Cambridge Azur 851W: Unleashing the True Potential of Your Audio Experience


In the world of audio enthusiasts, the pursuit of high-quality sound amplification is a never-ending quest. Whether it’s for home theater systems, professional recording studios, or simply enjoying music at its finest, having a reliable and powerful amplifier is crucial. Today, we delve into the realm of high-fidelity audio with the Cambridge Azur 851W amplifier.

The Cambridge Azur 851W is a power amplifier that promises to deliver exceptional performance and pristine sound quality. Designed and constructed with meticulous attention to detail, this amplifier aims to provide an immersive listening experience like no other. With its advanced features and innovative technology, it sets out to redefine what is possible in the realm of audio amplification.

In this review, we will explore the technical specifications, design and construction, functionality, sound characteristics, sound performance, advantages, value for money, and ultimately conclude whether the Cambridge Azur 851W lives up to its promises. So sit back, relax, and join us on this journey into the world of high-fidelity sound reproduction.

Technical Specifications

The Cambridge Azur 851W amplifier offers impressive technical specifications that contribute to its exceptional audio performance. With a power output of 200 watts per channel at 8 ohms and 350 watts per channel at 4 ohms, this amplifier delivers robust and dynamic sound reproduction.

Utilizing the patented Class XD output stage, the Azur 851W combines the best characteristics of Class A and Class AB amplification. This innovative design eliminates any transitional distortions, resulting in a cleaner and more accurate sound reproduction.

The amplifier boasts a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 90 dB, ensuring minimal background noise and a high level of clarity in the audio playback. Additionally, the total harmonic distortion (THD) is impressively low at just 0.001%, guaranteeing faithful sound reproduction without any audible distortions.

In terms of connectivity, the Azur 851W features both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs, providing compatibility with a wide range of audio sources. It also includes one XLR analog output and one RCA analog output for additional flexibility in setting up your audio system.

The frequency response of this amplifier spans from 5 Hz to an impressive 80,000 Hz, allowing for accurate reproduction of both low and high-frequency sounds. With a damping factor of 110, the Azur 851W maintains tight control over the speakers, ensuring precise and controlled bass response.

Overall, the technical specifications of the Cambridge Azur 851W demonstrate its ability to deliver powerful and detailed sound reproduction across a wide range of frequencies. Whether you are listening to music or watching movies, this amplifier provides an immersive audio experience that is sure to impress even the most discerning audiophiles.

Design and Construction

The Cambridge Azur 851W amplifier boasts an elegant and sleek design that is sure to catch the eye of any audio enthusiast. With its black color and minimalist aesthetic, it exudes a sense of sophistication and modernity.

The construction of this amplifier is top-notch, with high-quality materials used throughout. The chassis feels solid and well-built, ensuring durability and longevity. The attention to detail is evident in every aspect of its design.

One notable design feature is the use of efficient cooling mechanisms. The amplifier incorporates strategically placed vents and heat sinks to dissipate heat effectively, preventing overheating and maintaining optimal performance even during extended listening sessions.

In terms of reducing interference, the Cambridge Azur 851W employs advanced shielding techniques to minimize electromagnetic and radio frequency interference. This ensures a clean and uninterrupted signal transmission, resulting in superior audio quality.

The connectors and switches on the amplifier are of exceptional quality. They feel sturdy and reliable, providing a secure connection for your audio devices. The input and output terminals are well-spaced, allowing for easy access and connection management.

Overall, the design and construction of the Cambridge Azur 851W amplifier demonstrate a commitment to excellence. Its sleek appearance, robust build quality, efficient cooling system, and high-quality connectors make it a standout choice for audiophiles seeking both style and functionality in their audio setup.


The Cambridge Azur 851W amplifier offers a wide range of functionality to cater to various audio sources and preferences. With its versatile connectivity options, this amplifier allows you to connect different devices such as CD players, computers, smartphones, and more.

The amplifier features both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs, providing flexibility in connecting your audio sources. This ensures compatibility with a wide range of equipment and allows for high-quality signal transmission.

Additionally, the Cambridge Azur 851W offers a variety of operating modes and controls to enhance your listening experience. While it does not have an equalizer, it provides balance controls that allow you to adjust the sound distribution between the left and right channels. This feature is particularly useful for achieving optimal stereo imaging and ensuring a balanced soundstage.

Furthermore, this amplifier does not include tone adjustments, which may disappoint some users who prefer to fine-tune the audio output according to their personal preferences. However, the absence of tone adjustments can be seen as a deliberate design choice by Cambridge Audio to maintain the purity and accuracy of the audio signal.

