Last Updated on March 25, 2023 by Norvan Martin
NAD and Cambridge are two renowned and well-respected brands in the audio industry and produce high-quality speakers, soundbars, headphones, and subwoofers.
In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at the 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.
Cambridge Audio’s devices are known to sound warm and relaxed with the ends of the audio spectrum tending to roll off. is a bit rolled off with the Cambridge amps. NAD can tend to sound “warm” as well, but they offer more audio dynamics.
Before we do that, here are some other comparisons in this series:
- Denon Vs Nad
- Arcam Vs Nad
- Arcam Vs Cambridge Audio
- Marantz Vs Cambridge Audio
- Yamaha Vs Cambridge Audio
Read on to learn more.
NAD Quick History
New Acoustic Dimension (NAD) is an electronics firm founded by Dr. Martin L. Borish in London, England, in 1972. Dr. Borish was an electrical engineer with a Ph.D. in physics. NAD 3020 is the most famous product manufactured by the brand in the 1970s.
The company was acquired in 1991 by AudioNord, a Danish firm, and later sold to the Lenbrook Group of Pickering, Ontario, Canada, in 1999. Today, NAD produces affordable AV receivers, amplifiers, and speakers.
Cambridge 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.
NAD Sound Quality
Over the years, NAD has gained a strong name as a high-fidelity audio brand by producing breakthrough amplifier designs that are yet reasonably priced.
Indeed, NAD is a high-fidelity audio brand committed to simplicity, innovation, value, and performance. Some people argue that their devices are ‘neutral’ sounding.
As an example, the DirectDigital technology reduces domain conversions in the signal path and contributes to a pure and vivid sound. HybridDigital technology, on the other hand, blends analog and digital sources to create a platform for smooth, harmonious delivery of quality sound.
Cambridge 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 mid-tones and sparkling treble. All these are masterfully compounded to deliver sound with exceptional accuracy and vivid musicality, no matter what you’re listening to.
The key features of NAD products include:
- Low harmonic and intermodulation distortion
- Modular Design Construction (MDC) helps prevent untimely obsolescence
- “Simple is better” design philosophy
- NAD PowerDrive technology
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
NAD Build Quality
NAD receivers are built with elegant all-alloy casework. The internal construction is intricate with rigid panels and magnetic iso-point feet offering rock-circuit for the multi-layer circuit boards. In addition, the Modular Design Construction chassis is “future-proof” and allows for easy and affordable upgrades.
NAD speakers are built to last, while the amps tend to have poor build quality and tend to have common faults.
Cambridge 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 solid steel, aluminum, or plastic chassis.
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
NAD Ease Of Use
NAD products are built with simplicity in mind, making them very easy to set up and operate. They easily connect to Wi-Fi from the Google Home app, and they come with headphone jacks and USB ports for easy connection to external devices. They also connect to BluOS.
Cambridge 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.
Receivers: $20 – $5000
Amplifiers: $50 – $3000
Speakers: $100 – $1500
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
NAD Space Requirements
Speakers, amps, and receivers are built with a compact design. They require very little space for pavement and will not crowd your living room or basement.
Cambridge 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 3.4kg.
This means that you will probably find a good device that fits your space requirements.
NAD Remote Controls
Although NAD now makes some receivers with touchscreen displays to make them easier to control, they still make remote controls to make this reality more practical. The remote controls come with receivers, amps, and subwoofers but can still be purchased separately if you lose your factory remote or when it is ruined. Remotes cost between 20 dollars and 50 dollars.
Cambridge 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.
NAD Connectivity Options
- Single-ended RCA
- 12 V trigger input
- Balanced XLR auto-sensing inputs
- Speaker level inputs
Cambridge 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.
NAD Power Range
Receivers: up to 1000 watt peak
Speakers: up to 250 watts RMS
Amps: up to 1000 watts continuous mono
Cambridge 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.
NAD Frequency Response
Speakers: 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz
Receivers: 20 Hz to 20kHz
Amps: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
Cambridge 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.
NAD is committed to simplicity, innovation, performance, and value. With highly-flexible outputs, NAD offers a balanced connection to powered speakers and amplifiers. Besides, it produces high-fidelity audio at very affordable prices. On the other hand, Cambridge Audio is a brand for serious audiophiles, delivering excellent value and performance. The brand gives great value for money.
Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics.