Review: Cambridge Audio Minx Air 200 and Minx Go Wireless Speakers
When we checked out Cambridge Audio's original Minx 5.1 setup just about two years back we plain loved the little things, which we felt represented about the best miniature speaker system to date, the bargain price notwithstanding. Cambridge hasn't rested on their laurels, and in the intervening years they've taken the Minx concept and have built a whole line of cool little (and not so little) lifestyle products - read small, portable, wireless systems - around it.
The new Minx lineup maintains a range of small 2.1 and 5.1 systems based on those tiny cubic cabinets but adds three all-in-ones - the top-of-the line Minx Air 200, a device suitable for the living room that competes on the same territory as the venerable B+W Zeppelin and the more recent Libratone Live; the slightly svelter Minx Air 100; and and the travel-friendly Minx Go - along with a desktop-oriented 2.1 multimedia system, the Minx M5.
By this point, more or less every single CE firm you've ever heard of (and a lot of 'em you haven't) have introduced such products. At S+V we're faced with a never-ending stream of Bluetooth-, AirPlay-, and DLNA-endowed, battery-powered speakers, ready to interface with your mobile device and seeking to take over your desktop, kitchen counter, or living room, or at least to earn a place in your suitcase or carry-on. Plenty of these things are abysmal, a good number are acceptable under certain circumstances, a select few are actually interesting, and you know what? There are only a handful that have actually impressed us.
Cambridge Audio, of course, have the requisite experience with small driver design, getting big sound out of minuscule cabinets, digital audio (with the market-segment defining DacMagic), and even streaming (as demonstrated in the excellent NP30 network player, so we expected solid performance from the new Minxes as soon as we were informed of their existence.
And ever since a brief preview a couple of months back with Cambridge's Simon Hewitt, we'd been looking forward to an extended audition. Sadly there wasn't time to look at everything, so we brought home two representative units - the Minx Air 200 and the Go - for a longer look and listen. Read on for our impressions.