SPOTIFY! Streaming Music the HiFi Way! – CAMBRIDGE AUDIO CXN v2 Review

SPOTIFY! Streaming Music the HiFi Way! – CAMBRIDGE AUDIO CXN v2 Review

Get the Cambridge Audio CXN (v2) here –
CORRECTION: The product page I was referencing for the purposes of this review contained an error with respect to the 851N. It was showing the 851E back panel in reference to the 851N and its specs. This error was caught after publication. I apologize for any confusion this may cause. -Andrew

Streaming Music from services such as Spotify and TIDAL is all the rage. Stream music in hifi using the Cambridge Audio CXN (v2). SPOTIFY! Streaming Music the HiFi Way! – CAMBRIDGE AUDIO CXN v2 Review

► REVIEWING THE Cambridge Audio CXN (v2)

Cambridge Audio CXN (v2) Network Audio Streamer:


CXA81 All-In-One:
Azur 851N Network Audio Streamer:
Azur 851W Power Amp:
Edge NQ:
Edge Power Amp:
Edge A Integrated Amplifier:
Alva TT Turntable:


Jamo C 97 II Floorstanding Home Speakers:


Pioneer SX-450

REM Automatic for the People:
Michael Jackson Dangerous:
Chvrches Warning Call:
Rage Against the Machine:


Marantz NA6006:

NAIM Uniti Atom:

➔ Cambridge Audio Edge System Review:
➔ Cambridge Audio Alva Record Player Review:
➔ Edge A2-300 Review:
➔ Naim Uniti Atom Review:

Streaming music off the Internet is popular with music lovers and hifi enthusiasts. You can stream music from a hard disc in your home or from the cloud from services such as Spotify or TIDAL. Get the best sound quality by using a dedicated network media streamer like the Cambridge Audio CXN (v2) reviewed here.


Naim Uniti Atom All In One Music System:
Musical Fidelity Integrated Amp:

Q Acoustic Concept 300:
Klipsch Heresy IV:
Jamo S809:

Kanto Bookshelf Speaker Stands (budget):
SolidSteel Speaker Stands (best):

Audio Technica LP140XP:
Cambridge Audio Direct Drive Turntable:

Ortofon 2M Blue Cartridge (better):
Ortofon 2M Black Cartridge (best):

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless NCX Headphones:


Hisense H9G:
TCL 6 Series:

Naim Mu-so V2:
Klipsch The Fives:
Kanto YU:

TIDAL (60-day FREE Trial):





FTC: This video is not sponsored. Some links above are affiliate, meaning we make a small percentage if you buy through the link but it won’t change the price for you! Thank you for helping to support the channel.

#spotify #cambridgeaudio #MusicStreaming


  1. Dominic Rivers on July 16, 2021 at 3:22 am

    What does this do that a Yamaha WXAD-50 doesn’t already do, I’m a bit confused by the sudden attention streaming amps are getting
    I’ve even got a 2015 pioneer SX N30 that natively streams tidal etc in full MQA

  2. Mitch Marzin on July 16, 2021 at 3:23 am

    Maybe you should do a quick ‘update’ to this review. Review 2.0. Perhaps review the erroneous correlation to the 851N. Focus on how they (truly) differ.

  3. Herathrig on July 16, 2021 at 3:24 am

    Can you review the nad c658?

  4. The Hifimaven on July 16, 2021 at 3:24 am

    I’m sure it’s a great product and while I used to do a lot of streaming since I went to the urologist they took care of it

  5. andreas kilsholm on July 16, 2021 at 3:25 am

    It would be so nice if you could do i reveiw of the azur 851n and compare them.

  6. Daren MacDonald on July 16, 2021 at 3:26 am

    Hi, Andrew, I have been watching your channel consistently and I am considering purchasing a CXN (V2) and pairing it with an integrated two-channel receiver; I am considering the Marantz NR1200, Yamaha RS202 or Onkyo TX8020. Additionally, I want to add a transport, but don’t know if I should go with the NAD C538 or the Cambridge Audio AXC35. Looking for your expert guidance. Thanks in advance. There’s a significant differnce in price between the NR1200 and the RS202 and TX8020; is the higher price worth it? Which transport would be a better fit for the proposed set up? Thanks.

  7. Sebi Gordan on July 16, 2021 at 3:27 am

    Streaming music from Spotify, Tidal, Amazon etc. is an area for niche people? You serious?

  8. Dmitrijs Roscenkovs on July 16, 2021 at 3:32 am

    Wow! Fantastic review! Thanks a lot!

  9. steven on July 16, 2021 at 3:32 am

    The signal still gets converted to Analog

  10. When Better Cars Are Built on July 16, 2021 at 3:34 am

    Gee golly, I have a Cambridge CXN V2 AND an analog 40 year old preamp. Guess what? I plug in the Cambridge analog out to my preamp’s analog in. And THAT is how I put the sound from the Cambridge though to my power amp and then to my speakers. I do NOT use the Cambridge as a preamp! Hardly niche. I use my Cambridge as a Spotify streamer, and sometimes internet radio. I do not have ANY digital files. I do NOT download.

