Cambridge Audio’s long-awaited One has arrived for micro hi-fi duty. Can it take the fight to Denon and Onkyo?
Believe it or not, Cambridge Audio’s been developing the One micro hi-fi for about four years. Was it worth the wait? Almost. The unit isn't ugly, but it's not quite beautiful either: an abundance of buttons and sockets makes it look cluttered. Still, it feels solidly made and the display is bright and clear.
We partnered it with Cambridge’s excellent S30 speakers (which cost an extra £120). Handily the One already comes bundled with a stylish dock, and connected iPods can be operated using the remote.
The bundled dock looks good and feels solid. As is so often the case, it’s not designed specifically for iPhone, so you’ll have to put one on Airplane mode to avoid feedback.
The Cambridge has lots of useful connections like an SD card slot, USB port and MP3 aux-in. They’re sensibly positioned on the front for easy access, too.
There are even more connections on the back, including two stereo inputs, one output and a subwoofer out to keep the big bass lovers happy, and the speaker terminals are the standard banana-plug type.
Upper bass issue
Sound quality is impressive and well balanced. There's great clarity and focus in vocals, and the treble is sweet and detailed.
It’s extremely listenable all-round, but the very best micro hi-fis – such as Denon’s D–M37DAB – offer just a tad more excitement and attack.
The One also has a strange gap in the upper bass frequencies, which means that although deep bass is nice and chunky, the slightly higher bass of most rock and pop is a bit too subdued.
Having said all that, in isolation it would be hard to fault the One – it’s just that the brilliance on offer elsewhere means we have to be extra picky.
Cambridge Audio One review
When it comes to micro hi-fis this Cambridge Audio is a good one, but not quite the best