The Cambridge Audio CXA80 amplifier is revamped version of the Cambridge Audio CXA60 amplifier, now boasting 80W per channel as opposed to the original CXA60’s 60W. And that’s not the only difference between the two – unlike the CXA60, the CXA90 amp has a USB input and stereo XLR analogue input, as well as a dual mono design.
This means that the device has separate power supplies for the left and right power amplifiers.
Cambridge Audio CXA80: front panel
The Cambridge Audio CXA80 amp has a 100% metal anti-resonance housing.
On the left-hand side of the front panel are a 3.5mm MP3 jack input and a 3.5mm headphone jack output, as well as 4 buttons for analogue source selection and 4 buttons for digital source selection.
On the right-hand side of the front panel are 3 rotating buttons for adjusting the balance, bass and treble respectively.
The Direct button can be used to bypass the tone control buttons. The ALPs volume potentiometer ensures excellent channel balance, even at low volumes.
Cambridge Audio CXA80: inputs
This amplifier also doubles up as a digital-to-analogue converter (DAC), with 2 optical inputs, 1 S/PDIF coaxial input, 1 Bluetooth input and 1 type B USB 1.0 and 2.0 input (for PC and MAC). This USB input can play digital files with a resolution and sampling rate of up to 24 bits/192 kHz.
Both the Toslink and S/PDIF inputs accept resolutions of up to 32 bits/192 kHz.
To use this Bluetooth technology, you'll need to get your hands on the optional Cambridge Audio BT100 audio receiver. Once you’ve set up the Bluetooth BT100 receiver, you'll be able to stream your music wirelessly from any Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a smartphone, tablet or computer.
The Cambridge Audio CXA80 has 4 stereo analogue inputs, one of which is a symmetrical XLR input.
Cambridge Audio CXA80: outputs
The Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amp can be used to power 2 pairs of speakers (A-B outputs), and these 2 outputs are fully interchangeable.
It also has a pre out if you need to connect it to a power amplifiers.
And it has a sub out for a subwoofer.
Cambridge Audio CXA80: features
To prevent interference caused by overheating, the toroidal transformer is positioned at a distance from the preamp circuits.
The layout of the printed circuit boards has been optimised to minimise left/right crosstalk.
The left and right channels use separate heat sinks as well as separate symmetrical circuits, resulting in remarkable stereo separation.
It uses the high-end Wolfson WM8740 digital-to-analogue converter for its digital to analogue conversion.
Cambridge Audio CXA80: listening and review
The Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amplifier is capable of powering a wide range of bookshelf and tower speakers with incredible ease, even at low volumes.
The sound quality is highly musical and the dynamic range is bright without being brash or overstated. The Cambridge Audio CXA80 is often paired with the Cambridge Audio CXC CD transport.
The Cambridge Audio CXA80 integrated amplifier is a comprehensive device, with the capacity for 5 stereo analogue inputs and 4 digital inputs (5 if you include the optional BT100 Bluetooth receiver!).
A must! Franck
Power: 80W per channel
Analogue inputs: 4 x RCA stereo analogue inputs, inc. 1 that can be used as XLR (symmetrical), 1 x 3.5mm jack MP3 input
Digital inputs: 2 x Toslink optical, 1 x S/PDIF coaxial, 1 x USB (1.0 and 2.0) type B, 1 x Bluetooth input (with Cambridge Audio BT100, not supplied)
Digital-to-analogue converter: Wolfson WM8740
Resolution and sampling rate (USB input): 16-24 bits, 44.1 – 96 kHz (USB 1.0) and 16-24 bits 44.1- 192 kHz (USB 2.0)
Resolution and sampling rate (Toslink and S/PDIF): 16-24 bits, 32-192 kHz
Output: Pre-out and Sub-out
Speaker outputs: A-B, interchangeable
Amplification layout: dual mono
Frequency response: 5 Hz - 60 kHz
Dimensions (W x H x D): 430 x 115x 341 mm
Weight: 8.7 kg