One of the most popular audio systems in our home is the long, sleek, fabulous Naim Mu-so (1st generation).
This is praise indeed considering we have a wide range of sound systems all of which we relate to fondly. Call it the legacy of an ex-muso partner who has what’s known in the business as ‘good ears’.
However it is this gorgeous sounding beast, Mu-so by Naim and muso by nature that sits quietly on a book-shelf that we do so love. Why – because as an all-in-one audio system it is genuine hi fi, enhanced with a highly evolved but effortless music streaming platform.
With Mu-so you get the benefits of Naim’s extraordinary commitment to R&D. It took the UK company three years and the efforts of 25 engineers to perfect the platform. When they got something they deemed worthy they were generous with it; fitting it across all Naim music streaming products ranging from the cost effective Mu-so to its mighty £40,000 flagship ND 555
When Mu-So made its debut it was also notable for its fine looks. Its design was simply beautiful, with luxurious finishes and very pleasing symmetery in the arrangement of its rectangular forms and large circular control. It was the sort of item that got design aficionados quietly stroking it.
Great though the first generation Mu-so was Naim was never going to leave it there. This is a company that likes to evolve its products –so when the Mu-so 2nd Generation arrived in 2019 you had to wonder what more could they do. Well quite a lot actually.
New Features and Functionality
The exterior design has strong similarities to its predecessor, although the Mu-so 2nd Generation’s speaker grille has had a style update. The standard black grille can now be easily swapped for one of three new colour options – Olive, Terracotta, and Peacock.
It’s great to break out from the tyranny of black. You can pick out colours from your décor or go all out by synching your colourful grill with the geometrical shapes in a modernist artwork. You can also go native and take the grill off. The redesign under its silky aluminium casing is something else again – robust, beautiful and it clearly means business.
Here the emphasis on performance, features and functionality has added a raft of improvements – notably more music power.
- The amp has been upgraded from 450 watts to 475 watts. A new multicore Digital Signal Processor (DSP) drives higher performance by providing 2000 MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second) compared to original Mu-so’s single-core, 150MIPS DSP. And the sound clearly benefits.
- Upgraded speaker drivers Naim and Focal R&D departments undertook a joint development project which has delivered improved and highly optimised drive units for Mu-so 2nd Generation.
- Improved Bass Performance Naim also re-engineered Mu-so 2nd Generation to to deliver a 13% increase in cabinet volume, which enables bigger, better bass performance.
- Multiroom is made easy with three ways to go multiroom, via Naim, Apple or Google Apps.
- Chromecast built-in Google’s streaming service seamlessly links to 100s of supported apps, including Deezer, Qobuz, Plex, TuneIn, SoundCloud and Pandora.
- AirPlay 2 Streams music from any iOS device or from iTunes and Apple Music allowing you to take advantage of Apple’s new multiroom feature.
- Spotify Connect Native support of Spotify® Connect offers improved ways to listen at home by using the Spotify app as a remote.
- TIDAL The lossless streaming service is integrated into the system for an immersive, high-quality sound experience.
- Bluetooth® Pair with a Bluetooth device to instantly play your music.
- Internet Radio Access thousands of internet radio stations and save your favourite presets for easy access.
- UPnPTM Streaming Stream music from your PC, Mac or network-attached storage in high-resolution quality. Mu-so 2nd Generation supports high-resolution WAV, FLAC and DSD files at resolutions up to 32bit/384kHz.
- New intelligent Controls The all-new intuitive interface has 15 touch sensitive buttons and a bold, illuminated volume dial. A proximity sensor wakes the display.
- Television connection A new HDMI ARC input lets you easily connect your TV to experience a huge boost in sound quality; and allows audio control via the TV’s remote handset.
- Music Management Roon transforms the experience of browsing music – beautifully laid-out metadata is located automatically, and then interconnected by links to build a searchable digital magazine about your music collection.
Naim Mu-so 2nd Generation is a really exciting evolution of the product and the best part of all is that it is still astoundingly good value with a RRP of $2,499.
For more information go to www.naimaudio.com.au