Cambridge Audio AZUR 851N (Silver)

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£1,199 Was £1,399 from 23/06/21 to 09/11/21
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Cambridge Audio AZUR 851N (Silver) is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 22.
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Cambridge Audio AZUR 851N (Silver)

Network Music Player/Streamer
£1,199 Was £1,399 from 23/06/21 to 09/11/21
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”A premium music streamer with the performance to match.” ’What Hi-Fi?’ – 5 Star review.

Putting sound quality first

As Cambridge's range-topping network music payer you'd expect the Azur 851N to be pretty special under the lid, and that's exactly what it is! The highest quality sound comes from the use of audiophile quality components and tireless research and testing. As an 8-series design, the 851N uses a substantial toroidal power transformer at its centre. This enables clean, effortless power to be supplied to the other components, allowing them to give their best. High quality Analogue Devices AD1955 DACs (Digital to Analogue Convertors) are configured in dual-mono mode, ensuring maximum channel separation and precise sound-staging.

Fully equipped for High Resolution audio
At the heart of the 851N is a brand new Zander processor that facilitates 24-bit/192kHz file high resolution streaming from most methods - even Wi-Fi. On top of this, the 851N is compatible with a huge range of high resolution files, including ALAC, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, WMA, MP3, AAC, HE AAC, AAC+ and OGG Vorbis. The USB audio input also enables streaming of up to 24-bit/192kHz audio and even supports DSD streams from your computer. Originally designed for SACD players, DSD (Direct Stream Digital) encoded music files offer the same detailed, transparent sound as other high resolution file formats, giving you even greater choice of listening.

AFT2 Up-Sampling for the ultimate detail and least jitter
The Cambridge 851N improves sound quality still further with an Anagram Technologies AFT2 24 bit/384 kHz up-sampling circuit. ATF (Adaptive Time Filtering) up-sampling 'stretches' the music to give the highest resolution possible. Up-sampling sound gives a smoother, more relaxed sound quality with added detail. You'll also notice enhanced depth of sound and a more natural quality without the "edge" that can afflict digital music. You'll hear every detail, including every deep breath, squeaky chair and flutter of sheet music; in short, it's like being there for real! AFT2 even aids native 24-bit/192kHz recordings with a faster sampling rate for even less jitter.


What is ATF Upsampling Technology? Click here to learn more.


Connect to Internet radio and Spotify Connect
In addition to supporting over 20,000, easy to access Internet radio stations, the Azur 851N is also compatible with the most popular music streaming services. Spotify is the world's most popular streaming service and the Azur 851N has Spotify Connect integrated into it (Spotify Premium account required). If you subscribe to Spotify Premium, you can control the Cambridge with the powerful Spotify Connect app on your phone or tablet. Should you prefer other music services, the 851N also supports Napster, BBC iPlayer for radio, Aupeo! Pandora and Rhapsody.

AirPlay and optional Bluetooth
In addition to comprehensive streaming capabilities over LAN, Wi-Fi and USB, the 851N is also compatible with Apple's AirPlay streaming. Use it with your iPhone, iPad PC or Mac and wireless stream your iTunes library or other compatible music services. Connect up the optional BT100 dongle and you'll be able to stream your music from any smartphone, tablet or other device with Bluetooth built-in.

Built-in digital pre-amp - just add active speakers!
If you're seeking quality hi-fi from a minimal system then the built-in digital pre-amp will appeal. Simply add active speakers via the digital or analogue outputs and you'll be able to control the volume and balance via the Azur 851N.

Fully connected, including XLR balanced sockets and 5 USBs
When it comes to connectivity the 851N lives up to its 8-series 'reference' billing. The highlight is the fitment of XLR balanced sockets. When used with a compatible amplifier, such as the matching Cambridge Audio 851A, these connections give the ultimate link possible, with greatly improved resistance to interference. There are also AES/EBU balanced digital input/output sockets for the ultimate digital connections. Added to this there are no fewer than five USB interfaces! The front-mounted socket is ideal for connecting temporary devices such as USB media sticks. At the back, three interfaces take care of more permanently connected media devices plus the optional Bluetooth dongle port. A Type B asynchronous USB input is provided for the direct connection of your PC or Mac. This makes the ideal connection for hooking up your computer as it will effectively 'control' the PC's output for the best sound quality possible. This greatly reduces jitter and gives the highest quality sound possible from your computer audio. Finally, both optical and coaxial digital sockets are provided for both inputs (x2) and outputs. This lets you connect up other digital components and take advantage of the quality DAC built into the 851N.

