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Naim Mu-So 2 wireless speaker: Bentley Continental audio on a budget

Naim's wireless speaker makes high-end audio accessible and fun.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
3 min read
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This isn't where I live, but I'd definitely have a Mu-So if I did.

Naim

I recently spent some time with the Bentley Continental GT V8 Convertible and the overall experience was, as you might expect, excellent. Still, one of the standout aspects for me was the Conti's Focal and Naim audio system. And ever since my time with the Bentley ended, I've become a little obsessed with trying to replicate that Naim experience at home.

Both Naim and Focal have been making high-end gear for audiophiles for decades. Unfortunately, as gorgeous as their equipment is, it's also well outside most people's price range -- Naim's flagship amplifier, the Statement, costs around $100,000, for example.

But in the last few years, some rather exciting things have been happening under Naim's roof, some of which have to do with the company's partnership with Bentley. That's where this Mu-So wireless speaker comes in. At $1,690, it certainly isn't cheap, but it's as close as you'll get to recreating the Bentley audio experience. In fact, there's even a specially styled Mu-So 2 done in cooperation with Bentley.

The Mu-So 2 doesn't look like any other wireless speaker I've ever seen. Its metal enclosure, massive multifunction volume knob, aluminum rear heat sink and clear, LED-lit plexiglass base make it look like a genuinely high-end piece of equipment. It weighs over 20 pounds, and when it comes to high-end audio gear, weight is usually a good sign of quality. This is not your typical wireless speaker. 

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The Mu-So 2 uses six Focal-designed drivers and outputs 450 watts.

Naim

The Mu-So 2 has physical inputs for HDMI, optical audio, USB and a 3.5-millimeter jack. It's got built-in Spotify, Chromecast, Tidal, AirPlay 2, Roon, internet radio and Bluetooth compatibility, too. If you have some kind of digital music to play, this thing will play it. It's also straightforward to use, quickly swapping between inputs, which is always a bonus.

The Mu-So 2 features six Focal-designed drivers powered by individual Class D amplifiers. Class D amps are typically very efficient and compact but can lack sonic fidelity compared with bulkier, less-efficient Class A amps. However, thanks to some secret British audio magic in the form of an in-house-designed digital signal processor and years of experience, Naim is able to capitalize on the benefits of Class D without suffering the penalties.

In terms of raw power, the Mu-So 2 puts out an incredibly impressive 450 watts. This is more than enough to make your neighbors hate you and rattle items on shelves all around your home. It gets incredibly loud, but interestingly, the way the Mu-So is voiced means it doesn't get fatiguing as the volume increases.

That last part is especially important, and it's also a huge part of why I'm so in love with the Naim system in the Continental. The Naim "signature" focuses on musicality and pleasurable listening over outright accuracy and lack of total harmonic distortion. It makes listening to music fun rather than clinical, and that's something that can be rarer than you think in the world of high-end audio.

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The knob on top is massive and weighted, and the touch-sensitive screen in the middle allows a surprising amount of control without digging out your phone.

Naim

The Mu-So is controlled via a dedicated Naim app, which guides you through the setup and allows you to configure the unit and control it with your phone. The app is well-designed, and I've found it generally pleasant to use. I'm an Apple user, so I also set the Mu-So up in the Apple HomeKit utility, which makes casting to it from any device really easy. There's also a nice little remote if you don't want to use your phone for things.

As impressive as the Mu-So is with music, it's also shockingly competent as a wildly overkill soundbar for a TV. It handles voices well, has surprising amounts of bass and thanks to how the speakers are configured, the way that sound is imaged makes it compare favorably to some discrete-component home theater audio systems I've experienced.

Overall, I've come away wildly impressed by this (not so little) wireless speaker. Sure, it's expensive, but you could also argue that it's a tremendous value for what it's capable of doing. It offers an audio experience that's way closer to the one in a $300,000 superluxury car than any wireless speaker ought to. I'm already trying to convince my wife that I need to give Naim a bunch of my money so my test unit never has to leave.

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The Mu-So 2 looks great, sounds epic and is way cheaper than a Bentley -- any Bentley.

Naim