Naim is synonymous with exceptional audio quality. The company designs and manufactures high-end audio products which many people, audiophiles included, claim to be the best in their class. The Naim Mu-So Reference Wireless Music System is essentially a soundbar but it doesn’t feel right assigning this title to such a sophisticated piece of audio engineering. To put things into perspective, Naim is the brand of speaker found in Bentley automobiles. Let’s take a look at this incredible speaker and find out why it’s worth the $1,400 price tag!
At a Glance
The Mu-So is a 3-way speaker system featuring a total of six custom designed speaker drivers. There are 2 x subwoofers, 2 x mid-range drivers and 2 x tweeters in a stereo configuration. Each speaker driver is independently driven by a 75W amplifier to deliver an impressive 450W of sound. This is 10 times the power you’ll find in an average soundbar.
The Mu-So features an advanced bass reflex system with a porting system designed to move large volumes of air with minimal turbulence resulting in a well defined, controlled bass response. This is the best bass sound of any speaker this size, EVER. The low-end is so true and precise it’s difficult to put into words.
Having a separate mid-range driver gives the Mu-So exceptional clarity and frequency separation. The tweeters produce such perfect brilliance, detail, and clarity in the highs that the first time you hear it you can’t help listening with your mouth agape. It’s truly ridiculous just how good this “soundbar” actually sounds. Whether you’re listening to classical music or the most bass-heavy hip-hop track, the Mu-So far exceeds the expectation of the audio experience you expect to hear.
Watching movies or TV on the Mu-So is a truly immersive experience. Unfortunately, this is only in stereo, but speech, movie effects, and sport are especially captivating and exciting with the detail and clarity the Mu-So delivers.
When it comes to inputs, the Mu-So covers just about every connection available. These include ⅛-inch AUX, USB, optical, Bluetooth, WiFi and Ethernet. If you’re planning to connect the Mu-So to your TV, it’s best to connect via the optical input. This will mean you can take full advantage of the superior Mu-So DSP and digital-to-analog converter which will deliver the best possible audio experience.
For streaming services like Pandora, Spotify or Tidal, it’s best to stream via WiFi or Ethernet rather than Bluetooth. If you really want to get technical, the Etherport is the best method of connection as there is no signal loss from wireless streaming.
The Mu-So plays just about every audio format including WAV, FLAC, AIFF, ALAC (Apple Lossless), OGG, WMA, MP3, and AAC as well as Bluetooth formats SBC, AAC, and aptX.
All the input connections are located on the rear of the Mu-So except for the ⅛-inch AUX and USB. These are conveniently located on the right-hand side of the speaker for easy access. The Mu-So is not just a pretty face but practical too.
You have three ways to control the Mu-So: the onboard control panel, the remote, or via the Naim app. The onboard controls are located on top of the Mu-So on a rotary touch-sensitive control surface. The onboard controls allow you to play/pause, skip next/previous, adjust volume, switch between inputs and switch between one of your six custom presets. The remote mirrors these functions but also allows you to mute the speaker and make adjustments to the illumination scheme. The Mu-So has four illumination schemes offering options of brightness and activity.
For full control over the Mu-So, you must download the Naim app. Within the app, you have extensive control over every aspect of the Mu-So including audio settings, speaker placement settings, alarm clock set up, illumination scheme configuration, registering your Mu-So, and updating the firmware.
The Mu-So is only available in a stylish brushed silver but allows for some customization via the front grille. The speaker comes with a dark grey grille as standard but you have the option of purchasing a burnt orange, deep blue or vibrant red available on the Naim website.
Naim Mu-So Qb
It’s important to also make mention of the Mu-So Qb which is the only other speaker in the Mu-So range. If you are not a fan of the soundbar style shape, or your intended position doesn’t have enough room for the 25” wide Mu-So, then you might want to consider the Mu-So Qb as an alternative.
At $899, the Mu-So Qb is almost half the price as the Mu-So while still delivering an incredible 300W of power. The Mu-So Qb is a cube-shaped speaker significantly more compact than the larger Mu-So. Aside from the shape and power output, the speakers are identical with the Mu-So Qb even allowing for the same speaker grille customization.
What’s in the Box?
Included with the Naim Mu-So Reference Wireless Music System:
● Naim Mu-So + power cable
● Remote control
So, is the Naim Mu-So Reference Wireless Music System worth the $1,400 price tag? That all depends on what price you’re willing to pay for the best quality streaming audio experience. The Mu-So is the best soundbar on the market. In every way this speaker delivers the best experience, there is no doubt about that. For that reason, I would say it’s in a class of its own and therefore the price is justified.
Without hearing the Mu-So, it’s difficult to explain just how big the sound this speaker produces actually is. You simply cannot believe this compact speaker is making all the noise and, with such exceptional sound quality. If you have the money to spend, you will not be disappointed with the incredible Mu-So Music System.