  11. Paul Seaber on July 16, 2021 at 3:34 am

    Three minutes before the nitty gritty. WOW !

  12. Aaron French on July 16, 2021 at 3:35 am

    Can you please review the Azur 851W and N? I am considering these two together. I would like to hear your opinion on the amplifier.

  13. dm9542 on July 16, 2021 at 3:35 am

    Doesn’t the CXN V2 come in black as well ?

  14. Michael C on July 16, 2021 at 3:36 am

    You should have said Phone, Tablet and Computer interface! You left that out and I don’t know why!

  15. Ian Rollo on July 16, 2021 at 3:36 am

    Hi Andrew, I have the pairing of the CXN v2 and the CXA81. With regards to your comments about the transparency of the preamp. Would those only be relevant to a power amp not an integrated. I know once the preamp is turned on it isolates the rca on the CXA81. Would I gain any of the transparent sonic benefits in this configuration. Many thanks and best regards Ian

  16. E. O. on July 16, 2021 at 3:38 am

    Spotify isn’t Hi-fi yet though.

  17. Joe Shanks Adventures on July 16, 2021 at 3:41 am

    Ha ha ha nice ending lol. Great video brother, subscribed.

  18. william montañez magan on July 16, 2021 at 3:43 am

    it’s full mqa

  19. THE ORACLE on July 16, 2021 at 3:45 am

    The 851N does not have analog inputs . So with a power amp , it won’t work , your supposed vinyl . You will still need a separate pre-amp , or a phono amp , or an integrated amp which supports phono or other analog sources . That’s a bummer. If the 851N had also analog inputs , that would have been a game-changer . So I rather go with the Denon 2500ne as amp.

  20. Anthony Vaughn on July 16, 2021 at 3:46 am

    Just ordered mine
    Can’t wait

  21. Lee Piscioneri on July 16, 2021 at 3:47 am

    A newbie question. If I pair this streamer with my CXA81 amp, which DAC is operational, and can I choose which one I want to use? And And if there is a choice, which is better? The Wolfson or the ESS Sabre.

  22. Eric Marx on July 16, 2021 at 3:49 am

    Andrew, What IA would you use with CA Azur 851N? Stick with CA and the 851A or MF M5Si or M6Si? Paired w Heresy VI.

  23. Normandy Flores on July 16, 2021 at 3:49 am

    Andrew Cambridge listened to you. They have now the Evo line. Please make a review 😊 thank you and more power to your channel.

  24. simianinc on July 16, 2021 at 3:53 am

    Hi Andrew. Thanks for the info. I don’t think this is a super niche product. May of us have Tidal and want to stream to our existing stereo systems. You’ve reviewed the Camvridge. You reviewed the Powernode 2i (which is powered), but I’m looking at the Node 2i which is a competition for the Cambridge as a pure streamer. You thought the Powernode 2i was a bit dry, so I wonder if that;s down to the DAC or the amplifier. I’m trying to weigh up the node 2i against the Cambridge, but haven’t found any head-to-head reviews. And yes, I’d like an HDMI arc too!

  25. smoak888 on July 16, 2021 at 3:54 am

    Overall best hifi review channel. Quick question. Thoughts of pairing this Cambridge network streamer to my musicfidelity m6si be better ?

  26. alan ford on July 16, 2021 at 3:54 am

    Can i connect my Gryphon Diablo to the CXNv2?

  27. Gunit L on July 16, 2021 at 3:56 am

    All I care about is how to stream lossles Apple Music on my home audio system without using my iPhone. Sonos currently doesn’t support Apple Music lossles

  28. Antonio Asti on July 16, 2021 at 3:57 am

    Hello Andrew, how good a dac is the cxn v2? Can it compete with a Chord Mojo or even Qutest? Thank you, I appreciate your calm and clear way of reviewing

  29. Dave G on July 16, 2021 at 3:58 am

    John darko said it’s not neutral. What gives….

  30. Rudy Myers on July 16, 2021 at 3:58 am

    it’s getting a little long on the tooth. a V3 should be out soon with a faster processor.

  31. Nicholas Walker on July 16, 2021 at 3:58 am

    Now that Apple is streaming at HiRes, a supplementary video on how to stream and listen to HiRes on Cambridge Audio streamers would be really helpful. Thanks for the entertaining video.

  32. Peter Fowler on July 16, 2021 at 3:58 am

    Thinking of buying one of these, good to hear it sounds good. Don’t need to use it as a preamp, as I’ll play it through my CXA80, so I can still use my FM Tuner and Turntable. And having a decent phone app. is an advantage so I can operate it from my armchair.

  33. ghiagoo - War Robots on July 16, 2021 at 4:00 am

    Andrew, thanks for the comments on the Azur 851N. I was confused by the two products. Didn’t know what the difference was or if the 851N replaced this item, or vice versa

  34. Matthew Osborne on July 16, 2021 at 4:00 am

    Hi Guys!

