Cambridge Audio YOYO (M) review: Solid Bluetooth speakers with tuned “British” sound

Audio / Audio Hardware Reviews / Reviews
YOYO

The design on the YOYO (M) is very retro and the soft cloth covering reminds me of some of the vintage VOX guitar amps of old.

TA-ratings-96It’s always nice when new brands approach us to review their products. Not only do we get a chance to hear different products, our readers get a wider variety of brands to choose from. The Cambridge Audio YOYO (M) stereo Bluetooth speakers are the first Bluetooth speakers we’ve reviewed from the British born company. Previously we reviewed their excellent SE1 earbuds. The company has been doing business in Britan since 1968, the company chose an amazing time to get into the audio business.

The 60s and 70s produced some amazing music that still roars strong today. Back in those days, many artists were after that “British sound,” the same sound made famous by The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and countless other British rock bands. Even American bands traveled to England to find that sound and use it. Cambridge Audio was part of that era and part of bringing that sound to life.

We’re not sure why it took so long to make a move to America but we’re glad they finally decided to give us a go. Without further ado, read on for the full review of the Cambridge Audio YOYO (M) stereo Bluetooth speakers and find out why they’re being awarded our first Techaeris Top Pick for 2018.

Specifications

The Cambridge Audio YOYO (M) have the following features and specifications:

  • Speaker System: Stereo system each speaker has a full range driver and subwoofer
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, 1 x 3.5mm Aux, 1 x USB device charging
  • Functionality: Stereo Connection, Gesture Control, Speakerphone
  • Battery Life: Estimated 24 hours
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 125 x 204 x 125mm (4.92” x 8.03” x 4.92”)
  • Weight: 3kg (1.5kg per speaker)
  • Colors: Dark Grey, Light Grey, Blue

What’s In The Box

  • Cambridge Audio YOYO (M) right and left channel speakers
  • Two power supplies
  • Instruction Manual and Documentation

Design

Straight away you can tell these speakers are not the same sort of design as many others. Cambridge Audio has decided to cover the YOYO (M’s) with a wonderful fabric woven by Marton Mills in Yorkshire. You can feel the fabric is of high quality and it comes in three colors (colours if we were in England or Canada). The colors you can get these in are Blue, Light, and Dark Grey. The text “Great British Sound Since 1968” is on the front along with Marton Mills logo on the back.

At the bottom of each speaker, you’ll find a threaded connection for mounting to speaker stands and other mounts. There is also an AUX port, power port, USB port, and battery check button on the bottom of each speaker. On the top of each speaker, there is the LED volume indicator along with a few other LED backlit buttons. These include the call button, Bluetooth button, speaker pairing button, volume up/down button, and power button.

YOYO

Left and right stereo Bluetooth speakers from Cambridge Audio.

The Cambridge Audio logo is subtly embossed into the black rubber-like top. The design is very retro and the soft cloth covering reminds me of some of the vintage VOX guitar amps of old. The YOYO (M) speakers are certainly not your average basic black plastic and metal Bluetooth speaker. I believe these would look really nice in the home and should compliment anyone’s decor.

My one complaint on the design front would be that each speaker has its own power supply. If they could have figured out a way to have one power supply charge both speakers that would have been great to see. Having to plug in two rather large power supplies to charge the speakers is a bit of a pain. It’s a minor gripe but a gripe nonetheless, although if you plan on placing them far apart and running them plugged in then dual power supplies would make sense in that case, but these are intended for wireless use.

Overall, the design is pleasing to the eye. The materials used are high-quality and sourced well. The YOYO (M) speakers are easily some of the nicest looking speakers I’ve used in recent memory.

YOYO

Materials woven by Marton Mills.

Ease of Use

Since the YOYO (M) system is a stereo setup, you’ll need to pair the speakers with each other before you pair them to your phone. Cambridge Audio has made the setup a breeze. Just power on the right speaker (identified with the Cambridge Audio logo) first. Then power on the left speaker and the two speakers will pair with each other, you will know they are paired once the orange arrow lights up. Once you have them paired together, you can open up your Bluetooth settings on your phone and pair to YOYO there.

