Naim Audio Mu-so Qb 2
This Powerful Hi-Fi Speaker Is the Complete Compact Package
Naim Audio just announced the Mu-so Qb 2 ($899), an upgraded version of its original Mu-so Qb compact speaker that was released in 2016. The British hi-fi company did pretty much the exact same thing with the Mu-so 2, a newer version of its larger all-in-one Mu-so speaker, earlier this year, upgrading its processor, drivers, streaming capabilities and giving it arguably coolest volume dial in all of speakers – and now pretty much all those cool upgrades are coming to its smaller, more affordable hi-fi speaker.
The Mu-so Qb 2 looks almost identical to the original Mu-so Qb, but the most obvious physical change is with the new volume dial; it now has a proximity sensor, so it will illuminate when it detects your hand hovering over the volume dial, and it now has a completely new UI with 15 touch-sensitive buttons. You can preset Spotify or Tidal playlists to the speaker, that way you don’t have to take out your smartphone.
The biggest changes have to do with the little speaker’s power and performance. The Mu-so Qb 2 features a brand-new advanced multicore Digital Signal Processor (DSP), which the company claims allows the Mu-so Qb 2 deliver 13 times the performance of the original Mu-so Qb’s single-core processor. Aka the music is way more accurate to the original recording. Additionally, the upgraded drivers are supposedly able to deliver superior midrange and bass.
Just like the Mu-so Qb, the second-generation speaker has a multitude of connectivity options. You can integrate it into a multi-room audio system via AirPlay 2, Chromecast built-in or with other Naim speakers via its own app. It works with both Tidal and Spotify, so you can stream directly from those apps. It’s Roon ready and has built-in Bluetooth. The Mu-so Qb 2 has also has a USB, 3.5mm analog and Optical Digital inputs, so you can technically hook it up to your TV and use as a soundbar (the original Mu-so Qb couldn’t do this). Granted, it doesn’t support most surround sound technologies, like Dolby Atmos.
Like the Mu-so 2, you can also customize Mu-so Qb 2 with various replacement grilles, which com in several colores: olive, terracotta or peacock. This way you make the speaker as stylish as you like. The Mu-so Qb 2 will cost $899 and be available starting September 2.
It should be noted that Naim will phase out its original Mu-so Qb compact speaker in favor of the Mu-so Qb 2, however, if you’re looking to save a few bucks you can purchase that original Mu-so Qb at various retailers, like Reverb or Crutchfield, for $699. You won’t get the improved audio quality, really cool new volume dial, or the ability to connect the speaker to your TV, but the original Mu-so Qb is still an excellent speaker.
(Check out our review of the Mu-so 2, here.)