Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on Twitter.
Cambridge Audio is an old name in audio, known for making high-quality amplifiers and components for your hi-fi system. The company this week announced its most forward-looking product yet, a compact all-in-one stereo amplifier with support for a variety of streaming options.
The Cambridge Audio Evo comes in two models that vary in power output. The Evo 75 offers 75W($2,250) per channel, while the Evo 150 ($3,000) outputs up to 150 watts per channel.
It’s using Hyper NCore Class D amplifier modules; if that sounds like gibberish to you, suffice to say these are some of the highest quality amplifiers on the market, especially among what you can get in a compact form factor like this. If Cambridge Audio has nailed the integration, you should have excellent sound quality.
The Evo supports a boatload of inputs. On the wireless front, there’s Chromecast, Bluetooth AptX HD, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect, Qobuz, Roon, and internet radio.
Streaming can be managed through Cambridge Audio’s StreamMagic mobile app, although you can also use the included remote or the massive dual-concentric rotary dial. Your music is displayed on a large 6.8-inch LCD panel, although it does not appear to be a touchscreen.
You also have optical, RCA, USB, XLR, turntable, and coaxial inputs, as well as HDMI with ARC for a direct link to your TV. Outputs include a 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth Aptx HD, as well as a subwoofer out for that extra bass.
The Evo’s wood trim is inspired by Cambridge Audio’s first amplifier, the P40. But the panels are actually removable and can be replaced with a black wavy side panel made from Richlite, a material made from recycled paper.
As enticing as the design is, and as much as I’ve been impressed by Cambridge Audio products in the past, I can’t help but wish it also offered some form of room correction, such as the excellent Dirac system found in the NAD M10.
Messy interactions between speakers and your room in the bass and lower mids is one of the primary flaws in most hi-fi setups. Addressing this is one of the most dramatic improvements you can make to your sound system.
But if you don’t care about room correction or can handle that through another component, the Cambridge Audio Evo looks like it could be a gorgeous addition to your hi-fi system — and one that will hopefully deliver on the sound quality front too.
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