Cambridge Audio 851N Network Music Player

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Please Note: This item is in stock and ready for despatch. Please note that it may not be on demonstration or available for immediate in-store collection.

Priced from $3,199.00

Digital Audio Inputs To Take Advantage Of Built-In Audiophile-Grade DAC 

Streaming Music Files (Built-In Support For Spotify Connect And Apple Airplay)

Twin Analog Devices 24-Bit DACs Plus ATF2 For Reduced Jitter

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About the Cambridge Audio 851N Network Music Player

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.

Cambridge Audio 851N Network Music Player

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.

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. If you subscribe to Spotify Premium, you can control the Cambridge with the powerful Spotify Connect app on your phone or tablet.

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.

Main Features & Specifications

  • Design: Stereo preamp/network player with built-in digital-to-analogue converter (DAC)
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: less than 0.0006% @ 1000 Hz
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 110dB
  • Digital Inputs: Let you connect sources like a computer, disc player, media streamer, or TV and enjoy superior sound
  • Wi-Fi: Connects to your home network via wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi® for music streaming and downloads
  • Supports: Spotify Connect and Apple AirPlay and plays PCM digital audio sources up to 24-bit/192kHz
  • DAC: Twin Analog Devices AD1955 24-bit digital-to-analog converters in dual differential mode for precise stereo imaging
  • ATF2: Anagram Technologies Adapted Time Filtering 2 (ATF2) 24-bit/384kHz audio up-sampling with jitter reduction for resolving fine detail
  • USB Technology: Synchronous USB technology for reduced timing jitter and better sound
  • Transformer: Large toroidal power transformer for clean, stable power
  • Chassis: All-metal chassis with brushed aluminum front panel to minimize vibration-induced distortion
  • Headphone Amplifier: Built-in headphone amplifier. Accepts 6.35mm (1/4") plugs
  • LCD Display: Colour LCD displays track/artist info and album art


  • Ethernet Port: Allows for wired connection to a home network
  • Bluetooth Ready: With optional BT-100 Bluetooth dongle for wireless audio streaming from a mobile phone, tablet, or computer
  • Line-Level XLR: Stereo balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA preamp outputs for connecting an amplifier
  • Toslink Optical Digital Audio: 2 inputs and 1 output*
  • Coaxial Digital Audio: 2 inputs and 1 output*
  • Balanced AES/EBU digital XLR: 1 input and 1 output*
  • USB input (Type B): For connecting a Mac or Windows computer *All digital connections support files up to 24-bit/192kHz
  • USB input (Type B): For connecting a Mac or Windows computer
  • USB inputs (Type A): For connecting a thumb drive, the supplied Wi-Fi antenna, or the optional BT-100 Bluetooth receiver. There is 1 front and 2 rear inputs
    • USB inputs support files up to 24-bit/96kHz
  • Note: If connecting to a TV, please make sure you can select "PCM" output in its audio menu — this DAC cannot decode multichannel Dolby Digital signals

Other Features

  • Remote Control: Illuminated 'system-type' remote control
  • Free App: The downloadable apps for iOS and Android let you use a compatible smartphone or tablet as a remote control
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 430 x 85 x 305mm
  • Nett Weight: 3.5kg
  • Available Colours: Black; Silver
  • Manufacturer's Warranty: 2 years

Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE

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