Cambridge Audio 851N Network Streamer


The pinnacle of digital and streaming performance – the 851N is the ultimate network player. It’s features include; 24-bit/384kHz upsampling from all sources, native 24-bit/192kHz playback, USB, digital audio inputs and streaming over wi-fi including UPnP and NAS drives, Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay, and DSD.

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The 851N takes almost any digital file from virtually any source and renders it to the highest possible standard. Every digital source becomes a hi-fi option; its wireless options include Wi-Fi, internet radio, Spotify, Airplay. Add an optional BT100 Bluetooth dongle, and any paired Bluetooth device is connected. Digital source components, such as a smartphone, set-top box or PC can connect via optical, co-axial or AES/EBU inputs, while other media are supported with Ethernet, USB and Audio USB.

Music files in all the popular formats are supported, from MP3, through to FLAC/Apple Lossless and WAV 16-24 bit master files. Thanks to our proprietary ATF2 audio upsampling, the 851N upsamples everything to 24-bit / 384kHz. The audio signal then passes through two Analog Devices DACs in dual differential mode for the very finest digital to analogue conversion. As well as connecting the 851N to a traditional integrated amplifier, it can also be configured as a digital pre-amp allowing it to be connected directly to a power amp such as the 851W for further sonic purity.

Beautiful sound

The 851N uses twin premium Analog Devices DACs in ‘dual differential’ mode. Each stereo channel processes information separately for greater accuracy, while 2nd generation AFT upsamples everything to 24-bit/384kHz, dramatically reducing jitter. A toroidal transformer and rigid metal case further contribute to the 851N’s beautiful sound.

Ultra connectivity

The 851N connects with as many digital sources as possible. So whether the music is on an MP3 player, a hard drive, NAS drive, your PC or the web, there’s a suitable input. Spotify and Airplay compatibility are built in, add a BT100 Bluetooth dongle to pair a device and let your tablet or iPhone become bona fide hi-fi devices.

Digital pre-amp

With the option of being configured in digital pre-amp mode, the 851N can be connected directly to dedicated power amplifiers as well traditional integrated amps. Keeping the signal digital to the last moment makes it less susceptible to analogue deterioration, while a 32-bit SHARC DSP controls the volume output; by keeping the entire signal digital the best possible sound is achieved, even at very low volume levels.