Once you’re paired, anytime you turn on the speakers your phone will auto connect. Another nice feature is that when you turn one speaker off, both will power off. This does not work for powering ON, you will have to power on the right speaker first and then the left. They will auto-pair to each other and then auto pair to your phone. These also feature gesture controls on the tops of each speaker. You can wave to pause/play and wave to skip forward a track, I did not see the ability to go back a track.

Overall, these are super simple to use. The included instructions are simple to follow and you should be up and running within minutes.

YOYO

Gesture controls on top of each speaker.

Sound

Cambridge Audio prides itself on bringing authentic British audio since 1968. Before we dive into sound, here’s a short excerpt from Wikipedia on the origins of the company.

Cambridge Audio began life as a division of Cambridge Consultants in 1968. The Company’s first product was the 2x 20W P40 integrated amplifier, which was created by a team that included Gordon Edge and Peter Lee. In addition to an advanced technical specification, the P40 created quite a stir in part thanks to its iconic and innovative super slim-line case design by Roy Gray, from Woodhuysen Design. The P40 would also make history as the first amplifier to use a toroidal transformer that would go on to be a standard component inside virtually every hi-end amplifier produced since.

As we mentioned, the British sound was huge back in the 60s and 70s and artists were clamoring to get that sound. Personally, I still love the sound as it’s a foundation of my favorite band in all the world, Pink Floyd. The soundstage of the YOYO (M) speakers is very even and really favors no frequency over the other. It’s about pure and clean sound as the artist intended. There’s no funny business going on with Cambridge Audio speakers. No software trying to tweak anything or make things sound fuller or thinner than they are. Just the sound that was originally recorded and released.

Highs and mids are clean and crisp and pleasant. The bass is where it should be, not overpowering (unless EQ’ed that way in the original recording) but the foundation for everything else. The clarity in these speakers is clear and you can pick up all the subtle nuances of every song.

With that said, these speakers are really going to compliment the rock, pop, orchestra, and other genres like that. Listeners that favor very heavy overdriven bass are likely not going to be pleased with these. The speakers get very loud, and there is no noticeable distortion or break up at higher volumes though I didn’t use the highest volume setting for very long.

Overall, these speakers sound amazing. They’re seemingly tuned to a lot of the music I enjoy, which so happens to be of British origins and out of the 60s and 70s.

YOYO

British sound from a British company, that’s legit.

Reception/Call Quality

Bluetooth reception is the industry standard 30-35 feet from the source, as expected. Call quality is nice on these speakers, I don’t often use speakers for phone calls but these worked nicely with clear sound on both ends of the call without issue.

Battery Life

The YOYO (M) are advertised as having 24-hours of battery life per speaker. In our testing, we were able to pull just slightly over 24-hours with volume at 50% and the source device about five feet from the speakers. I’d say these speakers have really great battery life. One thing worth mentioning is that these speakers can also serve as a power bank. Just plug in your USB device to the back and charge your device. Of course, this will affect battery life.

Price/Value

With an asking price of $349USD for the pair of YOYO (M) speakers I really think these are an outstanding value. I’ve reviewed single speakers that cost nearly as much as this pair and you get the benefit of left and right channels with stereo sound through two speakers in this case. These are a great deal, provided you enjoy the soundstage they offer.

Wrap Up

The Cambridge Audio YOYO (M) speakers offer up an elegant design with high-quality materials and signature British sound. All of that at a price that’s more than reasonable for what you’re getting. I think those who really enjoy rock, pop, orchestra, and less bassy styles of music will gravitate to the soundstage on these. Anyone seeking heavy bass is probably not going to enjoy them as much and should look elsewhere.

*We were sent a review unit of the Cambridge Audio YOYO (M) speakers.

Cambridge Audio YOYO (M)

$349USD
9.6

Design

10.0/10

Ease of Use

9.5/10

Sound

9.5/10

Reception/Call Quality

9.5/10

Battery Life

9.0/10

Price/Value

10.0/10

Nailed it

  • Absolutely lovely and classic design and look
  • Easy to setup and use
  • Incredible sound, especially for Rock lovers
  • Incredible price of $349USD for both speakers

Needs work

  • Some users may not like the soundstage
  • Wish there was only one power supply with a split cable
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