Life is all about connection: connection to others, to oneself, and to the larger world. The same holds true for home audio. The more ways you can connect to one’s music the better. The Cambridge Audio Minx Air 200 offers big, awesome audio and more ways to get to your music than pretty much any other audio system.
Yes, if you are looking for a great sounding home audio system that offers a huge variety of connectivity options, then you’ll definitely want to check out the Cambridge Minx Air 100 or 200. We were sent the Cambridge Audio Minx Air. It is the larger of the two systems, and it is one powerful system. We’re talking 200 watts of power powerful. So where some all-in-one home audio units do a good job filling your bedroom or home study with music, the Minx Air 200 puts out enough power to fill a large room with sound. And when I say “fill” I mean “FILL”!!!
Before turning to the wide range of connectivity options that make this speaker a stand out among integrated home audio systems, let’s start with the speaker itself . At 17.7” by 7.2” by 6.9” and a weight of 11 pounds, the speaker is physically impressive. Finished in scratch resistant high gloss white or black lacquer, it makes a statement without looking like it tries too hard. Low-profile buttons on the top, ports and connections on the back, and a built-in handle add to the speaker’s clean look. The design of the systems cabinet isn’t just about aesthetics, since it is actually designed to dampen vibrations and all but eliminates vibration and distortion when the speaker is playing at high volume.
Low profile buttons on the right of the speaker control input, volume and pairing.
Five buttons on the other side offer balance and provide quick access to five internet radio presets.
A desktop audio system whose fit and finish are simply gorgeous, this powerhouse system is a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A high quality class-D amplifier drives two 2.25’’ Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) drivers and a 6.5’’ subwoofer.
The carry handle even doubles as a bass port. Pretty smart! Add in the system’s Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Cambridge Audio’s expertise when it comes to fine-tuning great audio products, and you get a speaker that is designed for people who love music.
Digital signal processing using advanced technology developed for music and movie production allows us to get the biggest sound possible from Minx Air’s compact enclosure. The results are truly amazing and you’ll experience sound that’s louder, crisper and fuller than other portable systems
On board Digital to Analogue converters squeeze maximum detail from digital files before carefully processing them into the sounds you hear
Patented BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator) speaker drivers deliver a wider, more room-filling sound than similarly-sized traditional speakers. Regular speakers – like you’ll find in other portable systems – move in and out to create sound. Our BMR speakers also create sound using horizontal vibration modes for a much wider sound which is hugely beneficial when speakers are located so closely together.
And did I mention the fact that this thing pumps out 200 watts of power? 200 WATTS!!! That’s insane, but in a good way.
If all this Cambridge Audio wizardry — a speaker with clean lines and great sound — were packed into a speaker that required a wired connection, OR offered Bluetooth connectivity, OR offered AirPlay OR tapped into internet radio, it would be a great speaker. The amazing thing about the Cambridge Audio Minx Air 200 is that is offers ALL of these methods of connection.
Want to connect it to a wired system? The Minx Air 200 lets you. In fact, in addition to a 3.5mm input, you’ll find RCA analogue stereo ports. That means you can plug a TV, Blu-ray player or other home entertainment devices easily into Minx Air and use it as the audio source. Trust me, it will put the speakers on your television to shame.
Want to connect via AirPlay? The Minx Air 200 has built-in WiFi so, once you set it up, you can stream the audio from any device with Apple’s streaming technology built in.
And if you don’t use Apple devices, you are in luck. Not only does the Minx Air 200 have Bluetooth, but in addition to the Standard Bluetooth Codec (SBC), the Minx Air supports two higher-quality Bluetooth technologies that offer even better sound.
Minx Air’s inbuilt apt-X support squeezes the absolute maximum digital detail out of Bluetooth wireless streaming audio, if your device supports it, for CD-quality playback of high-bitrate digital audio files.
Minx Air’s Bluetooth function also supports AAC audio files for enhanced-quality transmission. AAC is a widely used digital file format and is the default or standard audio format for YouTube, iPhone, iPod, iPad, Nintendo DSi, iTunes. It’s supported by many manufacturers and devices including Apple, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, BlackBerry, as well as several Android device manufacturers
In other words, the Minx Air 200 lets you connect to your music in any way you prefer; and there’s more.
If you like internet radio, then the Minx Air has you covered. The unit itself has five preset buttons on top so you can turn your Minx Air on and get your favorite stations streaming in a matter of seconds. You can also use the included remote. It has ten presents that correspond to the ten presets available through the free Minx Air app for either iOS or Android. Search for new stations and make them the presets and they are copied across to all the other Minx Air Apps you may be using on other devices.
Cambridge Audio even made sure the Minx Air was simple to setup.
Setting-up Minx Air is a breeze
We’ve produced a range of simple Setup Guides to get you started without headaches, along with a range of short videos to demystify the process.
You can connect the Minx Air to your wireless network in a few simple steps, which will allow you to stream music via AirPlay and enjoy internet radio from around the world. If you don’t have wi-fi, there is an Ethernet socket for a wired connection to your home network.
Bluetooth is extremely easy too, just enable Bluetooth on your device and ‘pair’ it with your Minx Air. Once paired, music will play through the Minx Air.
To get you started we’ve stored 10 of our favourite internet radio stations in your presets. These can easily be selected and changed using the Minx Air App, which also allows volume, bass and EQ control.
And if you run into trouble? “If you need support, our expert team is only a click away or at the end of the phone.”
So what do I think about the Cambridge Audio Minx Air 200? I like it. No, it doesn’t have the multi-room functionality of something like Sonos or Korus. Then again, neither Sonos nor Korus offers the direct Bluetooth connectivity and the simple direct internet radio of the Minx Air does. And, unlike Korus, with Minx Air no dongle is required. Yes, all three system offer great sound and superb wireless convenience. All three systems provide a great user-expereicne and are bound to impress. But only the Minx Air offers such a wide range of connectivity options,
The Cambridge Audio Minx Air 200 is a gorgeous system that offers amazing sound. It is a speaker worthy of your attention… even as it fades into the background Check it out here.
What I Like: Sleek design; Multiple ways to connect; Huge, impressive sound; Integrated handle; Internet radio built in
What Needs Improvement: Pricey; No option to use batteries; Setup advertised as simple but I found it a bit more complicated than that
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample