One of the most interesting attractions of the 2016 Munich High End Show was the appearance of Cyrus Audio’s new ONE integrated amplifier. A Class D design, it is effectively the third generation of the company’s hybrid Class D technology. It puts out a claimed 100W RMS per channel into 6 ohms, but when headphones are plugged in the power supply rails switch to powering the Class AB headphone stage. This means ONE can be used as a dedicated headphone amplifier in its own right. Other attractions include a moving magnet phono stage and an aptX Bluetooth input that runs in an ‘always discoverable’ mode for easy, automatic pairing. Four additional line level inputs are offered, plus an AV Bypass mode for use in home cinema systems.
In the flesh, the Cyrus ONE looks superb. It channels the original Mission Cyrus from 1984 – which itself was a striking sight – but it tastefully modernised, rather like the way the first ‘new’ MINI updated the original Alec Issigonis classic. Cyrus says it was conceived to appeal to the eighteen-to-thirty age demographic, one which is, “design-led, feature and interface driven, interested in brand reputation and used to listening to music in a personal manner.” The build quality is certainly as good as you possibly expect for what’s effectively an entry-level premium integrated.
Cyrus says that numerous marginal efficiency gains from novel elements of circuit design have eliminated the need for internal heatsinks, reducing the heat extremes that the internal electronics can be exposed to, for greater reliability. There’s a large toroidal transformer, and the automatic Speaker Impedance Detection (SID) circuit instantly measures the loudspeaker impedance and adjusts the amplifier to suit – something we first saw on the Lyric all-in-one music system. The amp has lots of nice touches, like LED dimming to match the brightness of the front panel indicators to the environment. Firmware updates are made possible via the micro USB port on the rear.
Initial listening was highly favourable, with a clean, crisp and musical sound not too dissimilar to that of the fine sounding Lyric one-box system. It is more engaging than most Class D designs that I’ve heard, and not exactly short of power either. Overall first impressions are that the new Cyrus ONE is a great package with stunning styling and useful functionality – all at a very modest price of £699.