Intuitive app interface and colour display
With a free Apple/Android app you have effortless control over the radio stations with the comfort of your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad or Android device. The app also seamlessly manages all your streaming content and is, in effect, a very user friendly way of bringing together and controlling all your digital sources. Boasting a new colour screen, it's now possible to display album art on the player. This makes it a pleasure to browse for albums and artists by whichever control system you use.

Full metal casing with extensive damping
Using a full metal casing, with rounded edges, doesn't just look and feel good, it helps the sound, too. The case is rigid and well damped, meaning that it won't resonate unhelpfully. The thick aluminium front panel looks the part and also acts as a shield against electrical interference from sources such as dimmers and RF devices. All these details combine to create a network player that not only looks stylish but also offers exceptional resistance to both mechanical and electrical interference.

A first-rate performer in every respect, the flagship Cambridge Azur 851N network player is the audiophile's choice of streamer.
Smart Features
Apple AirPlay
Yes
Smartphone control
Yes
Connectivity
Audio Inputs
6 (AES/EBU, coaxial x 2, optical x 2, USB)
Audio Outputs
4 (coaxial, optical, balanced XLR, unbalanced RCA)
Bluetooth
Optional - BT100
Pre Output
Digital pre amp
USB
4
USB Input
1
Wi-Fi Built In
Yes
Wi-Fi
Yes
XLR Balanced Outputs
Yes
XLR Inputs
AES/EBU Balanced
Audio
High Resolution Audio
Yes
Features
Text Display
Yes
Tuner Radio
Internet
Energy Consumption
Power Consumption - Standby
1
Dimensions
Dimensions WxHxD (mm)
430 x 115 x 360
Weight
Weight (KG)
8
Accessories
Remote Control
Yes
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb I bought the 851N as a upgrade for my cxn series 1 it has superb sound great dynamics great separation of complex passages of music the upgrade is worth every penny
Date published: 2019-12-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from No google chromecast - unforgiveable Just bought this after having a CXN V2. Set it up and despite being approx twice the price it doesn't have google Chromecast like the CXN V2. I am therefore unable to stream from my Tidal app. You can use the Cambridge Audio app but it is dire with no ability to add tracks, albums or artists to your favourites list so you have to come out of it and go into theTidal app to add the songs you want.In addition it doesn't tell you if albums are remastered or if they are High Res audio like the Tidal App. Using two apps is fiddly and a pain to do. You shouldn't need to use 2 apps to do this and at £1400 this is an enormous oversight on the part of Cambridge Audio. The Cambridge app is unusable imo so i will be returning the streamer. The streamer sounds good but the app support and omission of google chromecast is unforgiveable.and sadly makes the user experience is so poor from the app I cant use this product. One very unhappy customer
Date published: 2019-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Top class Love my 851N every minutes. I partner with my Arcam AVR550 and Dali Opticon 6 and use chord shawline power cable and RCA to improve sound , fantastic sound so details and crisp.app easy to use same no airplay or chromecast for Tidal But to be honest Tidal work well into the app.
Date published: 2019-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic product - easy setup, superb onboard DAC I bought this last month, and it is a brilliant performer. It performs well with Hi- Res files from my USB stick, ripped CD music on a Hard Disk Player and amazingly well with internet radio. It can connect to an existing amp or direct into a power amp (as it has its own preamp and DAC.) Very please with it!
Date published: 2019-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Sound Certainly a step up from the CXN and worth the extra cost. Provided the rest of your system is good enough.
Date published: 2019-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning sounds I have had this a month or so, it conintues to impress as do the other CA items bought to go with it (qualified, guided and selected with the great crew in Richer's Reading store, who "proved it" all the way). Lots of inputs (believe it or not another couple of digitals would be better) and it suipplies the 851A as the "head" it upscales into the amp. It really is blisteringly good partnered with the 851a! The IR control manages the amp in tandum so very good. If Cambridge are reading this - please make the screen bigger, and the instructions really shouldn't be a download off the web. It would be better if the "inputs" had buttons (as on the 51a), there is no 3.5mm jack (not a big problem, but why not).
Date published: 2019-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I purchased the AZUR 851N and I feel this network player is definitely a great product. I previously had a pioneer network player, however I decided to upgrade and after shopping around and reading reviews I decided on the Cambridge. I would highly recommend this to anyone wanting a good quality network player. I also would like to thank the Nottingham branch where I purchased this from as the service was excellent!
