Red Dot Award: Naim wins Red Dot: Product Design 2015 for its Mu-so wireless music system
Naim Audio is a world renowned British manufacturer of premium home music systems which are designed to create a deeper and more intense connection between artist and listener.
Today Naim is delighted to announce that its Mu-so wireless music system has won over the 38-member jury of the Red Dot Award 2015: Product Design. It was recognised as one of the special few products among 4928 entries from 56 countries for its quality and innovative power, deservedly winning the sought-after Red Dot seal of quality.
Mu-so is Naim’s first wireless music system. It features six speakers and 450 watts of amplification in a single, elegant enclosure with connectivity including high-resolution streaming, AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth (aptX), internet radio and app control.
Naim’s Director of Design, Simon Matthews, commented: “The Red Dot award is welcome recognition of the countless late nights spent by the team at Naim in making our Mu-so wireless music system a gateway to a deeper, more intense experience of music for a wide audience. Every aspect of the design has been carefully considered to connect the listener completely with their music.”
About The Red Dot Award
Throughout the world and across different industries, Red Dot is seen as the award for high design quality. The international Red Dot jury bestows the sought-after seal of quality only to those products that stand out clearly from comparable entries thanks to their excellent design.
In order to appraise the diversity in the field of design in a professional manner, the Red Dot Design Award breaks down into the three disciplines of Red Dot Award: Product Design, Red Dot Award: Communication Design and Red Dot Award: Design Concept.
The Red Dot Award was created by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen and with around 17,000 entries each year is one of the best-respected design competitions in the world. In 2015, it is celebrating its 60th anniversary: It was in 1955 that a jury convened for the first time to assess the best designs of the day. The sought-after award, the “Red Dot”, is the revered international seal of outstanding design quality.
Award-winning designers, manufacturers and agencies use the Red Dot winner label and receive numerous other winners’ privileges, such as the presentation of the award-winning product on Red Dot Online, in the Red Dot Design Yearbook, the Red Dot App and on Red Dot 21. Additionally, the winning products are communicated in the international PR activities of Red Dot and exhibited in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen for a whole year.
About Naim Audio
Founded in 1973, Naim is an award-winning hi-fi manufacturer based in Wiltshire, UK. With a history rooted in engineering and design excellence, Naim has won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise on three occasions, most recently for its ground-breaking design of digital music systems in 2014.
Naim shares the same intense relationship with music as its customers, a passion that has driven them to design and engineer hi-fi products including digital music systems, amplifiers and loudspeakers that connect people with their music. For Naim, music always comes first. Every product is the subject of intense scrutiny from a team of engineers who spend months in the listening room perfecting designs, never content until the music speaks to their hearts and souls as well as their heads.
Naim maintains an exclusive partnership with Bentley Motors - the Naim for Bentley premium audio system is available as an optional extra on all Bentley models – and Naim is an official sponsor of Team M-Sport Bentley for the 2014 GT3 season.
Naim was also one of the pioneers of high-resolution music, launching one of the world’s first high-definition download sites in the world. NaimLabel.com offers music in better than CD resolution from its multi-MOBO winning, Mercury prize and GRAMMY nominated roster of critically acclaimed artists.
Mu-so by Naim, now featuring Spotify Connect and three new colours
Mu-so, the new advanced wireless music system by Naim, will now feature Spotify Connect and if you subscribe to Spotify Premium, you can control
mu-so with the Spotify app on your phone or tablet. Because Spotify is built-in to mu-so, you can still take calls or use other apps on your phone or tablet - the music never stops.
The Naim mu-so will be available at specialist audio retailers, John Lewis and JohnLewis.com, and select Apple stores and apple.com for £895 this autumn.
Revealed at the Vinyl Factory, London in April, mu-so is the ultimate all-in-one music hub for the modern home. Now, using the Spotify app, Spotify Premium account holders can stream their favourite songs and playlists from the palm of their hand to mu-so and experience their music collection in superior sound quality.
The new Naim control app
It’s now easier than ever before to fill your home with hi-fi sound thanks to mu-so. Owners of Naim music streaming products such as the Naim range of all-in-one and network players can stream audio to up to four Naim players, which can now include mu-so wireless music systems as client players only, to create a multiroom audio system. Used as the primary music system for any home, mu-so boasts a stylish design to fit seamlessly into any modern living space.
To offer even more flexibility and colour co-ordinate with interior designs, Naim is introducing a selection of tasteful coloured speaker grilles. Mu-so will come with a Classic Naim Black speaker grille as standard while offering a choice of new Vibrant Red, Burnt Orange and Deep Blue grilles, sold separately.
Paul Stephenson, Managing Director, Naim, says “Naim exists to make music central to people’s lives and, as our first wireless music system,
mu-so exists to make that a reality for even more music lovers. Through a simplicity in design and an understanding of the engineering and technology needed to unleash digital music, we’ve created a system that is a revelation in sound and a joy to own and use.”
Combining its expertise in streaming, amplification and loudspeaker design, Naim has manufactured a home hi-fi system where music lovers no longer have to compromise sound quality for convenience. Mu-so can stream 24bit/192kHz high resolution ‘better than CD’ quality music, as well all audio formats from Apple Lossless CD imports from iTunes to HD formats such as WAV, FLAC and AIFF, all from Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, laptops and other storage devices.
Mu-so advanced connectivity includes AirPlay, UPnP™ (Universal Plug ‘n’ Play), Bluetooth (aptX), internet radio and native support for Spotify Connect. Boasting 450 watts of power from six 75 watt digital amplifiers to power the built-in speakers, mu-so can be used as a central home hi-fi system or can be linked with other Naim systems such as the UnitiQute 2 to create a true high-fidelity multi-room system.
