Cambridge Audio has introduced a new flagship DAC to its range in the DacMagic 200M, and it arrives with native support for MQA.
The DacMagic 200M (£449/$499/€499) is Cambridge Audio’s newest, flagship digital-to-analogue converter and headphone amplifier, featuring native MQA support, Bluetooth connectivity and a more powerful headphone output.
The DacMagic 200M aims to improve the quality of whatever it is you’re listening to, whether it’s your music streaming subscriptions, CD collection (if you still listen to those) or boosting the quality of your home audio system, the DacMagic 200M is eager to slot in and give music a boost.
Inside the unit are dual ESS Sabre DACs, which Cambridge say are a step up from the configuration in the previous DacMagic Plus. The ESS Sabre DACs can handle PCM and DSD signal inputs at 32-bit/768kHz (PCM) ad DSD512 respectively – higher than the DacMagic Plus was capable of. The dual mono configuration of the DacMagic means the left and right channels are processed separately, resulting in what Cambridge calls a performance that is “free of distortion, incredibly precise and has superb dynamic range.”
Any digital file that passes through the unit is converted to analogue, preserving the track’s detail and dynamic through the process. There are three switchable pre-set digital filters that help to reduce noise generated by the digital-to-analogue process, each filter offering a different sonic option for a more configurable listening experience.
With native MQA support, the DacMagic 200M is the first product from Cambridge Audio to support this feature, with the DAC able to fully decode MQA files so they sound as the artist intended, useful if you’re subscriber to TIDAL. The DAC will let you know when you’re listening to a higher-quality MQA file with the LEDs on the front panel lighting up when it detects an MQA signal.
The look of the unit takes some cues from Cambridge’s recent products, with the box made out of steel and aluminium. Available in a sleek Lunar Grey finish, the DacMagic 200M measures at 52 x 215 x 191, small enough to fit tight spaces. Around the rear are various connections including two coaxial, two optical and one USB-type-B, as well as balanced and unbalanced analogue connections; with the digital connections opening up integration to the likes of laptops, CD players, game consoles and Blu-ray players, while aptX Bluetooth integration means you can fire your music straight at the DAC.
The DacMagic 200M is also designed for headphone listening with its headphone amplifier and 6.3mm output included. Using class A/B amplification, the impedance of the headphone output has been reduced so it can deliver more power, less noise and distortion.
The Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M goes on sale February 2021 for £449/$499/€499. You can purchase it from Cambridge Audio, Richer Sounds and Amazon.