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REAL SOUND / INDUSTRY

Cambridge Struggles To Attract Mass Retailers For Smart Budget Hi Fi Gear

By David Richards | Friday | 21/06/2013

Cambridge Audio, a top-end Hi Fi manufacturer which is struggling to get into mass retailers in Australia, despite launching having a new range of budget priced speakers and wireless-enabled devices, has launched a new 2.1 multimedia speaker system.

The Cambridge brand is distributed in Australia by Melbourne-based Synergy. The product is designed and built by London-based Cambridge, which for decades has delivered high-end sound gear.

An audio industry expert said: "This is a really neat kit. In the past, Cambridge gear has been the domain of the specialist channel, retailers would be smart to range this gear, as it is significantly better than a lot of the Asian-designed gear currently being sold by them."

The new system follows the recent launch of the company's first three tabletop-audio products, consisting of an AC/DC Bluetooth-only speaker and two speakers with built-in Wi-Fi, AirPlay, DLNA networking, Bluetooth and Internet radio. The devices are already on sale in Australia.

All multimedia and tabletop speakers are part of the company's Minx series.

The system has a USB audio input and its own digital-to-analog converter (DAC), which Cambridge Audio says can process digital audio "much purer" than a computer sound card can. This is one of the system's best features, the company says, particularly because it makes everything from streaming audio, video and video games sound better than they normally would.

Each satellite in the new speakers has a 2-inch driver powered by 15 watts. They're quite small, measuring no more than 3-inches in height, width or depth.

The subwoofer is small enough to be hidden from sight completely, measuring about 8-inches in height, width and depth. It includes an integrated digital amplifier that can pump out enough audio to fill a room with high-quality sound. The adjustable bass control lets users tune the Minx M5 based on the woofer's location.

The desktop control hub takes care of power and volume adjustment, with a 3.5mm auxiliary input for plugging in any audio playback device, plus a headphone jack for private listening. The system's speaker stands and cables all come included in the box.

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