Review: Naim Mu-So 2nd Gen

Om Patel

It has been five years since Naim launched the Naim Mu-so. Back then, wireless speakers were premium devices that cost thousands of dollars. Then Naim entered the scene and changed the game forever by letting the world see that you could get authentic hi-fi at a pretty affordable price with its Mu-so, Naim is showing everyone that it’s still in the game with their new, reimagined wireless speaker: the Mu-so 2nd Generation.

The Naim Mu-so 2 is the wireless speaker we didn’t know we needed. The first Naim Mu-so was already a top-of-the-line speaker which was hard to follow, but Naim has raised the bar again.

Right off the bat, the Mu-so 2 is one of the best multi-room speakers of the year. It’s an evolution of the original Naim speaker, adding multiple connectivity options, and showing off a sleeker body. Although the price racks up at $1599, the Mu-so 2 justifies the price with its multitude of upgrades.

Let’s talk first impressions: the Mu-so 2 looks like a handsome piece of hardware with its premium aluminum finishes. Nothing much has changed since the Naim Mu-so; it’s still a stylish slab with concealed ports, appealing both to the eyes and the ears. The signature control wheel sits at the top with burnished aluminum wrapping.

Naim’s control wheel is a fine interface that gets straight to the point. The Mu-so 2 has added more functionality to the wheel with 15 controls all illuminated by a proximity sensor. Thankfully, you don’t have to get up each time you want to switch between your songs.

The Mu-so 2 comes with a lightweight remote with clearly laid out buttons for switching between songs and playlists. One thing to note is that you can’t control Bluetooth pairing with the remote. You’ll have to select the option directly from the touchscreen controls on the bar itself.

The 2nd generation Mu-so hides its buttons to keep the wireless speaker looking clean. Ports are hidden at the side to keep wires out of view, keeping them away from the Mu-so 2’s “backside” so you can flush it against the wall. The front is covered by a mesh grille, which is a type of acoustic cloth. It comes in standard black but you can replace it with peacock, olive and terracotta for just a few bucks. Remove that grille and you’ll find a three-way audio system with a large bass port at the bottom.

The Mu-so 2’s cabinet has been redesigned to deliver more internal volume. Also, users can expect enhanced internal bracing to help with air rigidity and regulate internal vibrations. We also found improvements with the Mu-so 2’s heatsinks compared to the original model.

The Mu-so 2 can be controlled in several ways: via the remote, the official Naim app, or through the touchscreen display. From the touchscreen display featuring 15 touch-sensitive buttons, you can control the Mu-so 2 from searching for radio stations to selecting your favorite tracks. The touch controls are very responsive and can be summoned by waving your hand over the display. Options on the display illuminate to clearly distinguish them from one another.

The official app is available for Android and iOS users. It’s fairly easy to use: icons appear at the top showing your sources (servers, USB, radio, etc.) and other services like Spotify. From the app, you can access a variety of options such as selecting your favorite playlist to updating your Mu-so 2. Touch one of the options and a submenu with more categories will appear.

A great improvement with this device is its HDMI ARC, which allows you to connect the Mu-so 2 to your TV, so it can double as a soundbar. Though the Mu-so 2 retains its 10/100 ethernet port, Naim has upgraded the device with onboard dual-band Wi-Fi adapters (2.4 and 5GHz). If you’re like most people, you’ll stream music from streaming services. Thankfully, the Mu-so 2 supports almost every kind of streaming service, including Tidal, Spotify, Deezer, and Apple Music.

You could always go old school and connect via Bluetooth or by plugging your USB in there.

There’s also improved bass that makes the sound seem much more massive. The Mu-so 2 has been re-engineered to have 13% more cabinet volume, so you can expect booming sound whether you’re playing classical music or watching a war film. Naim has also added an amplifier, which means that each tweeter and subwoofer will have their own amplification. The result: less distortion at any volume.

The 2nd Generation Mu-so delivers more power than the first generation — it has a multi-core chip capable of 2000 MIPS, compared to the 150 MIPS of its single-core predecessor.

Thanks to Naim’s collaboration with Focal, they’ve added a range of drivers that deliver clarity across different frequencies. They’ve given the bass unit a longer voice coil and added a larger magnet to reduce distortion.

We tried listening to Taylor Swift’s Lover, and we were impressed by the layers of sound, with percussion in the background and crisp, enunciated vocals that were never buried in the bass. Even at high volumes (with a maximum 450W output), the Mu-so 2 seems to manage balancing its frequencies. Whether you’re into thumping bass at parties or clear commentaries while watching FIFA, the Mu-so 2 always delivers.

Verdict

The Mu-so 2 is an excellent successor and prime addition to Naim’s Mu-so range.

The Naim Mu-so 2, or the 2nd Generation Naim Mu-so, isn’t an inexpensive wireless speaker at $1599. But, it’s game-changing improvements from its predecessor make the price justifiable. With the Mu-so 2, you won’t have to pay loads of money to buy speakers, an amplifier, and so on. It works flawlessly as a soundbar that can easily be paired with Bluetooth or Apple AirPlay.

The Mu-so 2’s speakers produce an excellent, crisp sound that can handle anything from romantic ballads with Ariana Grande to booming gunshots in a cowboy movie. Dialogue won’t get lost, words don’t sound drowned out, and everything can be heard crisp and clear. The wireless speaker works exquisitely on its own or as part of a multi-room audio setup. With 450W of power, it’s a functional audio system that we’d recommend wholeheartedly.

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