The Cambridge Audio Yoyo (L) is a lifestyle speaker that delivers wide, powerful sound and wants to be the center of your entertainment space.
What Is the Yoyo (L)?
It’s a speaker. But it’s not just a speaker. It’s a speaker with Bluetooth and Chromecast connectivity; oh, and Spotify Connect. Plus, it has S/PDIF optical, and HDMI inputs so it can act as an Audio Return Channel (ARC) speaker, which means it can be the soundbar for your TV. Oh, and it has an AUX-in port, and a USB port that’ll charge your phone while you stream tunes to it.
Cambridge Audio – Didn’t They Used to Make Computer Speakers?
No. That was Cambridge SoundWorks, a brand started in America by Henry Kloss, and which only really makes portable Bluetooth speakers now. Cambridge Audio is a somewhat older brand from the U.K. with a storied history in high-quality amplifiers and speakers.
What Do You Mean It’s a “Lifestyle Speaker?”
The Yoyo (L) is more than a dumb bookshelf speaker that you plug an amp into. Indeed, it has its own amps built in. Plus, it’s not one speaker, but a combination of six speakers, both tweeters and woofers, separately powered and directionally focused to deliver strong, room-filling sound.
More than that, it’s positioned to fill a specific niche in your lifestyle. While it has wireless connectivity, it’s not portable. It wants to take a place in the middle of your living/entertaining space, where it can act as the output device for music from your portable devices, and from your television. While it won’t deliver surround sound, it has the power and dynamic range to create an enveloping sonic atmosphere for your home entertainment.
How Does the Yoyo (L) Sound?
Really, really good.
When you’ve listened to a lot of stand-alone speakers that are intended to deliver 360-degree sound in small packages, you get used to the limitations. In many cases, the sound you get is limited by the size of the speakers themselves; you can tell that there’s more to the music than the speaker is able to deliver. The music may be muddy and indistinct, and in many cases, manufacturers favor the thump-thump of overpowered bass response because they think that’s what the “kids” these days favor.
They Yoyo (L) delivers a full sound, with detailed mids and highs, and a great table-thumping bass that will make the most of music, and deliver an excellent home-entertainment experience without needing to run the wiring for multiple speakers around a room. And it all sounds effortless in that way a truly well-balanced, properly-powered device does. The Yoyo (L) also has a built-in DSP and can adjust equalizer settings for different soundscapes, like music, film, or TV, and it lets you play around with bass settings if you like.
How Does the Yoyo (L) Look?
It’s classy and understated. It’s pretty much a half-high cube (11″ x 11″ x 5″) with gently rounded edges, in a warm gray (actually, two grays – a lighter tan, and a darker storm cloud variation) , and wrapped in a British wool fabric you’d expect to see Robby Lewis wear as a jumper (points to the first commenter who gets that reference). All the controls and readouts on the top surface are hidden unless they’re saying something to you (like Bluetooth connected, or indicating the volume level).
What, if Anything, Could Be Better?
The only significant issue I have with the Yoyo (L) is that the form factor can be challenging if you want to use it as your primary television speaker. It’s too tall to sit in front of any TV that’s sitting on a table/console; it ends up blocking a couple inches of screen. It works fine if your TV is wall-mounted, or if you place the unit on a lower table, or at a distance, where it can be admired.
Also, while it comes with a simple remote that controls all of its key features, in this day-and-age, a dedicated app would be nice.
What Makes the Yoyo (L) a Good Holiday Gift?
Good sound is always an excellent gift anyone can give someone they care about. The Yoyo (L) is the kind of quality audio component that can truly impact someone’s life in a profound way. For anyone who needs the simplicity of a single speaker solution for their lifestyle audio needs, the Yoyo (L) would make an amazing gift.
Where Can I Get the Yoyo (L), and How Much Is It?
You can find the Yoyo (L) on Cambridge Audio’s website, or get it at Amazon, for $399.
Note: GeekDad was sent a review unit.