Introducing mu-so by Naim

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Naim Audio mu-so
Introducing mu-so by Naim

At CEDIA EXPO 2014, Audio Plus Services will debut the revolutionary Naim mu-so, the first wireless music system from Naim. Available in Canada and the United States in late September, mu-so will retail for USD1499.

Music, liberated
Through its advanced connectivity, mu-so will unleash your digital music, wherever it’s stored.

And it’s so easy to set up and use that you’ll find yourself listening to and enjoying your favourite artists more than ever before.

Combining Naim’s expertise in streaming, amplification and loudspeaker technology, mu-so is the stage your music deserves, bringing you closer to the songs that inspire your life.

The same approach that has defined a generation of Naim products has informed the development of mu-so. Its design has been meticulously mapped out and analysed, drawing on a bank of knowledge from our most experienced audio engineers. And, importantly, every aspect has been refined in the listening room to offer best-in-class musical performance. To earn the Naim badge, mu-so had to sound incredible.

Mu-so will be available in September at an MSRP of USD1499. Please contact your Naim sales representative to discuss becoming an official mu-so stockist.

Mu-so Features

Inputs
AirPlay
Stream music from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch or from iTunes.
UPnPTM (Universal Plug ‘n’ Play)
Stream music from a PC, Mac or network-attached storage in high-resolution ‘better than CD’ quality.

Bluetooth
Pair with a Bluetooth device to instantly play your music. Also compatible with aptX for high performance audio where supported by the device connecting to mu-so.

Internet Radio
Access thousands of internet radio stations and save your favourite presets for easy access.

Streaming Services
Native support of streaming services to play millions of songs from your portable device, PC or Mac.

USB
Play music from and charge your iPhone, iPad, iPod and many other MP3 players and playback from USB sticks.

Digital Input (Optical)
Boost audio from digital sources such as TVs, set top boxes or games consoles.

3.5mm Analogue Input
Play music from other digital and analogue sources including MP3 players.

Multiroom
Play to multiple mu-so devices simultaneously via Airplay or link with other Naim streaming players as part of a Naim multiroom system.

Speakers and amplification
Six Naim Speaker Drivers
Custom-designed dome tweeters (x2), mid-range (x2) and bass drivers (x2).
450W of Amplification
Six 75 watt digital amplifiers drive each speaker unit independently.

Control Features

Mu-so Control App
Custom-designed Naim app to control mu-so and explore music via iPhone, iPad, iPod and Android devices.

Touch Panel Volume Control
Innovative touch panel volume control (patent-pending) including standby, input and preset selection.

Remote Control
Remote control to put mu-so into standby, adjust volume, change track (next/previous), pause and adjust the base illumination.

Room Settings
Two different room EQ settings to optimise sound when positioning mu-so near or away from room boundary.

Loudness Control
Mu-so intelligently boosts bass and treble at low volumes to ensure a full musical experience at all sound levels.

Mu-so Technology & Innovation

Independent Drive – Inspired by Naim for Bentley
At first glance our Naim for Bentley system shares little in common with a digital music player for the home. But developing a system for the in-car environment really honed our skills, especially when it came to mu-so.

We learned a lot about controlling sound in finite spaces, which led us to apply a technique that pairs six individual Naim custom-designed speaker drivers with six digital amplifiers, all controlled by a DSP fine-tuned by our engineers in the listening room. Mu-so, just like Naim for Bentley, controls frequency response and relative time alignment to each drive unit to integrate the disparate strands of music information into an engaging and compelling whole.

The Bass Reflex System
Mu-so features a sophisticated bass reflex system to maximise power output and bass extension. We found through listening tests that the overall performance was heavily dependent on getting the design and implementation of the bass port just right. So the size, shape and positioning was carefully calculated early in the design process. The port is ribbed to increase rigidity and features flares to minimise turbulence in the air flow which both reduce resonance and lower distortion. The result is a unit with serious kick for powerful music performance. DSP – The Audio Brain

The digital signal processor is the audio brain of mu-so. It has the crucial job of handling the incoming digital music information and passing different frequencies at the right times to the right speaker drivers. It’s a high-performance 32bit chip capable of hundreds of millions of calculations per second. More important than this however is that its software has been custom- designed by Naim engineers, then tested and fine-tuned in the listening room by our most experienced engineers to provide the optimum sound quality. We’ve gone to great lengths to extract every last drop of musical performance.

EQ and Loudness
It was important in the development of mu-so that it was flexible enough to deliver a great sound in most living spaces. To ensure this we optimised equalisation settings for two different positions within a room: near and away from room boundary.

We’ve also fine-tuned the EQ to ensure excellent bass and treble performance at any volume. At low volumes bass and treble can sound deflated, out of proportion with the rest of the music. It’s a psychoacoustic phenomenon that is well known to audio engineers. To combat this we have included a loudness control in the DSP which intelligently enhances bass and treble at low volumes to stay relative to the rest of the mix.

The Digital Amplifier
Mu-so features six 75 watt class-D digital amplifiers which drive each of the six speakers independently.

We chose class D because it has a high power density making it very efficient, allowing us to get a big sound from a small space without wasting too much energy through heat. Staying in the digital domain through the amplification stage also means we only have to convert the signal to analogue once, minimising the potential for information loss and the introduction of noise and distortion.

Seamless Connectivity (patent-pending)
To make the seamless mu-so design a functional reality took months of collaborative work between our engineers and a consultant professor from Queen Mary, University of London. One of the innovations that resulted from this work was the embedded Wi-Fi antenna system (patent- pending). Two hidden printed-circuit slot antennae, one between the bass drivers and one deep inside the rear heatsink, work in combination with a dual-channel diversity receiver. The result is excellent Wi-Fi link performance from within a metallic enclosure.

