Review: Cambridge Audio Minx Air 100 - Macenstein

Review: Cambridge Audio Minx Air 100

Minx Air 100

If there was any doubt as to whether or not the audio industry is still catering to Apple users, the recent glut of wireless AirPlay enabled speakers on the market should put your mind at ease. It was not all that long ago that you couldn’t find a speaker system without a built-in iPod dock, and now that Apple is pushing wireless, the music industry is following suit. Cambridge Audio, well known for their high- quality (and high-price) audio offerings, has entered the lucrative wireless speaker market with their Minx Air 100, the little brother to their larger 200 Watt Minx 200.

The Minx 100 is an AirPlay and Bluetooth speaker, featuring a built-in subwoofer and 100W amplifier, designed to blend in, or at least sit relatively unobtrusively, in any decor.

Minx Air 100

Available in both black and white, the entire front of the Minx 100 is dominated by its speaker grill, which doesn’t exactly scream style, but neither does it call attention to itself. Along the top right of the speaker are the power, volume, and navigation buttons, and to the left are a set of 5 internet radio preset buttons. That’s right, internet radio is finally starting to become a real thing, and you can program the Minx 100 to store up to 10 of your favorite stations (although only the first 5 can be accessed via the presets button. You will need the included remote or your iPhone to play stations 5-10). Internet stations are programed via the free Minx Air app (free on iTunes) which allows you to choose from up to 20,000 stations. Of course you can also stream ANY music you’d like from your iPhone, including Spotify, iTunes radio, etc. without the app.

There is a built-in handle on the back of the unit, but I would not consider this a “portable” speaker, as it does not have a battery, and is heavier than it looks. Along the back there are two sets of audio inputs (mini and RCA), and Ethernet port, bass adjustment dial, and power cable. There is also a micro USB port labeled “service” that I am not sure serves a purpose, at least for Apple users.

Minx Air 100


One slightly baffling issue with the Minx is the system it uses to setup the device to get on your home WiFi network in order to use AirPlay. I have reviewed other AirPlay speakers which simply allowed you to connect your iPhone to the speaker via the lightning cable, and then click a “Share this device’s network settings” pop up on your phone. BOOM. Done. Cambridge for some reason decided to go the slightly obtuse route of asking you to create a mini ad-hoc WiFi network from your home computer to the Minx in order to set it up, sort of like logging in to your router. The Minx documentation was fairly straightforward, and I don’t wish to scare aware anyone who thinks themselves computer illiterate, but it WAS a bit of a process. This was perhaps compounded by the fact that my review unit had not been properly reset, so the setup directions did not work for me initially. But since I am a genius, I got it working eventually. If you’d like to skip the AirPlay setup process (or own a non-Apple device) you can still stream your music wirelessly to the Minx via Bluetooth, where setup is the same typically strait forward pairing process it always is. However, you DO sacrifice range with Bluetooth over Airplay, as well as some audio quality in theory (although I can’t say I really noticed that to be the case). And of course, if you’d like to hardwire your connection and skip the wireless altogether, you can do that as well with the mini stereo jack.

Speaking of audio quality, how does the Minx stack up? Well, it’s… fine. It’s good. It’s even slightly above average. But it’s not great, and not quite at the $399 level Cambridge is asking for it. Perhaps we are listening with the Cambridge name in mind, causing us to expect more. As with most speakers, the type of music you are listening to can deliver wildly different results, and for the most part we found the midrange to be a bit muddy in rock and pop songs, with vocals not popping through as clearly as we’d like. Classical music sounded much better, as did most Jazz we played, but our overall impression was that the Minx 100 is a competent, but uninspired sounding speaker for the price. What the speaker DID have going for it was volume, and lots of it, as well as decent bass for its size, but there are certainly other options to be considered at this price point for true audiophiles.

Of course, there ARE other factors to consider when looking at speakers in this category. The combination of both Bluetooth AND AirPlay, as well as the ability to stream internet radio stations without the need for ANY device (after the initial setup, of course) is a big plus, and one that makes the Minx well suited for placement in a kitchen or office. It’s certainly loud enough to fill even a large living room, and would be ideal for a dorm room.


The Minx 100 is a good speaker, solidly built, offering a nice range of connection options, as well as the ability to stream internet radio stations without the need for an iDevice. However we felt the sound quality was slightly lacking given the price point, so it will be up to the buyer ultimately to decide whether the added features justify the Minx 100’s price tag.

Price: $399 ($349 Amazon)
Pros: Airplay and BlueTooth connectivity, nice design, Internet Radio presets, Solidly built
Cons: Good, but not great sound quality for the price, WiFi setup needlessly complicated

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