Cabasse Stream Amp came out a few years ago, but we haven’t gotten around to testing it until now. And since it’s still current, it now has to try its hand against a pretty tight field.
The Stream Amp doesn’t have Chromecast or AirPlay, but is locked to Cabasse’s own Stream app. The latter supports services like Spotify, Deezer and Tidal, and it also has both analogue and digital connections.
With speaker outputs for four speakers, the amp is ideal for in-wall projects or other situations where you need to drive multiple speakers. It then goes from 2 x 50 watts to 4 x 25 watts, but since you then have four speakers to fill the room, you can come a long way with that. If you need more power, there’s both a preamp output for a power amp and a subwoofer output.
A small remote control is included for volume control and source selection. Pressing the mute button fades out the sound instead of abruptly cutting it off. We like that!
Connecting is hassle-free. Download the Cabasse app and it finds the amp without a fuss. Then it’s just streaming away.
The sound of the Cabasse Stream Amp
There’s surprisingly good control over the deep bass on Bea Miller’s industrial-pop number “Playground” from the animated TV series Arcane. The distorted bass tones come across crisply with plenty of detail, and not only are Bea’s vocals airy and clear; the second voice she’s laid underneath also stands out clearly, giving the track the dark mood it deserves. Significantly better than, say, the Sonos Amp.
Tom Waits stands out with his amazing rusty vocal chords in “Day After Tomorrow”. The soundstage is wide, and Cabasse maintains the tone of the acoustic guitar while placing the notes of the undistorted electric guitar well to the right, slightly back in the soundstage.
The only thing I miss is a bit more aggression and dynamics. The amp can handle being turned up quite a bit; that’s not the problem. But there’s a bit of bite and ferocity missing when the bass drum pounds away or the timpani in “Confutatis” from Sigurd Islandsmoen’s Requiem kick in. It gets a bit cautious.
The Cabasse Stream Amp is a good streaming amp that sounds nice and airy, and also has a deep, nice sound in the bass. It plays really well and also has enough power to drive a couple of decent speakers.
The amp could have done with a bit more aggression and dynamics; it all gets a bit `polished’. At the same time, it would seem more future-proof if it had Chromecast or AirPlay 2 in addition to its own interface. Fortunately, it also has Bluetooth and digital inputs.