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Naim Mu-So 2 is the epitome of a connected Hi-Fi speaker

Naim Mu-So 2 is the epitome of a connected Hi-Fi speaker

Naim went all-out in redesigning its flagship Mu-So connected Hi-Fi speaker. What was already a formidable speaker, turns into extraordinary in its second incarnation.

Mu-So 2 and iPhone 11 Pro Max streaming over AirPlay 2

Mu-So 2 and iPhone 11 Pro Max streaming over AirPlay 2

It has been greater than 5 years since the unique Naim Mu-So debuted. In the years since Naim was not resting on its laurels. Instead, it spent the time meticulously redesigning the Mu-So 2. So a lot in reality, that the Mu-So 2 is 95% new internally, regardless of the similarities in the exterior.

Everything has been improved, from the refined design to the controls, the sound high quality to the connectivity. After our assessment of the unique, we did not go searching for a second era. But now that we do, we’re comfortable it is right here.

Design

The Mu-So 2 is a boxy speaker, lengthy and huge and of important heft. Aluminum largely makes up the physique with a swappable grille on the entrance. The grille is available in black by default however is accessible in olive inexperienced, terracotta purple, and peacock blue. The final one could also be our favourite of the bunch.

On prime of the Mu-So 2 is its signature outsized management wheel. New in gen two is a proximity sensor that routinely illuminates the wheel as your hand approaches. More proactive than reactive.

Mu-So 2 control wheel

Mu-So 2 management wheel

Rotating the ring will regulate the speaker’s quantity, whereas a collection of touch-based buttons management the playback and inputs. Along the prime is all of your programmed presets. Below is the numerous inputs you can select between. Finally, the play/pause button, ahead, and again controls lie in the middle.

We get pleasure from utilizing the management wheel because it is each simple in addition to intuitive to make use of. Our solely qualm could also be the shiny gentle, however that may be dimmed and in any other case does not impose.

Speaking of lights, the entire speaker rests on a clear acrylic block, like the first-gen, and lights up from inside. Fret not, for it too is dimmable.

Naim Mu-So 2 aluminum heat sink

Naim Mu-So 2 aluminum warmth sink

Around the again of the speaker is the similar large aluminum warmth sink we noticed earlier than in the kind of a plethora of vertical slats operating the size of the speaker for passive cooling.

Inputs galore

There are extra inputs than you’d ever want on the Mu-So 2, constructing on the final era. On the facet is a USB port for any USB-based media. The remaining of the hardwired inputs are situated on the backside. This is lower than excellent if you’re often needing to attach any units. This is one of our few niggles with the Mu-So 2, however one thing we are able to simply overlook.

Bottom inports of the Mu-So 2

Bottom inports of the Mu-So 2

Those backside ports embody holdovers reminiscent of 10/100-base Ethernet, optical audio, three.5mm auxiliary, and energy. New to the bunch is HDMI-ARC. ARC permits the Mu-So 2 for use rather more seamlessly as a soundbar. Prior you’d must resort to auxiliary or optical connections. ARC not solely simplifies it, however lest the complete AV system be managed by way of one distant.

The solely subject with utilizing the Mu-So 2 as a legit soundbar is its peak. In entrance of a customary TV, the Mu-So 2 will doubtless sit too excessive, obfuscating the decrease portion of the TV. Have your TV mounted or on a stand, this is a non-issue.

Hardwired inputs are welcomed. however we have little doubt many will flip to wi-fi with the up to date Mu-So 2. Naim is revamped the wi-fi connectivity to incorporate help for dual-band Wi-Fi at 2.four and 5GHz.

The Mu-So app

The Mu-So app

Users can stream Tidal from the Mu-So app, Spotify by way of Spotify Connect, web radio, audio by way of Bluetooth, or most excitedly for Apple customers —AirPlay 2.

AirPlay 2

Using AirPlay 2 with the Mu-So 2

Using AirPlay 2 with the Mu-So 2

Via AirPlay 2, customers can stream to the Mu-So 2 alongside every other AirPlay 2 speaker from different producers. Personally, I can stream to the Sonos Play soundbar in the front room, the HomePod in my kitchen, the Safe & Sound on my ceiling, and the Mu-So 2 in my studio all concurrently for whole-home audio.

