You no longer need to buy a Bentley Mulsanne to enjoy the sound of Naim Audio. The English hi-fi manufacturer that produces the luxury sedan’s optional sound system, “Naim for Bentley,” now offers wireless speakers for the home. In addition to delivering the mellifluous sound you would expect from a high-end audio manufacturer, the Naim Mu-so and Mu-so Qb lend a modernist elegance to a living room, study, bedroom or all three.
The Mu-so is less a wireless speaker than a piece of modern art. A long, low aluminum slab, the unit gradually reveals competing shapes and textures. A softly undulating fabric grille collides with angular, brushed metal casing that gives way to a vertiginous silver heat sink that spans the back of the unit. Perched on a semi-transparent acrylic base, the slab appears to float.
Peel away the black fabric grill—also available in bold burnt orange, vibrant red and deep blue—and you’ll discover six 75-watt amplifiers, 450-watts of total power channeled through the same high-performance digital processor Naim developed for Bentley. It will fill a palatial living room with crisp, full-bodied sound.
Perhaps the most ingenious and eye-catching feature is the unit’s control dial. You can use the circular, illuminated touch surface circumscribed in a volume-adjustment ring to pause and play audio, toggle between its inputs (3.5 mm, optical and USB) or select Internet radio stations that you customize using the Naim mobile app. In addition to physical inputs, Mu-so will connect to all of your devices using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. About the only feature that’s missing is connected home compatibility with Amazon Echo. Then again, Alexa is no substitute for that control dial.
You can tether multiple Mu-sos to stream music to up to five rooms simultaneously, in which case Mu-so Qb (pictured) offers a graceful addition to any bedroom. Despite its inelegant name, the Qb compresses all the aesthetic grace and wireless capability of its larger sibling, and nearly as much power—300 watts dispersed across four 50-watt amplifiers and a 100-watt woofer—into an 8.5-inch polymer cube that fits comfortably on a bookshelf. It’s a gorgeous device that’s arguably preferable for urban dwellers.
At $1,399 (Mu-so) and $899 (Mu-so Qb), they’re two of the most expensive wireless speakers on the market. But Bose and Bowers & Wilkins cannot rival Naim’s surgical attention to detail. And you can remind your reluctant spouse that a Mu-so is considerably more affordable than a Bentley.