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Naim Mu-So for Bentley review: The Bentley of wireless speakers

Christopher Minasians
28 Nov 2018
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,199
Incl VAT

This speaker looks incredible, sounds fantastic and does everything you’d expect it to

Pros 
Powerful, precise sound
Incredible design
Fantastic connectivity options
Cons 
Very expensive
Cheap-looking remote
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When I think of a luxury car brand, the first name that comes to mind is Bentley. Likewise, for a premium British Hi-Fi manufacturer, there are only a handful that pop to mind and Naim is foremost among them.

They’re perfect partners, when you think of it, which is why the Mu-So for Bentley makes so much sense.

On the surface, it’s just Naim’s high-end, do-it-all wireless speaker with a Bentley brand slapped on the front but if you’re going to spend this much on a one box music streaming setup, you might as well go all out.

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Naim Mu-So for Bentley review: Price and competition

The Naim Mu-So for Bentley isn’t cheap. It sells for £1,199, for which you could land yourself a decent 65in TV, even a second-hand car. In audio land, however, there are quite a few competitors.

Take away the Bentley looks and design and you have the regular Naim Mu-so at around £900, a significant £300 cheaper for exactly the same features and sound. As for other outlandish Bluetooth speakers, there’s the Bang & Olufsen’s BeoSound 1 at a cool £1,085.

If you’re not limited to a certain space or overly bothered about your design, then the Samsung HW-K950 soundbar at £1,100 offers fantastic performance with music, has fantastic music streaming facilities and offers surround sound to boot.

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Naim Mu-So for Bentley review: Design and build quality

First, I have a bone to pick with the remote. It’s small, made out of cheap-feeling plastic and is out of place with the speaker’s luxury look. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad there is one, as many manufacturers don’t include one at all with streaming speakers, but I do wonder if it would have been better to keep it out altogether.

Possibly, though, I suspect Naim has only included as a kind of a backup for when you don’t have your phone immediately to hand or can’t be bothered to get up and use the controls on the speaker itself.

Remote aside, the speaker itself is as luxurious as you’ll get. From its stunning speaker grille to its cool Scandinavian looks, it looks more like an expensive piece of minimalist furniture than a wireless speaker. Whether it’s worth paying the premium for the Bentley logo is debatable, but the materials used certainly fit in nicely with Bentley’s own design ethos.

In fact, the entire speaker is reminiscent of the interior of a Bentley. At the front, the speaker’s front speaker grille is a classic Bentley signature colour, Portland, while the stylish pattern on top of the Mu-So looks like the car's dashboard.

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Naim Mu-So for Bentley review: Connectivity and features

When you’ve finishing gazing at the speaker’s design, you’ll find the Mu-So is also pretty darned competent at what it’s designed for: being a Wi-Fi streamer and speaker. And although it’s aimed principally at those with Spotify and Tidal subscriptions the Mu-So isn’t short of connectivity options.

On the right-hand side, you’ll find a 3.5mm jack and USB inputs used for iPod and direct playback via flash drive. Underneath the speaker’s base is an optical S/PDIF input, which is handy if you want to connect it up to your TV or perhaps an ageing CD player.

If you’re not a fan of using your Wi-Fi network or want your guests to quickly connect, there’s also Bluetooth aptX connection comes in handy. The app, though, is what you’ll be wanting to use most of the time. Within that, both Tidal and Spotify are fully integrated, as is internet radio and you’ll be able to browse any tracks on UPnP-compatible network storage as well.

If you own multiple Naim products, such as the more compact and equally attractive Mu-So QB, then you’ll also be able to link the speakers together and stream the same music across multiple rooms.

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Naim Mu-So for Bentley review: Audio quality

Some designer speakers look good but fall short sonically; the Naim Mu-So for Bentley is not in that category. Its six “custom-designed” drivers sound magnificent. Thanks to its 450W amplifier, the 2ft-long Mu-So is able to deliver a powerful, rich, balanced, and undistorted sound.

What’s even more impressive is the speaker’s ability to handle low-end frequencies. There’s plenty of grunt and control, you get a hefty mid-bass slam and your floorboards will rattle thanks to the speaker’s excellent sub-bass extension.

But that’s not the only thing as the mids, highs and overall sound signature are all engaging and incredibly accurate. Put simply, the Mu-So is a fantastic wireless speaker.

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Naim Mu-So for Bentley review: Verdict

Aside from the crappy remote control, there’s not much to dislike about the Naim Mu-So for Bentley. It delivers an incredible sound and looks gorgeous, too. If you can afford it, it’s worth considering.

However, if you fancy one but funds won’t quite stretch that far, the regular, non-Bentley Naim Mu-so is a far more reasonable £900.

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