Naim Muso 2 vs Separate speaker or other alternatives

Tracidpago

Standard Member
First of all, i have to say that im relatively new to hi-fi audio, so i will really appreciate any kind of help,

After getting my hands on a Jbl Charge 5 last month i completely fell in love with how easy it was to send music from my phone or computer without really needing anything other than a single small speaker, but , obviously, the sound that comes out of a jbl Charge, while is good for such a small and portable speaker, its not great, and i started looking for alternatives with similar features, but less portable and with a better sound.

So, the Naim Muso 2 caught my eye because it has all i need, it has multiple ways of connecting my hardware and apparently the sound is amazing for a single speaker (i haven't got my hands on one yet unfortunately to be able to try it myself). But to be honest, it's around 1500 € here in my country, and i want to know if there are any alternatives for that money that could give me a better sound or similar or better features.

I need something that:

-It's easy to use (because if the setup for me to start listening to music its too complicated i won't do it as often, thats why i discarded getting a good turntable even tho i love vinyl records)
-It has wireless capabilities
-It's somewhat portable, i have two floors and i might want to move it around every now and then, but this is not a must, i don't want to sacrifice sound quality for it.

¿Is the Naim Muso 2 the best thing i can get for my budget, or should i go for a pair of speakers with a pre-amp? I don't know much about setups like those, so i don't know what those can and cannot do.

Thank you so miuch in advance,
 

marcos alvarenga

Standard Member
I don't doubt the capabilities of Naim Muso, but you can't deny physics rules. Two separates sound sources make a better sound imaging when we talk about stereo sound.

With this budget I would suggest an active system with separate speakers. That makes me think about two or three Klipsch models.
 

Alan Weir 1

Well-known Member
If its any help I rekindled my love of hifi with the original Muso. Sounded great, looked excellent and was neat and tidy.

But there was always something missing. Not so much when I was pottering around with the music on but when I wanted to really listen.

This ended up with me dusting down my old but lovely Cyrus 3i amp buying a new set of B&W 606s a new node 2i streamer and a pro-ject TT which until recently have given hours of pleasure.
At the moment I'm in the process of setting up a rather more "audiophile🤪 " system and I've well and truly been sucked into the endless wallet emptying hifi wormhole.

What I think I'm saying is that if you are only looking for something with a good general sound that will be on mostly in the back ground then the Muso is ideal.

On the other hand if you feel that you want something with a bit more depth then you got to be looking at a system with stereo capabilities.

There are plenty active systems around for that type of money from the likes of KEF or Dali
Or Go the amp/speaker route which gives more options for upgrade.

Most of the hifi dealers put together some excellent systems at good prices so worth shopping around.

In the end its really down to what you want the system for, but definitely go and get some dems before deciding.

Happy hunting!
 

jobseeker

Active Member
A lot depends on your expectations snd what aspects of musical presentation and convenience features are important to you. There are compromises with anything.

If you are very new to audio discussion forums, people will use all sorts of adjectives to describe these things. Many of the words and phrases are often effectively meaningless because they mean different things to different people.

You will get many people who will say that you will get better results by spending your money on various separates. That may or may not be true because it depends on your priorities. I think the Muso 2 is extremely good for the circumstances in which I use it. A lot will depend on the room. Mine has no trouble presenting a big sound in a large awkwardly shaped room, but ymmv. It’s not intended to replace a separates system and I wouldn’t use it as my main system. However, I find it has great detail, good bass and it does image, just not as widely as two separate speakers would. Convenience features are great. Sound-wise, I think it’s streets ahead of most of its direct competitors.
 

Tracidpago

Standard Member
Thank you all for the responses, the thing is, I don't really know what to do with my budget if I don't go for an all in one? What pair of speakers? What source? What pre-amp? How do I know which one suits my needs? Im completely lost. Will I be able to stream music using my phone or computer as a source or Spotify if I don't go for options like the muso?
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
Morning - Costwise it’s a huge jump from a JBL Charge to the Naim. Why not go a couple of steps up ? You could go with 2 Sonos Play ones. Plug and Play, Very stable and good user interface. Or if you want to spend a little more the Bluesound speakers ?

Bear in mine also if you are only streaming from “standard” Spotify, etc you don’t need the sound capability of the Naim.
 

Tracidpago

Standard Member
The thing is won't be only using it for spotify, I want to make a upnp server with all the music files I have on my pc also, spotify was just an example that I want to be able to make the speakers play music with little setup.

As for why Im making such a big jump, simply I have the money now and I always wanted to have a good music setup that would last me years and that I could just drown myself In music as soon as I get home from work. The JBL charge impressed me for a Bluetooth speaker, but definitely it's not good enough for me to make it my main music listening device.

I'll consider the ones you mentioned also, thanks
 

Onlythesound

Active Member
I have had 2 musos- the 1st then the 2nd version. Each time I found that it was strangely lacking and so’returned’ to a traditional form of hi-fi. Right now, my Denon DRA800-h streaming amp (100 w per channel into 8 ohms) is connected to 2 pairs of modest speakers (B&W 606 and Q Acoustics Concept 20). Ball park figure as new was very similar to the cost of the Muso 2. The sound is better - at least in my room - is better and the amp connects to any source; easily.
 

