Cambridge Audio Yoyo (L) Review

A well-designed compact speaker that offers plenty of features and streaming options. Is this the ultimate small form factor, big-sound speaker setup?

Verdict

A dynamic, powerful and immersive surround-sound experience from a gorgeously designed and well-refined speaker. The smart music connections and TV connectivity make this a stand-out favourite.

Pros

  • Chromecast compatible
  • Spotify Connect
  • HDMI ARC for TV connection
  • TV remote learning, acts like a soundbar

Cons

  • No aptX Bluetooth
  • No AirPlay

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £350
  • Chromecast
  • Spotify Connect
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Remote control
  • USB charger out
  • HDMI ARC, optical and 3.5mm connections
  • Marston Mills wool design

What is the Cambridge Audio Yoyo (L)?

British manufacturer Cambridge Audio has taken its Yoyo speakers and upgraded them for a do-it-all super-speaker known as the Yoyo (L). For your £350, you get a stereo channel speaker that connects to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and even your TV using HDMI ARC. So, effectively you get a soundbar for your money, too.

Cambridge Audio YoYo (L)

Of course, there are soundbars that offer Wi-Fi and Bluetooth but also feature dedicated subwoofers, such as the Alexa-capable Polk Command Bar. So is the Yoyo (L) worth the money? Does the smaller form factor still pack enough punch to serve all musical purposes? This Yoyo (L) has been hard at work on the test bench to prove its worth.

Related: Best soundbars

Cambridge Audio Yoyo (L) – Design

In general, soundbars aren’t the prettiest things, yet standalone speakers can be. In the case of the Yoyo (L), it’s a pleasure to look at in any room. The first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful fabric cover made by specialist Marston Mills, which had been spinning wool since 1931. Close inspection shows the level of quality and skill that’s gone into producing this acoustically transparent fabric.

Cambridge Audio YoYo (L)

Zoom out a little and the top of the Yoyo (L) is filled with handy controls that slip seamlessly into the black, matte top plate. Volume and power are helpful, and the numbered buttons that you can customise to start a Spotify playlist are a really nice addition.

Head around the back and there’s a plethora of ports to get you connected to your TV. Another nice touch here that shows the extra care Cambridge Audio has taken, is the inclusion of all the cables you could need – including HDMI ARC and optical – in the box.

Cambridge Audio YoYo (L)

The remote control is fantastically minimal while still offering everything you could want from EQ modes, volume and power to preset buttons and subwoofer control.

Related: Best multiroom speakers

Cambridge Audio Yoyo (L) – Features

Connectivity is a huge feature on the Yoyo (L) thanks to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, optical, 3.5mm and HDMI ARC options. They also mean you can enjoy the ease of Google’s Cast features as well as simple streaming using Spotify Connect. As such, this is a speaker for music, primarily – but also works just as well as a soundbar.

The equaliser comes with four modes to adapt to what you’re listening to with Film, TV, Music and Voice as options. These are easily accessed using the remote control and, thanks to that HDMI ARC, you can even use that same remote to control your TV volume too.

Cambridge Audio YoYo (L)

NFC is a nice addition that makes connecting a smartphone as easy as popping it on top of the Yoyo; you then require just one confirmation tap to fire up Bluetooth. Unfortunately, this is Bluetooth 4.0 without aptX support, so you won’t be able to take advantage of the full hi-res capabilities of the speaker. There’s also no AirPlay support, so this unit isn’t ideal for Apple users.

Cambridge Audio has built the Yoyo (L) with a side by side setup that places left and right channels separated by the centre stage. That means full-range drivers and subs for a total of six speakers to offer room-filling sound.

Another thoughtful touch that shows just what makes Cambridge Audio such a perfectionist is the addition of a USB-out. This allows you to plug in and charge the device that’s streaming to the speaker. A great way to charge your phone if the power socket is in use, especially if this speaker is in your bedroom and you charge your phone overnight.

Chromecast and Spotify Connect support mean using your phone to fire up music and then letting the speaker stream directly is simple. That leaves your phone free to use normally without streaming through it and using up battery. It also means multiroom support on any other Chromecast or Spotify Connect-compatible devices in your home.

Related: Sonos Beam review

Cambridge Audio Yoyo (L) – Performance

Sound quality on the Yoyo (L) is nothing short of astounding. For the size and form of this unit, the noise it makes it really impressive. Using the word “noise” is wrong; this makes music of any sound. It then throws it around the room, no matter where it’s placed – which is great for movies where the bass really immerses you into action. The mids offer clear vocals that are great for enhancing TV speakers, especially those that are wall-mounted and firing away.

Cambridge Audio YoYo (L)

When playing Muse’s “The Dark Side” through both Spotify Connect and at hi-res through Tidal, the definition between instruments is fantastic as Matt Bellamy’s vocals soar. The hum of the electric guitar fizzes beautifully while the bass throbs, finding dynamism as the notes travel up and down the scale.

For pure power a bit of Iron Maiden’s “Wasted Years” pushes the Yoyo (L) through its paces, yet it still manages to offer dynamism across the many instruments and a warmth that draws you in as if hearing songs anew.

Once warmed up, the Yoyo (L) also performs well on more subtle songs, meaning you can have the volume low and still appreciate the finer details. This is another feature that lends itself well to the TV speaker role – making it ideal for watching TV at night with the volume down. Bass remains immersive, without too much that travels poorly as is the case with some rival speakers.

In short, the Yoyo (L) performs well beyond its price tag and size. Also, it’s worth noting that everything is simple to set up, works first time, and leaves you feeling relaxed and ready to enjoy – rather than frustrated as some speakers can.

Related: Best surround sound systems

Why buy the Cambridge Audio Yoyo (L)?

If you want a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-connected speaker that doubles as a soundbar then you’re in for a treat. The Cambridge Audio Yoyo (L) gets you immersive stereo sound without the need for a long soundbar and a separate sub.

Anyone looking for deeper TV support such as Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, will want a dedicated soundbar. But for a multiroom speaker that does TV too, this is an excellent option. If you want AirPlay or Bluetooth aptX then look elsewhere.

If you value looks as well as performance then the Yoyo (L) is for you. Even the remote doesn’t look bad.

Verdict

A dynamic, powerful and immersive surround-sound experience from a gorgeously designed and well-refined speaker. The smart music connections and TV connectivity make this a stand-out favourite.

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