“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Cambridge Audio Minx M5 Control Module

By

MinxM5_control_connectionI'm sure a few of the more observant of you when reading the previous section thought, "Hey now, where is the connection to the computer on the bass module?" You are right - there is none. Since bass modules generally end up on the floor near (or sometimes on) your computer, having the connection on the bass module makes sense (though I've seem them placed in one of the satellite speakers as well). Plus, in most setups the speakers are small and there would be no way of adding a connection to the computer there.

The Minx M5 Control Module changes all of that.

The really unique part of the Minx M5 speakers is the control module. This flat, square unit has a connected cable (for running to the bass module) and a few ports. On the back they have the main mini USB port for connecting to your computer with the supplied USB cable. It also has a 3.5mm input for adding your portable device. The front of the module has a 3.5mm output for headphones. The top has a soft, rubber spinning dial. The spin controls the volume and you can press on it to put the speakers into standby mode. I find this to be a very convenient setup as you can place the control module very close to you making the controls easily accessible without having to move (or locate) your speakers. Most computer speakers have the headphone and volume control on one of the speakers. I infinitely prefer the control module of the Cambridge Audio Minx M5 mulitmedia speaker system.

MinxM5_control_front

Now, if you are like me and keep your tower computer on the ground next to (or under) your desk, and the bass module on the floor, the wiring looks like this: Up from the computer to the control module, down to the bass module, and two wires back up to the speakers. That's four wires (and the control module to the bass module wire is very thick) added to your current setup. Plus Cambridge Audio has included a ridiculously short mini USB to standard USB cable (probably three feet long) making it necessary to place the control module on the same side of your desk as the computer adding to my frustration. Yes, it is a standard cable and yes you probably have a longer one somewhere but really? Three feet?. But, bear with me, I think the convenience is worth it.

You may also be like me and have not just a desktop but more than one laptop in the house. Most speaker systems connect to the audio output of your computer. That probably is a 3.5mm port. Sure, you could connect that to the headphone output of your MP3 player or laptop, but it requires getting behind your computer. And no one wants to do that. With the mini USB port on the control module, you can do as I do - just keep an extra (or that stupid short one they gave you) nearby and swap them out. I haven't found a device with a USB port that didn't play nice with the Cambridge Audio Minx M5. And if that doesn't work, use the 3.5mm input (with supplied cable) to your headphone jack. Either way, it is very, VERY easy to use the Minx M5's with multiple devices - something that most "multimedia" speaker systems can't claim with a straight face.

MinxM5_control_back

The last point that I think needs to be really hammered home here is that the USB connection means that the (probably crappy) DACs in your computer are being bypassed for the ones in the Minx M5 system. Cambridge Audio has a long history of high end gear including standalone DACs. Those DACs start at prices higher than the entire Minx M5 system and range all the way up to multiple thousands. So, yes, I trust the Cambridge Audio DACs long before I'd trust the ones connected to the stock $1 AV card in your Dell.

 

Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!

Recent Forum Posts:

theJman posts on February 19, 2014 13:40
The satellites have non-removable (I tried but I didn't want to risk breaking them) fabric grilles and the bass module has a slightly concave wire mesh grille.

If the sat's are like the Min 10's you need to twist the grill to remove it (to the left, if I recall correctly - I haven't listen to the pair I have in a while).


But, when I first turned these on, they sounded very harsh. I played with placement at first but eventually just forgot about it. Later, I thought they sounded better. I left for a week for a vacation and fully expected that they would once again sound harsh as my ears had “unbroken” in. But that wasn't the case. They still sounded pretty good to me.

That's quite true; out of the box the BMR driver sounds awful, and definitely ‘warms up’ after a good 25 or more hours.


The really unique part of the Minx M5 speakers is the control module.

That control modules appearance is virtually identical to the BMR driver itself, which is a brilliant tie-in on CA's part.


I'm very sensitive to subwoofer placement. I found an 80Hz crossover to be too high in most cases

What did you ultimately run the crossover at (assuming it's adjustable, of course)? For the Min 10's anything lower than 120Hz is going to create a massive hole in the crossover region. Realistically, 150Hz is probably better.


BTW… the first paragraph in the Overview sections contains the line "All the speakers were covered with a very thin cotton fabric because AUDIOPHILE!". Not sure what you had intended to publish, but I doubt that was it.
vjsanaiz posts on February 18, 2014 15:08
Have you been able to determine what the specs on the DAC are? I recently was looking a the B&W MM1s, but was slightly turned off by learning that the built in DAC is 16 bit 44.1 Khz. I cannot find the specs for the M5s
Post Reply