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Cambridge Audio Azur 351R

5.1-channel home theater receiver

3 Reviews | 1 question - 1 answer

Item # 779351RB

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Our take on the Cambridge Audio Azur 351R

If your number one priority for home theater is great sound, then check out Cambridge Audio's Azur 351R. It's a 5.1-channel receiver engineered with a single goal: to make your music and movies sound their absolute best. Rather than including unnecessary features that introduce interference into the signal path, Cambridge Audio built the Azur 351R with audiophile-grade components for uncompromised sonic fidelity. So you can enjoy the benefits of surround sound without worrying about musical details being degraded or left behind.

The music lover's home theater receiver

If your number one priority for home theater is great sound, then check out Cambridge Audio's Azur 351R. It's a 5.1-channel receiver engineered with a single goal: to make your music and movies sound their absolute best. Rather than including unnecessary features that introduce interference into the signal path, Cambridge Audio built the Azur 351R with audiophile-grade components for uncompromised sonic fidelity. So you can enjoy the benefits of surround sound without worrying about musical details being degraded or left behind.

It's all about the sound

The 351R's impressive audio performance starts with its large toroidal power supply. Found in the highest quality audio components, this type of supply ensures plenty of clean, low-noise power for a purer signal. The all-metal chassis dampens resonance to minimize distortion and interference as well providing a durable exterior. And Cambridge's unique X-Tract™ cooling system ensures quiet operation, so whispered dialogue or delicate vocals don't have to compete with loud mechanical whirring.

Advanced digital processing you can turn off

No matter the source, the Azur 351R has you covered — in two channels or five. For CDs and Blu-ray discs, high-quality Cirrus Logic digital signal processing and digital-to-analog converters deliver music and movie soundtracks with fullness and accuracy in stereo and in the latest high-resolution surround sound formats. If you're connecting sources via the analog stereo inputs, then select Analogue Stereo Direct mode to disengage all the circuitry except what is required to ensure the highest fidelity. It's ideal for phono preamps, outboard DACs, and high-end disc players with analog outputs, so their signals are free from electronic clutter.

Simple setup

You don't need to be an electrical engineer to get the Azur 351R up and running. Its streamlined design makes it a snap to set up. With 4 HDMI inputs, there's plenty of room for Blu-ray players, cable boxes, and streaming media players like Apple TV®. Once your speakers are connected, plug in the included setup microphone and run Cambridge Audio's automatic speaker calibration. It properly configures your system's sound to account for speaker placement as well as room dimensions and acoustics to ensure well-balanced surround sound.


    Power and processing:
    • 5-channel amplifier
    • 70 watts per channel into 8 ohms (1k Hz) at 0.006% THD, with 2 channels driven
    • Dolby® and DTS® surround sound decoding
    • Cirrus Logic Dual 32-bit Digital Surround Processing for accurate home theater sound
    • Cambridge Audio Mic Controlled Auto Set (CAMCAS) calibrates your speakers for precise surround sound (microphone included)
    Audio Performance Features:
    • large toroidal power supply delivers clean, low-noise power
    • Analogue Stereo Direct mode switches off digital circuitry for the cleanest possible sound
    • 192kHz/24-bit Cirrus Logic digital-to-analog converters for all channels
    • all-metal chassis minimizes resonance and distortion
    • streamlined design eliminates unnecessary features to prevent interference and degradation of sound quality
    • X-Tract™ cooling system is much quieter than traditional fan systems
    • HDMI 1.4a audio/video switching: 4 in, 1 out
    • digital audio inputs: 1 optical, 2 coaxial
    • 4 analog stereo audio inputs
    • 1 line level analog stereo recording output
    • 1 preamp output for a powered subwoofer
    • outputs for 5 speakers (Front L/R, Center, Surround L/R)
    • no phono input — to connect a turntable you'll need to add a phono preamp
    • full-sized headphone jack
    • RS-232C port for automated control systems
    • detachable power cord
    General Features:
    • 3D pass-through for all HDMI inputs
    • on-screen display for easier system setup and operation
    • FM tuner with RDS for displaying station info
    • remote control
    • 16-15/16"W x 4-3/16"H x 14-11/16"D
    • weight: 18 lbs.
    • warranty: 3 years
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    What's in the Box:

    • 5.1ch AV receiver
    • 6' AC power cord
    • Remote control (RC-351R)
    • 3 "AAA" batteries
    • Auto-setup microphone (with attached 19.5' cable terminated by a mono-RCA connector)
    • FM wire antenna
    • F-type coax connector
    • User's Manual (En/Fr/Sp/It)
    • Quick Start Guide

    Cambridge Audio Azur 351R Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (3 Reviews)

