Q: I might purchase the Yoyo (L) from Cambridge Audio because 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? You mentioned in a column in early September that you would be testing them in the future, but I am looking to purchase this speaker very soon and would love to know what you think. I also would appreciate your thoughts regarding whether the Yoyo (S) or Yoyo (M) speakers might be a better choice than the Yoyo (L) in regard to overall sound quality and features.
A: I've had a chance to test all of the Cambridge Audio Yoyo speakers, and they all have outstanding sound quality. I highly recommend them. As for which model is best, it depends on what you're looking for.
Although 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 because all Yoyo speakers utilize Cambridge Audio's exotic Balanced Mode Radiator speaker technology. The built-in batteries allow for 24 hours of play time, and they make excellent computer speakers, as well.
The Yoyo (L) is a single piece and does not have a battery, so it must be plugged into the wall. 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 various sound modes, including one optimized for television and movie viewing.
You may think that since the Yoyo (L) is only $50 more than the Yoyo (M) it makes sense 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 toward 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 to get a 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.
Send questions to Don Lindich at email@example.com. Get recommendations and read past columns at soundadvicenews.com.