New York – High-performance component-audio supplier Naim Audio is using its first tabletop wireless multiroom-audio speaker to expand its dealer base to include stores that don’t traditionally sell high-end component audio.
The $1,499 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Mu-so, shown at International CES, is available in more than 100 Apple stores in the U.S., select flagship Nordstrom stores, the Herrington catalog, music and audio-equipment e-tailer Music Direct, and BestBuy.com. The company continues to court non-traditional audio retailers such as premium lifestyle stores as well as more traditional A/V specialists to sell the device.
The high-resolution speaker, which targets the luxury segment of the wireless multiroom-speaker market, is also available through the company’s more than 100 high-end audio retailers.
The U.K.-based brand continues to offer wireless multiroom-audio products in home component form in its Uniti series of music systems, all with built-in two-channel amplifier, FM tuner, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Some incorporate a CD player. All drive separately purchased passive speakers.
Through Mu-so and new distribution channels, Naim “is bringing its brand name in front of eyes who never heard of Naim before” because “they don’t read A/V specialty magazines and frequent A/V specialty stores,” said Daniel Jacques, president of Audio Plus Services, which imports Naim into North America.
The product will help Naim attract a younger group of consumers ages 25 to 45 who are style-conscious and “into the experience” rather than into the “nuts and bolts” of audio technology, added Naim managing director Paul Stephenson.
To promote the product, Naim in the fall will launch a digital and print ad campaign targeting audiophiles as well as a broader audience, he said. “The bulk of the advertising will be outside specialty magazines because we’re well-known in that audience,” he said. The ads will take a lifestyle approach, he noted.
The Mu-so features an aluminum-clad wood cabinet that packs Wi-Fi, AirPlay, UPnP, Ethernet and Bluetooth aptX connectivity. It also features Spotify Connect to stream music from the cloud. The two-channel six-driver speaker also packs DSP and six Class D amps delivering a combined 450 watts.
The speaker’s Made for iPad/iPhone USB port also plays music from USB sticks, USB hard drives and mobile devices. Optical and 3.5mm analog inputs are available for connecting other devices such as TVs. The speaker doesn’t retransmit music to other Mu-so speakers from devices connected via Bluetooth, USB, or other physical inputs.
Decoders include 192/14 WAV and Flac, Apple Lossless (ALAC), Ogg Vorbis, AAC, MP3 and others. Higher-res codecs required a wired connection.