NAD C 389 is an upgradeable stereo amplifier with HDMI eARC built-in

NAD C 389
(Image credit: NAD)

The Munich High End show 2022 officially kicks off tomorrow, but we're already starting to see the arrival of some new products in the build-up to the hi-fi extravaganza.

NAD has taken the wraps off a new stereo amplifier, the C 389. It’s the latest amp to take advantage of a customised version of the company’s HybridDigital UcD amplifier design. It also boasts an element of future-proofing thanks to the use of NAD’s Modular Design Construction platform, MDC2.

The brains of the operation is the same 32-bit/384kHz ESS Sabre DAC found in NAD’s premium Masters Series of amplifiers which, according to NAD, is known for its ability to minimize clock jitter (digital timing errors), deliver wide dynamic range and low noise and distortion. 

The C 389’s HybridDigital amp delivers 130 watts of continuous power and NAD claims it’s been designed to handle any speaker load.

NAD C 389

(Image credit: NAD)

You’ve got an array of digital and analogue connections to choose from, including a pair of digital optical and coaxial inputs, an ultra-low-noise moving magnet phono stage, two sets of speaker outputs, two subwoofer outputs, preamp outs and a dedicated headphone amp. AptX HD Bluetooth is also provided out of the box. 

Adding to the amp’s flexibility is the addition of an HDMI eARC socket so you can hook up a compatible TV and ditch its internal speakers in favour of your own stereo pair.

Two MDC2 expansion slots on the rear panel provide an element of future-proofing, allowing dedicated modules to be added to the amplifier, opening up new features. The first optional module to be offered by NAD is the MDC2 BluOS-D which connects to your home network via wi-fi or ethernet and taps into the BluOS high-res multi-room streaming platform. The same module also includes Dirac Live room correction to help with system set-up.

The NAD C389 integrated amplifier will go on sale "early summer 2022" for £1299 ($1499, €1499).


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Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.