This amplifier fulfills the desire of the legendary company to provide excellent sound quality without breaking the bank. Despite the stiff competition it faces from other brands, it still delivers plenty of self-assurance and confidence in its performance.
If you love an enhanced music listening experience but do not have the money to buy an expensive sound system, you are in luck – plenty of reputable brands are creating high-quality budget options. The problem is the sheer variety of options on the market, making it difficult to settle down on one brand that fits your needs unless you know what you want.
In quite a few ways, the Cambridge AXA35 aims to fulfill most user needs, both in design and sound quality. It is very simple to use, while giving out excellent sound as any premium amp you would get – all while coming at a very affordable price.
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The AXA35 is designed as a stereo amplifier within the hi-fi component AX range that Cambridge offers its users. Its main focus centers on affordability and performance, as it has more features compared to its predecessor, the AXA25, which include a turntable functionality through its in-built phono stage.
In terms of hi-fi stereo, it shows no hesitance when giving you plenty of voice control or wireless functionality. However, it does not sacrifice the conveniences of the past – this is why it also includes a six entry-level stereo separates for the retro-loving crowd.
Cambridge AXA35 Specifications
|16.9 x 13.2 x 3.3 inches
|2 x 35W
|Check Price Here
Cambridge AXA35 Features
The AXA35 aims for the budget user, and its appearance is a testament to that. It looks understated at first glance, but its grey exterior gives it a stylish feel. Slightly more than 8cm tall, the hi-fi separate is very slender and the front panel employs a minimalist approach to its appearance, making it very easy to setup and use.
Its inner components are arranged neatly. The components will give it a total power output of 35 watts filtered through an 8-ohm channel – although this sounds minor compared to many alternatives, it is very powerful when using it with plenty of loudspeaker models.
Its exterior features volume control, a menu button that accesses the balance, treble, and bass controls, a 3.5mm AUX input jack, and a ¼ inch headphone jack. Additionally, its rear has input jacks, as well as a USB input if you want to charge your phone.
Unfortunately, you will not get modern features such as voice control, digital-to-analogue conversion, or wireless connectivity from the AXA35. Despite this, the room for growth is massive, and you will be impressed easily by its other features.
Many audio companies pile on audio features to impress as many customers as possible, but Cambridge chooses a different approach with the AXA35, opting to go for simpler and fewer features but upgrading them to work better than most amps.
The confidence in the sound quality is a definite standout, and it does not blur any lines or notes in your music, regardless of what genre you decide to play. Each song is given plenty of detail, such as playing the Neil Young classic Cortez the Killer – the amplifier does all it can to reveal more about the sound details from the guitars and his voice, as well as adding impact to the lows like the drums.
Playing songs from CDs is also the same story, as we discovered when playing The Killers Hot Fuss. The midrange details are impeccable, and you hear the smoothness of each frequency range in both the instruments and vocals. The addition of the phono stage also lends itself very well to playing vinyl records as well.
This is a major weak point for the AXA35, as the remote feels like a revamped DVD wand with the button placements indicating poor design. The controls seem slightly messy, even though it still remains functional for most tasks.
Who is it best suited for?
If you are an audiophile but are looking for a budget-friendly choice, this is a good pick to choose. It will also work for you if your priority is getting great sound, without thinking about complex components and specs, as its no-frills, minimalist design easily works for most people.
Are there any alternatives to the Cambridge AXA35?
The most obvious alternative is the Marantz PM6007, as you can buy it at a similar price tag while getting the benefits of greater setup flexibility, as well as onboard digital and DAC inputs. For a more expensive option that offers more features, you can get the NAD C 316BEE, and the Naim Nait XS 3 operates excellently due to its attention to details in its audio circuitry and offers wireless connectivity such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, although it is quite pricey.
Features of Alternative Amplifiers
|NAD C 316BEE
|Naim Nait XS 3
|14.5 x 17.3 x 4.1
|11.3 x 17.1 x 3.6
|10.43 x 17 x 3.74
|45W per channel
|40W per channel
|70W per channel
|Check Price Here
|Check Price Here
|Check Price Here
Watch this video for more on the Cambridge AXA35 specifications
Verdict: Should you get the Cambridge AXA35?
Yes, you should, especially if you are on a tight budget but still want good sound quality from your amplifier. While it may struggle with some demands audiophiles place on their equipment, it still provides plenty of value for your money.
Is it possible to connect a subwoofer to the Cambridge AXA35?
Yes, it is possible to do so by connecting it to the ‘Rec Out’ ports, also known as the record outputs.
Can I use a remote to power the amp on and off?
Yes, you can do so.
If connecting speakers to the Cambridge AXA35, must they be wired?
Yes. As the amplifier lacks Bluetooth functionality, it can only handle wired speakers.