Cambridge Audio AZUR 851N (Black) is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 83.
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Cambridge Audio AZUR 851N (Black)

Network Music Player/Streamer
£1,199 Our price history: £1,299 from 11/01/22 to 06/04/22
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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 Great sound and easy set up Added this to my valve amp and Dali Icon 5 speakers. Build quality and sound is great. In fact I've been so impressed I decided to upgrade the rest of my system and have just bought the 851A amp and 851C CD player to go with it. Thanks to Matt and the team at Chester who provided great advice and support.
Date published: 2018-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth every penny I ordered this about 2 weeks ago, the AZUR 851N was delivered next day and I got it set up in about 10 minutes (including unpacking and plugging everything in. I was immediately impressed with the sound quality which I think is very impressive. The detail is excellent, I listen to UPnP and Tidal and both sound extremely musical and exciting through this player. I had a streamer previously and I was a bit concerned that I would not notice the difference when I upgraded, the improvement was beyond doubt, I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a streamer.
Date published: 2018-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very High Quality Radio Three Previous network devices I have used have been troublesome losing connection but the Cambridge 851N (so far) is solid. It seems to have a deep buffer maybe that helps. My interest is mainly classical and jazz with a particular passion for BBC Radio Three which the Cambridge routinely streams at 320kbps. Studio musicians during early evening In Tune programme for instance sound very special and the many live BBC concerts are at a quality that would shame some commercial recordings, they are superb. Mention should go to the delicious Linn Classical and Jazz programming at 320kbps as well. I am also feeding the 851N material from an iPad via Airplay which is working well and at a good quality, subject to the source material. When first connected the 851N spent several minutes updating software which is reassuring. The Cambridge menu is simple to navigate the jog wheel (press to enter) and alpha numeric input is well thought through, quick and easy. Perhaps a couple more presets over the four would be nice. My 851 is ethernet hard wired via power line adaptors, (from a BT Hub) but has wifi enabled the device choosing source, Cambridge recommending ethernet cable for secure higher bit rates. The 851N acquired wifi connection details from my iPhone quickly and easily, it's feeding a Cambridge 851A integrated amp and Monitor Audio Silver speakers the whole sounding confident and detailed. The 851N is quite expensive but so far is working well, looks nice (the colour screen looks good) and I would say justifies the cost. Special mention should go to Richer Sounds Telesales (John plus one - sorry the name has gone) who were very helpful and extremely quick to send via BJS.
Date published: 2018-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic - 851N/851W & CXC I have finally completed my system, running the 851N as the central hub, routed to the 851W power Amp and CA CXC to the 851N. Balanced interconnects from 851N to 851W. The sound is beautiful, richly detailed, with a lovely warmth. The 3D stereo image is fantastic. As a streamer, the 851N works very well, ipod, laptop etc all link well via the Blue tooth dongle. I have to say I am most taken back by the quality of the DAC, extremely pleased. My system is singing :).
Date published: 2018-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cambridge 851N - Great piece of Kit Only had the streamer for a couple of weeks but I can safely say it ticks all the boxes. Build quality, ease of connectivity and the sound. I am using it with Tidal and am over the moon with the whole package. I have also connected it to my Arcam CD player and the DAC’s produce a great sound, although now I have listened to Tidal I think my CD player is getting dusty. Thanks Richer Sounds Manchester for the help and advice in helping me choose a Great piece of kit”.
Date published: 2018-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really good piece of kit. Bought this to upgrade my old Marantz network streamer. Very easy to setup, although i didn’t use the wi-fi dongle, and have it plugged into my network. Easy to use, and has a nice clear screen which is a big improvement over the old kit. Played all the files i have given it, from mp3’s to 24bit high def tracks, and all are played with impressive sound quality.
Date published: 2018-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cambridge Azur 851N I have had the 851N for a couple of weeks now and in a nutshell it is brilliant. Upsampling gives whatever source you put through it that extra polish to the presentation. If you are in the market for this type of unit “DO” make sure you listen to the 851N.
Date published: 2018-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning Network Player Been living with the Azur for just over a month having upgraded from a CXN and WOW what a difference. Level of detail and deep controlled bass is outstanding. Really makes the sound three dimensional especially with HI Res 24 bit Flac files. Running this wonderful unit with an Audionote Oto Single ended valve amp and Kerr Acoustic K100 Transmission Line speakers.