    Great Sound, horrible implementation

    PatrickG from Austin, TX on 2/2/2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I was looking for a home theater receiver with audiophile audio features, and found this unit to fit the bill. However it had a number of implementation details that I couldn't live with, so I ended up sending it back and trading up (a bit) for an NAD T758. Let me state up front that in my opinion the sound quality of the NAD T758 is not quite as good as the CA 351R. However, the Azur 351R had the annoying "feature" of turning itself off after a few minutes of idle time. This perhaps wasn't too much of an inconvenience, but it would also forget the volume level you had set previously, so each time this happened I would have to re-adjust the volume and settings. Eventually we noticed that the unit would even turn itself off while playing a movie if you paused the movie for a moment. I originally thought this might be some kind of energy saving feature that I could disable, but couldn't find anything, and Crutchfield support suggested that the unit should not be doing this. Crutchfield is awesome, they suggested RMAing the first one I got, and sent me a second unit, but it had exactly the same problem. The second technical problem both units I tried had is that music wouldn't start playing immediately. I would put a CD in the blu-ray player and press play, and sound would only start coming out of the speakers 1-2 seconds into the track. For CD's where the music starts immediately the beginning of the song would be cut off.

    Pros: Excellent sound quality

    Cons: Poor implementation; the unit would turn itself off after a few minutes of idle time, and there was no way to disable this feature, and music wouldn't start playing right away so that the beginnings of songs were often cut off.

    Cambridge azur 351

    Steve D from Menlo Park CA on 1/4/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Five star sound but three star features - Delivers on sound but not on features - great sound. But if you are upgrading from a budget but feature-laden receiver you will need to get used to less features I also gave it one star less because two of the published features were DOA on two units - the single optical didn't work and the record outputs were dead Also support follow up from cambridge was patchy - they promised to investigate and did't get back to me Bottom line - I am keeping the unit for the sound quality but not 100% satisfied

    Pros: Sound quality

    Cons: Fewer features than budget models and more poorly executed

    Great Sound

    FrankA from Saint Cloud, FL on 7/12/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great sound for those with a 5.1 surround system. The automatic setup did not detect my surround speakers, but it was easy to set up the system manually. This little receiver is very powerful and has a great power reserve for dynamic punch. Dialogue is clear and the sound with my blu-ray player is very engaging.

    Pros: High quality components, great sound

    Cons: Limited features. Automatic setup didn't work for me.


    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    Number Of Channels 5
    Stereo RMS Power (watts) 70
    THD in Stereo 0.006%
    Frequency Bandwidth (stereo) 1k Hz
    Minimum Impedance L/R 4 ohms
    Minimum Impedance Center 4 ohms
    Minimum Impedance Surround 4 ohms
    General Features
    Internet-ready No
    Bluetooth No
    Apple AirPlay No
    App Remote Control No
    USB port for iPod/iPhone No
    FM Sensitivity Not Given
    HD Radio Tuner No
    On-Screen Display Thru HDMI
    Auto Speaker Calibration CAMCAS
    HDCP 2.2 for 4K Video No
    HDR-compatible No
    HDMI Standby Pass-through No
    Composite Video Conversion No
    Component Video Conversion No
    HDMI to HDMI Upconversion No
    DLNA Certified
    MHL-compatible No
    Multibrand Remote Control No
    Learning Remote No
    LCD Remote
    Width (inches) 16-15/16
    Height (inches) 4-3/16
    Depth (inches) 14-11/16
    Weight (pounds) 18
    Parts Warranty 3 Years
    Labor Warranty 3 Years
    Multi-room Audio--Video
    Powered Multi-room Audio Output No
    Preamp Multi-room Audio Output No
    Multi-room Video No
    Multi-room HDMI Output No
    Surround Processing
    Dolby Digital DD, TrueHD, DD+
    Dolby Atmos No
    DTS DTS, HD, HDMA, Neo6
    DTS:X No
    Inputs & Outputs
    Phono Input No
    Audio-Video Inputs 4
    Audio-only Inputs None
    Component Video Inputs None
    Component Video Monitor Outputs None
    Optical Digital Inputs 1
    Coaxial Digital Inputs 2
    Optical Digital Outputs None
    Coaxial Digital Outputs None
    HDMI Inputs 4
    HDMI Monitor Outputs 1
    Subwoofer Outputs 1
    Multi-Channel Analog Input No
    Multi-channel Preamp Output No
    Main Speaker Output Pairs 1
    Main Speaker Terminals Posts
    Ethernet Port None
    USB Connections None
    Removable Power Cord IEC 2-prong

    Product Research

    Audio Features
    Video Features
    Convenience Features
    Remote Control

    Audio Features

    Audiophile Components: The Cambridge Audio azur 351R employs a Toroidal transformer and isolated processing boards for a high purity, low-distortion signal. The AV receiver's X-Tract near-silent cooling system combined with a rigid low-resonance chassis maximizes the system's audio signal quality.

