At the heart of Mu-so 2nd Generation is Naim’s music-streaming platform, developed by 25 engineers over 3 years to offer the very best performance whether playing the user’s own digital music library, Internet radio, or music streaming services such as TIDAL and Spotify. This means the updated version gains some of the unique features found in other more expensive Naim music-streaming products, such as its Uniti range and dedicated network players, including the $24,000 flagship ND 555.
The Mu-so 2nd Generation’s 450 Watts of music power (6x75W) are joined by all-new speaker drivers – optimized in conjunction with Focal, and Naim’s Vervent Audio associate. The upgraded speaker drivers, according to Naim, deliver a significant sound improvement, benefiting from the extensive range of technologies and experience from Focal. This will be noticeable on the re-engineered internal cabinet design, allowing a 13% increase in volume, which of course enables bigger, better bass performance.
The electroacoustic update also benefits from more than 10 times the processing power for even greater musical accuracy. In fact, as Naim explains, the core of the update is the all-new multicore DSP, providing 2000 MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second) compared to the original Mu-so’s single-core, 150MIPS DSP.
Naim also used the increased DSP capabilities to implement a brand new limiter algorithm that keeps each of Mu-so 2nd Generation’s speaker drivers’ movement under control when at high volume levels. The new limiter, by design, is only active at extreme volume levels, and helps to retain the music’s clarity and increase long term reliability. The new design also leverages the added DSP capabilities to implement Room Compensation, allowing users to choose from three different settings – Near Wall; Near Corner; or No Compensation (for usage in free space).
Core updated functionalities enable users to stream music in high-resolution quality up to 32bit/384kHz and DSD via UPnP, or browse millions of songs through AirPlay 2 (including Apple Music), Spotify Connect, TIDAL, plus Chromecast built-in and Internet radio. The upgraded Wi-Fi connectivity (802.11a/b/g/n/ac) will also contribute to the improved streaming experience, while Ethernet (10/100Mbps) remains an option for users who prefer their systems hard-wired. Users can also connect devices wirelessly via Bluetooth 4.2 or the USB input which also supports music playback from USB drives.
Other Mu-so 2nd Generation enhancements include the addition of HDMI ARC, so users can easily connect their TV and experience better sound quality from their favorite television programs, films and games. The all-new HDMI ARC input also allows audio control via the TV’s remote handset, encouraging potential users to place the Mu-so under the TV, in place of a soundbar.
“In its 45 years, Naim has both created and recreated product categories – all in our founding quest for the most authentic musical experience. Mu-so was the first truly high-quality wireless music speaker; five years on we’ve re-engineered 95% of it to develop Mu-so 2nd Generation, and redefined what’s possible from a one-box system,” says Naim Audio MD, Charlie Henderson.
While less notable at first contact, the Mu-so 2nd Generation also evolves the iconic styling of its predecessor, adding a compelling new touch control panel ringed by an illuminated dial with a proximity sensor, which lights up in welcome as the user’s hand approaches it. This tactile control panel allows easy access to key playback controls, favorite playlists and radio stations, Spotify resume, multiroom functionality and more.
The system is designed around a premium aluminum casing, in a new burnished grey finish, fronted by a new style of speaker grille – supplied in black as standard, but also available in Terracotta, Olive or Peacock colorways. Some users will be also happy to know the system now features an alarm clock, which can be enabled via the settings menu in the Naim app.
new update Mu-so systems works on its own or as part of a multiroom music set-up. There are three easy ways to make it multiroom: combine it with other networked Naim products (including 1st Generation Mu-so and Mu-so Qb) via the updated Naim app; with other AirPlay 2-compatible wireless speakers via the Apple Home app; or with other Chromecast devices via groups controlled by the Google Home app.
Available for iOS and Android devices, the updated Naim app allows users to browse music by artist, genre, album and more, complete with artwork and extended music information. The app also allows users to control volume, light settings, room modes and create playlists.
As a further option, Mu-so 2nd Generation is Roon Ready, too. Roon Ready Roon transforms the experience of browsing music. Beautifully laid-out metadata is located automatically, then interconnected by links to build a searchable digital magazine about your music collection.
The Naim Mu-so 2nd Generation is now available, priced at USD $1599.
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