Naim introduces the Bentley of home music streaming
Since 2008, British audio specialist Naim has been working to fill the cabins of Bentley cars with finely tuned sound. Now it's working to bring that partnership into your house. The company's latest multi-room all-in-one speakers take cues from Bentley models and vibrate the sheetrock with Naim for Bentley audio might.
We're used to seeing special-edition Bentleys, but not so used to seeing special-edition Wi-Fi streaming speakers inspired by Bentleys. But that's what we have in the new Naim for Bentley Mu-so and Mu-so qb, which can be thought of as a special-edition luxury Sonos alternative.
The new line sports clean solid-block looks and up to 450 watts of audio-blasting power. Naim worked with Bentley designers to give the flagship Mu-so and compact Mu-so qb proper Bentley detailing. The anodized aluminum casing is patterned to match the Naim grilles inside the new Bentley Bentayga, and the Mu-so grilles are finished in "Portland," a color pulled out of Bentley's book of options. The volume dial features Bentley-style knurling, and an engraved "Naim For Bentley" logo in the acrylic base fills out with a slight glow when the system is switched on.
Below the distortion-fighting aluminum housing, the wooden speaker cabinet holds six 75 W drivers in the 450 W Mu-so and five (4 x 50 W + a 100 W) in the 300 W Mu-so qb. The speakers accept all kinds of wireless and wired inputs, relying on Wi-Fi/Ethernet to pull music from the digital ether and Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay to stream it directly from a mobile device. Hard inputs include an optical port, USB and 3.5-mm jack. The Mu-so system has native support for TIDAL, Spotify Connect and vTuner internet radio and can play your personal digital collection in "better than CD quality" via UPnP.
As with other all-in-one home streaming systems, individual Mu-so speakers can pair together (up to five units), filling the house with the same music or playing different music independently in individual rooms. The new speakers also work with Naim's other streaming products. An Android/iOS app ties the system together.
The new Naim for Bentley streaming speakers are available from Bentley dealers and online in the Bentley collection. The Mu-so retails for £1,195 (US$1,694) and the Mu-so qb for £750 ($1,108), roughly $200 and $100 premiums over the non-Bentley versions. That might be worth it to Bentley owners or enthusiasts who like the idea of bringing a touch of ultra-premium-branded audio beyond the garage door, but it seems like more money on top of an awful lot of money for a non-stereo wireless audio system. But we guess that's really for consumers to decide.