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Central to the 851C's exceptional performance is a mouth watering collection of advanced technologies, such as our high-specification digital-to-analogue convertors from respected digital processing experts Analog Devices. Together with its on-board ATF2 upsampling technology, the 851C has the ability to improve sound quality regardless of the input format. From MP3 to high res downloads, this player will showcase your music in its best possible light.

With a plethora of connectivity options, you can link up a world of digital source components to the 851C, including: TVs, streamers, digital iPhone/iPad docks and computers of all kinds to maximise their sound quality. The 851C is also capable of accepting the very highest quality music files currently available, via USB: 24-bit/96kHz (and 192kHz) for genuine studio master tape quality. So you really can get closer to the music than ever before.

For the serious audio enthusiast, the 851C also benefits from a number of ,'audiophile' features. Everyone's ears are different and you can select from three filter options which each offer a slightly different presentation.

It's this combination of our own in-house technology, multi-function flexibility and high-end ,'audiophile' components that make the 851C Cambridge Audio's most advanced digital player to date. Its ability to transform the quality of your favourite music, regardless of format, means the 851C is destined to become the heart of your digital music system.

Particular attention has also been paid to the 851C's casework, which combines massive structural rigidity, careful damping and control of acoustic resonance. Both inside and out, the 851C and matching 851A have all the hallmarks of high-end thoroughbreds.


Digital to Analogue Converter featuring S/PDIF and Toslink digital inputs, AES/EBU balanced digital input and USB audio inputs (all 24 bit compatible)
CD playback
Optional digital volume and channel balance control
Balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA analogue audio outputs
USB Audio input allowing streaming of up to 24-bit/192kHz audio from computer
ATF2™ audio up-sampling to 24-bit/384kHz
Twin Analog Devices AD1955 24 bit DACs delivering superior sound-staging and stereo imaging
Selectable digital filters – linear phase, minimum phase, steep
Audiophile grade toroidal transformer delivering ultra-low low noise and distortion
Full metal casework design with thick brushed aluminium front panel and dual layer damped feet, giving enhanced resonance control
RS232 controllable
Eco-friendly <0.5W Standby power consumption
Azur Navigator remote control with Cambridge Audio amplifier and iPod dock control
Available in black and silver finishes


Digital to Analogue ConverterDual Analog Devices AD1955 24 bit DACs
Digital filterAnalog Devices Black Fin ADSP-BF532 32 bit DSP performing 2nd
Generation ATF2 up-sampling to 24-bit/384kHz.
Linear Phase, Minimum phase or Steep modes.
Analogue filter2 Pole Fully Differential Linear Phase Bessel filter
Digital input 1S/PDIF 75 ohms or Toslink optical
Digital input 2S/PDIF 75 ohms or Toslink optical
AES/EBU InputXLR balanced 110 ohms per phase
USB audio inputUSB Type B conforming to Audio profile 1.0 or USB Audio profile
2.0 (user 1.0 or USB Audio profile 2.0 (user selectable)
Audio outputsBalanced XLR and unbalanced RCA analogue audio outputs
CompatibilityUSB 1.0 16-24 bit, 32-96kHz
USB 2.0 16-24 bit, 32-192kHz
Toslink 16-24 bit, 32-96kHz
S/PDIF and AES/EBU 16-24 bits 32-192kHz
CD playback is intrinsically limited to
16-bits 44.1kHz
THD (unweighted) @ 1Khz 0dBFs< 0.0004%
THD (unweighted) @ 1Khz -10dBFs< 0.0004%
THD (unweighted) @ 20Khz 0dBFs< 0.0007%
IMD (19/20kHz) 0dBFs< 0.0002%
Linearity @ -90dBFs+/- 0.2dB
Linearity @ -120dBF+/- 0.4dB
Stop-band rejection (>24kHz)> 120dB
S/N ratio (ref 1w):> 113dB
Total correlated jitter< 60pS for all digital inputs, CD playback and USB 2.0
< 180pS for USB 1.0
Crosstalk @1kHz< -130dB
Crosstalk @20kHz< -114dB
Output Impedance< 50 ohms
0dB Fs Output2.2Vrms (2.2Vrms each phase for the balanced output)
Max. Power Consumption40W
Idle consumption8W
Standby power consumption<0.5W
Dimensions (W x H x D)430 x 115 x 360mm (16.9 x 4.5 x 14.7”)
Weight10.0Kg (22lbs)