Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Cambridge Audio announces enhanced CXA81 Mk II amplifier

Well we weren’t expecting this from Cambridge Audio. The British hi-fi brand has just announced a new version of its CXA81 dubbed the Mk II, with enhanced sound and new premium components.

Those new components include the ESS ES9018K2M Sabre32 DAC, support for aptX HD Bluetooth and a presentation that has been re-tuned to refine the sound.

As you might expect from Cambridge Audio, the CXA81 MkII makes use of Class AB amplification and a torodial transformer to present what it claims is “superb musical detail” with the power to drive demanding speakers with its 80W per channel of amplification.

The new DAC is said to imbue the amplifier “with reference-level capabilities and outstanding sonic resolution” regardless of the digital source chosen. Connectivity includes Toslink, coaxial and USB audio digital connections, with RCA and XLR inputs for analogue sources. File support includes 16-24-bit PCM files up to 384kHz and DSD256.

You can also stream via the aptX HD Bluetooth codec, handy if you have a Cambridge Audio Alva turntable. The CXA81 Mk II is also Roon Tested so it can fit within that multi-room system.

The CXA81 Mk II joins the CXN100 network player as one of the Cambridge’s recent launches, along with the M100 true wireless earphones. The CX series also features the CXC CD player if you wanted to create your own group of Cambridge-specific hi-fi separates.

You’ll have to wait a little while for the CXA81 Mk II to hit stores as it’s due to launch May 2024. Available only in a (probably) lunar silver finish, the integrated amplifier will be on sale from Cambridge Audio website and other authroised retailed for £999 / $1199 / €1199.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words