The British sound company is thus expanding its offer with the SX-50 and SX-60 bookshelf models, the SX-70 center speaker, the SX-80 tower speaker and the SX-120 subwoofer. All these speakers share some common components, such as the 25mm diameter silk diaphragm tweeter or the woofers that they integrate. Both drivers and crossovers maintain their usual high level. Today we are going to review the SX-120 model
The SX Series
Cambridge Audio SX Series v2 is a comprehensive range of affordable loudspeakers, ideal for accompanying Cambridge Audio electronics and a wide range of devices. Enclosures are the voice of any system and it takes state-of-the-art engineering to design truly capable loudspeakers. All the know-how from Cambridge Audio’s decades of experience has been embodied in the new SX-120 Series.
Musical and vocal performances
Cambridge Audio SX120 offers quite convincing musical sound quality. For example, in the song Crazy anywhere by Charlotte Cardin, we appreciate the clarity of the sound that brings a certain proximity to the music. Even at high volumes, the sound remains well balanced between mid and high frequencies.
The SX120 has a clear and very precise sound, which makes it possible for us hear clearly all the sounds, dialogues and sound effects of movies, series or video games. In addition, the speaker even manages to deliver a picture with relief, a feature that is often lacking in many devices with clear sound, but without depth.
However, the bass is not precise enough when compared to the industry benchmarks of this category. The bass lacks firmness and therefore cannot reproduce this part of the audio spectrum correctly or with sufficient precision. However, this constraint is less felt in certain applications.
Quality of finish
All models share a simple design and are manufactured in a reinforced and stable MDF acoustic box of medium density to try to reduce vibrations as much as possible.
And to improve the entire sound experience, especially in home cinema, the SX-120 Subwoofer incorporates a 203 mm driver and a 70 W RMS amplifier that provides accurate sound at all frequencies. This subwoofer has dual rear bass-reflex ports.
Good quality / price ratio.
The speakers are available in a matte black finish and designed so that they can combine aesthetically well with any type of decoration you have in the room. In addition, they are available in moon gray from your Sound & Pixel retailer and on Amazon.
- Built-in 70W amplifier that delivers clean, instant power to the driver.
- Large 8 ”(20cm) long-throw woofer made from coated paper offers a smooth, full frequency response with incredible control.
- Rugged MDF enclosure designed with CAD technology for the size of the subwoofer to minimize standing waves and avoid unwanted resonances.
- Individual volume, crossover frequency, and phase adjustment for precise settings to suit your room.
- Auto-sensing (On and Off) so the subwoofer wakes up when it’s needed and saves power when it’s not.
A solid foundation
Good speakers start with their casing. Cambridge Audio’s SX-120 Series have housings that make intensive use of CAD (Computer-Aided Design) to fully understand where they need reinforcement and greater robustness. Thanks to this, every millimeter of movement of the drivers is directed directly towards the user in the form of sound, instead of being wasted moving the case, which dampens the vibration significantly.
Features and Specifications
|Sensitivity||180mV for full power output|
|Frequency Response||34Hz – 150Hz|
|Drive Units||1 x 8″ (203mm) long throw woofer|
|Crossover||50 – 150Hz continuous/active|
|Dimensions (WXHXD)||11.8 x 11.8 x 12.2″|
BMR®, for any room
The SX Series Matt Black features BMR® (Balanced Mode Radiator) technology drivers. Using the BMR alternation, the crossover point between the tweeter and the woofer, which is usually around 3kHz, right in the middle of the most sensitive human hearing sensitivity range, is shifted towards 250Hz, a safer and less problematic point. The result is a more natural, immersive and coherent sound.
From the fourth generation of BMR® drivers, they also offer a sound that fills the room better, using only horizontal vibration modes to achieve a much wider sound. This makes them an ideal choice for modern homes and room configurations that resist other stereo compositions. The SX Matt Black can be placed wherever you want, and you still get great stereo sound with surround effect.
The SX Matt Black cone and subwoofer have been specifically designed for BMR® drivers – achieving immersive, cinematic sound with rich, precise bass.
The -120 speakers are equipped with mid-bass drivers that are made of treated paper which is known for its excellent strength / weight ratio that achieves an excellent tonality, making the music sound clear, well defined and vivid.
Many Drivers, One Voice
The engineers at Cambridge put a lot of research and care into the design of the SX-120 speaker. They have worked hard to make sure that each driver receives the correct frequencies. The timing and stereo imaging of the SX-120 speakers are accurate because the phase remains completely linear from start to finish.
