CES 2014 Cambridge Audio Minx Wireless Streaming Speakers

I'm beginning to develop a strong interest in $400-$800 table-top streaming speaker systems. The market is rapidly evolving away from iPod docks and towards wireless Airplay and Bluetooth speakers, but we're quite early on in this process and things are far from settled. In fact, I'm not really even sure they have a category name for these devices yet...but I like them, whatever they're called.

The most interesting part of the evolution to me is how manufacturers handle the schizophrenic split in Apple and Android communications environments, and how they deal with the myriad sources of music on your local network and beyond. Cambridge seems to have simply decided to give you both with their Minx 100 & 200 speakers being able to utilize both AirPlay and Bluetooth comms with your smartphone. Cambridge also includes a Minx app that will guide you to and allow you to program internet radio pre-sets. And, of course, you can always just stream Spotify, Pandora, MOG, and other streaming music services from your phone.

However, there's another thing that sets the Cambridge Minx 100 & 200 apart from similar products: it uses balanced mode radiator drivers (BMR). Um...let me embed a little visual for you.

Very basically, a BMR driver acts just like a normal speaker at low frequencies, pistoning in and out, but higher frequencies excites modal vibrations annularly from the center of the driver. (For more info look here, then here.) The advantage of this type of driver is that it maintains a wider dispersion at high frequencies, and that, it seems to me, would be quite beneficial for a speaker that's intended to sit in one place a fill a room with sound. I'll definitely be checking out the Cambridge Minx 200 in my search for great, room-filling wireless speakers.

Here's the Cambridge Audio pages for the Minx Go, Minx Air 100, and Minx Air 200.