At EFTM we have reviewed a huge range of speakers. Some fit in your pocket, some are for home theatres and some, such as the ones from Naim represent a new level in speakers.
Naim is not a brand many would have heard of, frankly, many people are unable to even afford their products. Naim has a strong focus on audio quality combined with great design but still packing a longer than normal feature list. When you look and hear their products you can understand the higher price, even if you can’t afford one.
The Naim Mu-So Qb is the smallest speaker in their range. It is a similar size to a Nespresso coffee machine or four Sonos Play: 1 speakers. It is a cube. A perfect cube. The panels on each side look slightly wavey and show a bit of bulge in areas, it’s something that keeps you looking at the Qb. A large dial with touch sensitive buttons sits on top and glows with different controls depending on the audio input mode you’re in. The dial turns smoothly to increase and lower the volume. It is truly art in motion when using the Qb.
In terms of audio functions in the Qb, the list is long:
- Universal Plug’n’Play for streaming from PC, Mac or Network Storage
- Optical input
- AirPlay for streaming from your Apple products
- USB playback via USB drive, phone via USB etc
- Bluetooth streaming
- Multi-room playback – group more Qb’s or other Naim products
- Internet Radio – via the Naim app, access 1000’s of stations online
- Spotify Connect – continue your listening experience from your phone to your Qb without effort
- 3.5mm input, the simplest way to get the Qb playing your music
- TIDAL – via the Naim app, access high quality audio from this music streaming service
- Alarm Clock, the Qb cost enough, it might as well replace your alarm!
For many, they will only use the bluetooth audio streaming, this is great until you take a phone call or walk 10 meters from the Qb. Downloading and using the Naim app is a must, it allows you to truly control your Qb and allow it to operate independently and perform on its own. The Qb looks amazing anywhere you put it but you’ll hear it all through the house. We hesitated to turn the volume beyond 50% as the sound was very loud. The fortunate thing about “loud” from the Naim speakers is that the quality remains, it’s just bigger. We tested the Qb with a wide range of music and the quality of sound was very impressive in all areas.
Finally, at $1299 this speaker is not for everyone. At $1299 though you aren’t investing in a speaker only, it is a sculpture, an art form. It takes music listening to a visual level. You’ll become fussy about what you play on it as it deserves beautiful music. We do wish the controls were a little simpler to use and pairing with the app a little simpler but once it is all setup and working you’re good to go.