    5 Discrete Amplifiers: Seven discrete amplifiers driven by a low-flux toroidal transformer are separated from the processing and input stages delivering ultra-low noise and distortion, thereby guaranteeing performance without compromise. This careful design of the amplifier stages ensure that the 351R can reproduce the dynamics required for movie and music soundtracks. The 5 channel amplifier is rated at 70 watts with 2 channels driven (1kHz, 8-ohms, 0.006% THD) or 50 watts with all 7 channels driven (1kHz, 8-ohms, 0.006% THD).

    24-bit/192-kHz DACs: The Cambridge Audio azur 351R utilizes a 192 kHz/24 bit D/A converter on each of the unit's seven channels for exceptional sound quality. The 192kHz sampling and 24-bit word length capabilities of the DACs allows you to play high-resolution recordings and hear the increased clarity, detail and dynamic range of those recordings.

    Dual 32-Bit DSPs: The Cambridge Audio azur 351R employs Cirrus Logic dual 32-bit DSPs for compatibility with the latest Dolby Digital/DTS formats, Dolby Pro Logic/DTS Neo:6 surround processing, and Dolby Pro Logic surround processing.

    Note: Dolby Digital and DTS listening modes can only be selected if your audio source is connected to the AV receiver via a digital audio connection (HDMI, optical or coaxial). Even though the AV receiver will decode 7.1channel surround sound (via HDMI), it will only output 5.1ch surround, because it lacks Surround Back channel speaker outputs.

    Matrixed Surround Modes: These modes allow a surround-sound experience from source material that has no encoding at all. The surround sound effect is achieved by digital signal processing of the analog or digital stereo source used. Five modes are possible; Movie, Music, Room, Theatre, and Hall.

    Stereo Modes: The surround receiver also provides two-channel stereo playback, as well as an analog stereo direct mode.

    • Stereo/Stereo + Sub: Only the front left & front right speakers (and subwoofer if selected) have output in this mode. If an analog source is selected, it will be converted to digital via 24 bit A/D converters to allow digital domain sub creation and bass/treble controls. If a digital source is selected, the 351R will be processing either LPCM stereo (from the digital outputs of a CD player for instance) or a Stereo downmix of DD or DTS material (from the digital output of a DVD player for instance).
    • Analog Stereo Direct: Selects the analog inputs for the current source directly with no A/D conversion, DSP processing, Bass/Treble, or subwoofer channel active. Provides the very best fidelity for analog Hi-Fi source equipment. In this mode the 351R is acting just like a normal Hi-Fi integrated amplifier.

    Dolby Pro Logic II Music Settings: While listening in the Dolby Pro Logic II Music format, there are three further enhancements you can adjust.

    • Panorama: A Prologic II mode that extends the front stereo image to the surround sound speakers for a more enveloping experience. This mode can be either On/Off.
    • Dimension: Allows gradual adjustment of the center image from being produced only by the Center speaker (Setting 0) through levels of being spread between the center channel and left and right speakers to finally being produced by the front left and right speakers only (Phantom Center, Setting 7). Useful in optimizing the front/center/right soundfield for best integration of the three speakers.
    • Center Width: Adjusts the soundfield to be gradually shifted from the front of the room to the back to suit taste, speaker positioning, and size of room. Setting 0 has the image furthest forward, 6 furthest back.

    CAMCAS (Cambridge Audio Microphone Controlled Auto Setup): Cambridge Audio's Microphone Controlled Auto Set-up (CAMCAS) tailors the 351R 's performance to any room and comes complete with a microphone to complete this simple procedure. The CAMCAS system performs two sets of tests; first checking which speakers are connected and whether they are wired correctly and in phase, then second automatically measuring and adjusting the speaker delay timings and levels. You can also choose to manually setup the receiver's speakers settings.

    Individual Crossovers & Advanced Bass Management: The azur 351R provides individual crossover adjustments and advanced bass management settings.

    • Tone Controls: The azur 351R offers independent Bass (100Hz) & Treble (10khz) adjustment from -10 to +10dB.
    • Speaker Crossover: Each speaker (front/center/surround/surround back) and subwoofer crossover point can be adjusted from 40-150Hz (in 10Hz steps) and also to 200Hz.
    • LFE Trim: The LFE channel (for DD/DTS material) can also be trimmed by up to 10dB (in 1dB steps); useful for late night listening or other situations where it might be desired to reduce the low frequency effect level temporarily.
    • Bass Augment: You can select whether to play front channel low-frequencies through either the front speakers or the subwoofer, or through both the subwoofer and front speakers.

    Dynamic Range Control: This setting controls the dynamic range of Dolby Digital movie soundtracks by compressing the audio to limit the difference in level between loud and quiet passages in the movie. The receiver's Dynamic Range Control can be set to Auto, On, or Off.