Contactless Touch Panel Volume Control
The mu-so touch panel volume control has been precision engineered to provide a seamless interface between the user and their music. Constructed of a solid ring of bead-blasted, anodised aluminium, it features a patent-pending system of illumination which refracts light onto the touch-panel surface and 11 different volume segments with varying intensity depending on the setting. The central touch-sensitive panel is isolated from the outer ring to remain static and provides all on product control including input, preset selection and standby in one elegant solution.

There is no physical contact between the mu-so volume control and the main board. Instead, two photo interrupters which transfer information by light are used. As well as being a more reliable alternative to a mechanical contact it means we had complete control of the resistance of the volume dial to achieve the most pleasing tactile experience.


Mu-so Control App
Mu-so can be controlled via the supplied remote control, the touch panel volume control or via a mu-so control app for iPad, iPhone, iPod and Android.

The mu-so control app puts a world of music at your fingertips. Created by our team of software engineers and visual designers, it’s a seamless interface between you and your music, offering an array of music control and discovery features.

A ‘Now Playing’ bar at the bottom of every screen gives instant control and you can browse albums, artists, songs and genres through a beautifully designed menu system. The home screen gives easy access to all inputs and iRadio presets. And if you have other Naim streaming products on the same network, you can select rooms and enable party mode directly from the app. It will even notify you when there is new mu-so software available and enables updates directly from the app.

Add this to playlist creation, extended metadata to explore performers, biographies, discographies, similar music and more and the mu-so control app becomes the perfect tool to help you get more from your music.

The new control app will be available to download for iOS and Android devices in September 2014 and will be compatible with existing Naim streaming products as well as mu-so. More details will be released for existing owners before launch in September.

Multiroom
Mu-so can create a Multiroom audio system in two ways:

When connected to the same network as a Naim streaming product such as a UnitiQute 2 or NDX
(24bit/192kHz capable versions only) it can play the same music in perfect sync in another room.
This makes it a perfect accessible system for customers with Naim Uniti players or separates hi-fi in their main listening room.

Multiroom can also be achieved by using Airplay to send audio from a single iPod, iPhone or iPad or from iTunes to multiple mu-so players simultaneously.

Mu-so Design & Materials

Industrial Design
Mu-so shares elements of its form with our prestigious Statement series of amplifiers. Both draw inspiration from classic industrial design and share a monolithic shape which is juxtaposed with organic, sculptural features that represent the abstract experience of listening to music. It represents the approach to audio design set out by our founder Julian Vereker over 40 years ago. While we are relentless in our pursuit of technical excellence we are always grounded by the ultimate purpose of our creations, to connect with music as the artist intended.

A detachable speaker grille follows the same curvature as the aluminium heat sinks found on Statement. The transparent acrylic base is illuminated to appear as if the product is floating on a blade of pure light. And the rotary volume control shares similarities in form and function. Muso doesn’t just resemble our most powerful system; it’s in its DNA.

Colour
The detachable mu-so speaker grille will be available in different colour options as of launch in September 2014. More information regarding this will be released closer to launch.

Materials
Mu-so materials have been selected not only for their premium feel but also for their benefit to overall sound quality and performance when combined.

Aluminium heat sink – a solid extruded aluminium heat sink runs the length of the product extracting heat to maximise thermal performance for increased longevity and sound performance. It’s a three-part extrusion which is bead-blasted, CNC and anodised in a similar way to all Naim products to provide a premium finish.

Aluminium volume control – the touch panel volume control features a solid ring of aluminium which is CNC’d and finished through bead-blasting and anodising.

Wooden cabinet with aluminium skin – the internal speaker cabinet is constructed from wood as it is a natural material for sound quality. It is covered by a skin of anodised aluminium which increases rigidity and mechanical dampening still further to improve performance.

Silk-dome tweeters – the silk-dome tweeters were chosen through listening tests over their metal alternatives for their beneficial effect on sound quality. They are a common feature in high- end standalone speakers.

Mu-so Specification

Audio Inputs
UPnP, AirPlay, Streaming Services and Internet Radio: via wired Ethernet (RJ45) or Wi-Fi
Digital: Optical S/PDIF (up to 96kHz)
Analogue: 3.5mm jack on side
USB/iPod: Side USB Type-A
Other inputs: Bluetooth (including aptX)

Connectivity
Infra-red for remote control
Network: Ethernet (10/100Mbps), Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
Bluetooth

Power
Power Amplifier output: 450W - 6 x 75W

Formats
Audio formats supported:

WAV, FLAC and AIFF – up to 24bit/192kHz
ALAC (Apple Lossless) – up to 24bit/96kHz
MP3 – up to 48kHz, 320kbit (16 bit)
AAC – up to 48kHz, 320kbit (16bit)
OGG and WMA – up to 48kHz (16bit)

When product is wireless: up to 48kHz on all file formats.

Gapless formats supported:

WAV, FLAC and AIFF – up to 24bit/192kHz
ALAC (Apple Lossless) – up to 24bit/96kHz

Internet radio service provider: vTuner premium

Bluetooth: SBC, AAC and aptX

Product Certifications & Licensing
Licenses: Apple MFI and AirPlay, Bluetooth, aptX, Wi-Fi certification

Other
Supplied with: Remote control, mains plug adaptor and quick-start guide

Physical
Dimensions (HxWxD): 120mm x 628mm x 256mm
Weight: 13kg

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