I originally raised the request to update the 851N firmware to support Roon on May 7th 2019 and got the following responses;
“ I’m afraid we currently have no concrete plans to add Roon but we are looking into this. It will depend on the wider adoption of Roon, however.
……the overall percentage of Roon users that use our products is currently very small. If this number increases dramatically, we will not hesitate to add it, but at this moment in time, there are no plans."
Following the announcement of Roon support for the CXN V2 and the Edge, I again wrote and requested that they update the 851N firmware to support Roon and got the following response;
"Thank you for contacting Cambridge Audio.
At present the Roon Ready option is only available for the Edge NQ and the CXNv2. These are the only products which have been fully tested with the Roon application and which have passed Roon’s vigorous certification programme.
Whilst there are no plans in the immediate future for other Cambridge Audio streaming devices such as the 851N to be certified as Roon Ready, this may change depending on customer demand and the popularity of the feature. As well as other factors such as operational capacity to test and certify existing products alongside the other new and exciting projects being developed and worked on."
So rather than give up, I decided to target Stuart George (Cambridge Audio MD) pointing out that they have sold a LOT of 851Ns, and a good number of them live with Roon users. The need to support Roon has already been demonstrated, or CA would not have updated the CXN V2 and the Edge. The CNX V2 is half the price of the 851N. That I was originally going for the CNX V2 but was persuaded to upgrade to the 851N by the Richer Sounds salesman because it was the (then) flagship streamer, better built, better quality and had a better future ahead with upgrades to support new services via firmware updates, it would be better future proofed. That I felt let down and the 851N users had been abandoned.
I have just got the following response:
"I am pleased to update you with the news that the 851N is actually currently undergoing testing for Roon Ready certification with Roon at the moment. We can’t at this stage guarantee that it will pass the certification process and I am unable to give you an exact time frame for this, but hopefully there will be no issues, as both the CXNv2 and The Edge NQ were successful in complying with Roon’s requirements.
Should this be successful we will then be able to officially announce it’s updated compatibility on our website and across our social channels when fully ready to go. Hopefully this will be sooner rather than later."
So fingers crossed, we should be getting Roon Support for the 851N.