The $1,000 wireless speaker that really IS worth the price: Naim Mu:so Qb review
- The small speaker connects directly to streaming services like Spotify
- Can play back high quality files from a computer or phone as well
Spending $1,000 on a wireless speaker at first sounds absurd.
But think back to an era where music really meant something, and wasn't just a commodity bundled free with your phone.
Naim's incredible Mu-So Qb takes you back those days - where the music captivates and enthralls, rather that simply being something in the background.
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Inside, there’s the same high-grade signal processor you find in the Naim Mu-so Qb's expensive big brother – and it takes the same throw-everything-at-it approach to music
MU:SO QB DIMENSIONS
Width: 8.6 in
Depth: 8.3 in
Height: 8.3 in
Weight: 12.35 lbs
Naim’s original, the Mu-so, marked a massive change for wireless, digital music.
It sounded stunning, and boasted incredible volume and more importantly, clarity that no other all in one system could match.
However, it was big, hefty, and cost an eye watering $1499.
Now, Naim has taken the same sound quality and crammed it into a smaller and (slightly) more affordable box.
Setup is easy thanks to a newly redesigned app, and you can even use it to turn the system into a multi room one.
It also offers internet radio and high-quality Bluetooth Apt-X, and the app makes it simple to play music stored on your PC’s hard drive.
Adding new services is also easy - and crucially Spotify Connect and Tidal are included.
This allows the speaker to stream directly itself, without going through your phone.
While many have written it off, Tidal actually offer the highest quality files of any streaming service, and by a significant margin.
MU-SO QB: WHAT'S INSIDE
300 watts of power, with five drivers, two bass radiators and a woofer driven by its own 100-watt amp
Connect the Naim Mu-so Qb to your Wi-Fi network and it streams in high quality from Spotify itself (ie, not from your phone) using Spotify Connect
Set the Qb up with it, and you'll be in audio nirvana.
One of the problems with the Qb is despite its smaller size, it won't fit in front of a TV, so it really does become a music only option for most.
However, the soundstage it produces is astonishing - clear, with amazing stereo separation for a single speaker, while bass is also excellent in all but the biggest of rooms.
It'll fill all but the biggest of rooms - and I found myself staying up late into the night to listen, much to the horroe of my neighbours.
Design wise, it's extremely simple, with one large dial to control the volume (and it's no ordinary dial, but one weighted to feel great).
There are also a couple of touchscreen buttons on the dial to switch sources, and a USB port to plug in a devices.
Like its predecessor, the Qb is worth every penny.
One problem you will encounter is actually a rather unusual one - the Naim is actually too good at times, making all but the best quality files sound a little lacking.
However, streaming services such as Spotify, and the latest downloads do sound great - while the higher quality lossless files sound absolutely stunning.
Overall, the price tag is a little intimidating, but after spending a bit of time you'll see that you really do get what you pay for - and the Naim mu:so Qb is the best all in one bookshelf speaker I've ever heard.
Additionally, it'll also give all but the very best separates systems a run for their money - and bodes well for the British firm's chances in the US.
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