The Cyrus One Cast audio system landed in London and we got a very special invite to take a look at what is billed as something of a game-changer in the audio market.
Taking to the stage in London’s vibrant Soho region, Director of the UK based audio engineering firm Cyrus unveiled a discrete black box that is a world-first in the Hi-Fi market. The understated rectangle in front of us might be easily mistaken for a router. Instead, the Cyrus One Cast takes on the flat audio of modern-day smart speakers and gives streaming services a high definition boost.
A World First
The Cyrus One Cast doesn’t’ look that out of place in a traditional Hi-Fi stack and that’s because it isn’t the first in the Cryus One Range. The UK manufacturer has been making audio products for over 30 years and they’re extremely good at it too. The Cyrus soundKey blew us away when we plugged it into our gaming platform and the USB DAC Amp took our gaming audio to a whole new world on mobile and PC. The bigger cousins of this discrete powerhouse have been carving a niche in the market with audiophiles and generally scoring a range of critical acclaim. What makes the One Cast unique is the step towards a different user base.
Streaming music is something most of us might do online, on our phones and on the move. You’ve all got mobiles, right? The ubiquity of mobile phones and the easy access to a huge library of online music now means many of us just do not own collections. The turntable stacked with precious discs is more likely to be replaced with vinyl pinned to the wall and a screech of “Hey Google” to get music playing. The One Cast is unique because it features full support for Alexa, Google, and Siri smart assistants all in a single device, as well as the broad range of music streaming services that come with these.
This means that The Cyrus One Cast can sit at the core of your audio world, taking any audio stream that you might wirelessly transmit around the house, intercepting the digital music from the internet, and passing out an obviously enhanced experience that will make you feel like you are right in front of the action. At the core of this system is an impressive 4th generation hybrid class D amplifier all hooked up to a 32 bit DAC that takes the audio that streams into it and sends an impressive output to the waiting speakers. Of course, the Cyrus One Cast is a component of your audio experience setup first and it has some impressive specs for this role.
VOICE CONTROL: Google Assistant enabled, Amazon™ Alexa enabled and Apple® AirPlay 2 enabled
STREAMING: Chromecast built-in, Apple® AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth™ audio built-in
BUILT-IN DAC: up to 32bit 192kHz and DSD to DSD128
HDMI (ARC): for seamless TV integration
4 DIGITAL INPUTS: including Asynchronous USB, Optical Toslink, and Coaxial SPDIF
MM PHONO STAGE: for vinyl turntables
AV INPUT: analog input configurable to fixed gain for integration with AV systems
OVER-THE-AIR FIRMWARE UPDATES: latest software downloads and installs automatically
CYRUS 4TH GENERATION HYBRID CLASS D AMPLIFIER: outputs 2 x 100W (into 6 Ω at 0.1% THD+N)
SID: Speaker Impedance Detection. ONE Cast configures itself to perfectly match any pair of speakers
HEADPHONE AMP: high power, high voltage class AB headphone amplifier
PRE OUTPUT: to connect to additional power amplifiers
LINEAR POWER SUPPLY: for true high-end audio performance
SIMPLE USER INTERFACE: IR remote control, lockable front panel controls
DIMENSIONS: (H X W X D) – 85 x 220 x 390mm
While we haven’t had extended hands-on time to test out the experience there are a few impressive ake aways that we had from the launch of the Cyrus One Cast.
The Cyrus One Cast slots into any smart home system that you might already have set up. The ridiculous number of output options on the back of the latest Cyrus system means that it will fit most setups and has enough room for a decent-sized dwelling. Upon hooking in Alexa and plugging in a speaker set, the One Cast essentially turns those old school linear speaker sets that you don’t want to lose into cutting edge smart devices capable of receiving Spotify from across the room.
From a gaming perspective, the Cyrus One Cast brings an HDMI ARC digital input to the turntable, allowing players to plug the audio output from your 4K Console Raid into a suitably powerful set of Hifi Speakers. If you have an audio setup that is simply going to waste away behind a sub-par TV soundbar or the din of integrated speakers then the One Cast can bring the Raid into your front room.
Much like the diminutive Cyrus SoundKey, the One Cast shows the potential to completely revolutionize your Destiny 2 Raid. The 2 x 100W gives class-leading power output and internal DAC takes the digital signals coming down the line while you’re deep into the Crucible or fighting off the Nightmares you’ll want to hear everything that is going on around you in precise detail. While we weren’t subjected to the crushing bass of Mick Gordon’s Doom Sountrack, the dynamic range that the One Cast is capable of is still nothing short of impressive. Sitting in Soho, a rendition several popular songs opened up a dark basement room onto an immersive sound stage where the snap of the snare drum and kick of the bass are immediate. If anybody thinks they can sneak up on you with this in your audio setup then they are likely to be very very wrong. While gamers might be willing to upgrade, getting a great clarity of audio experience from the One Cast won’t require the most expensive speakers on the market either. The demonstration that we had should be achievable using Cyrus’s own £350 One Linear range of bookshelf style speakers.
If you’re the sort of gamer happy to dive into the latest visual assault but looking for that an audio experience that matches the immersion, the Cyrus One Cast might be the new core of your audio world. The flexibility of the new Cyrus kit, the established brand name, and outstanding audio make this seem like a game-changing piece of kit for anybody looking to drag their audio setup into the modern age. You can find out more about the Cyrus One Cast over on the official Cyrus website now or keep it here for our hands-on experience when we get plugged in.