Tracidpago

Standard Member
I have had 2 musos- the 1st then the 2nd version. Each time I found that it was strangely lacking and so’returned’ to a traditional form of hi-fi. Right now, my Denon DRA800-h streaming amp (100 w per channel into 8 ohms) is connected to 2 pairs of modest speakers (B&W 606 and Q Acoustics Concept 20). Ball park figure as new was very similar to the cost of the Muso 2. The sound is better - at least in my room - is better and the amp connects to any source; easily.

What do you mean that it connects to any source, I will be able to control it with my phone or laptop via WiFi?

I know a little about headphone amps and DACs , but when it comes to speakers I have no clue, I don't know what you can or cannot do with them...
 

Onlythesound

Active Member
Sorry I hadn’t realised where you’re at with all this. Yes, the Denon amp can be used with Spotify, Airplay 2 etc. direct from your phone or for example, I can play something on my Apple HomePod in the kitchen and, with a simple tap on my phone, get it to play the same tune in the living room. Funnily enough, its connectivity is quite similar to the Muso 2 except with far more wire for external speakers etc. I will message again later when out of work about the speakers and choices etc.
 

Tracidpago

Standard Member
Sorry I hadn’t realised where you’re at with all this. Yes, the Denon amp can be used with Spotify, Airplay 2 etc. direct from your phone or for example, I can play something on my Apple HomePod in the kitchen and, with a simple tap on my phone, get it to play the same tune in the living room. Funnily enough, its connectivity is quite similar to the Muso 2 except with far more wire for external speakers etc. I will message again later when out of work about the speakers and choices etc.
The connectivity was the main reason I was interested in the muso 2, so I'm really happy to know it's not something as exclusive as I previously thought and you are making me want to get a similar setup as yours.

Thanks , I'll be waiting for your post ☺️
 

Onlythesound

Active Member
Interesting as that was my main reason for looking again at the Muso range again. I thought that in the years between the Muso 1 & 2, the sound would have got to the point where it could mimic true stereo. Sadly, at least to my ears, it hadn’t.
Connectivity as you say, seems to be your main motivator and even because I’m telling you about this Denon, https://www.accessories4less.com/mas_assets/theme/accessories4less/images/manuals/Denon/DRA-800H.pdf
this link to the manual should at least tell you about its capabilities but there are many similar machines on the market, some vastly more expensive and capable.
There are so many things to decide but not wishing to teach grandma…. Think about your budget limit, where you’re going to be listening, the design style, the objects/furnishings in your room that might absorb/reflect sound.
So…. Sound wise, it’s very respectable at this price point, in MY living room. My speakers are a great match for this amp. Both sets are standmount as opposed to floorstanders because I prefer how they sound. If this is the route you’re going down, you’ll need to decide which you prefer. I can only say mine sound great but you will probably prefer something completely different.
Connecting your Amp to your sources via Wi-Fi is going to lessen the amount of ‘connecting wire’ you’ll need but it will depend on whether you connect to a tv, Blu-ray player, CD player etc. as well as your pc. So…. You’ll need speaker wire definitely - don’t be conned into spending too much.
First steps, once you’ve digested this rather rambling message, book yourself some time at Richer Sounds, Audio T, Peter Tyson or somewhere similar and browse, arrange listening sessions. If at all possible, try to get your eventually chosen equipment home for a trial period to try in your chosen location.
Lastly, there are people on this forum with far more wisdom than me so don’t be afraid to ask our advice if you need it.
 

Onlythesound

Active Member
Here’s a pic of the QA Concept 20s with the Denon sitting on the bottom shelf all connected to the Tv, Blu-ray and PS4 via HDMI.
The B&W 606 speakers are behind and either side of where I took the picture.
 

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Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
A pair of these and the sub would be a better alternative to the Naim for hifi listening.


 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Also, I would not dismiss these new speakers.

Optical input for your tv, usb input for a UPnP device, Bluetooth HD for Spotify and other streaming from your phone and two analogue inputs (for a separate streamer perhaps).


The review here is very useful.


Again, adding a sub will give you a much larger sound. The BK Gemini above is excellent, as is the same companies XLS200.
 
