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NAD C445 review

This tuner is is good – very good, in fact – with a decent outdoor aerial delivering plenty of signal Tested at £350.00

Our Verdict

An excellent tuner that can sound very good with a strong FM signal, but it’s challenged hard by cheaper rivals

For

  • Fine sound on FM and respectable on DAB
  • easy to use
  • no-frills design and styling

Against

  • Hamstrung by so-so DAB broadcast quality
  • cheaper rivals exist

With radio now available via Sky and Freeview, not to mention streaming onto a PC near you, the hi-fi tuner might seem an endangered species. Or maybe not: there's no shortage of high-quality hi-fi tuners on the market.

Hybrid tuner
The NAD's a hybrid tuner, with three aerial inputs – for FM, AM and DAB – and 40 presets for the analogue stations as well as favourite station memory on digital. Optical and electrical digital outputs are available from DAB, and there are analogue outputs from all bands, while the digital-to-analogue conversion used for DAB is based on that in NAD's C521BEE and C542 CD players.

This tuner is is good – very good, in fact – with a decent outdoor aerial delivering plenty of signal. Pop and rock stations are their usual slightly hard-edged selves – compressed to the point of breathless excitement – but find a decent Radio 3 concert or Radio 2 music special, and you'll enjoy what this tuner can do with its well-weighted bass, expressive midband and fine treble detailing.

Dodgier on DAB
Things are a bit ropier on DAB: not the tuner's fault, but many stations now sound rather thin and artificial in digital form. Stick to FM for the quality stuff and DAB for non-FM stations – TalkSport and Radio 5 sound better on DAB than AM – and you'll be fine.

In fact the NAD's only real problem is the presence of rivals which do the same job for less. And with the money you save, you could buy a good FM aerial.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, New York and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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