Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Outstanding sound from the Minx Air 100
on June 13, 2014
I gave abundant thought to buying a wireless speaker with Airplay and/or Bluetooth capability. Having read numerous professional reviews and watching the occasionally well done video reviews (and the poor videos that almost always start with "Hey Guys...") on YouTube and individual companies' websites and, of course, taking cost into account, my choice came down to the Cambridge Audio Minx Air 100 and the Bose SoundTouch 20. I could not make a direct audio comparison between the two since the large consumer stores rarely carry Cambridge Audio products, so I had to rely on Cambridge's reputation. As for the SoundTouch, I listened to the same demo music repeatedly. Even the closest Bose store couldn't deviate from protocol and allow the potential buyer to Airplay music from his/her iOS device. To be fair, the demo music sounded fairly rich and well balanced, but in the end I opted for Minx based on several factors.
The Setup: I took the less convoluted route by engaging the WPS feature on my Comcast router and then depressing the WPS button on the Minx' rear panel. An Internet connection was established in 10-15 seconds. Super easy!
Connectivity: At first, the Minx would only maintain a wifi connection for about 30-45 minutes before `"stuttering" began and a restart sometimes became necessary. A small location adjustment to my router, however, has corrected the original issue. The Bluetooth connection produces excellent sound.
Sound Quality: The Minx 100 produces rich, vibrant sound either through Internet radio stations or the audio library from my or my wife's MacBook Pro. We have no complaints on this account. JazzRadio's Vibraphone channel, for instance, displays a wide range of instrumental arrangements that can put the Minx to the test at both low or high listening levels. So far, the best listening experiences range from Lady Gaga and Tony Bennet's superb rendition of "The Lady is a Tramp," "Wishing You Were Somehow Here" from "Phantom of the Opera," and the lush vocally nuanced sounds of Jane Monheidt, Aretha Franklin, or Andrea Boccelli. On the other hand, with artists like Amy Winehouse and Christina Aguilera ("Hurt," "Keeps Gettin' Better") with limited vocal ranges, the Minx seems to accentuate the music over the vocals, maybe to hide singers' shortcomings??
Bass: Very good. The dial on the back panel or on the Minx app makes adjustment easy.
Visual Appeal: Stylish without being over-the-top. The Minx fits easily on a bookshelf or a user's nightstand.
The App: The Minx app works about 10% of the time. Too bad...it's the weakest link in the Minx experience so far. You can adjust the bass and, of course, make preset selections as well as search from Internet radio stations. The work-around involves using Airplay first to connect to the Minx. Then the Minx app seems to lock in to the speaker every time. Cambridge assured me that an updated version of the software will be available soon.
Marriage made in audio heaven: Using the analog audio inputs on the Minx, I connected a Logitech UE satellite radio and the sound quality was amazingly clear and detailed. And...there were no worries about the signal disappearing. The Minx played for hours until the unit was turned off.
All things considered, I think the Minx has elegant sound and provides a very wide range of listening experiences.