Cambridge Audio CXN (V2) Network Streamer $899 Review

January 6, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“The biggest problem with Internet Radio is what psychologists call the paradox of choice: there are too many options. Organization of the thousands of channels available becomes critical. With the CXN (V2), stations can be searched for by stream name/call letter, or browsed by Location or Genre. “Location” means country of origin, and with more than 10,000 results for the US alone, subdivision by state and city would have been nice. Helpfully, you can drill down using combinations of genre, subgenre, and location — for example, Music, then Classical, then Opera, then Italy produced a more manageable list of Italian stations broadcasting opera. Nonetheless, I found it easier to identify streams on the web or using TuneIn, then search for the stream by name on the CXN (V2).

Having found a station, the CXN (V2) presents a list of streams, typically variable in quality, from which to select. Rather than go through the process every time, the CXN (V2) lets you store up to 20 presets, the first eight of which can be accessed with a single button press on the remote control. During playback, the display shows stream name, track name, bitrate, format, and, depending on the provider, station art and other metadata. While the streams of most Internet Radio stations have low bitrates, there are some better options including Linn Classical, Hi On Line Radio, and The New England Jazz Express. These stations are very listenable; I’ve taken to using Linn Classical’s 320kbps MP3 stream for background ambiance. Within the limitations of MP3, the Avison Ensemble’s rendition of Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto in E Major, Spring, from The Four Seasons, with Pavlo Beznosiuk as soloist and conductor (Linn CKD 365, Linn Classical Radio), was spacious and pleasant, with a good balance of instrument sounds.”

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