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First Look: Cambridge Audio Minx Air 100: A pretty wireless speaker better seen than heard

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First Look: Cambridge Audio Minx Air 100: A pretty wireless speaker better seen than heard

2:38 /

It's a great-looking wireless speaker that supports Bluetooth, AirPlay, and Internet radio, but the Minx Air 100's sound quality is underwhelming, especially for its price.

Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET and we're gonna take a look at the Cambridge Audio Minx Air 100. This is a wireless speaker that supports both Bluetooth and AirPlay and is currently selling for $450. The Minx Air 100 is one of the nicest looking wireless speakers to enter the CNET offices. A lot of these speakers go for a real eye-catching design, but the Minx has an understated look with a white plastic cabinet and gray speaker grill that looks pretty good almost anywhere you place it. The top has 2 sets of rubber mushy buttons and the number of buttons on the left offer the neat ability to stream internet radio directly to the Minx without needing to deal with a smartphone or a tablet. There's also a remote included, but it's one of these cheap thin remotes that are common on speakers like this. Likely you're most likely controlling the speaker with a mobile device so you don't use the included remote that much. Now the Minx offers both Bluetooth and AirPlay which gives you some nice flexibility to wirelessly stream audio from a wide range of devices. AirPlay does offer theoretically better sound quality with Apple devices, but it also requires a Wi-Fi network. So luckily you can always fall back to Bluetooth if you're using it outside your home network. On the back there are few ports including Ethernet, a mini jack input, and an analog input. There's also a convenient handle but that doesn't mean the Minx is portable because there's no built-in battery so you're always gonna need to have it plugged in. For listening tests, I had the Minx Air 100 set up directly next to the Klipsch KMC 3 and the Peachtree Audio Deep Blue, and it was quickly clear that the Minx was lightweight of the bunch. The Minx just sounded flat comparatively no matter what kind of music I threw at it and it didn't help that was also the least loud. Classic rock tunes sounded noticeably less rich and the Minx always had a tinny quality that reminded you of its limitations. It also couldn't produce as much base as other speakers. Even with the base control turned all the way up and that really was apparent when I was listening to any kind of heavy music. The Minx's shortcomings are less noticeable on softer tunes, but even then I preferred the richer sound from competing speakers. And this is pretty much the story with the Minx Air 100. It's not gonna win over anyone picky about sound quality, but it does have a really nice look and a convenient feature set that makes it worth considering for less critical listeners. I'm Matthew Moskovciak and this is the Cambridge Audio Minx Air 100.

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