Date published: 2018-05-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from good sound Cambridge Audio products are usually excellent sounding and the Azur 851N is no exception . The music has all the dynamics/lucidity/depth and space that you would want. I am very gad to have bought it and would heartily recommend it!
Date published: 2018-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely awesome sound - that's all that counts Being of a certain age, all my music is in 30 years of CDs and 10 years of LPs before that. If I were my children and didn't own any physical music the calculation would be different, but over the years I have come back to it being all about sound quality - and therefore no streamer is worth having if it can't at least match CD quality. And up to now every one I've listened to (including big names like, er, Naim, haven't cut it. On the other hand, if I could just have access to just about every record ever made at the same sound quality or better than my CDs, well that might just be worth paying for.... The rest of my system isn't so amazing - 15 year old Arcam amp and CD player, plus stand-top Dynaudio speakers - all cost about £3,000 in 2002, but I've never tired of the sound it makes. I have now had the Azur 851N for about 4 months so feel I've test driven it properly and my conclusion is simply this - the sound is consistently fabulous. And I'm just using Spotify. I tend to agree it's odd that it's not set up for Tidal and the App for the 851N itself isn't great but I haven't had any of the usability problems that others mention at all. I play everything over the Spotify app on iphone or ipad with Airplay and keep hearing detail I hadn't picked up on my CDs, whilst the treble/bass balance is spot on (as I've got older bass can sound too boomy, but if you detune it everything sounds light and brittle - I don't get any of that with the 851N). I guess the ultimate acid test is - for the same music do I choose to play CD or stream it now - and the answer is I now stream. The 851N is undoubtedly expensive but anything that couldn't beat my CDs for quality wouldn't be worth having. This does and therefore is.
Date published: 2018-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Impressive all round. Excellent purchase. Makes everything you feed it sound better than ever. The upsampling works flawlessly and even the radio sounds stunning. I'm using it as the hub of my system as everything is connected to it and as a pre-amp I'm struggling to find fault with it. Build quality is impressive too,which you'd expect at the price. Speaking of which,it is pricey but well worth the money if you can stretch to it. It hasn't disappointed. At all.
Date published: 2018-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sounds sublime with my active speakers Bought from York last week (Thanks Gavin!) I've now got it properly wired with balanced leads to my ATC active speakers. Also in system is the Cambridge disc spinner CXC. It all sounds superb! Only slight criticism is that the Tidal part of the app needs some improvements (links to discography etc) but it does work reliably at Hi-Fi rate.
Date published: 2018-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from High Tech and High Res I've always loved radios. Old ones, modern ones, valves and crystals or transistors and bit rates, it doesn't matter. This isn't a radio, but it is...........and then some. Once linked to my home network, l have the whole World of internet radio to choose from. The BBC comes through in very good quality across all its channels. Lower bit rates are made to sound decent due to the in-built upgrading within the processing path. Higher bit rate stations really do shine. I've only had this machine just over a week and consider it to be still in its "running in" period. Certainly, l haven't used all of its functions and services. However, I've directed my CD player's optical signal through its DAC pathways and found the sound to be a little bit fuller, dynamic and rhythmic. I've also attached a NAS drive containing High Res Audio files and been delighted with the results. There is no doubt in my mind that l have bought a high quality product that suits my needs perfectly.
Date published: 2018-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic detailed sound I've only purchased this a few weeks ago so this isn't a long term review, but the short time I've had this so far, all I can say is that it's fantastic. I've owned a few streamers in the past, however this is by far the most balanced, smooth and detailed streamer I have ever heard. OK it's expensive... But with this, it really is the case of 'you get what you pay for'. Overall it's worked faultless all but one system freeze/crash, but with technology these things can happen from time to time. If you can afford to get this streamer then go for it without hesitation!
Date published: 2018-02-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Brilliant and terrible in equal measures Great sound, great features, terrible reliability. Around once a month, mine stops making any sound. A factory reset fixes the issue but I then have to go back through all the settings to set it back up. Irritatingly, my remote only operates on the alternative channel so the first setting I have to change is the remote. At least then I can use it to make the remaining settings.
