At High End Show, Bluesound & NAD Offer High-End Announcements

Hi-Res audio logoFrom the High End show now taking place in Munich, Germany, Bluesound and NAD, two specialty audio lines leading the charge into high-res and high quality audio, made several interesting announcements about their efforts. Both brands are marketed here in the U.S. by Lenbrook America.

See what Bluesound and NAD announced at the High End show…



We have closely followed the development of Bluesound as it is an impressive effort by Lenbrook to further create and develop a market for a new kind of high-end product line. Specialty audio has been under pressure for several years now, with the overall market getting split between either low-end Bluetooth speakers, or $100,000 high-end installations. What happened to that digital native music lover looking for something more contemporary and reasonably priced?

The answer, at least according to Lenbrook, is for the industry to begin developing products that are more contemporary in form factor, such as wireless multi-room music systems – but that also are committed to superior sound quality. Hence, the launch of Bluesound – a new brand designed to bridge these two worlds of digital natives…and music lovers.

 

BLUESOUND – HRA & MQA

Bluesound, which says it is the “world’s first wireless multi-room music system to fully support high-resolution audio,” announced this week that it has received the coveted hi-resolution audio products designation by the Japan Audio Society. The company will be licensing the HRA logo and promoting it in their materials and eventually on their products. The Japan Audio Society noted in the announcement that Bluesound is the perfect candidate for the designation as they are the only wireless multi-room music systems to support lossless streaming in the home.

MQA logoIn a separate but related announcement, Bluesound said that starting June 1, 2016 all of their systems will have MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) available. An upcoming BluOS (their proprietary operating system) firmware update will add the capability and “listeners around the world will now have the ability to stream MQA music through any Bluesound Player.”

MQA is an emerging standard that is an end-to-end technology said to deliver master quality audio in a file compact enough to be streamed or downloaded. It is rapidly evolving and appears to be picking up momentum among high-end manufacturers.

NAD – HRA Certification



NAD issued three significant announcements from the Munich show, one of which is directly related to the Bluesound announcements. NAD says that certain models in their NAD Masters, Classic, Theatre and Digital Series lines are now HRA certified. As the company notes, these models “meet or exceed the rigorous standards for HRA systems set out by the Japan Audio Society and the U.S. Consumer Technology Association.”

The newly HRA-certified models are:

  • Masters Series – M12 Digital Preamp DAC, M17 AV Surround Sound Preamp Processor, M22 Stereo Power Amplifier, and M27 Seven-Channel Power Amplifier
  • Digital Series – D3020 Hybrid Digital Amplifier and D7050 Direct Digital Network Amplifier
  • Classic Series – C 316BEE, C 326BEE, C 356BEE, C 375BEE Stereo Integrated Amplifiers; C 390DD Direct Digital Powered DAC Amplifier; and C 510 Direct Digital Preamp DAC
  • Theatre Series – T 748, T 758, T 777 and T 787 A/V Surround Sound Receivers

NAD – New Streaming Devices

NAD also announced two new multi-zone streaming products designed to be incorporated into high-quality distributed audio systems by custom integrators. The company says these new models are part of a “renewed commitment to the CI market.”

Photo of NAD CI 580

NAD CI 580 Network Music Player

CI 580 Four Zone BlueOS Network Music Player – $1,299 MSRP

  • Lag-free streaming
  • 4-Stereo zone source component
  • Fixed or variable line output
  • 1U rack chassis
  • 1-Ethernet connection for all zones
  • Ethernet in/out
  • USB input
  • Employs standard network protocols
  • Univeral voltage (100-240)
  • Uses BluOS operating system

CI 720 Network Stereo Zone Amplifier – $899 MSRP

  • 1-Stereo zone with HybridDigital amplification
  • 2 x 60W power – 165W Dynamic Power
  • subwoofer output
  • 3U height ‘blade’ chassis, up to six units in one rack space
  • Ethernet connectivity
  • Analog audio output
  • Digital optical input
  • USB input
  • Employs standard network protocols
  • Universal voltage (100-240)
  • Thermostatically-controlled fan cooling
  • 3rd party control and automation integration drivers available
  • Fits into RM 720 Rack System

 

NAD – New Masters Series Models



NAD also announced two new Master Series models – the M32 Direct Digital Amplifier and the M50.2 Digital Music Player. NAD Masters Series products are their top performing models.

Photo of NAD M32

NAD M32 DirectDigital Amplifier

NAD M32 Direct Digital Amplifier – $3,499 MSRP

  • DirectDigital amplification, combining all preamplification and power amplification functions into a single amplifying stage
  • 150W continuous power (8Ω)
  • 4-MDC slots with three for customization and expandability, all are 24-bit/192kHz
  • MM phono input
  • single-ended line inputs
  • Asynchronous type B USB 2.0 (24-bit/192kHz)
  • AES/EBU, cooas, and optical 24-bit/192kHz inputs
  • Subwoofer crossover with selectable crossover frequency and levels
  • Headphone amplifier
  • 2-sets of speaker outputs for bi-wiring

NAD M50.2 Digital Music Player – $3,999 MSRP

  • Wireless (Wi-Fi) and gigabit Ethernet inputs
  • Automatic ripping of CD to internal RAID of 2-2TB hard drives
  • Real-time playback of CDs
  • Decodes FLAC, ALAC, MP3, WMA, AAC, Ogg
  • SPDIF outputs; AES/EBU, coaxial, optical
  • HDMI output
  • USB output (mass storage mode)
  • USB inputs, 1-front (host), 1-rear (device)
  • RS-232 for external control
  • IR in/out
  • IR remote control
  • TFT touch panel display
  • Bluetooth AptX
  • Software defined product with upgrade path

 

To learn more about these and other products offered by Lenbrook, visit: www.lenbrook.com.



Comments

At High End Show, Bluesound & NAD Offer High-End Announcements — 2 Comments

  1. I have a NAD 366 BEE integrated amp. I want a way to get high quality streaming sound to it. I have a cheap plugin Bluetooth adapter but can I do better with WiFi or Bluetooth? Should I look for a better Bluetooth plugin, should I purchase a NAD module, should I use Sonos Connect, what would you recommend?

    • Jonathan,

      I reached out to Lenbrook representatives to see if they had a recommendation. In fact, they have a solution they’ve designed just for folks like you. They say all you have to do is add a NODE2i. According to Lenbrook, parent company of Bluesound, the NODE2i was designed just for situations like yours.

      You can see more at: https://www.bluesound.com/products/node/

      Hope this solves your problem!

      Thanks for reading Strata-gee.com!

      Ted

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