Cambridge Audio CXA81 (Lunar Grey) is rated out of 5 by 254.
Cambridge Audio CXA81 (Lunar Grey)
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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.
Sleek new finish
The CXA81 is part of the refreshed CX-Series 2. The distinctive tear-drop profile gives the CXA81 a contemporary look and makes it the ideal partner for the CXC CD transport, CXN V2 network player. The Lunar Grey front panel contrasts with the black top and sides and blends well with both black and silver separates.
Complete versatility meets the finest sound, with the Cambridge Audio CXA81.
Analogue RCA Inputs
Yes - Combined with pre-output
Coaxial Digital Inputs
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 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 JDT71 from Cxa81 What a fantastic piece of kit Would definitely recommend clarity is perfect Also richer sounds is.one of the best companies I have bought from fantastic staff very very helpful
Date published: 2023-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by KimT from Hefty, composed, confident Deliberately waited a while before reviewing. This weighty bit of kit has real authority about its delivery when paired with a decent source and speakers that work with it to produce a full, rich sound stage. Particularly good value if you time your purchase to coincide with one of Richer Sounds' promotional deals. Love it!
Date published: 2023-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by CRA1 from Excellent Excellent amp top notch service as usual from Oxford Richer Sounds
Date published: 2023-03-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by william02 from Welcome upgrade for audio I have been using this for over a week now and am really seeing the benefit. Sound from my new television is quite OK when presenters speak clearly without strong accents. But on a number of programs speech is muffled. This is particularly noticeable when watching bbc iplayer. Decided to use my stereo system for sending TV audio to. Noticed an improvement right away. Easy to fit, good price. Well worth it. Looking to use optical connection to replace rca cables from network streamer to amplifier.
Date published: 2023-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by Harry Bosch from Superb piece of kit Purchased this item, having waved goodbye to my old friend - a NAD amp - for 19 plus years, was sceptical just how good this would be, having had the ability to adjust top and bottom end as required - albeit had owned a Linn amp many years ago without any form of EQ. Based on the advice of a knowledgeable member of the Cardiff sales team, took the plunge and ordered this item - outstanding sound from this box of tricks would be an understatement - it just sings its head off - there is nothing missing anywhere within the audio spectrum. Would recommend this amplifier without any hesitation. Grateful thanks to the member of the team - Michael - for his spot on description.
Date published: 2023-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by Shakin from Great sound, Bought the CXA81 and was amazed at the expansive sound stage, bass response and mid range punch. It brought my old vinyl LPs back to life.
Date published: 2023-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by AndrewGanddog from Great team and great experience Very knowledgeable snd friendly staff. Competitive pricing. Great product range. Excellent extended insurance policy. Excellent returns policy. Very happy.
Date published: 2023-02-16
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