Naim’s ups its high-end music-streaming game with the Mu-so 2nd Generation

    It’s the tip of the highway for our favourite high-end Bluetooth speaker, the beautiful Mu-so, from British audio manufacturer Naim. But you needn’t fear, the close-out is to make means for the Mu-so 2nd Generation, now on show on the High End audio present in Munich, Germany. I had a possibility to listen to the brand new element at a pre-show demo in New York City.

    The Mu-so is way more than a Bluetooth speaker, in fact, and its substitute seems to be to be much more complete. The new mannequin is “intentionally similar in looks, but 95 percent changed on the inside” in line with Naim Audio Group Director of Design Simon Matthews. Matthews says the second-gen all-in-one music maker has been in growth for 2 years, in an effort to make the speaker sound even higher and be simpler to make use of than the unique. Despite the lengthy gestation interval, the brand new unit will price simply $105 greater than the unique: $1,600.

    “We reworked the power supply, all the digital architecture, the signal processing, the streaming platform and the drive units,” Matthews stated. The speaker’s inner bracing makes use of “the same polymers deployed in riot shields, and [there’s] a larger down-firing port system that now runs through the entire cabinet for better bass.” On the skin, the 28-pound steel and acrylic-wrapped cupboard bears a putting resemblance to its predecessor, however is barely deeper, measuring 24 inches huge, 5 inches excessive, and 11.5 inches deep, together with its signature large warmth sink.

    Jonathan Takiff / IDG

    System operations are readily dealt with with a light-up touchscreen inside the amount wheel or with the iOS/Android app.

    The distinctively outsized and backlit quantity management wheel embedded within the prime of the unit has been improved with a slick proximity sensor that wakes the unit when your hand hovers shut, with a multi-function LCD show and operations display positioned inside its ring.

    One faucet now marries the Mu-so 2nd Generation with a second Naim audio element enjoying in one other room. “We’re also newly supporting multi-room play with non-Naim products, using Apple’s Airplay 2 and Google Chromecast,” Matthews stated.

    Naim positioned aggressive bets on high-resolution audio, presuming that more and more quick broadband entry would spawn elite streaming providers to fulfill the demand for immediate gratification. And these bets have paid off. Asked to touch upon Sonos’ success promoting comparatively high-end audio elements to the mass market, Matthews complimented Sonos on the success of its enterprise mannequin, however was extra important of Sonos’ reluctance to embrace high-res audio: “You can’t compare a Play 5 to a Mu-so. We’re operating on a much different performance level.”

    mu so drivers exposed Jonathan Takiff / IDG

    Each of the six drivers within the stereo array is fired by a discrete 75-watt Class D amplifier.

    The first-gen Mu-so supported audio recordsdata with as much as 24-bit decision and sampling charges as excessive as 192kHz (48kHz max over a wi-fi community). The Mu-so 2nd Generation will be capable of play 32-bit/192kHz music from a transportable arduous drive; 32-bit/384kHz DSD, FLAC, and WAV audio recordsdata streamed from a wired UPnP media server; and 24-bit/192kHz lossless audio from streaming providers together with Tidal, Deezer, and Qobuz. The new speaker additionally helps Spotify Connect and is Chromecast appropriate.

    For demo and on the spot gratification functions, a Mu-so 2nd Generation comes out of the field with 5 high-resolution tracks already loaded into reminiscence, that includes artists equivalent to Band of Horses and Christine & the Queens. “But we’re not just serving the high-res market with this product,” Matthews stated. “A lot of care has been taken so even low bit-rate signals and MP3 files sound sweeter on the new Mu-so.”

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