Some high-performance audio gear seems like it was designed a decade ago, before music downloads and streaming services became the norm. But Cambridge Audio's versatile CXN was clearly engineered with today's audiophiles in mind. Its connections and controls will optimize your favorite digital music sources. It handles the most popular digital file formats and gives them all a sonic upgrade, from lossy sources like MP3s and Spotify®, to your CD collection, to high-res music files downloaded from HDtracks. Add an optional BT-100 Bluetooth® dongle and stream music from any compatible smartphone or tablet._x000D_
Think of the CXN as three components in one. First, it's a digital preamp with an assortment of connections for handling your digital gear. Plus, it's a network player ready to stream your favorite audio sources using either a wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi® connection. And, of course, it's a high-performance DAC with state-of-the-art audio processing to improve the listening experience for all digital formats. While CD-quality or better sources will sound startlingly real, it's a real eye-opener to hear how good a 320kbps Spotify® stream can sound (premium subscription required)._x000D_
Cambridge's sophisticated Adapted Time Filter 2 technology upsamples all incoming digital audio to a 24-bit/384kHz signal to resolve extremely fine detail. That happens for all incoming audio data — whether it's from an Internet radio stream, a lossless FLAC file on a USB flash drive, or a connected component like a CD transport. This system performs interpolation and data buffering, and re-clocks the audio signal to almost completely eliminate "jitter" — timing errors in the music signal that can add harshness, compromise clarity and cause instruments and voices to sound less distinct. The upsampled audio signal is then fed through twin Wolfson 24-bit DACs, for clean, detailed, noise-free sound and outstanding stereo imaging with every source._x000D_
The CXN's versatile back-panel connections give you several ways to use its outstanding audio processing and D-to-A conversion to enjoy incredible sound from all your digital audio sources. For starters, there's a digital audio input with your choice of optical or coaxial connections. A coaxial connection is compatible with many CD/DVD players, and it's ideal for a Sonos® Connect player. An optical input should work for your HDTV, Apple TV®, or game console. And you'll find two flavors of USB input: Type A for plugging in a thumb drive, and Type B for connecting to your computer._x000D_
While the CXN includes a backlit remote control, and features a large, easy-to-grab control knob on the front for navigating through your music options, you'll have more fun if you get your smartphone or tablet into the act. Cambridge's free Connect app works with your favorite Apple or Android device to integrate all your music choices into a single simple interface. From the music stored on your home network devices, to thousands of Internet radio stations, to streaming services like Spotify®, this app puts everything at your fingertips.