    Audio Inputs/Outputs: The AV receiver offers a variety of analog and digital audio inputs/outputs.

    • Digital Inputs: The azur 351R features one digital optical input and two coaxial digital inputs.
    • Binding Post Speaker Terminals: The receiver has binding-post terminals for all speaker connections. The binding-post terminals can accept bare wire, pin connectors, and banana plugs (single only). Speakers with an impedance of between 4-8 ohms are recommended.
    • LFE Output: The azur 351R is equipped with a single LFE output to connect a powered sub.
    • Headphone Output: The receiver features a 1/4" stereo headphone jack on its front-panel for connecting a pair of optional headphones. Plugging in a set of headphones will automatically mute the main speakers and pre-amp outputs, while selecting a 2-channel stereo down-mix soundfield. Headphones with an impedance of between 32-600 ohms are recommended.

    FM Tuner w/ RDS: The Cambridge Audio A/V receiver features a built-in FM tuner with RDS. RDS is a method for the transmission of additional information from local radio stations. RDS will only work if the local broadcasting stations have RDS transmission and the signal is strong enough. There is no AM tuner.

    Video Features

    HDMI (ver.1.4): The 351R boasts four HDMI (ver.1.4) inputs and a single HDMI (ver.1.4) monitor output which fully support 3D, Deep color, and Audio Return from newer flat-panel TVs. HDMI (High-Definition Multi-Media Interface) is an all digital connection that can carry both audio/video in one cable and supports various types of High Definition video content and high resolution audio.

    Note: There are no analog video inputs or outputs.

    3D Pass-Through: With the advent of 3D media, it is important to own a receiver that recognizes 3D video signals. The 351R is able to pass through 3D signals from your Blu-ray player, ensuring that the 3D effect doesn't get lost in translation. It also recognizes signals from 3D television broadcasts. By connecting a 3D-compliant Blu-ray disc player and 3D-compliant TV to the 351R , you will have a 3D home theater where you can enjoy high-definition sound and video on a level you've never experienced before.

    Deep Color Support: The 351R also supports Deep Color content, which can display a larger color range than standard-definition schemes. The result is a more lifelike, vibrant picture.

    Audio Return Channel: This feature allows audio to be sent from your compatible HDTV to your receiver through the same HDMI cable already being used to send audio and video to your HDTV. This eliminates the need for extra cables connected to your television.

    Lipsync Adjustment: This feature compensates for the timing shift between the audio and video of the receiver. If needed, the audio signal can be manually delayed to match the video signal; adjust from 0-500ms (in 10ms steps).

    Convenience Features

    Slim, Aesthetic Design: The Cambridge Audio azur 351R features a slim designed chassis which measures only 16.9375" (w) x 4.1875" (h) x 14.6875" (d); so it easily fits on a shelf or inside a cabinet.

    On-Screen Display (via HDMI): The AV receiver's on-screen menu provides quick information about your system's settings. You can easily make settings for your home theater system while viewing menus on the TV screen. Simple settings are enabled with the setting menus displayed on the TV screen. These menu displays can only be output to your TV via HDMI. The unit's front-panel LCD also displays the receiver's menu adjustments, as well as input source.

    X-Tract Cooling System: The Cambridge Audio azur 351R employs a unique cooling system called X-Tract. A perfectly balanced combination of forced cooling and natural convection effectively draws heat away from the substantial transformer and output stages and means the 351R can operate extremely quietly, at a low temperature and enables a more compact enclosure than would normally be possible.

    Backup Memory: The 351R has a function that preserves the preset memory and other settings. In the event of a power failure, or if the power cord of the unit is disconnected from the mains outlet, the back-up memory will preserve the preset memory for approximately one week. If the power supply is interrupted for 7 days or longer, the memory settings will be erased.

    Remote Control

    IR Remote Control: The azur 351R comes with an IR wireless remote control that can operate this receiver only.

    Remote Connections: The Cambridge Audio azur 351R is fitted with the following custom remote connections.

    • IR Input: This 3.5mm input is used to control the 351R from an external key-pad (sold separately).
    • RS232C Port: The RS-232C port is to be used in conjunction with an external controller to control the operation of the unit by using an external device. The RS-232C port may also be used in the future to update the operating software of the unit so that it will be able to support new digital audio formats.

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Q & A

    Customer Q&A

    1 question already asked

    If you purchased the product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. They can walk you through the settings on the product and see if there may be a fix. Our toll-free Tech Support number is printed on your invoice, and is also available under the "My Orders" tab in the "My Account" section of our website. If you did not purchase the unit from Crutchfield, then you may want to contact the manufacturer. You can also post your question in our forums: Or try our online support center: [ Jeff  Jan 05, 2014 ]  Staff