Reviews

Cambridge Audio AZUR 851N – Premium Network Music Streamer

Putting sound quality on the first place
As a top-end Cambridge network music player, you’d expect the Azur 851N to be pretty perfect 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 a series 8 design, the 851N uses a substantial toroidal power transformer at its center. This allows the other components to be supplied with clean and effortless energy, allowing them to do their best. The high-quality AD1955 analog DACs (digital to analog converters) are configured in dual-mono mode, ensuring maximum channel separation and accurate sound staging.

Fully equipped for high resolution audio
At the heart of the Azur 851N is a new Zander processor that makes it easy to stream high-resolution 24-bit/192 kHz files from most methods, including Wi-Fi. In addition to this, the 851N supports a wide range of high resolution files, including ALAC, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, wma, MP3, aac, HE AAC, AAC+ and OGG Vorbis. The USB audio input also allows audio transmission up to 24-bit/192kHz and also supports DSD streams from the computer. Originally designed for SACD players, DSD (Direct Stream Digital) encoded music files offer the same detailed and transparent sound as other high resolution file formats, giving you even more listening options.Cambridge Azur 851N network player

AFT2 Up-Sampling for maximum detail and less jitter
The Cambridge 851N player further improves sound quality 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 possible resolution. Upward sampling sound provides smoother and more relaxed sound quality with more detail. You’ll also notice greater sound depth and more natural quality without the” edge ” that can affect digital music. You’ll hear every detail, including every deep breath, squeaky chair and fluttering sheet music; in short, it’s like being there for real! AFT2 also helps native 24-bit/192kHz recordings with faster sampling rate for even lower jitter.

Internet connection radio and Spotify Connect
In addition to supporting over 20,000 easily accessible Internet radio stations, Azur 851N also supports the most popular music streaming services. Spotify is the most popular streaming service in the world and Azur 851N has integrated Spotify Connect (a Spotify Premium account is required). If you sign up for Spotify Premium, you can control Cambridge with the powerful Spotify Connect app on your phone or tablet. If you prefer other music services, 851N also supports Napster, BBC iPlayer for radio, Aupeo! Pandora and Rhapsody.

AirPlay and Bluetooth optional
In addition to full streaming capabilities over LAN, Wi-Fi, and USB, Cambridge Azur 851N also supports Apple AirPlay streaming. Use it with your iPhone, iPad PC or Mac and wirelessly stream your iTunes library or other supported music services. Connect the optional Bt100 dongle and you can stream your music from any smartphone, tablet or other device with built-in Bluetooth.Cambridge Azur 851N network player

Built-in digital preamp-just add active speakers!
If you are looking for hi-fi quality from a minimal system then the built-in digital preamp will be attractive. Simply add active speakers via digital or analog outputs and you can control volume and balance via Azur 851N.

Fully connected, including XLR and 5 USBs balanced sockets
When it comes to connectivity, the 851N lives up to the “reference” billing of the 8 Series. The highlight is the mounting of balanced XLR sockets. When used with a compatible amplifier, such as the corresponding Cambridge Audio 851a, these connections give the last possible connection, with greatly improved resistance to interference. There are also AES / EBU balanced digital I / O jacks for the latest digital connections. Added to this there are no less than five USB interfaces! The front socket is ideal for connecting temporary devices such as USB sticks. On the back, three interfaces take care of the most permanently connected multimedia devices, in addition to the optional Bluetooth dongle port. An asynchronous USB Type B input is provided for direct PC or Mac connection. This makes the connection ideal for connecting your computer as it effectively ‘control’ your PC’s output for the best possible sound quality. This greatly reduces phase fluctuation and provides the highest possible audio quality from computer audio. Finally, optical and coaxial digital sockets are provided for both inputs (x2) and outputs. This allows you to connect other digital components and take advantage of the quality DAC built into the Cambridge Azur 851N.

Intuitive application interface and color display
With a free Apple / Android app you have effortless control over radio stations with the convenience of your iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad or Android device. The app seamlessly handles all your streaming content and is really a very easy to use way to collect and control all your digital sources. With a new color screen, you can now view the album cover in the player. This makes it a pleasure to search for albums and artists from any control system you use.Cambridge Azur 851N network player

Full metal case
The use of a full metal case, with rounded edges, not only looks and feels good, but also helps the sound. The case is rigid and well cushioned, which means that it will not resonate unnecessarily. The aluminum front panel often looks at the part and also acts as a shield against electrical interference from sources such as attenuators and RF devices. All these details combine to create a network player that not only looks stylish, but also offers exceptional resistance to mechanical and electrical interference. Photo: Cambridge Audio

A world-class performer in every aspect, the flagship Cambridge Azur 851N network player is the choice of the audiophile streamer.

Cambridge Azur 851N network player specs:

D/A CONVERTERS  Twin Analog Devices AD1955 24-bit DACs
DIGITAL FILTER   2nd Generation ATF2 up-sampling to 24-bit/384kHz. Linear Phase, Minimum phase or Steep modes.
ANALOGUE FILTER   2-pole differential Bessel with DC servo (for both XLR and RCA outputs)
DIGITAL AUDIO INPUTS   1 x AES/EBU, 2 x S/PDIF coaxial and 2 x TOSLINK optical
USB AUDIO INPUT   USB Type B conforms to USB Audio profile 1.0 or 2.0 (user selectable)
ANALOGUE AUDIO OUTPUTS   Balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA analogue audio outputs
COMPATIBILITY   Streaming Services: Qobuz, TIDAL, Spotify. UPnP: Linear PCM 16-24 bit, 11.025-192kHz Local USB media:Linear PCM 16-24 bit, 11.025-192kHz USB Audio1.0: Linear PCM 16-24 bit, 44.1-96kHz USB Audio 2.0: Linear PCM 16-24 bit, 44.1-192kHz or DSD x64 (DSD also available over UPnP streaming), TOSLINK: 16-24 bit, 32-192kHz (using high quality TOSLINK optical cable) S/PDIF: Linear PCM 16-24 bit, 32-192kHz AES3/EBU: Linear PCM 16-24 bit, 32-192kHz BT100 Bluetooth receiver: A2DP plus aptX Internet radio: 16-24 bit, 11.025-192kHz
AUDIO FORMATS    ALAC, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD (x64), WMA, MP3, AAC, HE AAC, AAC+, OGG Vorbis
ETHERNET    IEEE 802.3, 10 Base-T or 100 Base-T
WI-FI   IEEE 802.11 b/g or n (2.4GHz)
ROON READY   Yes
STANDBY POWER CONSUMPTION   <0.5W
DIMENSIONS (H X W X D)   115 x 430 x 360mm (4.5 x 16.9 x 14.7”)
WEIGHT   8.1kg (17.9lbs)
IN THE BOX    Azur 851N Network Player, Power Cable, 3 x AAA Batteries, Remote Control, Control Bus Cable, Wi-fi Dongle, Spotify Card

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