What is the Cambridge Audio Aero?
We have reviewed quite a few products from Cambridge Audio here at AVForums and the UK manufacturer has frequently impressed us with their innovative audio and video ranges.
Cambridge Audio Aero Design
Finally, there's the Aero 9 active subwoofer that uses a high-efficiency Class D amplification to deliver 500W of power into a 10" front-firing driver, with a downward firing 10" auxiliary bass radiator (ABR). The Aero, which is only available in black, is essentially a large cube that sits on big rubber feet; it measures 330x340x355mm (WxHxD) and weighs 11.7kg. The Aero 9 has a frequency response from 21Hz to 200Hz, with an active crossover that can be varied from 40Hz to 200Hz and has been designed to perfectly compliment the lower crossover of the BMR-driven Aero speakers.
Cambridge Audio believe that because the crossover is lower, it results in a clearer, natural sounding and more coherent audio. In addition, unlike most tweeters which are usually dome-shaped and create sound using a pistonic in-out motion, BMR drivers are flat and combine pistonic movement with surface vibration to create a wider dispersion of sound when compared to a normal tweeter. This unique driver construction allows the Aeros to deliver a more room-filling sound, which makes them more practical for room layouts where speakers might not be placed optimally for traditional stereo and surround performance. This means the Aero speakers are a lot more tolerant and flexible when it comes to placement than more traditional speakers. The use of BMR drivers also means that the Aero's woofers can get surprisingly low by concentrating the power of the conventional 6" drivers into the lower frequencies, resulting in a deeper and more accurate bass.
Cambridge Audio Aero Setup
Cambridge Audio Aero Sound Quality
In terms of negatives there was very little to complain about, although the use of the BMR drivers did mean that on occasion there was a slight loss of detail when compared to traditional tweeters. It wasn't obvious and only really apparent when doing some comparison listening but given the clarity and wide dispersion of the speakers, not to mention their tonal cohesion and placement flexibility, it was a small price to pay. The only other point to mention is that the Aeros do need careful bass management, which wasn't an issue with the Anthem MRX710, thanks to their superb ARC room equalisation software, but was more apparent on the considerably cheaper Denon X2000. The subwoofer itself was tight and well integrated for the most part but could, on occasion, struggle with the really bass heavy soundtracks, although adding the front floor standers to the equation certainly helped there. Ultimately, minor points aside, the Aero speakers delivered a fantastic performance in whichever combination and configuration you choose.
- Immersive soundstage
- Tonally cohesive
- Well integrated
- Lively sound
- Solid construction
- Great value
- Lacking detail occasionally
- Bass needs careful attention
- Not the most attractive
Cambridge Audio Aero 7.1 Speaker Review
Besides, it’s how the speakers sound that’s really important and thankfully in this department the Aero package definitely delivers the goods. The package as a whole is capable of providing a genuinely immersive and very well integrated soundstage that perfectly fulfils its primary purpose of reproducing film soundtracks. The tonal balance makes pans and the steering of effects almost seamless as they move around the room and the bass is very well integrated. The centre speaker handles dialogue with exceptional clarity and the stand mount speakers can work just as well at the front or the rear. The dedicated surround speakers are a welcome addition, allowing you to use them either in either dipole or dual monopole configurations, thus providing greater flexibility. Whilst the subwoofer matched the overall system, allowing the other speakers to concentrate on the higher frequencies, thanks to the lower crossover of the BMR drivers.
This lower crossover actually does result in a cleaner and more coherent sound and also helps make the speakers more tolerant when it comes to placement. We noticed this as we swapped and changed the speakers around to try out different configurations. However we also noticed that on occasion the BMR drivers did seem to lack a bit of detail when compared to a more traditional tweeter. Whilst the subwoofer does integrate well with the rest of the speakers, it’s important that the bass management is effectively implemented, especially when you add the floorstanders to the system. However, the inclusion of the larger front speakers does create a more imposing front soundstage and obviously pays dividends when listening to two-channel audio. Ultimately the Cambridge Audio Aero speaker package delivers a winning combination of performance and value, so whichever combination you choose, you’re sure to be pleased with the results as the speakers immerse you in your favourite film.
Value For Money
Value For Money
Our Review Ethos
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