Cyrus Audio’s ONE integrated amplifier, which debuted at the 2016 Munich High End Show, is a Class D design that employs the company’s hybrid Class D technology’s third iteration. When headphones are plugged in, the power supply rails switch to powering the Class AB headphone stage, claiming 100W RMS per channel into 6 ohms. As a result, ONE can also be used as a standalone headphone amplifier. A moving magnet phono stage and an aptX Bluetooth input with a ‘always discoverable’ mode for easy, automatic pairing are also included. There are four more line-level inputs, as well as an AV Bypass mode for home theatre systems.
It looks fantastic in person. It pays homage to the original Mission Cyrus from 1984, which was a spectacular sight in its own right, but it’s been tastefully updated, same to how the first ‘new’ MINI modernized the original Alec Issigonis classic. It was created to appeal to a population of people aged eighteen to thirty, who are “design-led, feature and interface driven, engaged in brand reputation, and used to listening to music in a personal manner,” according to Cyrus. For what is practically an entry-level premium integrated, the build quality is as good as you could expect.
According to Cyrus, various marginal efficiency increases from unique circuit design parts have eliminated the requirement for internal heatsinks, lowering the heat extremes to which the internal electronics can be exposed, resulting in increased reliability. The automatic Speaker Impedance Detection (SID) circuit, which we first saw on the Lyric all-in-one music system, measures the loudspeaker impedance and adjusts the amplifier accordingly. The amp includes a number of nice features, such as LED dimming to adapt the brightness of the front panel indicators to the ambient light. The micro USB connector on the back of the device can be used to update the firmware.
“We decided what we required and assessed it against the cost,” explains Simon Freethy, CEO of Cyrus. “First and foremost, it must sound fantastic, able to outperform the competition in terms of sound quality at the pricing point. Then we looked at what features we could add and conducted a couple of brainstorming sessions with the majority of the company, asking, “OK, what features would you want if you bought this?” People want streaming, but we can accomplish this with Bluetooth. People wanted a phono stage because vinyl is a developing market, so we’ve created one that’s fairly good quality and performs well. And headphones – a significant portion of the budget has been set aside for this, as many people now take headphone listening very seriously. So, after figuring out those details, we cut as much cost as we could – that’s why there are no screens or standby, and we used the money saved on the casework to invest in the circuit and power supply design, ensuring that sound quality is unaffected by the price. The goal is to make the Cyrus ONE the entry point into a high-fi ladder that users may climb at an affordable price.”
“The Cyrus 6’s Class AB output is roughly 60 watts into 8 ohms,” Simon explains. “However, our Class D topology is more efficient, and we can squeeze a hundred watts into 6 ohms, so you get more power right away.” It also operates significantly cooler, obviating the requirement for heatsinks. Instead, our experts have added extra thick copper tracks to the PCB itself, which serve as both heat dissipation and sound enhancement. Our Class D hybrid circuit also has a very high current output capability and is a highly quick amplifier due to the way it is constructed. It produces a clear sound with good bottom-end grip. A Class AB design’s midband is as clear and fluid as this one’s. We like its strength, authority, and realistic overall balance.”
Sonically, it delivers a clean, sharp, and musical sound that is akin to the excellent Lyric one-box system. It’s more entertaining than most Class D concepts I’ve heard, and it’s not lacking in strength. Overall, the new Cyrus ONE is a terrific package with great aesthetics and useful features – all for the extremely reasonable price of £699.