Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II Integrated Released

Posted on 12th April, 2024

Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II Integrated Released

Cambridge Audio's CXA81 Mk II builds on the original through component upgrades and refinement.

Cambridge Audio's CXA81 Mk II retains the exact same dimensions and minimal aesthetic of the first CXA81 as its predecessor, much in the same way as Cambridge Audio made little external adjustments to the Applause Award-winning CXN100 when compared with its predecessor, the CXN (V2).

Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II

However, lift the lid, and then all becomes clear. Firstly, Cambridge Audio has installed a new DAC chip—the ESS ES9018K2M SABRE32—which can decode up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256 files. Moreover, we're told to expect “outstanding sonic resolution” regardless of your digital source.

Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II

Additionally, Cambridge Audio states that its London-based engineering boffins have “re-tuned and greatly refined” the sound for the CXA81 Mk II, which has seen “ten new premium components” added to the circuitry.

Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II

Around the rear, the story remains the same: four analogue RCA line-level inputs and one pair of balanced XLR inputs. Digital sources get a coax, two optical inputs, and an asynchronous USB type B input, the latter able to natively handle the maximum listed file resolutions. Integrated Bluetooth is onboard, complete with aptX HD codec support, and there are preamp and subwoofer outputs.

Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II

Next to the central display and control panel, which were borrowed from the new integrated amplifier's predecessor, is a 3.5 mm headphone socket.

Meanwhile, four pairs of speaker terminals enable you to run two pairs of speakers powered by the CXA81 Mk II's Class A/B amplification, dishing out 80 watts into 8 ohms per channel.

Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II

The new Cambridge Audio CXA81 Mk II will be available from May 2024, priced at £999/ €1,199. That's the same UK RRP as the CXA81's 2019 launch price. A final bonus is that it looks the same as the original, so you could upgrade to the new version without anyone else spotting the change on your rack.

Visit Cambridge Audio for more information


      Jay Garrett's avatar

      Jay Garrett

      StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

      Posted in:Hi-Fi
      Tags: cambridge audio 


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