Cambridge Audio CXN v2 streamer vs Bluesound Node 2i

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by wingram, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. wingram

    wingram Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    so I have tried in vain to do a side by side comparison...

    Looking to determine how much better the CA will sound (if at all). Also very interested in ease of use with the phone interface. Thinking this will primarily be for tidal. I currently my stream through oppo but hate the interface and frequent drops in connectivity to my phone....I have a feeling I would prefer the cxn for the display if no other reason.

    The node is appealing pricewise and I like what I have seen/heard but have yet to see or hear a cxn in the wild. No dealers near me carry it.

    Anyone have hands on with both? Which did you prefer and why?

    Thanks.
     
    displayname likes this.
  2. Jacob29

    Jacob29 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Aspen Colorado
    I have not heard the Cambridge audio. Something that will point out if you are using Tidal I do not believe the Cambridge supports mqa if you're into that kind of thing. The Cambridge does Google Cast the 2i does Apple airplay
     
  3. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    I have used both, and I now own the CXN. Although I have used both, I did not A/B them side by side in the same system.

    Both have pros and cons, and can be the right solution based on your needs. Do you place signing value on MQA? Do you need to connect other digital sources? Are you/will you be using an external DAC? Do you have space limitations? Etc etc.
     
  4. wingram

    wingram Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Fair questions....

    I forgot to mention I am fairly ambivalent about mqa. I will not use an external DAC. Space is not really a consideration. I don’t think I will connect other digital sources unless the DAC blows me away...

    Main focuses are sound quality and ease of use by my wife...
     
  5. Hab

    Hab Forum Resident

    Location:
    Walsall
    I can vouch for the BluOS app. Been using mine for a year or so (Node 2) and the app has been faultless, very intuitive and fast to respond.

    No experience with the CXN sorry.
     
    Doug Walton likes this.
  6. Fruff76

    Fruff76 L100 Classic - Fan Club President

    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    I have the Cambridge and really like it, but I have no experience with the bluesound. So, if I get an MQA capable DAC, can I bypass the Cambridge DAC and get full MQA?
     
  7. Fruff76

    Fruff76 L100 Classic - Fan Club President

    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Actually...what DAC is MQA capable?
     
  8. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    Unfortunately not. The only lower cost transport that I know of that does a full MQA or DSD pass through is the Aries Mini. Otherwise you need to move up to something like a Lumin U1 Mini.

    The biggest upside of the CXN is the form factor allows for greater separation of the power sections and the audio section, possibly a better line stage, and upsampling signals. Plus it can serve as a digital hub for other inputs (I use my CD player as a transport) and it has a USB input up front which is nice if you use those at times.
     
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  9. Fruff76

    Fruff76 L100 Classic - Fan Club President

    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Yeah, I was at work and needed to quickly transfer the 18 hours of OK computer demos released. I was able to put it on a thumb drive and pop it into the front of the Cambridge.
     
    displayname likes this.
  10. 5-String

    5-String μηδὲν ἄγαν

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    There are many listed here:

    MQA | Our partners
     
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  11. psulioninks

    psulioninks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    displayname likes this.
  12. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
  13. psulioninks

    psulioninks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Looks like the only changes to the CXN v2 is a new paint job...
     
  14. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    Agree, same for the CXC as well. I thought that was interesting, but I guess the products have been on the market for a few years, and tariffs probably aren't helping things. I get the feeling the prices on these needed to go up to keep them in circulation and including them in a "new" series is a pretty common move. Very bummed they are dropping the black gear though, and very happy I purchased mine in black already.

    They announced a new app as well, which I believe is supposed to work with the current CXN series as well, so I'm excited to see that.
     
  15. psulioninks

    psulioninks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    You know more than I do! So, are the prices going on the new paint scheme CXN v2? I purchased a black one this morning from Music Direct at the reduced price. I have a Node 2i in my listening room, but I work most all day from the family room and wanted to try something different there. I am looking forwarding to attaching one of my external hard drives to it for playback of lossless vinyl rips while I work.
     
  16. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    No exclusive info here, just read the press releases to see if I should jump on the black CXC now or wait for the new one.
    CX Series 2
    https://www.audioxpress.com/news/ca...-audio-components-with-updated-ess-sabre-dacs
    "To complement the new CX Series updates, two familiar components round out the CX Series 2 range: the highly acclaimed, class-leading CXN (V2) network audio streamer ($1099), and CXC CD transport ($599) are now both finished in a Lunar Grey color to match the CXA61 and CXA81 integrated amplifiers."

    "Cambridge Audio’s popular Connect iOS and Android app, compatible with the CXN (V2) and the company’s other network audio streamers, has been given a major feature overhaul and rebrand. Built from the ground-up by Cambridge Audio’s in-house team of app developers, the new Stream Magic app offers smoother network performance, a customizable Hub tab giving fast access to the most-used features and an improved interface."

    The amps are getting some real significant upgrades, but the CXC and CXN are only getting a new paintjob according to all sources at this point. What's most interesting is that the amps will technically have a higher end DAC chip than the CXN, which is surprising. BUT, the CXN is still the only unit with dual DACs, so maybe it will edge out the amps still? Hard to say without hearing them side by side. I'd imagine it's pretty close.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
    MacMan2007 likes this.
  17. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    Along with the streaming capabilities, which is the best for playing files from a hard drive. Is this possible? I want to load a hard drive up with my library (AIFFs) and play from it.
     
  18. displayname

    displayname Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    I believe both the Node and CXN can do this.
    The Node is spec'd to work off UPnP, and is cable of playing AIFF files. I haven't personally done this, so I can't speak to the experience of using that feature.
     
    rodentdog and timind like this.
  19. SirMarc

    SirMarc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cranford, NJ
    I'd like to know about this too. I have a Node 2i, and have it linked to my laptop. Its kind of a pain because the laptop has to be on to access my library, and then I have the brightness of the screen distracting me when I dim the lights for more serious listening
     
  20. psulioninks

    psulioninks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Based on how I hear the Node 2i indexes, I think the CXN v2 may be the better bet for this...it's how I plan to use it mostly.
     
    timind likes this.
  21. SirMarc

    SirMarc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cranford, NJ
    It doesn't just read the files and display them in the Bluos app?
     
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  22. psulioninks

    psulioninks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    I like the fact that the CXN has a USB port on the front as well...so I can stick a thumb drive in it with some newly ripped music before I transfer it to the hard drive.
     
  23. psulioninks

    psulioninks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    There is a thread talking about how it re-indexes and that it takes a while...I got the impression it will work...but was not really designed to do this.
     
    SirMarc likes this.
  24. SirMarc

    SirMarc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cranford, NJ
    That's weird. Linked to my laptop, other than getting the artwork wrong occasionally, its pretty seamless. You'd think hardwired would be easier to get right...
     
  25. psulioninks

    psulioninks Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest USA
    It may have to do with if the hard drive is removed and then attached again...I will find it eventually.
     
    SirMarc likes this.

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