Date published: 2019-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best sound I bougth 3 weeks, very like! The sound is very clear
Date published: 2018-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Taking me into 21st century Brought my Cambridge Audio AZUR 851-N . Received it very quick next day. Opened Box app first looks I thought what fantastic build quality. Wants it warmed up three dimensional sound what quality it has on streaming and CDs. Like to say thanks to Dan in Guildford shop very good on phone . Explaining some of the features thanks. Never heard my system sound so good :)
Date published: 2018-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A revolution in music appreciation I have been hesitating for over two years about commencing 'streaming' - having been dissuaded by the prices of some of the competition. However, a failure of a 14 year old CD player resulted in the purchase of a Cambridge CXC CD deck and was told that "what you want now is the Azur 851N (as a suitable DAC) and you then have the best and most cost-effective digital streaming outfit on the market". It's true - my CD's sound immeasurably better; now that I am 'ripping' some of them to FLAC files the 851N brings even more 'life and presence' to the recordings and I am streaming radio without interruptions (FM radio here is "a bit iffey at times"). It was easy to set-up and, once I got my head around formatting (NTFS / FAT32 vs exFAT!!!) transferring ripped files and downloads for easy playing has become nothing but a pleasure. I should also commend the very prompt and helpful advice that I received from the Cambridge Audio 'on-line help team'!! Good stuff guys - old duffers like me need you; don't go away!
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Sound An update to my previous review 18 months ago. I was using this with a 651W power amp in a second system but then changed to an 851W and it is even better. I was so impressed that I did a direct comparison with my main system which had an expensive valve preamp and CD. The sound is so much clearer and free from noise so I bought another 851N. Final setup is: 851N, CXC, Audio Research 300.2 power amp, Monitor Audio PL200 speakers. Second system is 851N, CXC, 851W and MA PL100. Sound is top notch and shows how pure and detailed a fully digital set up is. CD, Internet radio, blu ray and TV, Airplay from iPhone and Mac all sound great. I highly recommend this as a pre-amp with a good power amp and no need for any analogue source any more.
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Neutral and natural sounding This is very nice bit of kit. Having listened to this and the CXN head to head it was obvious that the 851 has the edge. Everything is clearer, more natural, and unforced. I'm using it with a Copland power amp and Tannoy horn-loaded floorstanders. Soundstage is excellent and vocals are spine-tingling. Definitely best used with a wired Ethernet connection to ensure a stable signal, especially at higher bitrates. This is a serious streamer, up there with Linn and Naim definitely - looks awesome, too.
Date published: 2017-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent streamer from Cambridge Audio Not only does the Cambridge 851n look great and have fantastic build quality it's sound quality really is amazing! One very happy customer!
Date published: 2017-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Happy so far I replaced a 25 year old system which died and wanted to come into the new century. I am a little troubled about buying something which is largely reliant on software - how long will it be supported and valid? I've no need analogue inputs so got a CXC, 851N and 651W power amp. I got the power amp first and was using it with an old analogue pre-amp but got frustrated with the hiss from the pre-amp. With the 851N as a pre-amp, the sound is wonderful, just pure music, unbelievably clear and pure, but I don't seem to get as much horsepower as I had with the analogue pre-amp. The volume control responds differently; I am using 50 to 70% settings whereas with analogue it would be 30%. I have not used servers or app yet. Internet radio is mixed quality but very convenient and good fun. Radio 3 sounds outstanding. The unit looks great - better than I had expected. Remote control is too small, too complex and tries to do too much. The buttons are too small for my big thumbs.
Date published: 2016-04-19
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6 Year Guarantee

£119.85 - Fully refundable if unused.

Add our 6 Year Guarantee to your basket when you check out. We'll cover your items for 6 years
and give you your money back if unused.

Fully refundable if unused

6 Year Guarantee costs just £9.99 on all items under £100, or 10% of purchase
price on anything over £100.

We think you'll agree our 6 Year Guarantee offers fantastic value. What's more, if you don't use it
in the 6-year period, we'll refund the cost of it. You really can't say fairer than that!

Plus, if we can't fix a fault, we will give you a replacement.

Find out full details here.


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