Power at will
The SX120 powered subwoofer features a built-in amplifier that benefits from Cambridge Audio’s extensive experience designing award-winning amplifiers. Large powered subwoofers must be able to generate the power they require in a linear fashion, with excellent current flow. Cambridge Audio has worked hard to get the SX120 to do just that.
Design for life
The SX Series loudspeakers have a clean, minimalist aesthetic that allows them to fit into a wide variety of environments, working seamlessly with a wide range of decors and styles. Whether you’re looking for a discreet pair of bookshelf speakers, or a 7.1 AV home theater system, the SX Series has the options you need, with an aesthetic style that will easily fit into your home.
To be precise, this is a subwoofer that is able to fascinate you with its openness, detail and revealing character, and they do it so well that you may not pay attention to shortcomings.
From the first notes of the music the listener is in front of an unlimited stage, with all the instruments precisely positioned and with the necessary air between them.
The Cambridge Audio SX120 does not try to hide the singer or the melody from an instrument in the background. Literally everything takes place in front of the listener and this steady image is comfortably maintained in all kinds of recordings regardless of the number of instruments.
Even in recordings like Piano Concerto no. 1 by NAXOS Tchaikovsky at SACD, capable of tarnishing the image of any speaker with the symphony orchestra hidden deep in the background, in Cambridge Audio SX120 is finally following the piano fortissimo while alive and in front of us.
Of course when the recording involves small sets with one or two acoustic instruments, then the result is even more enchanting. The two miracles it can not do, is that due to its medium and high accuracy and its revealing character, it will not add any sophisticated coloring to compressed music, making your MP3s and any listening to compressed web services seem empty.
The second point at which the Cambridge Audio SX120 will not be able to excite you is in the bass attack. The low level may be enviable, but the “boot” at Victim of Love and the Hotel California of the Eagles can not be said to have taken our breath away.
Of course, this is not the end of the world, especially if we consider how exuberant and comfortable the Cambridge Audio SX120 is elsewhere, just when a speaker up to the finish line is a few turns ahead of the competition, the final very good image is slightly blurred.
Cambridge Audio SX-120 Unboxing
Pros and Cons
- Affordable price point for a subwoofer with a 70W RMS amplifier
- Compact size allows for easy placement in smaller rooms or spaces
- High-quality build with a durable MDF cabinet
- Great low-frequency response with a frequency range of 34Hz to 150Hz
- Adjustable crossover frequency and phase controls allow for fine-tuning of sound output
- Compatible with a wide range of audio systems, including home theater and stereo setups
- Auto-power mode saves energy by automatically turning the subwoofer off when not in use
- Limited power output compared to other subwoofers in the same price range
- May struggle to produce high volumes in larger rooms or spaces
- Some users report a lack of clarity in mid-range frequencies.
- No built-in EQ options or presets, requiring users to adjust settings manually
- May require additional investment in speaker cables and interconnects for optimal performance.
Here’s a summary of why we chose 4.5 out of 5 rating:
- Powerful Bass Performance: The SX120 delivers deep and impactful bass that adds depth and richness to your audio. It enhances the overall listening experience, particularly for movies, music, and gaming, by providing a solid foundation of low-frequency sound.
- Versatile Connectivity: This subwoofer offers a range of connectivity options, including line-level inputs and outputs, making it compatible with various audio systems and setups. It provides flexibility in integrating it with existing audio equipment.
- Compact Design: The compact size of the SX120 makes it easy to fit into different spaces, ensuring versatility in placement options. Despite its small footprint, it manages to deliver impressive bass response without sacrificing audio quality.
- Ease of Use: The subwoofer is designed with user-friendliness in mind. It features simple controls and adjustments that allow you to fine-tune the bass output according to your preferences. Setting it up and integrating it into your audio system is straightforward.
- Value for Money: Considering its performance and features, the SX120 offers excellent value for money. It provides a high-quality bass experience at a relatively affordable price point, making it an attractive option for those seeking a budget-friendly subwoofer without compromising on audio quality.
We could not even imagine the hours we would spend with the Cambridge Audio SX120. These are speakers that impress from the first moment and without realizing you hear and re-hear recordings that you thought you knew in depth, realizing that for so long you just did not have view many of their details.
Their rare gift is that they manage to be detailed and accurate without ever becoming tedious. The question of whether this speaker is worth it is answered very easily since the speakers offer more that you could ever imagine.