The kitchen often works better with music but it can be a hostile environment for electronics. Happily there are some solutions.
Food and music go hand in hand. A great restaurant setting is improved by carefully chosen music. The dozens of cookery programs on television put as much effort into choosing the background music as they do artfully lighting the food (and hiding the metre tall stack of pans waiting to be washed up in the sink). Music and food both stimulate powerful influences in the brain and it is only natural that we might want to enjoy that at home.
The problem is that a kitchen is an unforgiving space for hi-fi equipment and an even worse space for physical media. Many of us from the UK will have seen the infamous piece from the BBC where a reporter extolled the benefits of the then wonder format of CD by spreading jam on one but most of us have found them to be more fragile than that. Kitchens love music but the equipment to make it doesn’t love kitchens.
Recent developments at Cambridge Audio have made enjoying music in a space like this much easier. The first development is that the need to have physical media lying around has pretty much gone. Products like our Minx Air range simply need you to have an Apple AirPlay or Bluetooth device to hand (and once up and running, safely out of the way in your pocket). If you no longer need to reach a device to stick CDs in it or change the radio station (thanks to our extensive list of internet radio stations you can configure from the control app) the Minx Air can be placed out of the way of jets of steam or errant chilli powder (which from bitter experience is about the most stain inducing substance in existence). Thanks to our BMR driver technology, the Minx Air products can produce a powerful and room filling sound even when placed out of the way.
If you have a bigger space to fill with sound - a kitchen diner for example - there are still some options from our new range available to help you fill that eating space with a world class sound. Our brand new 651R and 751R AV Receivers have been designed to deliver a truly astonishing performance in multichannel and we have devoted years of development to packing the best amplification and processing we can into one chassis to achieve this. We have also been hard at work adding features that can allow you to do more with your AV Receiver and one of them is bring sound to another room.
Both the 651R and 751R are fitted with a zone 2 output. This means that as well as running a fully fledged home cinema experience in one room you can use them (and the sources connected to them) to construct another cut down hi-fi in another room. If you have a source connected to the 651R or 751R by an analogue interconnect, the signal can be sent to the zone 2 output regardless of what the receiver is up to in the ‘main’ zone. This means that if you have a Stream Magic 6 or NP30 connected by an analogue connection, you can listen to it in zone two and because the Stream Magic control app works through walls, you still have complete control over what you are listening to.
Furthermore, if you are only using five of your receiver’s seven channels, the only thing you would need to make a system like this work is a pair of speaker cables connected to the sixth and seventh channels of your AV Receiver. Connected to a pair of in wall or in ceiling speakers, you have one of the most unobtrusive and subtle ways of piping music into another room there is. Don’t think for a moment that you have to be limited to something small and tidy though. The 651R can produce 100 watts and the 751R no less than 120 watts with all channels driven which means that if you want to run a pair of loudspeakers with drivers the size of dinner plates and bass ports that have activity measured on the beaufort scale we’ve got you covered.
Even if you are using all seven channels in the main zone, zone two can still be used. If you attach an amplifier or active speakers to the zone two preouts, the same facilities of the second zones can be sent to this amplifier. Furthermore, this output is 2.1 so if you want to use a sub/sat system to save space you can. Both methods of setting zone 2 up also have a feature that is unique to Cambridge Audio. As well as listening to a different source in Zone 2, we’ve developed a function called Follow Main. This allows you to listen to whatever the main zone is doing as a two channel downmix even if the main zone is receiving audio over HDMI or a digital input. If you have to make dinner and don’t want to miss commentary of the big game, this is the function for you.
So, with music being the food of love and food being the food of erm - us, the kitchen is no longer a room where a portable radio will ‘have to do’. Cambridge Audio now has solutions that can stay out of the way of even the most flamboyant ingredient adding, require no physical media to ever be in the same room and still deliver on our intention to deliver the best sound possible. Even if your repertoire begins and ends with beans on toast, you can at least have the perfect backing track.