Date published: 2018-02-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from ALMOST BUT NOT RIGHT, NOT GOOD After a demo and loan of the CXN model of streamer and realising it had a few flaws in its makeup I decided to purchase its big brother thinking it would be better, the 851N, which ive had about a month. Good points are it looks expensive(which it is) and sound quality is good, but all of that is diminished by its reoccuring faults, It randomly switches itself off whilst listening to music. It drops its internet connection when using it on airplay, even though it is sited 8 feet from the router! I have a yamaha RXA3050, which has airplay built into it and that is located in the same rack as this 851N and it never drops its connection. Most times when its swithed on I have to manually input the internet name and password. The App is the most basic Ive used, its black and white and is has limited functions, Cambrige Audio really should take a look at some of the other Hi Fi manufacturers Apps to see how it should be done. Im really beginning to regret purchasing the 851N and will probably never buy Cambridge Audio again, I only wish Id bought the Pioneer N70ae
Date published: 2018-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Sound with Caveats The sound is unquestionably excellent from the very good DAC. I have a similarly priced standalone Mytech DAC and have run this through the Mytech. Music streamed through the Azur via the Mytech sounds better but only marginally. My only problem with it is the lack of Tidal support and Roon integration. Why this hasn't been done on such an expensive streamer is beyond me. I have a £400 streamer with both these features. Hoping this will be done in a future firmware update. I also echo other reviews of the poor android app. It is useable but very basic. But don't let my negative points put you off. The build and hardware are impressive and most importantly the sound is excellent.
Date published: 2018-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Equipped with excellent dac This streamer is equipped with extremely high quality DAC. The upsampling of lower music sources like mp3 is absolutely fenomenal. High resolution files sound heavenly good. It is also very easy to use. In my opinion below 2k mark there is nothing out there that's sounds better. Every time I listen to this thing it puts great smile on my face. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2017-11-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Almost Great ...... but not quite I bought the 851N as a replacement for my aging Squeezebox streamer and in many ways I'm glad I did, the improvement in sound is fantastic as I now have a streamer that works well with the rest of my reasonably good system. However, sound quality is only one part of the reason people buy a streamer - the other is controllability and convenience. I'm afraid the Cambridge Connect app is not up to the task of providing the seamless usability that we've become used to in recent years, it also looks a bit windows 95. The free 3rd party app I used with my Squeezebox was leaps and bounds better. There are other 3rd party apps available of course but none I've tried are brilliant. I don't regret buying the 851N, it does sound the business but I do feel the app lets it down a lot. I also wanted to listen to BBC iplayer radio using the streamer but this has not been possible due to reasons beyond the control of Cambridge, so not their fault. So why does the Richer Sounds blurb still mention the ability to use BBC iplayer radio? This information should have been removed a year ago. Overall, a great piece of hardware let down by a half baked app.
Date published: 2017-10-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from cambridge audio lab azur 815n just cannot wait to open the box with the rest of my purchase but im sure that this is a winner with out a dout
Date published: 2017-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from simply stunning.. Was using a dacmagic plus with BT100 to listen to my sources through ,Happened to chance upon this Ex demo 851N at a price i couldn`t refuse and boy am i glad i did.! Not only does it look stunning the sound quality is amazing , i have had it on literally every minute i am in he house .. With the spotify which i am already using ready to go it was so easy to set up to.The display with the album artwork looks the biz too.The Radio station list is mind boggling ! absolutely everything.. I need to get to grips with all the formats it will read but it will come with time. Possibly the best hi fi purchase i have ever made ...
Date published: 2017-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent product. Just upgraded to the 851n from the original Stream Magic 6, and to say I am blown away is an understatement. I've had a couple of days to really listen to everything from CD quality to Hi Res downloads of 96/24 and 192/24 and lets just say it's truely phenomenal. Add to the above the build and great colour screen and you've got everything. If your looking for excellence then don't bother with anything else just go for the Cambridge 851n.
Date published: 2017-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Product I've been very impressed by the 851A/C combination that I've had for 3 years so I was already sold on the sound of the 851N, which shares the same digital signal processing as the 851C. The key requirement for me was the ability to read multiple file types, particularly FLAC, ALAC, WAV, and MP3's, irrespective of sample frequency and bit depth - My aim was to consolidate disparate folders, specifically my i-tunes library, CD rips, digitized vinyl, and 24/96 FLAC files into one library located on a portable hard drive connected via USB. The 851N reads everything I've thrown at it so I finally have a single integrated digital music library, arranged by artist, without having to convert files. The unit was simple to set up. It found the WiFi quickly, did a firmware upgrade and then it was away. Inputting album art has been the only pain as it does not recognize art embedded in the tags, thus a jpg or png image has to be placed in each album folder to get art on the front display
Date published: 2017-03-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sounds Good and Solid Build The 851N already sounds good after 20 hours use. Recommended 36 hours before 'burn in' so only half way. It has 'bullet proof' build and more connectivity than you would normally need. It has more presence and 'slam' than the CXN it replaces. The CXN is impressive but the 851N has already demonstrated why it is worth the difference in cost. Especially at £200 less than list price!!!
