- Wide stereo sound
- Balanced, easy-going presentation
- Flexible design
- Great battery life
- Could have a touch more clarity through the mid-range
- Lacks some punch for livelier genres
- Review Price: £299.95
- Wireless stereo speakers
- 24-hour battery life
- 3.5mm input
- Master speaker can be used mono
- Dimensions: 20.4 x 12.5 x 12.5cm
- Weight: 3kg
What are the Cambridge Audio Yoyo M?
Cambridge Audio might be a brand you’d more usually associate with quality hi-fi separates, but it has more recently added the three-strong Yoyo range of wireless speakers to its roster. The Cambridge Audio Yoyo M sits in the middle of the range.
Rather than acting as the medium-sized speaker to bridge the gap between the portable ‘S’ and larger ‘L’ all-in-one speakers, it instead opts for a modern take on the traditional stereo speaker design.
That’s because the Yoyo M’s two speakers work entirely wirelessly of power and of one another, giving you all the benefits of stereo sound with the flexibility of putting them wherever suits.
While plenty of wireless speakers now offer stereo pairing functionality if you buy two of them, the Yoyo M are very much designed for this setup first and foremost. The two speakers are ready to go from the point of unboxing, and include some clever auto-pairing tech to boot.
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Cambridge Audio Yoyo M – Design and features
Aside from the fact the Cambridge Audio Yoyo M is made up of two speakers, the most striking thing about them is their woollen finish, made by Yorkshire weavers Martin Mills.
I reviewed the blue version, but they’re also available in light or dark grey. They’re a smart, solidly built pair of speakers that have been designed to fit into the most stylish of homes.
At 20cm tall, they’re pretty easy to accommodate – be it on a work surface or bookshelf – although at around 3kg between them, they’re too heavy to be throwing into a bag for music on the go. In terms of portability, their best used around your home.
Of course, performance remains at the forefront, so Cambridge Audio has ensured this fancy finish is entirely ‘acoustically transparent’, so it won’t have any affect on their sound.
That sound is made up from a 30mm full-range driver and a 75mm bass driver in each speaker, all powered by a class D amplifier.
The Cambridge Audio Yoyo M are clearly intended to be used wirelessly, as physical connections are kept to a minimum. Beneath each unit you’ll find a power point (each one comes with its own, fairly chunky power supply), for charging up the 24-hour battery, plus a 3.5mm input (right speaker only) and a USB port for charging a device while playing music.
Finding a plug for both is a bit of a pain for charging purposes, but they at least offer decent battery life to see you through a fair time between charges.
Along the top of each speaker is a rubber touch panel with physical controls for volume, Bluetooth pairing, source and the speakerphone mode, which uses the speakers’ built-in microphone.
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There’s also a row of LEDs that display the volume level at a glance – for battery level you’ll need to look on the underside of the speakers and press the battery button to check how much is left.
The Yoyo M also have a hidden gesture controls. This means you can run your hand from left to right over either speaker to play or skip a track and right to left to pause. That’s the theory anyway – they can be a little hit and miss, and you may well find controlling playback through your device more convenient.
Cambridge Audio Yoyo M – Setup
The Cambridge Audio Yoyo M speakers work in a master and slave configuration, with the master in charge of the right channel and tagged up with a small metal logo. This is important as you can use this speaker on its own, as a mono speaker. Don’t take the wrong one to the park.
Simply move it away from the slave speaker and it will know it’s working solo, switching to mono mode. Bring it back into range of the the slave and the speakers will jump back into stereo mode again. Clever stuff. In fact, this is one of the nicest things about using the Yoyo M – they just work.
When setting them up for the first time, turn on the right speaker first; wait for a tone and then turn on the left. They’ll pair within seconds. Now anything you do on either speaker is replicated on the other – changing input, skipping track or even switching one off will cause the other to power down. You’ll need to remember to turn both on, though.
The connection between them is strong – during testing, I never had a problem with them disconnecting or falling out of sync.
Cambridge Audio Yoyo M – Performance
The Cambridge Audio Yoyo M offer up a performance that immediately showcases the benefit that stereo speakers bring. They offer a room-filling sound, with plenty of scale and space – they don’t rely on volume to sound large.
That said, they’re capable of reaching decent volumes, too, should you want it. Thankfully, they hold their composure very well indeed as you notch up the volume.
Despite this, I wouldn’t really consider these to be party speakers. Instead, they offer a more mature sound, which lends itself well to long, easy listening, than it does big-impact party tunes.
That’s mostly down to their presentation, which leans towards a warm, smooth approach, rather than anything too up front or aggressive. A rich, fluid mid-range sits at the centre, rolling on from note to note with an understated confidence that sees them taking everything in their stride.
There are no sharp edges, no overblown bass, no fuss – just a wholly refined and enjoyable sound that makes a whole album zip by before you know it.
While agile their more laid-back sound means they don’t have the most drive – if you’re into more lively music then you might crave a little more get up and go to give your music more punch.
Personally, I’d also prefer a little more clarity through the mid-range. There’s a slight lack of insight and finer detail at play compared to the Wharfedale DS-2, for example, which are cleaner and more forward in their presentation.
For those who prefer something a little meatier, though, the Cambridge Audio Yoyo M offer that with an equal helping of poise.
This relaxed vibe continues through to the treble, which is rolled off to smooth off any harshness or rough edges. This helps keep the Yoyo M sounding refined no matter the source, but does take away some of its bite.
The low end, although matching the mid-range for richness and body in a way that keeps it sounding balanced, isn’t as bold and bassy as the JBL Link 500. I’d say this is a style choice rather than an oversight, however, and certainly prevents any accusations of boominess by pushing the drivers lower than they can go.
Sometimes, knowing your limits is just as admirable as trying to exceed them.
Why buy the Cambridge Audio Yoyo (M)?
If you’re looking for a refined, sophisticated sound with superb space and scale then the Yoyo (M) offer all that and some.
Add to that a stylish and flexible design, which means they can be moved around your home to suit, and the appeal of the Yoyo (M) isn’t a hard one to work out. You even have the benefit of being able to use one as a mono speaker, should you wish.
While their more grown-up stereo design doesn’t exactly scream ‘party speakers’, if you were hoping they might serve up the soundtrack to your next bash then you might want to look elsewhere. They prioritise poise over punch, meaning they’re more cheese and wine evening than annoy-your-neighbours kitchen rave.
That doesn’t mean they’re a boring listen, however. In fact, you could lose hours streaming to these without the sound ever becoming tiring.
A touch more clarity at the cost of some of their richness would be welcome to make them the full package, though.
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A refined, laid-back pair of Bluetooth speakers that offer all the space and scale of their stereo design, with ultimate wireless convenience.