It is simple and works from any Apple system reminiscent of Apple TV, Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Especially when the Mu-So 2 comes as a high-end possibility, it permits it to play good with different units deployed all through the house.

AirPlay 2 has extra benefits —it really works through HomePackage. Just open the Home app, faucet add accent, and it’ll pop up able to be given a identify and assigned a room.

Siri controlling the Mu-So 2

Siri controlling the Mu-So 2

Once added to HomePackage, the speaker could be managed through Siri. Raise or decrease the quantity, management payback, or kick off a playlist simply utilizing your voice. You can name out the speaker by identify, or primarily based on the room it is in. Effortless, particularly with Siri so accessible on Apple’s hardware.

HomeKit scene example in the Home app

HomePackage scene instance in the Home app with the Mu-So 2

HomePackage even helps you to tie the speaker into scenes. Maybe a social gathering scene turns your Hue lights to enjoyable colours, closes the blinds, and begins enjoying your “party” playlist at excessive quantity. Or your “exercise” scene closes the blinds, lowers the lights, and turns up your high-intensity playlist. We like to make use of the speaker for our morning scene. When our alarm goes off, our speaker kicks in with our early morning playlist to get us into a constructive temper for the day forward.

Audio efficiency

As said, Naim redesigned a lot of the cupboard of the Mu-So 2. In doing so, Naim managed to extend the rigidity to tamper any vibrations or resonance that emanate. It additionally managed an extra 13-percent extra inner house which helps push the bass even additional. In our testing through a number of strategies of enter, the elevated bass was simply noticable.

This speaker additionally jumped up from 450 to 475 watts of energy. The last-gen was loud, and this mannequin is even louder. We could not push it previous 75% max quantity in our house. Not resulting from audio high quality, however consolation stage at that quantity.

To additional enhance audio, Naim has boosted the DSP. The digital sign processor now does 2,000 million directions per second in comparison with a paltry 150 MIPS on the gen-one unit.

This allows higher audio and different options reminiscent of a room compensation algorithm to help when positioned in opposition to a wall. We observed solely small modifications right here, and certain does not do close to as a lot as Sonos’ TruePlay tuning or the HomePods auto EQ.

The cumulative impact of all the above is louder, extra outlined sound with a extra substantial sound stage. There is little doubt this is one of the most impressive-sounding audio system we have examined.

Bass is highly effective sufficient to really feel in your intestine, and a stripped-down acoustic efficiency from our playlist despatched shivers down spines.

Naim Mu-So 2

Naim Mu-So 2 comes with a distant management

Regardless of your style of alternative, Mu-So 2 delivers. We love our Marshall audio system although they excel finest with rock whereas Mu-So 2 matches in it doesn’t matter what we examined.

Even as we used the system as a soundbar. While watching Zombieland 2 the background music was vibrant, gunfire and explosions had been highly effective and rumbling, whereas the dialogue was clear and ahead. Great separation of layers.

Should you purchase one

Naim has priced the Mu-So 2 at the higher finish of the market. Even extra so than the unique Mu-So. But it is not with out justification. It improved each element of the unique expertise.

Naim Mu-So 2

Naim Mu-So 2

If you had been to cost out all the elements individually you would be out significantly extra to succeed in the similar stage of efficiency as the Mu-So 2.

We’ve been floored by the efficiency of the Mu-So 2, particularly in terms of Apple customers and AirPLay 2.

Pros

  • Several inputs
  • Support for AirPlay 2 and HomePackage
  • Increible audio
  • Countless enhancements over first-gen
  • Sleek design with swappable grilles
  • Massive sound
  • Ability for use as a soundbar

Cons

  • Bottom ports are arduous to entry
  • May be too tall for a soundbar on some TVs

Rating: 5 ouf of 5

Where to purchase

To decide up the Naim Mu-So 2, you’ll be able to enterprise over to Amazon the place it runs $1,599> or you may as well discover it on Adorama the place it is equally priced.

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