Date published: 2017-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from CDs are dead Originally I bought a CXN streamer to go with my new Roksan Kandy K3. It sounded brilliant and I was more than satisfied.But now I realised just how good Cambridge streamers were and decided to upgrade to the 851N. It is a big step up from the already good CXN. It is neutral sounding,in that it doesn't favour any particular frequency and is superbly rich and detailed. I have ripped all my cds and put the on a NAS drive. I now only buy cd quality or higher downloads as the difference on the Cambridge is quite noticeable. Overall the 851N sounds beautiful, never tiring but always exciting. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2017-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic streamer If you are looking for a high quality music streamer, then buy the Cambridge Audio 851N. Build quality and sound quality are both excellent. Easy to use and set up. A truly outstanding product and highly recommended.
Date published: 2016-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just connects perfectly to your Network and gives SUPERB sound. The sound is SUPERB. This is without doubt the best route to full digital sound that I have experienced. I simply plugged in the power amp (I use the Azur 851W) and in with the Ethernet cable. Everything worked immediately. The sound is breathtaking. I passed Studio Quality Linn Digital recordings - sounds fantastic. Even compressed MP3s come out superbly. I also used the WiFi connection to the network - this is flawless - just be careful about distance from the aerial. I am thinking about putting the box into a hole in the wall and forgetting about it! I use my phone, my wife's Google Tablet, my Experia Tablet, and all connect using the Cambridge Audio App. I can play and control from this Network Player, cast from a tablet, play from Internet Radio, and Spotify, control inputs from media players - AC Ryan and Kodi - effortlessly. Remember your EARS are DIGITAL too! And so is your BRAIN.
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very versatile with its facilities and sounds very ggod indeed The 851N will partner other high-end hi-fi units very well and give an excellent account of itself both in terms of facilities and also sound quality. It has a built-in preamp with volume control which mean that you can feed it directly into a power amp. It has a built-in DAC with selectable inputs, - 2 co-ax and 2 optical so that you can hook up the digital outputs of other sources eg a CD player or the Cambridge CXC CD deck which has no buit-in DACs. The colour screen is very easy to read. A slight disadvantage - Unlike the 851E analog pre-amp and the 851D DAC, it does not have a headphone socket, so if you use it with just a power amp, you will need a separate headphone amp if you like using (or have to use, due to neighbours !) headphones. But please don't let the lack of a headphone socket be a deciding factor. I thoroughly recommend this unit.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant I bought this to replace an ageing cd player/server and am delighted. I have connected it to my router via ethernet and transferred all my music files onto a NAS drive which is also connected via ethernet. The quality of the Azur 851N has revitalised my music collection, giving the music greater depth and clarity. Internet radio is a welcome bonus and I've still to try some of the other wealth of connectivity, such as Spotify and BBC iPlayer. It's going to provide endless hours of musical enjoyment.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Audiophile purchase! I'd been considering purchasing a Network Player for a few years but felt the technology had some way to go before it could compare with other player formats. Having read all the specs and reviews, everything pointed to Cambridge Audio's flagship network player the 851N. On the verge of turning fifty I felt there was no better time or excuse to treat myself. I ordered the product online via Richer Sounds and collected my purchase. I was eager to get the machine out of it's packaging and after a relatively simple set up, and some tinkering, I am now able to play music in a variety of ways. The audio quality is distinctive, accomplished and lag-free. The online support is invaluable and the player is easy to use and possesses enviable design elements and a sleek finish. The fact that I have had the player a week and spent every spare minute queuing up tracks and surfing thousands of internet radio stations is testament to the ability of this landmark price of kit.
Date published: 2016-10-06
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We offer 6 and 10-month options.

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For purchases over £500, you can settle the balance in 6 months, and in 10 months on purchases over £1000 and pay no interest whatsoever. If you settle part of your loan in the deferral period you won’t pay interest on that part. You can still pay off the loan sooner if you make additional payments. If you’d rather spread the cost over 36 months, you can set up a loan repayment plan when the payment-free period comes to an end at 19.9% APR representative. A one-off settlement fee of £29 will be applied. Subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. Ts&Cs apply. Richer Sounds Limited acts as a credit broker and not the lender. Barclays Partner Finance acts as the lender. Find out more information and eligibility criteria here.