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Network music player completes Cambridge Audio flagship Azur 851 Series

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Audiophile network music player completes the flagship Azur 851 Series 

Azur 851N debut at CES 2015

Cambridge Audio Azur 851N

RRP £1,200 / $1,800


Cambridge Audio has announced the introduction of a new flagship network music player - the Azur 851N - expanding the range of hi-fi separates in the award-winning Azur 851 Series to six products. 

The 851N is designed for those who want to play their digital music with no compromise on sound quality, just as the original artist intended. Capable of playing all popular formats up to 24-bit/192kHz studio master quality files, the 851N then intelligently upsamples all incoming audio to 24-bit/384kHz for the best quality possible.

The 851N shares the Azur philosophy of combining specially selected, audiophile grade components in an all-metal, ultra-rigid chassis. A superb new 4.3" (11cm) colour screen for displaying album artwork and new Cambridge Connect Apps for Apple and Android also ensure that the 851N delivers an effortless and pleasurable user experience.

Delivering exceptional connectivity, versatility and audio quality, the Azur 851N is the ideal solution for bringing every hi-end hi-fi system into the digital age.  

Superior connectivity, support and powerful upsampling

The 851N is extremely well connected and has been designed to deliver ultimate performance whatever or wherever the digital audio source.

Connected either wired or wirelessly via UPnP over a home network, the 851N will effortlessly find and stream music stored on computers, laptops and NAS drives. Additionally three USB inputs allow direct playback from USB HDDs and memory sticks. Input connectivity is also class-leading too, with two TOSLINK optical inputs, two S/PDIF coaxials, an AES/EBU input and asynchronous USB audio.

Asynchronous USB audio allows playback of up to 24-bit/192kHz audio files direct from a connected computer or laptop, with the 851N effectively acting as a high-quality external sound card. 

The 851N also features Apple Airplay and support for an optional BT100 aptX Bluetooth receiver for instant and effortless streaming from any smartphone or tablet to play back your favourite apps and services in stunning quality.

RCA and balanced XLR analogue outputs, as well as a digital AES/EBU, TOSLINK and coaxial outputs, allow connection to a wide range of high performance hi-fi components, and the RS232 port enables integration into custom installations.

Capable of handling all popular codecs including WMA, MP3, AAC HE AAC, AAC+ and Ogg Vorbis and lossless 24-bit/192kHz FLAC, ALAC, WAV and AIFF files, the 851N can play virtually any file from your digital music library. There is also in-built support for leading streaming services Spotify Connect, Pandora, Rhapsody, BBC iPlayer Radio, and of course Internet Radio.

With Spotify Connect, subscribers to Spotify Premium can play all their Spotify music and playlists in far superior quality, and control the 851N with the powerful Spotify app. Spotify never sounded so good!

No matter the file type, no matter the source, the Azur 851N will sound fantastic thanks to the unique ATF2 (2nd generation Adaptive Time Filtering) audio upsampling. The AFT2 system intelligently upsamples all audio inputs to 24-bit/384kHz to draw out extra detail and virtually eliminate the jitter inherent to digital inputs. 

Powerful DACs

Running twin Analog Devices AD1955 DACs in ‘dual differential' mode ensures the very best digital to analogue conversion. Left and right stereo channels are processed separately for maximum fidelity, accuracy and stereo separation.

Audiophile grade components, including a high-end digital preamplifier and large toroidal transformer, powered by a fully linear power supply guarantee true class leading performance and a product that deserves flagship status.

Furthermore, the internal digital preamp is driven by a high spec custom coded 32-bit Blackfin DSP which keeps the audio signal in the digital domain for as long as possible, limiting analogue signal deterioration and noise. It also ensures that the 851N is much more than just a network streamer, but a hi-end digital pre-amp too, making it the ideal partner for the Azur 851W or your existing power amplifier.

Importantly, unlike many digital pre-amplifiers, the 851N does not use bit reduction for volume control which would result in serious quality degradation. Volume is instead controlled by the Blackfin DSP to preserve signal integrity and overall sound quality.

Powerful processor, superb screen, enhanced user experience and all-metal construction

A brand new, more powerful processor enables 24-bit/192 kHz streaming over Wi-Fi and also allows for a much more user-friendly interface. Whether using the superb 4.3" TFT colour display, or the completely redesigned Cambridge Connect Apps for both Apple and Android devices, control of the Azur 851N is effortless.

In-keeping with the rest of the flagship Azur 851 Series, the 851N has been beautifully designed and built to last. The all-metal casework and ultra-rigid chassis have been precision engineered for audio performance and longevity.

The soul and passion behind the 851N

Rather than being assembled from bought-in modules, audiophiles can be confident that the 851N represents a genuine bespoke product with audible superiority, having been created from the ground-up by two UK based, in-house Cambridge Audio teams working together with coordinated determination to deliver the world's best digital music streamer. A core software team based in Cambridge has written many millions of lines of code whilst a team in London has designed the electronic and mechanical hardware and written the all-important control Apps. With sound always coming first with every Cambridge Audio product, the team have also worked exhaustively to ensure the 851N is incredibly natural and detailed - a real treat for the ears!

Launching at CES 2015

The all new Azur 851N flagship network music player will debut at CES in Las Vegas, at the Venetian hotel, floor 30 - suite 216, 6th-9th January 2015.

The Azur 851N will go on-sale from the end of Q1 of 2015.

About Cambridge


Cambridge Audio has a rich history of developing innovative products designed to extract and deliver every last drop of detail from your favourite music and movies.

Every product in our range is created at our UK-based R&D centres by a team of passionate and committed engineers with a vast array of live music and sound production experience.

Fuelled by their passion for music and movies, and the passion for music and movies in consumers, Cambridge products deliver the most captivating entertainment experience for the very best value possible.

We actively encourage press reviews of all our products and we're proud that Cambridge products are consistently recognised for their performance, innovation and value.