Naim Muso Wood Edition Review: An High-End Limited-Run Swiss Army Speaker. The Muso Wood Edition is a luxurious audio device with rich sound and tons of connectivity options.
We like this
Beautifully luxurious design and construction
Deep, rich sound
There are tons of options for connectivity
The soundstage can be a little small
It could have been better
This speaker is a beautiful design that will become the centerpiece of any living space, as long as it's affordable.
- Qualitative Construction
- Sound Quality
- Controls and Features
- Software Installation
- Naim Mu-so Wood Edition vs. Bang & Olufsen Beosound Stage
- Final Verdict
Naim sent us a review unit to put one of our writers through. For more information, please read on.
Naim Muso 2nd Generation speakers are designed to deliver rich, connected sound and a beautiful package. The limited-release Wood Edition adds a natural look.
Naim can be considered a premium brand alongside Sonos and Bang & Olufsen. They all have a focus on premium design and construction to create a beautiful piece of décor, not just a speaker. The second is the focus on sound quality. This product was specifically designed for home audio. After a few weeks, I had my Wood Edition Mu-so in my possession and have been enjoying it as part of my entertainment system. For a more detailed review, read on.
The sound quality and design are excellent, however, it may be difficult to justify for people on a tight budget.
Related Reading: Dell Inspiron 16 Plus (7610) Review
Only the Mu-so 2 standard and Wood Edition have a distinct difference in design. The standard and this edition are both made up of sharply-edged rectangular shapes that sit on an LED-lit, lucite base. Although the front cloth grill has a 3-D wave pattern, it is only visible from the sides. The Wood Edition offers a lighter, more natural-oak enclosure and a texture tan speaker grill. This is a lighter and more inviting look than the black standard edition. Both designs are incredibly expensive.
Design detail goes beyond the form and color. Although I did not think the lucite would add much visual interest, it gives the Muso an intriguing look. This clear part makes it appear that the speaker enclosure is floating above any surface.
The speaker's LED glows brightly with the Naim logo etched into it when the speaker is turned on. This adds an elegant touch. The volume and touch screen controls are located in the large inset dial at the top of this unit. This is visible only when looking directly down. It is finished in thick and mirror-shined lacquer, which gives it a natural look of raw wood but still retains its elegance.
Related Reading: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 (2022) Review
The speaker's design is high-end and comes with an expensive price tag. It should be expected that it will have premium features. This speaker feels very expensive, thanks to its solid, thick lucite base and the stunningly polished finish.
The smooth, satisfying volume knob offers just enough resistance without feeling rough, and the circular touch screen looks premium—even when it's off, as it reverts back to a mirror-black surface. The front grill looks almost like an ocean wave because it is made of textured material and curves. It's also more durable and protects your grill than a plain cloth one. The grill's exterior is made of a tough plastic and covered in fine mesh fabric.
The speaker's back, which allows for airflow, is covered with a metal grill-style radiator. It feels extremely durable. The Mu-so is more durable than other high-end products. Although I wouldn't advise putting TVs or any other heavy items on the top of your speaker, they can cause damage to the finish. However, the enclosure is very resilient and will withstand a lot without breaking.
Related Reading: Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2022) Review
The speakers sound impressively full and loud, regardless of whether they are wired or via Bluetooth. A couple of 1 inch tweeters produce the sound, along with some powerful mid-focused drivers (which I found quite impressive for their small size) and larger oval-shaped bass-woofers. An amp array provides approximately 450W power to these six drivers.
It's a remarkable volume for an enclosure which is not much larger than a soundbar. The port holds on the one side seem to fire down. This is a good thing as it provides some support for low-end frequencies. The sound quality is likely to be louder and more full-bodied than you might expect.
The soundstage is where it falls short for me. The soundstage is tight and almost close-in because the speakers are placed in a straight line firing from a smaller grill. People who want this speaker are likely to compare it with higher-end stereo systems. While the sound quality and volume is comparable, there is a lack of stereo coverage. This is not an issue, but it's something to consider.
The amp array provides approximately 450W power to these six drivers.
Signal processing is the final piece. It all comes down to the way you're sending your music. There are many options for this speaker, and I will discuss them in the connectivity section. There are a number of levels you can choose from when it comes to sound quality. First, there are some wired inputs (including HDMI and digital optical) that will give you the purest, cleanest representation of audio—ideal for audiophile sound libraries.
Bluetooth is another option, but it has a lower sound quality due to the codec compression that must be used in order to send audio easily. Mu-so also provides Wi-Fi connectivity that can be controlled via an app, just like the other wireless systems.
You can enjoy a much higher wireless sound quality without having to use heavy-handed Bluetooth compression with AirPlay, Chromecast and the Naim app. It was noticeable that Bluetooth worked better than Wi-Fi and wired means. I think it is great that Mu-so took the time to improve lossier transmission as the speaker has a higher price.
