Rocky Mountain Audio Fest Report: Cambridge Audio Intros New CX Series Integrated Amps

I always make it a point to stop at the Cambridge Audio room when I hit a show and even more so this time because I hoped to hear both the relatively new AX Series budget amps and the brand new CX Series 2 Integrated Amps. Dubbed the CXA81 ($1299) and CXA61 ($999), they offer several improvements over the previous CXA60 and CXA80 the latter of which I loved.

I’ll defer to the press release for detail on the upgrades over the first series:

CXA 61: The older model’s DAC has been replaced with a cutting-edge ESS Sabre ES9010K2M, and there’s now a USB input compatible with sources up to 32bit/384kHz and DSD256 in quality. Additionally, aptX HD Bluetooth is integrated, allowing music lovers to stream wireless audio in stunning quality, up to 48kHz 24Bit.

CXA 81: Rebuilt from the ground up, the CXA81 offers several new features over its predecessor the CXA80, including a superior ESS Sabre ES9016K2M DAC, improved USB input supporting 32bit/384kHz and DSD256 quality and integrated aptX HD Bluetooth receiver, allowing users to stream from their mobile device direct to the amp at up to 48kHz 24Bit quality.

Cambridge Audio CXA81

While I didn’t get to hear the AX Series, the CXA81 was running with the $6000 Q Acoustics Concept 500 floorstanders, and while they might have been overkill, the 81 did an excellent job of bringing out their virtues. I hope to get one in the house soon, but probably not with something the level of the Concept 500s.

The Cambridge Audio CX Series 2 will be available for purchase in October 2019. Visit for more information.





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