Site Title

Cambridge Audio CXA81 Integrated Amplifier

NEX score 80%

Product Overview

Cambridge Audio CXA81 Integrated Amplifier is the bigger brother of CXA61. With all the features that make CXA61 an excellent amplifier, the CXA81 adds a pair of balanced XLR input, a superior ESS Sabre ES9016K2M DAC, and 80W power output.

Product Gallery

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Ratings

What we found**

Pros
  • Sleek, minimalist design
  • Excellent balance and control
  • Excellent build quality
Cons
  • Nothing in particular

What external reviewers found***

NEX score: 80% (not directly comparable across industries)
Pros
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Excellent build quality
  • Excellent battery life
  • Impressive detail levels
Cons
  • Lack of connectivity
  • Lacklustre performance with classical music
  • No phono input
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Price Comparison (incl. referral links)*

Specifications

Connectivity

Ports
[Input] 2x speakers, 3.5mm, preamp out, sub out | [Output] XLR, 4x RCA, coax, 2x TOSLINK, USB, Bluetooth

Dimensions

Size | Depth
341 mm
Size | Height
115 mm
Size | Width
430 mm
Weight
8.7 kg / 19.1 lbs

Function

DAC
ESS Sabre ES9016K2M

Performance

Power Consumption
750W
Power Output
80W RMS into 8 ohms / 120W RMS into 4 ohms

Production

Debut
2019

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3rd-Party Review Videos

External Reviews

theear[1]

Sentiment Score 66%
Reviewers from theear have found the following***:
The Bluetooth performance is rock solid, reliable and oh-so sweet. The hypnotic guitars from Intro by The xx are delivered with great gusto. The jaunty French Navy from Camera Obscura is sure to get you swaying. Where the amp is less successful is with classical music.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Excellent battery life
  • Excellent build quality
Cons
  • Lacklustre performance with classical music

trustedreviews[2]

Sentiment Score 88%
Reviewers from trustedreviews have found the following***:
The Cambridge CXA81 is as good as it currently gets at its £1000 price. Detail levels are as good a place as any to start, and the Cambridge reveals an absolute torrent of detail. There is formidable power and punch to the low frequencies (although it’s fearsomely controlled), wide-open spaciousness to accompany the heady detail levels in the mid-range.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Well-regarded phono stage
  • Impressive detail levels
  • Decent build quality
Cons
  • Lack of connectivity

whathifi[3]

Sentiment Score 87%
Reviewers from whathifi have found the following***:
Cambridge Audio CXA81 sets a new baseline for thousand-pound integrated amps. Powerful and weighty in the low end, but lean and agile enough to dance around with the most excitable bass lines. Full-bodied and expressive midrange deals out melodies that are given space to soar, yet still sound definitively part of a musical whole.
Find the original article here.
Pros
  • Punchy, dynamic presentation
  • Excellent build quality
Cons
  • No phono input

User Reviews

References

1. ^ Cambridge Audio CXA81. [theear]. https://www.the-ear.net//review-hardware/cambridge-audio-cxa81-integrated-amplifier-dac. 2020-05-28. Retrieved 2021-05-12.
2. ^ Cambridge CXA81 Review. [trustedreviews]. https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/cambridge-cxa81. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
3. ^ Cambridge Audio CXA81 review. [whathifi]. https://www.whathifi.com/reviews/cambridge-audio-cxa81. 2019-09-16. Retrieved 2021-03-22.

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***These key takeaways ("pros" and "cons") and summaries are identified from third-party review by our AI using advanced language models.

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