “linear” may seem desirable in principle, but it also carries the danger of slipping into too sober a characteristic.
But these fears can be allayed with one word, because literally the company speaks of “British linear”, and this says a lot…
There are certainly reasons why one speaks of a so-called English school of hi-fi, and it is precisely this that Cyrus Audio Ltd. feels obliged to.
The combination of Cyrus ONE and Cyrus ONE linear delivers a very impressive performance, the sound is open, extremely detailed and very well balanced, and can present powerful accents in the bass just as accurately to the point as the finest nuances in the middle and upper registers. The music is presented with a harmonic flow, so that one gets the clear impression that the amplifier Cyrus ONE and the speakers Cyrus ONE linear are really made for each other.
Of course, the two test candidates had to prove themselves separately, the amplifier had to be used with different speaker systems, such as a KEF LS50, a Chario Aviator Ghibli and even Piega Coax 30, and always delivered convincing results, no question that the developers have done a great job. The same applies to the Cyrus ONE linear, which was tested in combination with a wide variety of amplifier electronics and also passed with flying colors.
However, if you combine the Cyrus ONE linear and the Cyrus ONE, the sound picture really snaps in, like the last piece of the puzzle that completes the overall picture.
Getting to the Point
Both the stereo integrated amplifier Cyrus ONE and the compact two-way loudspeaker systems Cyrus ONE linear are convincing on their own. The Cyrus ONE is an extremely flexible amplifier in a compact form, which combines all the hi-fi virtues that one can expect from Cyrus Audio Ltd. HiFi virtues of the first order are also embodied in the Cyrus ONE linear loudspeaker systems, of which they leave no doubt at any time. Together, however, they represent a remarkably subtle system that is actually made for each other. Here everything fits together like a puzzle to a fine overall picture!
Of course, the Cyrus ONE stereo integrated amplifier is an extremely interesting solution in itself, as it offers the finest hi-fi in the smallest space. And also with the Cyrus ONE linear, extremely interesting compact two-way systems are available, which are completely convincing. When the Cyrus ONE linear and the Cyrus ONE are combined, the sound image really clicks into place, like the last piece of the puzzle that completes the overall picture.
|Manufacturer:||Cyrus Audio Ltd.|
|Distribution:||Bellevue Audio GmbH|
|Price:||Cyrus ONE linear € 495,-|
Cyrus ONE € 845,-
Cyrus ONE Bundle (Cyrus ONE plus Cyrus ONE linear) € 1.245,-
|The Good||– elegant design |
– highly compact
– Speaker and amplifier perfectly matched
– very attractive sound
– can also be used in larger rooms
– excellent phono preamp integrated
– is delivered with Google Chromecast
|The Bad||– No integrated D/A converter|