NAD is bringing the high-resolution wireless multiroom-audio technology of sister brand BlueSound to NAD-brand custom-install products for the first time.
NAD previously incorporated BlueSound’s BluOS in two stereo integrated amps via plug-in modules. NAD also plans to add a BlueSound card option this year to four AVRs and the M17 preamp/surround processor.
The CI products include the $1,299-suggested four-zone CI 580 BluOS Network Streamer, which fits in a 1U rack chassis, and the $799 CI 720 Power Zone BluOS Network Streamer, a single-zone model that incorporates 2×50-watt amplification. The latter operates as a single-zone local-source streamer that can be mated with a TV, or up to six can be set up to occupy a single 3U rack space for multiroom installations.
Both lack Wi-Fi but feature wired Ethernet because they are designed for use in a CI equipment rack to connect to custom-installed speakers. An NAD app, however, will integrate control of the wired speakers, BlueSound’s tabletop Wi-Fi speakers and streamers, and NAD’s BluOS-equipped products.
Both CI products are expected to ship in December.
For grouping up to six CI 720 amp/streamers in a rack, the brand will offer the $299 RM720 rackmount accessory, which includes power management and network switching so only one Ethernet cable and one AC cable needs to be run to the setup.
The streamers stream high-res audio files up to 24-bit/192kHz from networked sources such as NAS drives and access Internet streaming services such as Spotify and Tidal. The streamers can be controlled from smart phones and tablet and from third-party home-control systems.
With the CI 580, multiple models can be installed to synchronize up to 36 zones, or each zone can play a separate song. Only one Ethernet connection is needed with each C 580 to deliver networked music to four zones.
The single-zone CI 720 comes with subwoofer output. Both models have USB input.
For use with CI 580 streamer, NAD offers the four-zone eight-channel CI 980 amplifier and the Ci 940 two-zone four-channel amp.