Cubed Sound: Naim Audio's New Audio System At A Glance

Cubed Sound: Naim Audio's New Audio System At A Glance
Cubed Sound: Naim Audio's New Audio System At A Glance

Video: Cubed Sound: Naim Audio's New Audio System At A Glance

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Good sound is always expensive. In this regard, audio equipment is very similar to musical instruments: you can play and even sound good on anything, as long as the musician has enough skill and talent, but plug in two guitars of different classes and different prices to one amplifier - and only a deaf person will not hear the difference. That is why good sound has always been appreciated. They hunted for him, argued about him, they were ready to pay for him.

Naim Audio is one of the dedicated companies dedicated to creating high-end audio systems. Their products are very expensive, aimed at a specific audience, and therefore may not be known to the mass buyer. But Bentley owners know them very well - after all, it is the Naim Audio acoustics that are installed in some trim levels of famous British cars. Fortunately, now not only millionaires can join the brand's audio systems - not so long ago, the British released the Mu-so Qb universal audio system, which became the most affordable in its line.

The name of the system is one big phonetic game: a person familiar with the English language will have no difficulty in guessing that in such a peculiar way Naim Audio engineers have encrypted the phrase "Music Cube" - "Music Cube". That is why Mu-so Qb looks appropriately - it is a metal cube with uneven, "bumpy" sides, covered with a fabric-like material. At the base of the system is an LED stand, and in terms of design, this is one of the brand's best finds. Firstly, it is simply beautiful: sometimes, especially if you put Mu-so Qb on something light, you get the impression that it is hanging in the air. And secondly, it can be easily used as a night light - the system emits light very soft and warm.

All controls are located on the top of the device - a small but very neat display with a few touch buttons and a large silver volume wheel around it. I can't call the Mu-so Qb's design outstanding or eye-popping - opening the box is unlikely to let out a sigh of delight - but it does have one terribly important virtue - versatility. Wherever I put this system, whether on a table next to a black monitor, even on a floor next to a white printer, or in a kitchen decorated with natural wood, it always fits perfectly into the interior. And in this case it is important, because the Mu-so Qb, despite its small size, cannot be called portable: it works only on mains and weighs five kilograms. You will not constantly rearrange it. In addition, the system can be personalized:The speaker's fabric cover is nothing more than a colored interchangeable panel that can be removed and replaced with another.Naim Audio offers many different colors - I had the classic black version on my test.

Photo: Naim Audio Press Office
Photo: Naim Audio Press Office

© Naim Audio Press Office

Removing the cover reveals the heart of Mu-so Qb - the speakers. Although they are located in a funny way (they just stick out in different directions), they are smart: the system may not be 360-degree in the full sense of the word, but the sound quality practically does not drop if you move away from it a couple of meters or stand not at the center and the side.

Of course, each Mu-so Qb speaker is connected to a separate amplifier, each of them is controlled by a built-in processor, and instead of traditional phase inverters, there are a pair of passive radiators, but you will hardly think about all this when listening to music. The system sounds amazing.

Photo: Naim Audio Press Office
Photo: Naim Audio Press Office

© Naim Audio Press Office

I must say right away that lovers of the most honest, even, neutral sound should pass by. The Naim Audio system has character and sound has its own trick. It's hard to talk about such things without resorting to adjectives like "warm" and "springy", so the best word I can use to describe the acoustics of Mu-so Qb is "pumping". The column perfectly conveys the dynamics of the compositions, easily dives down with the bass drum, and then swiftly, without hesitation, shoots out the snare drum even in the fastest compositions. So it's really nice to hear rhythmic, groovy music like Royal Blood or Tesseract on Naim Audio.

At the same time, everything is in order with detail, and, importantly, it does not disappear when the volume is increased, the reserve of which is enough here to drive all neighbors crazy. The only thing I can find fault with is that sometimes there is too much bass at a high volume, especially when listening to pop songs. Not so much that this becomes a serious problem, but in the end, the sound cannot be called ideal.

Photo: Naim Audio Press Office
Photo: Naim Audio Press Office

© Naim Audio Press Office

But I don't want to find fault with the Mu-so Qb's connectivity at all, Naim Audio has created a real musical "combine". The column can connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi or a network cable, play playlists from Spotify, and also run files directly from your computer's hard drive. It has radio and Airplay support. The system can be connected to any mobile device via Bluetooth or directly via a 3.5mm cable. In general, the possibilities are simply darkness. And all this is controlled quite simply - through an application for a smartphone. You can, of course, and manually, but with a phone it is much easier: it has a larger screen and provides more functionality. The only thing, in my opinion, in the program at first it is quite easy to get confused.

The official price of Mu-so Qb in Russia is 59,990 rubles, and the figure, of course, is rather big at first glance. By making their most affordable device, Naim Audio has not broken the “pay for good sound” formula. Good audio equipment has never been cheap, and for this money the buyer gets a terribly functional (there is even an alarm clock), great sounding and compact audio system with character, ready to compete with much more expensive models on the market. If you are looking for a device that will become the sound hub of your apartment or country house, Mu-so Qb is definitely worth paying attention to.>

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