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Cambridge Audio looks to enhance living-room audio with new flagship DAC

Cambridge Audio looks to enhan...
The DacMagic 200M flagship is the first product from Cambridge Audio to offer native MQA support
The DacMagic 200M flagship is the first product from Cambridge Audio to offer native MQA support
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The front panel indicates playback sample rate
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The front panel indicates playback sample rate
Three preset filters offer "a different sonic option depending on the source material"
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Three preset filters offer "a different sonic option depending on the source material"
Connections include digital inputs and both balanced and unbalanced outputs
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Connections include digital inputs and both balanced and unbalanced outputs
The DacMagic 200M flagship is the first product from Cambridge Audio to offer native MQA support
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The DacMagic 200M flagship is the first product from Cambridge Audio to offer native MQA support
View gallery - 4 images

The UK's Cambridge Audio has announced a new flagship digital-to-analog converter and headphone amplifier combo that promises a "thrilling performance that’s bigger than the box it comes in."

Though most living-room hi-fi equipment today will include digital-to-analog circuitry and likely a headphone amp too, they may not be up to the task of making your high resolution music library or extensive CD collection truly rock. A dedicated external combo unit like the DacMagic 200M is designed to do just that.

Cambridge Audio's new flagship boasts two ESS Sabre ES9028Q2M digital-to-analog converters (DAC) in dual-mono configuration – meaning that each DAC processes left and right signals separately for distortion-free, precise, dynamic playback.

The unit can handle PCM audio file inputs at up to 32-bit/768 kHz and DSD at up to DSD512, and comes with integrated aptX Bluetooth 5.0 for streaming audio directly to the 200M from a smartphone, tablet or dedicated music player. Three preset filters offer "a different sonic option depending on the source material."

The front panel indicates playback sample rate
The front panel indicates playback sample rate

It's the first product from the company to offer native support for MQA, a technology developed to deliver the sound quality of an original master recording in a file format small enough for streaming, with Tidal being one service that makes use of the technology.

On the headphone amp side of things, the 200M features a Class A/B design, with Cambridge Audio saying that the impedance of the 6.3-mm output has been reduced for more power, less distortion, less noise and tighter audio control.

Connection to the unit from digital source devices like laptops, CD players, games consoles and Blu-ray players is accommodated by two coaxial and two optical inputs, and one USB port. The 200M features both balanced and unbalanced analog outputs.

The new flagship goes on sale from next month for US$499.

Product page: DacMagic 200M

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