    I have two outdoor patio speakers (each have black and red cord), I am trying to find the best device or receiver to make it easy to stream music and videos like Netflix or youtube. Any ideas?

  35. Benmar00 on July 16, 2021 at 4:01 am

    Beginner question: Can I plug this into Klipsch RP600RM and that’s it? Do i need anything else?

  36. Sebastian Giebels on July 16, 2021 at 4:02 am

    I’m most probably going to buy the CXN V2 and the CXA81 to replace my T+A Music Receiver. Although the T+A is superior, the ancient connectivity and confusing menu is driving me crazy. Navigating through music is a nightmare, it doesn’t have Airplay or Bluetooth, they just included this in their newest lineup. The App was las updated in 2019. The Music Player itself is from 2012, so it lacks modern features that add some convenience.

    I think with the CXN V2/CXA81 combo, I will still be happy and have a more modern system.

  37. twochaudio mg on July 16, 2021 at 4:04 am

    cambridge is mid fi Mr. Audiophile

  38. wjack on July 16, 2021 at 4:05 am

    I like streaming music and movies with A PC hooked to my Denafrips Aries II. I get some great sound with this setup, but I’ve been curious if I could possibly improve sound with a PC upgrade, and a size downgrade. I got a Mini-ITX case, a Fractal Core 500, with a Gigabyte B550I Mini-ITX mobo. I read about all the power supplies I could find, and from a test of various power supplies I seen from Tom’s Hardware, the Corsair SF750 had some great stats for low ripple and EMI. The SF600 was a little better, and I should have probably got that psu, but the SF750 will hopefully do a fine job, when I get it. Don’t know if this will make any difference in sound, but you never know.

  39. Raymond Arnott on July 16, 2021 at 4:05 am

    Good grief….over 4 minutes into the video and you are still telling us what you don’t do! Get the lead out and tell us something positive!

  40. James Clark on July 16, 2021 at 4:05 am

    Hi Andrew, I can not really find the answer I am looking for will this play Amazon Ultra HD easily or am I better off getting the Bluesound NODE 2i I have Spotify, Amazon Music, use to have Tidal. New to the whole network streaming to my HiFi as only ever used CD’s, MD’s, and records. I am willing to spend like up to $2000 Canadian so like $1500-1700 US. Right now I am using my old Yamaha receiver (RX-Z1) any help would be great here. Cheers!

  41. chad z on July 16, 2021 at 4:08 am

    Can you connect this to a McIntosh C53 Preamp?

  42. Lonely cake on July 16, 2021 at 4:09 am

    Andrew, your the kind of dude i would like to hire for a week to sort out my hifi woes 😊

    When you try to ask fo advice from a shop they always try to sell you their products in the store, not nevessarily the best fit if you know what i mean.

    Im still trying to find what im looking for and yet be smart about the money iow not overapend

  43. F Martin on July 16, 2021 at 4:10 am

    @Andrew Is the CAMBRIDGE AUDIO AZUR851N even better than this? Or not really?  THANKS!!  (love the channel)

  44. Andrew Robinson on July 16, 2021 at 4:11 am

    ★ *REVIEWING **** For more details, check the description box.*
    ★ *Correction Notice – THE AZUR 851N DOES NOT HAVE ANALOG INPUTS. The CA product page I was referencing was wrong & showed the 851E back panel in reference to the 851N and its specs. This error was just now caught, and I apologize for the confusion. -Andrew*
    ★ *QOTD: Do you need a network streaming player, or is your smartphone good enough? Which music streaming service do you recommend and why?*
    – No outside URLs, YouTube links or email addresses
    – Keep it civil. It’s okay to disagree, just don’t be a jerk about it.

  45. Nicholas Walker on July 16, 2021 at 4:13 am

    Now that Apple is streaming at HiRes, a supplementary video on how to stream and listen to HiRes on the Cambridge Audio streamers would be very helpful. Thanks for the entertaining video.

  46. jjnewbold on July 16, 2021 at 4:14 am

    For my first system, if I want to go the tube/Decware route instead of the Naim Uniti Atom, what’s the difference between the CXNV2 and the Arylic S50 Pro? I’m sure for the price there’s more transparency, but what about features? I’m just looking to add Tidal to a tube amp and speakers.

  47. David David on July 16, 2021 at 4:14 am

    Why is making an integrated amplifier able to stream through WiFi so expensive?
    Snake oil?

  48. sav on July 16, 2021 at 4:16 am

    No way am I going to pay $1000 for a unit that does not support MQA. I’ll pass.

  49. Lonely cake on July 16, 2021 at 4:19 am

    If you want to use the cambridge dac, then you must use line out to amp, right?

    How is it then a all-digital audio system?


  50. ipviri on July 16, 2021 at 4:21 am

    Goodness…. Now we need to hear about CA’s new Evo…. How it compares CXN *and* (more importantly) the Uniti Atom. Can’t wait to get an actual review – vs the marketing push Cambridge just did this week.