Week 39, 2018: Cambridge Audio Yoyo speakers

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 39, 2018

Q. I might purchase the Yoyo (L) from Cambridge Audio since their Air 100 and Air 200 speakers that you highly recommended are no longer available. Have you had a chance to listen to the Yoyo (L) model yet and, if so, would you highly recommend it for its overall sound quality? I know you have stated in your weekly column that plan to review the Yoyo speakers in the future but I am anxious to purchase this speaker very soon if you tell me that it offers the same excellent sound quality as the Air 100 Air 200 speakers that are no longer available. I would also appreciate your comments regarding whether or not the Yoyo (S) or Yoyo (M) speakers might be a better choice than the Yoyo (L) in regards to overall sound quality and features.

-R.L., Medina, MN

A. All of the Cambridge Audio Yoyo speakers have outstanding sound quality and I highly recommend them. Though the $179 Yoyo (S) is a phenomenal portable speaker, if sound quality is what you are after then the Yoyo (M) or Yoyo (L) are the better choices. The Yoyo (S) is compact and can be powered by its internal battery, unlike the Air 100 and Air 200 speakers. The tonal quality is similar, but the dynamic range and bass impact are not at the same level of the Air 100 and Air 200. It’s nothing against the Yoyo (S), it is just a function of size. The Air speakers are noticeably bigger than the Yoyo (S) so they are going to play louder and with more bass.

The $349 Yoyo (M) and $399 Yoyo (L) are really quite different. The Yoyo (M) comes as a pair of left-right speakers, enabling you to space them out to get big stereo imaging and separation, especially since all Yoyo speakers utilize Cambridge Audio’s exotic Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) speaker technology. The built-in batteries allow for 24 hours of playtime, and they make excellent computer speakers, as well. A built-in USB port charges your cellphone whether you are on the go or listening at home.

The Yoyo (L) is more like the Air speakers since it is a single piece and does not have a battery, so it must be plugged into the wall to play. The big draw to the Yoyo (L) is the HDMI connection and optical digital audio input that makes it a great television sound system as well as a home music system. It also has a learning remote and multiple sound modes, including a mode optimized for television and movie viewing.

You may think that since the Yoyo (L) is only $50 more than the Yoyo (M) it may make sense just to spend $50 more and get top-of-the-line. The choice really isn’t that simple. I would choose not by price, but by application. If you are a dedicated music listener I would lean towards the Yoyo (M) because it is the nearest thing you can get to a component system in a simple package. Put the speakers a few feet apart, get them playing and swoon from the luscious, warm and crisp sound complete with excellent stereo spaciousness. If you plan on using the speaker with a television, go for the Yoyo (L) and its extensive feature set.