Cambridge Audio Edge NQ
Cambridge Audio Edge NQ
Cambridge Audio Edge NQ

Cambridge Audio Edge NQ: High-precision network player

The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ is notable for its high-precision volume potentiometer, the huge knob of which is combined with a knurled selector, and a rather large front LCD display with fairly informative graphics. Of the wireless connections, only Bluetooth is standardly integrated (with the aptX HD codec), but when installing the supplied external Wi-Fi dongle into one of the USB ports, we will get a full-fledged wireless music center that also supports Google’s Chromecast. And the latter means that the choice of streaming platforms will not be limited to the standard Tidal, Spotify and Deezer – music can also be received from various external applications.

A drive with music files can be easily connected to the second USB port – all common extensions and systems are supported (FAT32, NTFS, HFS, HFS+). The third USB port on the Edge NQ is designed to work with a PC – in this case, the device will act as an advanced USB DAC (conversion is performed by Sabre32 ES9018K2M chips), capable of receiving streams with a frequency of up to 32 bit/384 kHz or DSD256. You can also connect traditional analog sources to the pre (one via a balanced line and two via RCA), and, of course, digital ones – two via “optics”, one via a coaxial line and one via HDMI.

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Separately, we note the control application for a smartphone or tablet. It is very convenient to perform all settings and manipulations from it! It is free of any tricky “playback” functions, but it works extremely quickly – I would like to set an example for everyone with the speed with which the transition from one source to another is carried out (it doesn’t matter whether it’s some kind of physical input or any other, wireless or streaming ). The outputs at the limit are dual, balanced and line, and they switch to a fixed level.

Cambridge Audio Edge NQ 2.jpg

The audio path of the Cambridge Audio Edge NQ network player is completely free of interstage capacitors, plus a network audio card has been specially designed for streaming playback. Don’t worry about the code printed on the side of the Edge NQ – this is a purely design element and it indicates the exact geographical longitude and latitude where the office of the parent company Audio Partnership Plc is located. The Cambridge Audio Edge NQ is a perfect match in performance and design with its brother in the series, the Edge W power amplifier. According to Cambridge Audio, this model is capable of delivering excellent sound with detailed rhythmic presentation and tight, elastic bass.

Cambridge Audio Edge NQ Specifications

Less than 0.0008% harmonic distortion (20 Hz – 20 kHz, at 1 V output)
Frequency response 20 Hz – 20 kHz (± 0.1 dB)
Greater than 103 dB signal-to-noise ratio (at 1 V) V at output)
Crosstalk less than – 100 dB (1 kHz)
Maximum RCA output voltage: 6 V; XLR: 6 V + 6 V
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi dongle, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth version 4.1 (Smart/BLE enabled) A2DP/AVRCP, SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX-HD codec support
UPnP protocol support yes
LCD display, color
Supports Internet radio and Spotify Connect service yes
Chromecast platform support yes
Airplay function yes
Control via the Cambridge Edge Remote app supported
Supported formats when connecting via local network or using USB for external drives PCM up to 24 bit/192 kHz, DSD128
Inputs 2 unbalanced RCA, balanced XLR, coaxial (up to 24-bit/192 kHz), 2 optical (up to 24-bit/96 kHz), HDMI (with ARC return), Ethernet (LAN), USB for external storage ( up to 24 bit/192 kHz, DSD128), USB for Wi-Fi dongle, asynchronous USB (PCM up to 32 bit/384 kHz, DSD256)
Outputs Pre Out (RCA), Pre Out (XLR), 6.3 mm headphone
Other switching RS-232C interface, Link Out system bus connector, Bluetooth antenna socket
Remote control yes
Maximum power consumption: 100 W, standby: 0.5 W
Dimensions (WxHxD) 460x120x405 mm
Weight 10.2 kg