Cambridge Audio CXA81 (Limited Edition Black) is rated out of 5 by 16.
Cambridge Audio CXA81 (Limited Edition Black)
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Black Edition – limited edition finish
Limited to just 1000 models, the CXA81 Black Edition is something less run-of-mill. The sleek new style features a matte black, anodized aluminium facia with gloss black branding. As well as appealing in its own right, the CXA81 Black Edition makes the perfect partner for other black components you may have.
The amp that does it all
Engineered to the highest standards, the CXA81 delivers class-leading sound quality. The 80 watt amp is powerful enough for the largest rooms and the most power-hungry speakers. A built-in ESS DAC (Digital to Analogue Convertor) means you get the best from your digital, as well as analogue sources. Thanks to standard Bluetooth, you can now stream music in top quality aptX HD. All this, plus the Lunar Grey CXA81 looks more stylish than ever.
Powerful sound from the toroidal transformer
Powerful sound begins with the power supply, which is why Cambridge Audio use an audiophile quality, toroidal transformer. Renowned for their low noise, high efficiency and superior sound quality, the over-sized transformer gives the CXA81 a powerful, dynamic sound and a hefty 80W per channel power output - enough for ‘party level’ sound in even the largest domestic spaces.
Digital inputs with top spec DAC for detail
Featuring a reference standard ESS Sabre ES9016K2M DAC, the CXA81 works wonders with your digital audio and video sources. With two optical digital inputs and one coaxial, you can connect up to three digital sources, such as a games console, TV and a CD transport – the Cambridge Audio CXC makes the perfect match.
Bluetooth as standard
Now a standard fitment, Bluetooth offers simple, wireless music streaming from your mobile, tablet or laptop. Stream stored music or popular music streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music. The Bluetooth receiver is compatible with aptX HD, giving the highest quality sound possible from Bluetooth, right up to 24bit/48kHz. You also get the benefit of the sound passing through the ESS Sabre DAC, meaning precise, detailed sound from all your streamed music.
The best from USB audio, with Hi-Res sound
If you enjoy Hi-Res sound, you’ll love the CXA81. Using an asynchronous USB socket at the rear, you can connect up to your laptop, PC or server and stream Hi-Res music, right up to studio-quality 32bit/384kHz and DSD256. As well as improving the sound over your computer’s soundcard, the asynchronous ‘direct control’ link also greatly reduces jitter, for lower distortion and more precise audio.
More usually found on 'reference' hi-fi and professional equipment, the CXA81 boasts balanced XLR inputs. When connected to a suitable source, this gives a fully balanced, hot/cold, connection for the ultimate analogue signal quality.
All for analogue
The Cambridge CXA81 has four line level inputs - enough for all your analogue sources. A pre-amp output is also fitted – ideal for power amp upgrades. Other handy connections include an RCA subwoofer output, headphone socket and connections for two pairs of speakers.
Connected for installs
A wide range of control sockets make the CXA81 ideal as part of a more complex home installation. RS-232C, IR input, trigger in/out sockets and Control Bus RCA phonos mean the CXA81 is more than happy to work with a wide range home automation control systems.
Vibration resistant casing
With rigid, metal construction and low-resonance design, the casing helps shield the player from both mechanical and electrical interference, helping to improve clarity and reduce background noise. Isolating feet help adsorb vibration for a further reduction in distortion.
Complete versatility meets the finest sound, with the Cambridge Audio CXA81 Black Edition.
Analogue RCA Inputs
Yes - Combined with pre-output
Optical Digital Inputs
Speaker Sets FILTER
Frequency Response (Hz)
5 - 60,000
High Resolution Audio
80 x 2
Power Output - Watts per CH
60 - 99
Power Consumption - Normal Use (W)
Power Consumption - Standby
Dimensions WxHxD (mm)
430 x 115 x 341
Rated 5 out of 5 by Hanks from Black limited edition Cx series I would like to say that if you ever need a fantastic service then look no further than richersounds. I had the old cx range so when they bought the black series out I had to have it. The sound and build quality from Cambridge Audio is fantastic
Date published: 2023-03-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by Db2008 from If you want the fifth star... Read on Very, very happy with the full amp, CD and streamer limited black edition offering of the CX range. Looks delicious and sounds beautiful However, I'm left with a problem. I have a turntable, equally gorgeous but Cambridge don't offer a black edition phono stage. It's silver and it would somewhat ruin my overall finish. Reverted to using an old NAD PP2 with a gleaming green perma light distracting the eye from the main act. Any chance of a black edition of the Alva duo?
Date published: 2023-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by Arup from Lovely soundstage that is warm and muscial I bought this not so long ago having compared a handful of other amps. I am no audiophile so went with the sonic characteristics that appealed to me. Some of the others sounded clinical in the name of clarity and boomy in the name of deep bass. But the CXA81 brought it all together. It felt warm, musical and controlled. The soundstage appeared wider with the ability to easily distinguish perception of depth in the placements of various musical instruments. Everything felt controlled. The built-in DAC is extremely good. But nothing like the Mojo 2 for those of you who use it. I have used the CXA81 with the Q Acoustics 3020i as well as Oberon 5s. Add Mojo 2 to the mix and the result was astounding.
Date published: 2023-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by Decs from PUNCHES ABOVE ITS WEIGHT Excellent sound and well focused soundstage. Mid range and treble are beautiful with good recordings. Bass is very good but lacks the slam of more expensive amps.. Overall sound is neutral with just a touch of warmth that allows all the nuances of the recording to come through.
Date published: 2022-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by Shed08 from Fantastic amp Probably the best amp I have ever bought (and I have had a few). I have it hooked up to my mac by a very good usb cable, so I get 24/192 hires and it sounds amazing. The only thing I would have liked would have been the ability to toggle off the speakers completely but I found a good workaround. I have a few Cambridge products and they are all top notch.
Date published: 2022-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by BinnsIan from Great Digital Amp Great amp. Bought this primarily for streaming my digital music collection alongside streaming via Bluetooth from my TV. Works brilliantly with great sound and very little latency. Would recommend this to anyone looking for a digital HiFi amp. So impressed I'm going to purchase the CXN when budgets allow.
Date published: 2021-10-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by budde377 from Amazing amplifier An amazing amplifier with great sound! The built-in Bluetooth also works like a charm.
Date published: 2021-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by TwoTrees from Great sound I bought the CXA81 to replace my 2002 Myryad MI240 which was beyond repair. I am impressed with the sound quality when connected to my Myryad CD player even though the CA amp. is cheaper than the Myryad even after 19 years. I bought on the strength of the What HiFi awards and am not disappointed.
Date published: 2021-05-21
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