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Tracidpago

Standard Member
Interesting as that was my main reason for looking again at the Muso range again. I thought that in the years between the Muso 1 & 2, the sound would have got to the point where it could mimic true stereo. Sadly, at least to my ears, it hadn’t.
Connectivity as you say, seems to be your main motivator and even because I’m telling you about this Denon, https://www.accessories4less.com/mas_assets/theme/accessories4less/images/manuals/Denon/DRA-800H.pdf
this link to the manual should at least tell you about its capabilities but there are many similar machines on the market, some vastly more expensive and capable.
There are so many things to decide but not wishing to teach grandma…. Think about your budget limit, where you’re going to be listening, the design style, the objects/furnishings in your room that might absorb/reflect sound.
So…. Sound wise, it’s very respectable at this price point, in MY living room. My speakers are a great match for this amp. Both sets are standmount as opposed to floorstanders because I prefer how they sound. If this is the route you’re going down, you’ll need to decide which you prefer. I can only say mine sound great but you will probably prefer something completely different.
Connecting your Amp to your sources via Wi-Fi is going to lessen the amount of ‘connecting wire’ you’ll need but it will depend on whether you connect to a tv, Blu-ray player, CD player etc. as well as your pc. So…. You’ll need speaker wire definitely - don’t be conned into spending too much.
First steps, once you’ve digested this rather rambling message, book yourself some time at Richer Sounds, Audio T, Peter Tyson or somewhere similar and browse, arrange listening sessions. If at all possible, try to get your eventually chosen equipment home for a trial period to try in your chosen location.
Lastly, there are people on this forum with far more wisdom than me so don’t be afraid to ask our advice if you need it.

Thank you so much, definetely a route to consider, but i don't even know what could match my listening space. I might be opening a new thread asking for more specific advice. Since i learned that an amp can do pretty much what the muso 2 can do connectivity wise, i think that option is discarded for now. My Budget is pretty much the same, around 1500 €

Testing the devices before buying them is not an option where i live sadly.

Thank you so much

A pair of these and the sub would be a better alternative to the Naim for hifi listening.



This is an interesting option too, but the more i read and the more options i have, the more confused i am. If im going for sound quality as a priority, and connectivity second, what are the factors i should take into consideration first when taking a decision about what should i go for?
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Speakers make the sound. Electronics are a distant third. (The room itself is the second largest influence).

Therefore speakers are where the cash and homework goes.

And it’s no bad idea to keep the speakers as simple as possible, they will last for many, many years and will not become obsolete, or even deteriorate for a very long time.

I’m of the firm opinion that for your budget you cannot do better than quality active speakers.

Therefore I’d suggest two of the following.


(Also...)


The Dynaudios are as good as they get at this price level.

They also have, along with many other actives, position switches to enable you to tailor the sound to the position you use the speakers in the room. This can be invaluable.

The Dynaudios also have a very useful ‘tilt’ feature. This will likely be very helpful.

You will need a very fine preamp/dac/streamer to make the Dynaudios strut their stuff.

I’d go no further than this Yamaha. It is a wonderful bargain.

Everything you need is here (including), Spotify, Airplay, DNLA, a USB input, optical input, analogue input and plenty more.

I used one with my three grand actives and it was massively impressive.

The app is also simple and straightforward.



You will struggle enormously to get any thing like this good for your budget using passive speakers and an integrated amp.

This set up will delight you and is well within your budget.

If you’d consider expanding the budget a bit... read on 👍
 
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Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Ps, a stretch to these with the Yamaha would fill even huge rooms even more effortlessly than the 7s.


And, if you’re happy to kill your budget and would like some serious forever speakers, (again with the Yamaha) then...


 
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Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Or...

These are also quite exceptional and quite domestically pretty too.


And for a little less.

 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Ps, Thoman have a 30 day return policy which is very good news and prevents panicking over a new purchase. I’ve used it once and they were super efficient.

No questions, prepaid return and instant refund.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
...and finally...

Right on your budget, and regularly voted the best in their class all over the place are the Adam A7X.


Along with the Yamaha, perhaps all the hifi anyone reasonably needs.
 
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Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
And finally... finally,


Effectively full range for music.

The A5X are a perfect gem of a speaker. Wish I hadn’t sold mine (even though I have to many speakers even now).

With the sub they will easily hit 30Hz in-room, with the appreciable smaller size of the 5s being a bonus if that is important to you.

Again, of course, with the Yamaha WXC-50.
 

xmb

Well-known Member
You should also consider a Bluesound Powernode and a pair of passive speakers, such as the Dali Spektor 2 or Elac Debut B5.2, as this will allow a future speaker upgrade if needed.

The Bluesound Powerenode should have all the features you need in a streaming amplifier in a compact package that would allow easy moving.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
With all respect to the above comment, the Spektors and Debut speakers cannot come close to the active speakers mentioned earlier.

And there’ll be very little need to upgrade them. Especially the A7X, A77X and the Focal Twin’s.

Whereas, source equipment, especially in the streaming and dac field, changes quite rapidly, and is likely to become ‘obsolete’ a decade and more before active speakers even lose their shine.
 

Onlythesound

Active Member
In spite of my long rambling post about my own experience with a ’separates’ system based on the Denon, I am seriously thinking of going down the Active speakers route.
Yes, you would need a couple of extra boxes as @Paul7777x has suggested to achieve your connectivity but to get the very best sound per pound, an active speaker probably has it all. Each speaker can have separate amplifiers powering each speaker driver (usually a tweeter and woofer for high and low frequencies respectively) . The amps are built specifically to match the specifications of the speakers and are contained within the ‘box’. This removes the pot luck aspect of matching an amplifier with a pair of passive speakers.
 

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