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Cambridge Audio Minx 200 review

Kat Orphanides
18 Jul 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
430
inc VAT

Good sound and wireless connectivity, but it's let down by a poor and complicated app

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Cambridge Audio’s minx Air 200 is a speaker system designed to take pride of place in a living room or bedroom. Even though it produces plenty of volume, it’s designed so it’ll fit easily on a small table or a wide shelf. It also supports Airplay and Bluetooth wireless audio streaming, so you’ll be able to use it with mobile devices.

On its back panel, you’ll find a stereo RCA input, a 3.5mm input, an Ethernet port, a bass control and a WPS button for quickly connecting the Minx to your wireless network. A quick guide takes you through the process of setting the player up on a wireless network.

As it doesn’t have a screen, you can use the Minx Air 200’s web interface to connect it to your wireless network. Conveniently, the Minx Air 200 is able to create its own wireless network so you can access its web interface directly, then select your own Wi-Fi network once inside. The simplest option is connection via WPS, if your router supports it.

Cambridge Audio Minx 200

At the top of the Minx Air 200 are two banks of buttons. Five buttons on the left provide shortcuts to internet radio stations, while the set on the right is home to the power button, volume controls and X button, which enables the analogue auxiliary inputs. It also has a Bluetooth connection button. The power and Bluetooth buttons illuminate to display status, but they’re not very visible under normal ambient room lighting. We’d have preferred separate indicator lights.

Cambridge Audio Minx 200

HAPPY DOWNSTREAM

The Minx Air 200 supports Apple’s AirPlay audio streaming standard, as well as Bluetooth, which provides users with a lot of flexibility when connecting devices to it. It supports high-bit rate AptX audio streaming as well as the standard SBC codec used by the basic A2DP Bluetooth audio standard. This combination of wireless standards meant we could just set up the Minx on a shelf and control it via iTunes, or use Bluetooth with our mobile phone. Other devices can’t connect to the Minx Air 200 when it’s already playing something, which is good as it stops interruptions. It was also easy to pair the Minx Air 200 to a phone via Bluetooth, and we could still use our phone normally when someone rang us. We also made it to the very edge of the standard Bluetooth range of 10 metres (and up a flight of stairs) before experiencing any cut-outs in our sound.

FLAT CONTROLLER

Sadly, we were unimpressed with the Minx Air 200’s smartphone app. It feels clumsy and poorly laid out, with important options buried behind layers of menus and icons instead of being immediately available. Not even the volume controls appear on the app’s front screen. Instead, you’re given a selection of internet radio stations that you can assign to the preset buttons on the device.

To assign a preset, you must search for a station by name or genre, tap and hold the station’s name, and choose a preset button for assignation. The whole process is tedious and overcomplicated, and the app is unresponsive. We were also unimpressed with the Minx Air 200’s ultra-slim remote control.

Cambridge Audio Minx 200

GOOD VIBRATIONS

The most important thing about a music system is sound, and the Minx Air 200 certainly sounds good for a wireless speaker. Its extremely detailed mid-range is particularly impressive. Even in complex tracks, it was easy to pick out timbre in vocal performances, and instruments in a similar range also benefitted. There’s plenty going on at the high and low end, too. However, although the bass had plenty of presence, it lacked the subtlety and richness of the mid-tones. You can increase the bass volume, but it adds low frequency rumble rather than additional detail.

Concerns over bass aside, the Minx Air 200 would have scored more highly if not for the smartphone app. If you do want wireless streaming and can live without internet radio, we recommend the Pioneer A3, which also has a battery, making it a great portable all-in-one speaker system.

Specifications

Rating***
Speaker configuration2.1
RMS power output200W
Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on16W
Analogue inputs3.5mm stereo, stereo phono
Digital inputsBluetooth, Airplay, Wi-Fi, 10/100 Ethernet
Dock connectornone
Headphone outputnone
Satellite cable lengthsN/A
Cable typeN/A
Controls locatedmain unit, remote control, app
Digital processingWaves digital signal processing
Tone controlsbass
Price£430
Supplierhttp://store-uk.cambridgeaudio.com/
Detailswww.cambridgeaudio.com

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