Overall, the functionality of the Cambridge Azur 851W is focused on providing a straightforward and reliable amplification solution for audiophiles who prioritize sonic fidelity over additional sound processing features. With its extensive connectivity options and thoughtful design choices, this amplifier offers a seamless integration into any audio setup while delivering exceptional performance.

Sound Characteristics

The Cambridge Azur 851W amplifier delivers an exceptional sound quality that will captivate any audiophile. The attention to detail and precision in its design truly shines through in its sound characteristics.

When it comes to details, the Azur 851W does not disappoint. It has a remarkable ability to reproduce intricate nuances in the music, allowing you to hear every subtle note and texture. The instrument separation is outstanding, creating a spacious and immersive soundstage where each instrument is clearly defined and positioned.

The bass response of the Azur 851W is deep, powerful, and well-controlled. It adds a solid foundation to the music without overpowering or muddying the other frequencies. Whether you’re listening to electronic beats or orchestral compositions, the amplifier effortlessly handles low frequencies with precision and impact.

The treble clarity of the Azur 851W is exceptional. It offers a level of refinement and smoothness that brings out the finest details in high-frequency instruments like cymbals or violins. The highs are crisp, airy, and never harsh or fatiguing, ensuring a pleasant listening experience even during extended sessions.

In terms of overall sound presentation, the Azur 851W excels in delivering a balanced and natural sound signature. It maintains a neutral tonal balance, allowing the music to be reproduced faithfully without any coloration or distortion. The soundstage is wide and expansive, creating a sense of depth and dimensionality that enhances your listening experience.

The versatility of the Azur 851W is evident in its ability to handle various music genres with finesse. Whether you’re indulging in classical symphonies, rock anthems, or jazz improvisations, this amplifier adapts effortlessly to the unique characteristics of each genre. It brings out the dynamics, emotions, and intricacies of the music, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the artistry.

Overall, the sound characteristics of the Cambridge Azur 851W amplifier are nothing short of exceptional. Its ability to reproduce details, instrument separation, bass response, treble clarity, and overall sound presentation is truly remarkable. It elevates your listening experience to new heights, making every note come alive with stunning clarity and precision.

Sound Performance

The Cambridge Azur 851W amplifier delivers a mesmerizing sound performance that will transport you into a world of audio bliss. With its exceptional ability to faithfully reproduce audio signals, this amplifier ensures that every note and nuance is captured with utmost clarity and precision.

When it comes to clarity, the Azur 851W shines brightly. It effortlessly unveils intricate details in the music, allowing you to hear subtle nuances that were previously hidden. The amplifier’s transparency is truly remarkable, providing a clear window into the recording and bringing you closer to the original performance.

The dynamics of the Azur 851W are simply breathtaking. It effortlessly handles both delicate passages and explosive crescendos, delivering a wide dynamic range that adds depth and excitement to your listening experience. Whether it’s the gentle plucking of guitar strings or the thunderous crash of cymbals, this amplifier captures every moment with incredible impact and finesse.

One of the standout features of the Azur 851W is its impeccable tonal balance across different frequency ranges. The lows are deep and well-defined, providing a solid foundation for the music. The midrange is rich and full-bodied, ensuring that vocals and instruments are reproduced with lifelike accuracy. And the highs are crisp and detailed, adding sparkle and airiness to the soundstage.

No matter what genre of music you prefer, the Azur 851W excels in delivering an immersive and engaging listening experience. From classical symphonies to rock anthems, this amplifier effortlessly handles every genre with finesse and precision.

In conclusion, the sound performance of the Cambridge Azur 851W is nothing short of exceptional. Its ability to faithfully reproduce audio signals with clarity, dynamics, and tonal balance is truly impressive. Whether you’re a discerning audiophile or a casual music lover, this amplifier will elevate your listening experience to new heights.


The Cambridge Azur 851W amplifier offers several notable advantages that set it apart from its competitors in the market.

Firstly, its use of the patented Class XD output stage design is a standout feature. This innovative circuitry combines the benefits of both Class A and Class AB amplification, resulting in a reduction of distortion and improved audio quality. The absence of transitional distortions ensures a clean and accurate sound reproduction.

Additionally, the incorporation of two toroidal transformers in the power supply unit is another advantage of the Azur 851W. This unique design separates the transformers for the output stages and input circuits, minimizing cross-interference and maximizing dynamic range. The result is consistently high-quality sound performance at any volume level.

