Awards

  • Recommended by TR

Summary

Our Score

9/10

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Detailed sound
  • Built-in Cambridge Audio DAC

Cons

  • Cheap, speaker stands
  • Sticky, control pod surface

Review Price £149.95

Key Features: Two 15W satellite speakers; 30W Subwoofer with built-in amplifier and DAC; USB input; Aux input; 3.5mm headphone input

Manufacturer: Cambridge Audio

Cambridge Audio Minx M5 review

What is the Cambridge Audio Minx M5?

The Cambridge Audio Minx M5 is a 2.1 speaker setup aimed at replacing the tinny ones built into a laptop or the ones that come boxed with your desktop PC.

For £150, it's cheaper than most dedicated systems and you get extremely good value for money. The sound is surprisingly strong and detailed and it's all wrapped up in a sleek and stylish design.


Cambridge Audio Minx M5 - Design

Taking clear inspiration from the Cambridge Audio Minx S315 surround sound system, the M5 includes two small satellite speakers, a cube-shaped subwoofer and a control pod.

The dinky little satellite look identical to the ones packed with the 212 and 215 systems featuring the same glossy piano black finish and easily removable grilles. The detachable stands, while a little on the cheap, plasticky side, slot into the bottom of the speakers giving them a slightly raised angle to help project the sound towards your ears.

Each of the satellites weigh just 435g, making them light enough to reposition, but have just enough weight to keep them rooted to a table surface.



The active subwoofer with built-in amplifier measures in at 200mm high, 200mm wide and weighs 4.4kg so it's a heavy little thing. The same glossy theme runs through the design adding a cabinet-style finish to make it look and feel like a system you'd expect to pay a lot more for. In subwoofer terms, it's compact enough to hide underneath a computer desk but it's equally quite nice to have it on show.

On the back of the sub you’ll find the Control input, speaker outputs, power adaptor port and a bass level knob. All the cables are in the box including USB and 35mm connections so there's no need to make an extra investment to start hooking it up.

Completing the M5 setup is the small coaster-sized control pod similar to the one featured with the Bose Companion PC speakers. This one has a much squarer look and also has the benefit of extra connection ports. You can adjust volume via the dial in the middle and at the back there's connections for USB, and MP3 player support. Round front, you'll find the dedicated headphone socket.



The volume control and base of the pod both have a sticky surface which no doubt adds grip but also attracts dirt and dust at the same time. On the whole, the M5 is a real looker and, speaker stands aside, feels sturdy and well built.

Cambridge Audio Minx M5 - Features and Setting up

The two satellites each have a single 2-inch driver and offer 15 watts of sound giving you a combined 30w of sound. The subwoofer manages 30W of power giving you a complete 60W to fill your room with.

One of the most interesting features is the inclusion of Cambridge Audio’s DAC technology. The benefit of building this into the system is that the M5 can process digital audio and replace the same (less impressive) digital audio processing from your PC or laptop soundcard.



Hooking it up is really easy. The satellite speaker cables plug into the sub using proprietary cables along with the control pod and the power adaptor. Connecting it up to a Chromebook via USB, the connection was instant and it doesn't take long to appreciate how good it sounds.

Cambridge Audio Minx M5 - Performance

It's fair to say that we were more than pleasantly surprised by what the M5 is capable of. The satellites pump out powerful, rich sound. Crucially, it's loud but sound is also excellently detailed and there is clearly where the built-in DAC comes into play. Dialogue and vocals come out nice and clear.

The sub does its job as well in tandem with the satellites delivering powerful bass to add depth and warmth to the overall sound.
The soundstage is particularly grand for such a small setup. The M5 feels better optimized for watching movies, but that's not to say it's bad for music. You get the same, powerful, well-balanced sound although when you turn the volume up really loud there is a slight wobble in the detail. It's a very minor difference though and doesn't detract from what is overall a gorgeous-sounding system.




Should you buy the Cambridge Audio Minx M5?

If you have a PC, laptop or Mac with an underwhelming speaker setup, the M5 at £150 offers great value for the money. It looks great, has a minimalist, clutter-free design and plenty of connectivity to use it with other audio sources.

Compared to similar setups from the likes of Bose and Harman Kardon Soundsticks III PC speaker setups it's significantly cheaper and the built-in Cambridge Audio DAC really shows its class for watching films and listening to music.


Verdict

The Cambridge Audio Minx M5 is a great 2.1 speaker setup that will bring your PC or Mac to life with powerful, detailed sound.

Scores In Detail

Design
8/10
Features
8/10
Performance
9/10
Sound Quality
9/10
Value
9/10

Our Score

9/10
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