Naim Mu-so review: A pricey wireless speaker that’s a beast in size and in sound

Hayley Minn Gadgets Leave a Comment

Originally appeared on ShinyShiny

Naim has been around since the ‘70s, but the high-end audio company has only recently released its first wireless speaker, in the Mu-so. The wait was definitely worth it though, as this huge speaker is not only a beast in size, but it’s also a beast in its sound too, something you’d expect from a speaker costing just under £900.

Build and design

The Mu-so is pretty damn huge, and very grand-looking. Admittedly, it took two of us to lift it on to a desk, and our commercial manager, Ashley, wasn’t best pleased with how little space he’d been left for his laptop when he came back into the office. You do need a big space for this giant, for this reason.

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Aside from size, the Mu-so’s design is absolutely gorgeous though, and so sleek. The cabinet is made from MDF, and then wrapped in a layer of brushed aluminium, which very much gives it a premium-quality feel, as well as making it look distinctive, as does the transparent base with the subtly glowing Naim logo.

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My favourite part of the design, however, has got to be the volume dial. Made of a solid ring of bead-blasted anodised aluminium, the circular, illuminated control is inspired by the flagship Naim Statement pre/power amplifier, and was so much more fun to use to change the volume than the remote or app. It moved so nice and smoothly, and the illumination effect was a lovely touch too.

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The dial also doubles as the Mu-so’s touchscreen interface. Tap the illuminated icons to pause or play a track, or spin the dial to select any of the three wired inputs, or to switch between five preset radio stations, which you can set using the app.

The unit comes with a standard black grille, but you can swap it for three other colours – vibrant red, deep blue or, my favourite, burnt orange – for an extra £70 each.

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Setting up the Mu-so

Naim has included nearly every streaming method possible in the Mu-so. There’s aptX Bluetooth, AirPlay, UPnP, Spotify Connect and thousands of internet radio stations on board (although the station that says Kiss Radio isn’t the UK version I wanted to put on, so beware of that).

There’s also a USB port, which charges and plays Apple devices as well as USB-stored music, so whether you’ve got an iOS or Android device, laptop or even a Smart TV, this Mu-so can play it all.

It’s incredibly easy to download the Naim app, and connect it to the Mu-so, with easy instructions to follow, and full browsing control over your music collection, as well as Spotify. It also includes the ability to select inputs and tweak the speaker’s EQ settings. It also allows you to dim the unit’s lights, access track info and pick from thousands of internet radio stations. The app was much more useful than the remote, especially as I had to stand up every time I wanted to use the remote, due to a partition separating me and the Mu-so.

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Performance

The Naim Mu-so is definitely not a ‘style over substance’ speaker. You can really feel the massive 450 watts power behind this unit, driving music along with loads of detail and plenty of deep, rumbling bass, the like of which I haven’t experienced before from a wireless speaker. The scale of sound is huge for the size of the box, sometimes a bit too loud for an office, so we had to turn it down!

A minor niggle occurs when you really turn up the volume on the Mu-so, when the sound thickens up just a bit, but at regular volumes, it’s a beautiful, clear and crisp sound that you just wouldn’t expect from a wireless speaker

Verdict

The Naim Mu-so is a seriously attractive product. Yes, at £895, it’s incredibly pricey, but the sound of this speaker is huge and looks stunning, so you get what you pay for. This is the closest I’ve ever seen the sound of a wireless speaker get to a hi-fi. If you’re a true audiophile, this is the speaker for you.

You can buy your own Naim Mu-so from John Lewis, selected Apple stores and specialist audio retailers. More details are available on the Naim website.

By Hayley Minn | November 27th, 2014