Any like the Cambridge CXN v2 streamer?


I have the CXA80 integrated Amp and am running a Pioneer Elite streamer. I also have a Wadia 171 transport that I tap my iPhone with to listing to Tidal cd quality streaming. The Pioneer is for internet radio, mostly smooth Jazz for background during the day.
So I am thinking about the CXN v2 streamer and had some questions to those that have tried it or heard solid pros and cons about the unit, especially as it relates to the Tidal software that is part of the V2 model.

1) How’s it sound? Is regular internet radio significantly or just slight improved from some thing like I have( Pioneer Elite N-30) or other $500 range streamers out there?

2) Is the Tidal feature user friendly? Anyone think it will sound better than when I use Tidal through my phone, into the transport, then sent to the digital input on my CXA80 amp?

3) Can you down load albums from Tidal to the CXN streamer like I do to my phone? Can I save favorite albums on the steamer, and make radio stations from the song choice too?

4) if I use the sreamer app on my phone, will I be losing sound quality, similar to bluetoothing the music? I don’t want to blue tooth anything... I want to get every bit of SQ out of the $900 steamer.... so if that means searching for everything on the small screen of the streamer, I would rather do that... unless the streamer app will still be using the dual dacs and improved SQ of the streamer?

5) last question :) will the dual dacs in the steamer provide better streaming SQ than the single dac in my Amp? If so... would I want to connect the streamer to the amp via analog cables( rather than digital cables ) to utilize the dual dacs from the streamer?

question 5.2) sorry boys. So if I the analogue plugs are the way to go to utilize the dual dacs on the streamer, would going XLR plug from steamer to amp, be a better SQ than similar costing RCA plugs?

Thanks for any advice you can share.
rmiller01
I maybe able to answer a few of your questions since I own both the CA CXN v1 and Azur 851n streamers. I rarely use either streamer now and prefer the sound of my PS Audio Directstream DAC with Bridge II when compared to both my CA units.  I have not used either unit in a couple of months. I have never heard your Pioneer streamer and therefore cannot comment or compare to your system.
The CXN v1 is a nice sounding unit.  I have had some dropouts using it with its WiFi adapter.  I do not have Bluetooth.  The proprietary software is very good.  Neither unit stores music, but works well with the music stored on my network NAS drive.   It has a great interface for internet radio, were stations can be located by name, type of station (news, classic, jazz, rock,etc...), or station location.  The quality of sound is up to the station. Many stations stream in lower quality(I.e. MP3).  There are a few stations that stream higher quality and therefore sound better. Overall a very good interface for internet radio.  Can add station presets.  There is also a good interface for Tidal, but cannot play MQA or high definition unless this has changed in recent software updates.  Very good Apple Airplay interface.  The sound quality is better than the Bluetooth on Apple devices.  Airplay is the only way to stream Qobuz and may possibly work for high def music on Tidal. Airplay will also be able to stream music stored on an Airplay device.
XLR sounds better on my equipment then RCA connections.  
I hope this information is helpful.
Can anybody comment on this product if it will properly connect to a mesh network like Google WiFi that broadcasts the same SSID on both radio bands?  I've had issues with other 2.4GHz-only devices (like ZModo cam for example)
I love my CXN V2, so I'll answer as many questions as I can. 

1) How’s it sound? Is regular internet radio significantly or just slight improved from some thing like I have( Pioneer Elite N-30) or other $500 range streamers out there?
I can't speak to the N-30 specifically, but the CXN is often compared to the Bluesound Node 2i. At the end of the day, the comparisons generally come down to features, not the sound, so I believe the sound is a bit of a wash. I haven't compared the Node to the CXN side by side, but I have heard both in different systems. If you feel the N-30's sound is bested by the Node, I think it will also be bested by the CXN. 

2) Is the Tidal feature user friendly? Anyone think it will sound better than when I use Tidal through my phone, into the transport, then sent to the digital input on my CXA80 amp?
It works just fine. Some people coming from Auralic prefer their platform, but it does work just fine and is pretty intuitive. When you use the app, it's really just a remote for the CXN unless you are using Airplay or Chromecast. The files stream directly to the CXN's hardware, and they never actually "touch" your phone's hardware when using the app with Tidal. That's the key feature of a streamer vs BT. 
Use the DAC section in the CXN over the DAC in the CXA80. The dual DACs in the CXN should be slightly better. (The CXA81 got a nice DAC upgrade, so I'd give a different answer for the new units. 

3) Can you down load albums from Tidal to the CXN streamer like I do to my phone? Can I save favorite albums on the steamer, and make radio stations from the song choice too?
No, the CXN has no internal storage. You could create playlists on Tidal and use those, or you could save files to your phone and stream them from your device via Chromecast or Airplay. You could also connect via the USB to access files. 

4) if I use the sreamer app on my phone, will I be losing sound quality, similar to bluetoothing the music? I don’t want to blue tooth anything... I want to get every bit of SQ out of the $900 steamer.... so if that means searching for everything on the small screen of the streamer, I would rather do that... unless the streamer app will still be using the dual dacs and improved SQ of the streamer?
No, the app is only a control, and the files are streaming directly to the device. Even if you send files via Chromecast/Airplay, the dual DACS will still be doing the processing. 
$900 - *pro tip, get the CXN V2 (Series 1) now for $750. The price is going on up the new Series 2, and it's only getting a paint job* 

5) last question :) will the dual dacs in the steamer provide better streaming SQ than the single dac in my Amp? If so... would I want to connect the streamer to the amp via analog cables( rather than digital cables ) to utilize the dual dacs from the streamer?
Dual DAC in the streamer should be better. Same chip(s) so it I doubt it's mind blowing. Getting the DACs away from the power supply in the amp should have some benefit as well. Connect with analog cables, and the XLR should offer the best connection if all else is equal. 

question 5.2) sorry boys. So if I the analogue plugs are the way to go to utilize the dual dacs on the streamer, would going XLR plug from steamer to amp, be a better SQ than similar costing RCA plugs?
If we're talking same model and make of cables, then yes the XLR *should* be better. I believe the XLR also has a higher output voltage on the CXN. I could be wrong about that. 


Displayname- thank you for your answers, really appreciate it!
Has the CXN v2 been firmware upgraded to include Airplay2, or is Airplay2 only available on the series 2 model? I’ve been looking online and so far have only found that Cambridge planned to add Airplay2, but none of the spec sheets say that it has anything but prior generation Airplay.

I’m close to pulling the trigger now that there are great deals with the series 2 having been released, but I want to make sure I can incorporate it into my multi-room audio playback somehow when we are entertaining. So far Airplay2 is the only common link in all the other rooms so it’s either that or adding chromecast audios from eBay to a few other rooms (which is still cheaper than buying a series 2 instead, I guess)

Also, is there any way to cast from a digital source routed through the CXN to those other rooms? That’s not a dealbreaker, but would be nice. If not, any other streamers in the neighborhood price wise that allow that functionality? Thanks.