Naim Audio is a British company with a global reputation for producing the best premium home music systems. Since 1973, Naim engineers have created a sound that moves you, bringing the experience of live music to the home through a passion for sound and an understanding that great engineering and design gets you closer to the music.
Today, Naim introduces mu-so, a wireless music system which will transform your music into incredible sonic experiences. Mu-so has been designed to unleash your digital music, combining Naim’s expertise in streaming, amplification and loudspeaker design to create intense, emotive and enthralling musical experiences.
Designed for every modern living space, mu-so will either blend with your home style or become a central piece of design technology in the living room. Sharing industrial design excellence with the landmark Statement amplifier, Naim’s most powerful creation, mu-so is a key part of the Naim mission to make music centre stage in people’s lives, creating intense and emotive listening experiences.
While traditional wireless music systems offer quick solutions for sound, mu-so offers a carefully engineered step up in sound quality and concentrates on creating the best possible experience for the listener whilst still being simple to set up and use. Meticulously designed, tested and refined by the same team of engineers behind some of the world’s best hi-fi and winners of the Queen’s Award for Innovation 2014, mu-so is a true next-generation music system.
Mu-so can stream high resolution ‘better than CD’ quality music from Apple and Android smartphones and tablets as well as laptops and other storage devices. Its advanced connectivity includes AirPlay, UPnP™ (Universal Plug ‘n’ Play), Bluetooth (aptX), internet radio and native support for popular streaming services. It will also boost the sound of your TV, set top box or games console through a digital input or take audio from and charge an MP3 player or iPod/iPhone via USB or a 3.5mm analogue input.
A mu-so control app for iPad, iPhone and iPod as well as Android devices allows you to curate playlists and play your favourite albums on the go or from the sofa. Offering simple controls and classic Naim design, the app also allows access to millions of high quality internet radio stations. The new control app will be available to download for iOS and Android devices in September 2014 and will be compatible with existing Naim streaming products as well as mu-so. More details will follow for existing Naim customers closer to launch in September.
Pick your favourite internet radio stations and they can be accessed directly from the mu-so touch panel volume control, without the need for a smartphone or tablet for those times when you want music instantly. You can also select inputs directly from the product.
A bespoke EQ system can alter the sound performance based upon your living space. Whether mu-so is positioned close to a wall or away from a wall, bespoke settings allow rich bass reproduction which offer a tailored audio solution far beyond traditional wireless speaker systems. Bass kick, without distortion, is essential for true high fidelity sound.
Power and performance
Boasting 450 watts of power from six 75 watt digital amplifiers, mu-so can be used as a central home hi-fi system or can be linked with other Naim systems such as the UnitiQute 2 to create a true high-fidelity multi-room system. Offering playback of 24bit/192kHz high resolution music which eclipses CD sound, mu-so means music lovers no longer have to compromise sound quality for convenience.
High resolution audio formats offer recordings identical to the master tapes from the artist. Capable of playing all audio formats from Apple Lossless CD imports from iTunes to HD formats such as WAV, FLAC and AIFF, Mu-so is an advanced wireless speaker system like no other, created by demanding Naim engineers who seek audio excellence in every product they create.
For anyone who has tried a convenient wireless audio solution for the home and not accepted the gap in performance between a wireless system and a true high fidelity system, mu-so is the perfect choice.
Naim’s Managing Director, Paul Stephenson, commented: “Naim exists to make music central to people’s lives and, as our first wireless music system, mu-so exists to make that a reality for even more music lovers. Through a simplicity in design and an understanding of the engineering and technology needed to unleash digital music, we’ve created a system that is a revelation in sound and a joy to own and use.”
Wireless innovation, without boundaries
From AirPlay to high quality Bluetooth aptX to UPnP™ Wi-Fi streaming, mu-so is compatible with most portable smart devices and compatible NAS drives. Wi-Fi streaming and AirPlay offer constant, hassle-free sound over your home Wi-Fi network. Simply connect your device to mu-so once and it remembers it forever. Mu-so will connect to your home network wirelessly or via a wired connection on an Ethernet port. Bluetooth aptX allows any smartphone or tablet to connect with mu-so almost instantly - ideal for entertaining guests and sharing new music.
There are many elements of design craft that make mu-so a unique system but all are born out of a desire for performance and quality. A striking solid extruded aluminium heat sink runs across the length of mu-so, designed to maximise thermal performance, longevity and, above all, sound quality. It is bead-blasted and anodised for a premium finish.
The internal speaker cabinet is wooden for acoustic performance while the aluminium skin offers extra dampening for a distortion free sound. The silk dome tweeters in mu-so replace traditional metal cones found in many wireless speakers and share the same materials as high-end hi-fi speakers. The standard speaker grille can be detached and replaced with three optional colour variations, complementing your living space perfectly.
Two patent-pending ideas
A touch sensitive illuminated silver volume assembly is the focal point of mu-so, designed to offer ease of use and a natural response. Constructed of a solid ring of bead-blasted, anodised aluminium around a fixed touch panel centre, it features a patent-pending system of illumination which refracts light onto the touch-panel surface and 11 different volume segments with varying intensity depending on the setting.
To make the seamless mu-so design a functional reality took months of collaborative work between Naim engineers and a consultant professor from Queen Mary, University of London. One of the innovations that resulted from this work was the embedded Wi-Fi antenna system (patent-pending). Two hidden printed-circuit slot antennae, one between the bass drivers and one inside the rear heatsink, work in combination with a dual-channel diversity receiver. The result is excellent Wi-Fi link performance from within a metallic enclosure.