With the introduction of two new network streamers – the AXN10 and MXN10 – Cambridge Audio is turning up the heat on entry-level streaming territory already occupied by Bluesound, Wiim and NAD. However, the incoming Cambridge models offer a different set of streaming possibilities to each of their rivals.
At the core of AXN10 and MXN10 is Cambridge Audio’s in-house developed StreamMagic platform (and partnering smartphone app) that integrates Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer as well as a range of Internet radio stations. However, it’s the inclusion of a wide range of third-party streaming systems that makes StreamMagic a more compelling proposition. Say hello to Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect, Roon Readiness and Google Chromecast. The dinky aerial that screws into the back panel provides Bluetooth connectivity.
On digital outputs, the MXN10 and AXN10 each offer TOSLINK and coaxial and behind the analogue output sits a D/A converter that’s built around an ESS Sabre ES9033Q chip for PCM handling up to 32bit/768kHz and DSD up to DSD512.
Cambridge Audio confirmed via email that the MXN10 and AXN10 both feature the same DAC circuit. So why spend £549/US$599//€599 on the AXN10 when the MXN10 offers identical sound quality and functionality for one hundred fewer quid/bucks/Euros? The answer is simple: size. The MXN10 is a diminutive unit, designed to be tucked away out of sight (if needed) whereas the AXN10 is a full-width component intended as a better visual match for Cambridge Audio’s other AX Series components. But don’t dawdle: the AXN10 is a limited edition.
The MXN10 and AXN10 will be available from March at cambridgeaudio.com or via Cambridge Audio’s distributor/dealer network.
Further information: Cambridge Audio