Complicated set-up and bulky boxes are a thing of the past when it comes to great-sounding hi-fi. Mick Sharp reports
Back in the day, when people used to listen to music on “proper” music systems, the sometimes mystifying world of “hi-fi” required a lot of heavy lifting. There was a box for this, another box for that, and other boxes containing the various “separates” that made up the system. And then there was the seemingly endless number of connections to make… Since the advent of Bluetooth, life is a lot easier.
From relatively humble beginnings operating out of a small shop in Salisbury, Naim has grown to become one of the most respected names in high-end audio. Spend just a few minutes in the company of its Mu-so wireless music system and it’s not hard to realise why. “The Mu-so has been the best slab of wireless speaker money can buy for some time,” says Charlie Burton in GQ. The sound is rich and pure with bottomless depth. “Just perfect.”
It looks as good as it sounds, and it sounds amazing. Finely tuned by specialist engineers in England, its powerful audio brain commands 450 watts of power through six custom-designed speakers. It is literally “plug-in and play” and all functions can be controlled via the free Naim app.
It excels as the hub of a multi-room system, has access to streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music and you can connect your phone, iPad, USB stick or MP3 player, or even a turntable to it. “It isn’t just ‘sound’ that it makes,” says David Price in Hi-Fi Choice, “but a convincingly musical performance.” What Hi-Fi gave it a five-star award on launch, saying it had a powerful and subtle sound “as close as we’ve heard to hi-fi from an all-in-one unit such as this”.
Naim Mu-so wireless music system: £749 (black), amazon.co.uk; special edition (champagne – pictured) £895, johnlewis.com