Furthermore, the Azur 851W offers versatile functionality with its balanced and unbalanced inputs, allowing seamless integration with various audio sources. The inclusion of two pairs of speaker terminals per channel also enables bi-wiring or bi-amping configurations, further enhancing flexibility in speaker setup.

In terms of value for money, the Azur 851W provides exceptional performance for its price range. When compared to other amplifiers in a similar price bracket, it stands out with its superior build quality, advanced circuitry, and overall audio excellence. With its robust power output and low distortion levels, it delivers an immersive listening experience that rivals even higher-priced amplifiers.

Overall, the Cambridge Azur 851W amplifier offers significant advantages over its competitors. Its innovative design, versatile functionality, and impressive sound performance make it a top contender in its price range. Whether you are an audiophile seeking uncompromising audio quality or a discerning music lover looking for a reliable and powerful amplifier, the Azur 851W is an excellent choice.

Value for Money

The Cambridge Azur 851W amplifier offers exceptional value for money with its impressive performance, extensive features, and reasonable price. This amplifier provides a level of audio quality that is comparable to higher-end models on the market, making it a great investment for audiophiles and music enthusiasts.

In terms of performance, the Azur 851W delivers powerful and dynamic sound reproduction across a wide frequency range. With a minimum frequency response of 5Hz and a maximum frequency response of 80,000Hz, this amplifier ensures that every nuance and detail in the music is faithfully reproduced. The low distortion rate of 0.001% further enhances the audio quality, allowing for a clean and accurate sound reproduction.

The extensive features of the Azur 851W add to its value proposition. The amplifier includes both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs, providing flexibility in connecting various audio sources. Additionally, it supports bridged mode operation and can be used to power two pairs of speakers simultaneously. The inclusion of an IR input/output and trigger allows for integration with home automation systems.

Considering its performance and features, the price of the Cambridge Azur 851W is quite reasonable. While it may not be the most affordable amplifier on the market, it offers excellent value for money when compared to other amplifiers in its class. The build quality and attention to detail in its construction further justify its price point.

Overall, the Cambridge Azur 851W amplifier provides exceptional value for money. Its impressive performance, extensive features, and reasonable price make it a top choice for those seeking high-quality audio reproduction without breaking the bank. Whether you are an audiophile or a casual listener, this amplifier will undoubtedly enhance your listening experience and provide excellent value for your investment.


In conclusion, the Cambridge Azur 851W amplifier is a powerful and impressive piece of audio equipment. Its use of patented Class XD output circuitry, along with the inclusion of Terrapin buffer input stages, showcases the company’s commitment to delivering exceptional sound quality.

The amplifier’s design and construction are top-notch, with attention to detail evident in every aspect. The incorporation of two toroidal transformers for separate power supply functions minimizes cross-interference and ensures a consistently high-quality audio experience at any volume level.

Functionality-wise, the Azur 851W offers a range of features that enhance user convenience. The automatic power on/off feature, triggered by the presence or absence of an audio signal, is a welcome addition. Additionally, the availability of balanced and unbalanced inputs, as well as the option for bridged mono mode and dual speaker connections, provides versatility in system setup.

When it comes to sound characteristics, the Cambridge Azur 851W delivers exceptional clarity and precision. The absence of transitional distortions ensures a smooth and immersive listening experience. With a wide frequency range and an impressive signal-to-noise ratio, this amplifier reproduces audio with remarkable accuracy.

In terms of sound performance, the Cambridge Azur 851W truly shines. It effortlessly drives speakers with its substantial power output and exhibits excellent control over dynamics. Whether you’re listening to delicate classical music or rocking out to energetic rock tracks, this amplifier faithfully reproduces every nuance and detail.

The advantages of the Cambridge Azur 851W are numerous. Its advanced circuitry and design choices result in minimal distortion and maximum efficiency. The inclusion of multiple inputs and outputs allows for seamless integration into various audio setups. Furthermore, the build quality is exceptional, ensuring longevity and reliability.

Considering its impressive performance and feature set, the Cambridge Azur 851W offers excellent value for money. While it may be on the higher end of the price spectrum, the audio quality and versatility it provides make it a worthwhile investment for audiophiles and enthusiasts seeking the best possible sound reproduction.

In conclusion, the Cambridge Azur 851W amplifier is a standout performer in its class. Its combination of advanced technology, meticulous design, and exceptional sound quality make it a top choice for discerning audio enthusiasts. Whether you’re a music lover or a home theater enthusiast, this amplifier will elevate your listening experience to new heights.

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