Volume Knobs Are Everything

This Beautiful All-in-One Speaker Sounds Better Than Sonos

May 9, 2019 Tech By
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Naim Audio released the original Mu-so speaker more than five years ago and it’s still one of the best and prettiest home speaker you buy — or at least it was. The high-end audio company just announced a new version of the speaker, the Mu-so 2, that looks very similar to the previous generation yet sounds significantly better.

The Mu-so 2 has upgraded speaker drives and more than 10 times the processing power of the original Mu-so. This combo helps the speaker stream higher-resolution audio (up to 32bit/384kHz) and create an even bigger sound. According to Simon Matthews, the design director at Naim Audio, the Mu-so 2 delivers twice the soundstage. The internal cabinet of the Mu-so 2 has also been re-engineered to enhance bass.

The Mu-so 2 looks nearly identical to the Mu-so, but Naim radically improved its volume knob, which is what all Naim’s speakers have become known for. It’s still huge and wonderful, but the new dial now has a built-in proximity sensor. Whenever you place your hand near it, the dial will automatically wake up and become illuminated. This is also the most obvious way to tell if you’re dealing with a first-generation or second-generation Mu-So speaker — just stick your hand near it.

The dial on the Mu-so 2 has a new touch interface with 15 touch-sensitive buttons for quick actions. You can press certain areas of the dial to kickstart a favorite playlist or radio station, so you don’t have to touch your smartphone, or it can switch between the Mu-so 2’s copious connectivity options; it has built-in support for AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Chromecast built-in, Tidal, Roon and Bluetooth. There’s also an HDMI ARC connection, which is new to the Mu-so 2, as well as optical digital input, meaning you could technically use it as a soundbar (although it doesn’t support the Dolby Atmos or DTS:X surround sound technologies).

The Naim Mu-so speaker system is a great all-in-one speaker option. It’s designed to work on its own or with Naim’s other speakers, but you can easily integrate it into an existing multi-room system thanks to built-in AirPlay 2 and Chromecast. At $1,599, the Mu-so 2 is more expensive than the older model, which started off at $1,299 and now retails for $999 on Amazon.

The Naim Mu-so 2 can be purchased with one of four different speaker grille color options — black, terracotta, olive or peacock.

Gear Patrol also recommends:
Sonos Play:5 ($499)
Devialet Phantom Reactor 900 ($1,350)
Naim Mu-So Qb ($699)
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Tucker Bowe

Tucker Bowe has been on Gear Patrol's editorial team since 2014. As a Tech Staff Writer, he tracks everything in the consumer tech space, from headphones to smartphones, wearables to home theater systems. If it lights up or makes noise, he probably covers it.

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