Cambridge Audio Previews Upgraded CXA81 Mk II Integrated Amp

U.K.-based Cambridge Audio today kicked off the 2024 edition of the Audio Expo North America (AXPONA) with word that an updated version of its popular CXA81 integrated amplifier is on the way.

Slated to ship in May, the new CXA81 Mk II is the top model in the company’s midline CX Series and will feature a new reference-level digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and improved amplifier circuitry along with a new price: $1,199, which is $200 more than its predecessor.

Like its predecessor, the CXA81 is Roon Tested and equipped with a Class AB stereo amplifier rated to deliver 80 watts/channel into 8 ohms or 120 watts into 4 ohms but the amp circuitry has been updated with 10 new components and re-tuned to achieve “greater clarity and musicality.”

The other major update is the move to a 32-bit ES9018K2M DAC from ESS Technology, which is an upgrade over the DAC used in its predecessor, though both support DSD256 files and resolutions up to 24 bits/384 kHz.

Connectivity remains unchanged with wireless streaming via aptX HD Bluetooth, which supports resolutions up to 24 bits/48 kHz, and four analog RCA inputs, one balanced XLR input, three digital inputs (two Toslink optical and one S/DIF coaxial), and one asynchronous USB input.

The amp also has preamp and subwoofer outputs, a minijack headphone output on its front panel, and two sets of speaker outputs. For more information, visit:

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