Cyrus X Stream Signature Streamer
Cyrus Audio has been around for a long time. It’s a UK manufacturer operating out of Cambridgeshire. They make a wide range of electronics including integrated amplifiers, pre/powers, DACs, power supplies, Streamers, and phono stages.
All these products come in a half-width chassis, which suits many people who find full-width equipment challenging to accommodate.
We covered Cyrus’ 2022 release, the revamped Classic Series. If you’re interested in getting up-to-date Hi-Fi news, sign up to our newsletter or follow us on our socials. You can find that below.
However half chassis designs are like marmite you either love or hate them. Most of Cyrus’ R&D is also done in Cambridgeshire. I think they are still manufactured in the UK however it does say they are for the most part manufactured in the UK. I’m not entirely sure what they mean by that.
Anyway, the product I am reviewing is the Cyrus X Stream Signature Streamer which is their top-of-the-range model. It also comes with a remote.
Given its £1750 price tag the unit is not as impressive as many of its competitors. It’s half size and it comes in a very nondescript chassis, with a very small screen that can only be read if you are beside the unit. That’s not an issue if you are using the app on your phone or an iPad/Tablet (which most of us have) but it begs the question why bother with a screen at all?
Other manufacturers like Hi-Fi Rose use a screen but it’s big enough to see from distance. There are quite a lot of buttons on the front ( I think I counted 10) including on/off and mute, again not sure why you need them when you have an app. Cyrus models have looked the same since the dawn of time and are to me a bit dated compared to competitors.
The X Stream does use a tune-in radio app which gives great access to radio stations. Cyrus also states that the unit offers excellent filtering and resonance control to aid sound quality.
Dated Technical Features
The X Stream offers multiple inputs with two optical and three SPDIF coaxial outputs as well as a USB which I believe detects music locally but is not a digital pass-through input to a DAC. There is also a digital coax-out connection and an ethernet connection. An MC Bus orca connection allows links to other Cyrus products.
The app Cyrus use is called Cadence and I was a bit disappointed with it as there are better apps from other manufacturers in terms of the features they have and usability. You can set it up as a wireless streamer or wired but I never recommend wireless streaming especially high res.
I think that you are really only going to buy this streamer if you are putting it into an all Cyrus system. Why? Sonically it seems to match their systems better than anything else. Don’t forget this is only a streamer, there is no DAC ( the matching Pre/ DAC from Cyrus is another £1750).
However, the issue plaguing Cyrus is that there are so many competitors who have streamers. In some cases at 1/3 the price. Not only that, but other streamers come with built-in DACs for much less money. When you add in the Hard drive CD players with built-in streamers like Innuos then it makes the X Stream from Cyrus look really expensive.
Underperforming Sound Quality
Given its price, I was expecting this streamer to be very good indeed. Sadly while it was good I didn’t think it outperformed cheaper alternatives like the Silent Angel M1T which even with its outboard power supply is only over £1000 or the Innuos Zen Mini. Other streamers at similar money like the Lumin D2 or the Bel Canto both have built-in DACs at this price and look better.
It’s really difficult to be positive about this product. The app feels old and dated, and the chassis again looks old and dated. Yes the size is a bonus but unless you have to put this in a Cyrus system to match it simply isn’t good enough or nearly good enough at this price point.
I hate to be so negative, especially about a UK product, and as Audiopals always says we will always give an honest review and this streamer simply does not cut the mustard.
My conclusion is that unfortunately this streamer simply does not compete with its competitors. If you are looking for a UK streamer then there are certainly alternatives, from Linn, Naim, and Arcam. There are multiple alternatives from US and Europe never mind the Far Eastern alternatives.
The only reason to buy it would be to match into a Cyrus system you already have but even then I think it’s a hard sell.
As I already mentioned I hate to be the bearer of a bad review to any brand never mind a UK one but we also have to be open and honest in our reviews. I am sure other people will disagree with this review and that’s fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, I have access to a lot of products and I have heard many competing streamers and sadly the X Stream Signature is not up to the task at its asking price.
Nonetheless, to end on a more positive note this is only my opinion and like every product, you should hear it for yourself before buying. That’s what Specialist Hi-Fi dealers are for.