Review: Minx M5 2.1 Multimedia Speaker System

cambridge audio minx m5 speakers pic 1

Cambridge Audio sent us a new set of speakers dubbed Minx M5. They’re a 2.1 speaker setup that connect to your PC (or Mac) via USB, the subwoofer powered with an electrical outlet. Upon first inspection, I wondered just how these tiny speakers were going to bang out around two-hundred dollars worth of value. With my curiosity in stow, I proceeded to test them out.
 

Audio Quality

The Cure’s “Love Song” provided a good means for the Minx speakers to show off their clarity. Every synthesizer note, guitar strum and lyric were clearly on display. I enlisted the help of the party rockers and got similar results. Though tones of varying nature are well distinguished, high mids could be just a tad brighter than they are. Unfortunately, though they have excellent sound quality, what could be a major detractor for many is the lack of bass in this set.

The Minx M5s provide a good balance between bass and treble, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing. The bass here is good but moderate. How sufficient the bass is will depend upon the listener and the type of sound being employed. Comparing it to a much cheaper set, it was handily defeated in the low-end department (by about a factor of four). It only took the bass being at about halfway to soundly defeat the Minx M5s subwoofer. Sure you might not always want heavy bass dropping on your ears, but it would be nice to at least have that option; and with a set that costs over two-hundred, I expected more.

Although the bass disappointed a bit, the Minx M5s surprised me in another area: sheer loudness. I discovered that the Minx M5s can be cranked to near maximum and still retain their clarity. Putting them at full maximum, I did however notice that the subwoofer may become distorted with bass-heavy sounds. Whether for intense movie-viewing, or maybe even a small backyard get together, these speakers are loud enough to fill a relatively large space (more than enough for a large room).

Casino Royale was next on my list to see how these speakers dealt with movies. The opening chase sequence that has James Bond bounding through a construction site was pleasantly thrilling. The horn section shined brightly with intense purity. The buzz saws and sparks sounded as real as their non-movie counterparts, as did the cars whizzing by. Overall, the Minx M5s are great with movies. They’re loud, they allow for realistic representations of sounds, and they have a good mix that is well suited to movies.
 

Form Factor

cambridge audio minx m5 speakers pic 2
The Minx M5 is a 2.1 system comprised of two tiny tweeters (2″, .96 lbs each) and a relatively small subwoofer (5.25″, 9.7lbs). As for the physical space they take up, it’s not a whole lot. They’re about as compact as can be, with the tweeters taking up (H)2.9 x (W)2.9 x (D)2.91, and the subwoofer coming in at 7.9 x 7.9 x 8.1.

Both the tweeters and the subwoofer have a plastic exterior, one side being a glossy piano black, the other a textured look. Plastic though they are, they both feel very solid, rather than cheap. The tweeters are top-heavy, and so you may want to take care that they aren’t somewhere that they’ll fall too far in case they get knocked over. The feet of the tweeters are passable, but they are the weakest component of the bunch. The rest of the package feels top notch.
 

Features

cambridge audio minx m5 speakers pic 3

The Minx M5s come with a control module that attaches to your PC via either USB or 3.5mm input. There’s also a convenient output for headphones, for those times when speakers are not an option. By plugging your headphones into the control module, rather than straight into your PC, you may get better results, as there is a built-in DAC (best for those who don’t have a good sound card).

The control module does have a blue light to notify users when the power is on, and it does flash when turning the volume knob, but it would have been nice to see a volume indicator. By having the control module separate (i.e. not built into one of the tweeters), users get more flexibility as to the placement of the speakers and access to volume and power controls.
 

Conclusion

The Minx M5s are compact, able to perform well at extreme volumes, and their sound quality is great. The control module allows users easy access to volume and power controls, as well as an output for headphones. They have a built-in DAC for those whose sound cards aren’t quite up to snuff. About the only thing that could really put you off of this set is the relative lack of bass, but the sound quality is good enough that perhaps you’ll forgive them this trespass. If you want a loud, high quality set of speakers for your PC or laptop, look no further. The Minx M5s are up to the task.
 

Grade: B+

 
Manufacturer: Cambridge Audio
MSRP: $229.00
 
Pros:

  • Perform well at high volumes
  • Control of volume and power via module allows more freedom
  • Great sound quality
  • Built-in DAC for those who don’t have a good sound card

 
Cons:

  • Bass is relatively weak
  • Upper mids could be a tad brighter

 

Technical Features

  • 2.1 active desktop speaker system
  • USB audio input
  • Aux input (3.5mm)
  • Headphone output
  • Desktop connection hub and volume control

 

Technical Specifications

  • Satellites: 1 x 50mm (2”) driver per satellite
  • Subwoofer: 1 x 135mm (5.25”) woofer

 
Connectivity:

  • USB Charging port
  • 3.5mm aux input
  • 3.5mm headphone output

 
Power output:

  • Satellites: 2 x 15W
  • Subwoofer: 30W
  • Input voltage: 110–120V or 220-240V versions (depending on market)
  • Standby power consumption: <0.5W
  • Frequency response: 45Hz – 20kHz

 
Dimensions (W x H x D):

  • Satellites: 72.5 x 72.5 x 73.8mm (2.9 x 2.9 x 2.91 inches)
  • Subwoofer: 200 x 200 x 204.5mm (7.9 x 7.9 x 8.1 inches)

 
Weight:

  • Satellites: 435g (0.96lbs) each
  • Subwoofer: 4.4kg (9.7lbs)
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Ryan Southard
Ryan Southard 776 posts

Ryan Southard is a video game enthusiast, dissecting games down to their tiniest details. Whether it's new or it's old, as long as it's awesome, he'll play it. Follow him on Twitter at @Ryan_Southard <a href="http://nerdreactor.com/about/">Meet the Nerd Reactor Team</a>