Arcam vs Cambridge Audio – Detailed Comparison

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Arcam and Cambridge Audio are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry that produce high quality speakers, headphones, soundbars, and subwoofers. Arcam also makes amplifiers and subwoofers. 

In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at sound quality, durability, price and so on. Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points, however, we will compare them as closely as we can.

Quick History

Arcam Quick History

A&R Cambridge LTD (Arcam) is a company based in Cambridge Innovation Park, Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, England. They are well known for their hi-fi equipment manufacturing. The company was created by students of the science and engineering department of Cambridge University in 1976.

The company products include, Amplifiers, AV receivers, Streamers, Speakers etc

Cambridge Audio Quick History

Cambridge Audio is a British company that manufactures high-end audio equipment. It was formed in the early ’60s by a group of young technology graduates in Cambridge, England and started out as a division of Cambridge Consultants.

Their line of devices includes earphones, amplifiers, CD players, speakers, and many others.

Sound Quality

Arcam Sound Quality

One of the reasons for the creation of Arcam audios is to give the best sound possible to people, this allows the company to produce products with top notch sound quality.

When using the Arcam SA30 in a cinema hall, you’ll experience all the Sonic smoothness you really want in an audio system. The high,mid and low levels are clear and precise.

Cambridge Audio Sound Quality

As expected of a high-end brand, the sound quality is very excellent. The expert layering and detail of the sound ensure that all tonal ranges can play simultaneously without being muddled.

The deep bass stays in the background without overpowering the clear midtones and sparkling treble. All these are masterfully compounded to deliver sound with exceptional accuracy and vivid musicality, no matter what you’re listening to.

Features

Arcam Features

Arcam product has many beneficial features which make them surpass or compete with other renowned brands. These features include:

  • Ethernet support
  • Airplay- for streaming of music on iOS devices
  • Google Chromecast- for music streaming on Android devices
  • Wi-Fi 
  • USB port
  • Several input ports such as- Coaxial, optical, MC & MM phono and RCAs  

Cambridge Audio Features

Cambridge Audio devices have several features incorporated for maximum enjoyment. Some of the features are shown below:

Personalized EQ settings – set up with the Melomania App
Unique High-Performance Audio Mode – for hi-fi quality sound
Up to 350W per channel in the amplifiers
Passive noise cancellation with Transparency mode – to interact with your environment.
Qualcomm cVc™ (clear voice capture)
Voice control feature for Siri (iOS) and Google Assistant (Android)
aptX™, AAC, SBC Bluetooth codecs support

Build Quality

Arcam Build Quality

Arcam devices are said to be in the middle of the road with their build quality (not bad but not fantastic) i.e they don’t always have a 5 star rating.

Arcam devices are built with a full metal jacket (FMJ). They are built using both steel and aluminium. The aluminium covers the front panel while the steel covers the chassis. This makes some of the devices looks like tank which some customers don’t find attractive but it makes the devices durable

Cambridge Audio Build Quality

Cambridge Audio devices are fabricated from the best materials for maximum comfort and exceptional durability. Some of the materials used include comfortable silicone earbud tips, all enclosed in a solid steel, aluminum, or plastic chassis.

Cambridge Audio Melomania Touch

In addition to the sturdy structure, some devices are water resistant, like the Melomania Touch wireless earphones which have an IPX4 rating

Ease of Use

Arcam Ease Of Use

Arcam devices are easy to use for people with or without smartphones, the mobile app is compatible for both iOS and Android device users to control the sounds from the comfort of your phones.

People without smartphones can control Arcam devices with the use of remote control. Arcam devices also have a well labelled and soft button at the front for easy access and control.

Cambridge Audio Ease Of Use

Wireless remote and app control are some of the features that make Cambridge Audio devices user-friendly. Clearly labeled controls and an integrated voice assistant also allow for effortless use.

Cost

Arcam Cost

Arcam devices seems kind of expensive but affordable.

Below are price ranges of Arcam devices

  • Amplifier- $500-$2500
  • AV Receiver- $2000-$7000
  • Streamer- $500-$1500
  • Speaker- $300-$1500

Cambridge Audio Cost

The quality of Cambridge Audio devices lives up to its high-end name, but so does the price. They are quite expensive, though some of their devices can be very cheap. The price ranges for some device categories are given below:

Speakers: $100 – $1000

Amplifiers: $300 – $6500

Earphones: from $80

Players (CD/network): $400 – $5500

Subwoofers: from $300

Space Requirements

Arcam Space Requirement

Arcam devices are very portable and handy. They consume less space.

FMJ A18 has a dimension of w×d×h (432×275×85) and has a weight of 7.2kg

Cambridge Audio Space Requirements

Cambridge Audio devices vary in size from tiny earphones to large amplifiers. The CXA81 Stereo Amplifier measures 148 x 430 x 365mm (HWD) and weighs 19.1kg, while the smaller ES30 outdoor speaker measures 330 x 202 x 198mm (HWD) and weighs in at 3.4kg.

This means that you will probably find a good device that fits your space requirements.

Remote Controls

Arcam Remote Control

Arcam devices have a remote control that works for more than 1 device. You’ll be able to control both devices eg (sound bar+Tv. They work in a range of 15 metre. 

Cambridge Audio Remote Controls

Cambridge Audio devices can be remotely controlled via the mobile app, wireless remote, and voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant. These options can be used for basic and advanced functions such as audio tuning or pause/play.

Connectivity Options

Arcam Connectivity Option

Arcam devices have several connectivity options. They can be connected both with wired connectors and wirelessly.

WiFi and Ethernet are available for wireless connection while USB, coaxial and RCA are available for wired connection.

Cambridge Audio Connectivity Options

The wide range of connectivity options found in Cambridge Audio devices allows connection to other speakers and various other devices.

These options include digital optical, coaxial and USB Audio, hi-res Bluetooth, XLR sockets, stereo RCA inputs and several other options.

Power Range

Arcam Power Range

The device’s performance and capacity determine the rate at which Arcam devices consume power. Nevertheless, Arcam devices consume less power than some brands.  They have a power consumption in the range of 300 watts to 400 watts. An example is the FMJ A18 with a power consumption range of 350 watts.

Cambridge Audio Power Range

Powerful delivery is one of the easily noticeable features of Cambridge Audio devices. The Azur 851W Power Amplifier delivers a massive 800W at up to 350W per channel. The power range of Cambridge Audio devices ranges from 300W to 1200W.

Frequency Response

Arcam Frequency Response

The frequency response of Arcam devices also varies from device to device depending on the capacity of the devices but on average, Arcam devices have a frequency response range of 0.3hz to 20khz. An example is the FMJ CD17.

Cambridge Audio Frequency Response

Cambridge Audio devices have excellent frequency response ranges, which range from as low as 5Hz all the way up to 80KHz.

The Melomania Touch has a frequency range of 20Hz – 20kHz. The ES30 outdoor speaker frequency response ranges from 55Hz – 20kHz.

Conclusion

On a final note, Arcam devices might be expensive but the functions and other qualities are worth it. Arcam devices are the best option for anyone who wants devices that consume less power but not for those who want cheap devices.

Cambridge Audio is a brand for serious audiophiles, delivering excellent value and performance. The brand gives great value for money.

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