The Naim website is a clear indication that it was not designed to be simple. Naim's speaker is compatible with AirPlay, Spotify, Spotify and Tidal. The remote control included with the system works well. This is a great feature, and I love it. However, the remote control almost forces me to use the app to personalize my experience.
Although I will get to the app in a moment, I cannot help but feel that the remote control and touchscreen interface could be a bit more comprehensive. The large volume adjustment wheel is a great feature. It's easy to use and gives you a lot of control. The icons and toggles Naim uses to control physical functions can be difficult to use. For example, there are three toggles unlabeled on the source button, which each corresponds to an input wired. It will take some trial and error to get there.
Naim also offers a'multi-room and 'room tuning' option. You can use the app to connect the speaker to a larger Naim system. I recommend the Qb system, which is smaller and more suitable for office and bookcase setups. You can adjust the sound quality of the speakers to suit your environment, depending on how close it is to a wall or near its center. This allows the system to compensate for unwanted resonance—an important and often-overlooked aspect of a system's sound quality.
Similar to Sonos products, the setup of this speaker is simple and can be done through Naim Music. This is where the goal lies: get your speaker connected to the Wi Fi network that you are using. Although you can connect the speaker via Bluetooth only, as I said in the Sound Quality section you are sacrificing a lot of functionality.
It is nice that Naim has made troubleshooting more clear through their app. For example, my setup was delayed due to the speaker being locked in a purgatory. However, the app made it easy for me to reset the button using a pin.
The software looks great at first glance. The software becomes less interesting the more you look into it. You don't have a lot of control over sound, nor any EQ. Even the Naim-branded room-tuning lets you select whether your speaker's location is close to a wall or near a corner. It also doesn't have full Spotify and Apple Music integration. Naim advertises Spotify support but it didn't work for me on my iPhone. After the system has been connected to your Wi-Fi network you will be able to send music using AirPlay and the built-in Chromecast.
The only way I know of to play music through the app is via the Naim radio stations. You can also choose from the two services Naim supports (Tidal or Qobuz), and you can keep audio files stored on your smartphone. This feature can prove to be very useful if you own a large audio library. It allows you wirelessly stream high quality music. For streaming services you will need to connect your smartphone or computer via wireless. Otherwise, the app is just a vessel for updating your speaker and checking connectivity—not entirely useless, but certainly not as well-executed as what Sonos brings to the tablet.
Naim is able to provide you with almost every type of connectivity you can think of. Naim offers both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, which is a big plus considering brands such as Sonos don't often include it.
You can run all your system using the Naim App for lossless audio. Chromecast and AirPlay are great options to maximize your streaming experience. You can use Bluetooth to connect guests and stream music from your party. You can see all the action here.
There's also wired connectivity. Naim offers everything you need in a soundbar or speaker. The simple aux input allows you to connect the speaker using a 3.5mm cable. The digital optical input makes it easy to set this speaker up with surround sound systems or TVs. HDMI ARC technology allows you to integrate the speaker with your full entertainment system more easily.
Naim is a great provider of connectivity options.
If you prefer your speaker to be wired rather than using bandwidth from your Wi-Fi network, there is an Ethernet part. The only problem I have is that the ports are all located in the small hole at the bottom of this unit. Although they are hidden visually, you will have to tilt the entire unit up on one side in order to insert anything.
Most retailers sell the standard Mu-so 2nd Generation for $1700. This is a very high price for an affordable wireless speaker that targets consumers. The limited-run Wood Edition sells for more than $2,000.
The wood tone is what makes the speaker stand out from all others I have seen. This unit certainly belongs in the premium space. Although I believe the quality of sound, design and performance is commensurate to the cost, it may be difficult for some people on a tight budget.
B&O is the closest competitor to this product due to its price. The Stage—B&O's mountable soundbar—is an interesting alternative. It will be a bit thinner and more sleeker than the Mu-so, which makes it a better choice for TV sets. The Mu-so Wood Edition's design and music function make it an excellent all-round purchase.
Naim's highly-tuned Mu -so Wood Edition is an extravagant speaker. This limited-run model is similar to the Bentley edition Naim produced. It has a distinctive aesthetic and is primarily different from the base model. It was also a great way to get to know the second generation Mu-so. Overall, the speaker is a great choice because of its rich, full sound, premium build quality and pleasant user experience.
The compact size of the soundstage makes it a little difficult to use. Also, the app is a bit slow. But these are small issues that will not affect the buyer. The only problem is the prohibitive price. This is an excellent choice if you are looking for a unique and premium audio system.
- Name of the product Mu-so wood edition
- Naim Product Brand
- MPN NAIMMU - SO-2nd-LW
- Prices from $2,290.00
- Publication Date: March 20, 2121
- Weighing 23 lb
- Dimensions of the product 10.4x24.7x4.8in
- Limited Wood or Color Black Edition
- App Yes
- Built-in Wireless Connectivity Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
- Audio Codecs SBC, AAC