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Cambridge Audio Azur DacMagic Plus Reviews

Positive Reviews


A fine piece of British sound equipment


Pros: 3in1 headphone amp/dac/pre amp, plenty of connection options, sound quality

Cons: No DSX/DSD support, no remote control, occasionally strident treble

This is a review of the Cambridge DacMagic Plus DAC/headphone amp/pre amp.    The Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus was sent to me by Cambridge Audio in the UK as a loaner for the purpose of doing this review and including it in my recently started $250+ amp/DAC comparison thread. Since Norway is fantastic I did have to pay about $100 in taxes to get it into the country. A big THANK YOU to Cambridge Audio and Rebecca for letting me check it out. The Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus is available from numerous online and domestic resellers with prices ranging from $400 to $500 at the time of this review. This is a link to the current Amazon listing for the DacMagic...
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Cambridge Audio DAC Magic Plus


Pros: Versatile, many user adjustable settings

Cons: None so far

I purchased the DMPlus to work alongside my MacMini. The MacMini has been stripped to just Mac OSX and Amarra Mini ver 2.4 using iTunes as the librarian. The Mini's USB output to the DMPlus is via an Audioquest Forest USB cable. I have 2 ways to listen to the DMPlus. First, I plug my Sennheiser HD650's directly into the headphone jack. In this mode the DMPlus acts as a headphone amplifier. iTunes and Amarra feed directly to the HD650's. The sound is wonderful and open. Great soundstage. You can see in your mind where each instrument is placed. The imaging is spot on...after you adjust the balance that is.    One of the pluses of the DMPlus is the user adjustability. There...
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Good sound, sensible connections


Pros: Clarity, comprehensive set of connections, driver support for Windows users, desktop footprint

Cons: Volume pot feel, front panel led lifetime

Had the unit for two years now, mainly driving Behringer active speakers and occasionally headphones. I like the fact unit can be placed horizontally or, as I prefer it, vertically using the stand that comes with the unit. Have use it mainy for listening Tidal on a silent Windows pc but have also tried hi-res music from HDTracks played on FooBar2000.   This is indeed a headphone forum, but any critical listening of this unit has been in my case via speakers. What drove me to DM Plus was the fact that it has balanced XLR outputs, which really makes a difference. It also has rca output which I may use for a subwoofer later. And yes, I have only good things to say about the headphone...
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Negative Reviews


Poor Experience


Pros: Great Desktop Speaker System support when working

Cons: Not so hot headphone amp.

My Chinese DacMagic Plus started well but audio cutouts and hisses were plaguing it within 3 months, sent it back and was declared fit, resent it and apart from fancy explanations no help after loud buzzing started at every other startup. I could also replicated problem on another system.   I got tired of going deaf and ruining my speakers for 2 years, so I threw it in the trash can.   Update: Thank you all for comments. For my consolation the HD-DAC1 replacing it is working flawlessly in the same system.

Worst build quality with harsh (wannabe detailed) sound


Pros: Sounds OK, Inputs and outputs.

Cons: Build, Treble harshness, Grain, Lacks dynamics.

Ok so because I don't feel like ranting endlessly I'm gonna try to keep this short: There's not a lot to say about the sound, there is not too much wrong with the sound: a little bright, harsh and grainy. Otherwise its quite good with actually good width in the soundstage which I like. Now the build: Once you get it out the box it looks fine with OK construction. But things went downhill. Fast. First of all the led indicators started blinking and not working in just few months so there's that... Next thing was the corrosion that built on top of the units surface. Soon after that the volume pot went all to ****. Turning it quickly clockwise to make volume go UP it would go DOWN because...
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Poor quality and expensive


Pros: worked for 5 minutes

Cons: A waste of time and money. No support from Cambridge.

Mine developed a noisy right channel after a relatively short time.  Cambridge Tech support was poor and customer support was just as bad.  This company is pennywise and pound foolish and should not be looked at as a quality audio company but rather a clueless, mediocre, greedy organization.

More Reviews


A Low Cost Smooth DAC With System Interface Options


Pros: Detailed But Still Musical At $490.00 Retail

Cons: Whatever They Are I Can Live With Them

A Review (Or better yet, how can we spend a small amount of money on a box to make our music and movies sound better?) The Cambridge Audio DAC Magic Plus By Member Redcarmoose October 2015 Great specifications and testing provided by Ken Rockwell, note link at bottom of page. Ken has simply spent more time and money reviewing the DAC and currently offers the most complete and comprehensive review out there. Ken Rockwell's review is where you can read all the good things he has to say about the Cambridge Audio DAC Magic Plus. Much of his research and measurements were crucial in swaying me over to make the purchase. His review will not wander off into long ridiculousness...
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A real step up from the DacMagic.


Pros: Usable as a preamp and headphone amp.

Cons: Loss of sharp filter, No Remote.

I was surprised to say the least at the sound of this new model from Cambridge Audio. The new dac sounds a few steps better than the dac it replaces.My only complaint is the volume control.It has a cheap feel to it.and the adjust ability is not very good.you have little volume then move it just a small way and the volume increases far too much.Other than that it is worth a listen.
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