Cambridge Audio today announced some fresh upgrades to some of its most popular gear about to appear at the High End Show (HES) in Munich. The new products include evolutions for its Aero line of shelf and floor speakers, called the Aeromax 2 and 6 respectively, upgraded versions of its Azur AV receiver line, and a premium new all-in-one CD player, amplifier and Bluetooth streamer, called simply the One. Here’s a quick breakdown of all the new additions, with pricing and availability listed at the bottom.
Taking its popular Aero speaker line to the next level, Cambridge has layered its new shelf and floor speakers with high-gloss lacquer exteriors, in either black or gleaming white. But the elegant new look and feel of the cabinets isn’t the only change; the biggest interior addition to the lineup appears to be a fourth-generation update to the company’s BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator) drivers.
The BMR design is specifically tailored to allow the upper drivers to cover all of the midrange and high-end frequency information above 250Hz, putting the bulk of the sonic burden on these little cones, while allowing the larger drivers to act as dedicated subwoofers for the heavier swaths of the sound. According to Cambridge, the latest design offers a “revised honeycomb structure,” allowing for better uniformity, and a more accurate and spacious sound signature across the upper registers. If that doesn’t entice you, the new design of the speakers looks pretty damn gorgeous, too.
An upgrade like this usually means the old models will be dropping in price, so those looking for a bargain will want to keep an eye on last year’s Aero 2 and Aero 6 speakers.
Azur 751R V2 and Azur 551R V2
The second generation of both the company’s premium Azur 751R and its second-rung Azur 551R allows both 7.1 channel receivers to evolve with your home theater into the next era, adding compatibility with 4K and 3D video.
The Azur 751R V2 gets dual custom Texas Instruments 32-bit DSP chips for compatibility with the newest codecs for 3D video, as well as the new 4K streaming services coming down the pike. The big kahuna offers a massive toroidal transformer to deliver a claimed 200 watts a side in stereo, high-quality digital conversion from premium DACs, and Cambridge’s proprietary ATF audio upsampling, which is designed to bring all audio up to high-resolution definition at the industry standard 192kHz/24-bit quality.
The Azur 551R V2 accomplishes its new 4K video magic via a two-pack of the heralded Cirrus Logic 32-bit DSP chips. The unit also offers plenty of features for your home theater, including six HDMI inputs, six RCA connections, 110 watts per channel in stereo, and more.
Finally, the new One system packs a bundle of features beneath its compact frame, including a premium CD player (if you still own such things), as well as an onboard Class AB amplifier that pushes 30 watts per channel at 8 ohms, RCA, USB, S/PDIF and coaxial inputs, and a “high quality” Bluetooth connection, which we assume includes a premium chip running the latest Bluetooth version 4.0. In addition, the unit offers a built in DAB+/FM radio tuner.
However, the most exciting gift in the box might just be the One’s Wolfson WM8728 digital-to-analog converter (DAC). The same DAC used in premium components such as Astell & Kern’s high-resolution compact music players, the Wolfson is famous for providing gorgeous transfers of digital files into the analog realm.
We plan on getting our hands on these new toys to experience them for ourselves as soon as we can, so stay tuned for our final verdict. Pricing and availability for all of Cambridge Audio’s new gear is listed below.
|Aeromax 2||$750||May 2014|
|Aeromax 6||$1,500||May 2014|
|Azur 551R V2||$1,100||June 2014|
|Azur 751R V2||$2,200||June 2014|