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Naim Mu-so 2 promises complete update to a classic wireless system

Naim Mu-so 2 promises a complete update to a classic wireless system

Five years after the launch of the original, we have a Naim Mu-so 2nd Generation. While the ground-breaking Mu-so has largely kept up with the competition, there is, of course, always room for improvement - not least in the fast-moving world of wireless, multi-room audio.

Naim claims to have squeezed even more performance and functionality out of the Mu-so 2, promising an almost complete upgrade of its classic streaming speaker system. That comes at a cost, however, with the new Mu-so sporting a new, noticeably higher price tag of £1299/$1599.

Naim has very much stuck with the look and feel of the original Mu-so. But don’t be fooled by such familiarity, for underneath the aluminium casing Naim has changed pretty much everything (“95%”, according to managing director Charlie Henderson), from new drive units to extra connectivity to a re-engineered cabinet.

Naim has naturally carried over its new streaming platform, which lies at the heart of the brand’s latest streamers and systems, such as the ND5 XS 2 and Uniti Atom. That means support for hi-res music up to PCM 32bit/384kHz via UPnP; streaming over Spotify Connect, Tidal, AirPlay 2 and Chromecast, the latter of which brings Deezer and Qobuz to the table; and internet radio access. 

Alternatively, Bluetooth, USB, optical and 3.5mm inputs provide means of offline connection to a source. Perhaps the boldest addition to the list of connections is an HDMI ARC socket. This allows you to connect the Mu-so up to your TV to perform soundbar duties. All told, the new Mu-so has a thorough feature list.

A good streaming platform requires good control, and Naim’s app (available on iOS and Android) has been updated for the job. Alternatively, the Mu-so 2nd Generation is Roon Ready, so it can be controlled using the Roon app.

And further good news: existing Mu-so and Mu-so Qb owners wishing to expand their multi-room set-up can indeed add a backwards-compatible Mu-so 2. 

While the shape, size and form factor of the Mu-so is largely identical, the 2nd-gen model introduces a new touch control panel ringed by an illuminated dial, allowing the user on-unit control of source selection, presets and multi-room pairing.

Thanks to a proximity sensor, an approaching hand wakes the display and illuminates the icons ready for use. Having had the pleasure of a brief introduction to the new Mu-so, we have to say this inclusion is deftly smart - both visually and practically. There's also a new remote control, should you prefer to keep it simple.

All-new drivers, which have been optimised in collaboration with Focal, have 450 watts of power behind them. And new processing provides 2000 million instructions per second - that's thirteen times more than the original Mu-so can muster. Naim also claims to have improved the wi-fi connectivity, although Ethernet is still an option for optimum network stability.

To augment bass, Naim has re-engineered the structure to increase the cabinet volume of the Muso 2 by 13 per cent. And to tailor performance based on its listening position, there are three settings – ‘Near Wall’, ‘Near Corner’ and, when out in the open, ‘No Compensation’.

The system’s aluminium chassis sports a new burnished grey finish, fronted by a newly-styled speaker grille, supplied in black but also available in terracotta, olive or peacock (blue). 

The Naim Mu-so 2nd Generation is available from Thursday 9th May, priced £1299/$1599. We can't wait to put it through its paces.

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Becky is Hi-Fi and Audio editor of What Hi-Fi?, and has been part of the team for almost eight years, with her current position preceded by roles as a staff writer and news editor. During that time she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching horror movies and hunting for gluten-free cake.