Arcam vs NAD – Detailed Comparison

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Arcam and NAD  are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry that produce high quality speakers, soundbars,  subwoofers and amplifiers. 

In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at sound quality, durability, price and so on. Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points, however, we will compare them as closely as we can.

Quick History

Arcam Quick History

A&R Cambridge LTD (Arcam) is a company based in Cambridge Innovation Park, Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, England. They are well known for their hi-fi equipment manufacturing. The company was created by students of the science and engineering department of Cambridge University in 1976.

The company products include Amplifiers, AV receivers, Streamers, Speakers etc

NAD Quick History

New Acoustic Dimension (NAD) is an electronics firm founded by Dr. Martin L. Borish in London, England, in 1972. Dr. Borish was an electrical engineer with a Ph.D. in physics. NAD 3020 is the most famous product manufactured by the brand in the 1970s. The company was acquired in 1991 by AudioNord, a Danish firm, and later sold to the Lenbrook Group of Pickering, Ontario, Canada, in 1999. Today, NAD produces affordable AV receivers, amplifiers and speakers.

Sound Quality

Arcam Sound Quality

One of the reasons for the creation of Arcam audios is to give the best sound possible to people, this allows the company to produce products with top notch sound quality.

When using the Arcam SA30 in a cinema hall, you’ll experience all the Sonic smoothness you really want in an audio system. The high,mid and low levels are clear and precise.

NAD Sound Quality

Over the years, NAD has gained a strong name as a high-fidelity audio brand by producing breakthrough amplifier designs that are yet reasonably priced.

Indeed, NAD is a high-fidelity audio brand committed to simplicity, innovation, value, and performance. Some people argue that their devices are ‘neutral’ sounding.

As an example, the DirectDigital technology reduces domain conversions in the signal path and contributes to a pure and vivid sound. HybridDigital technology, on the other hand, blends analog and digital sources to create a platform for smooth, harmonious delivery of quality sound.

Features

Arcam Features

Arcam product has many beneficial features which make them surpass or compete with other renowned brands. These features include:

  • Ethernet support
  • Airplay- for streaming of music on iOS devices
  • Google Chromecast- for music streaming on Android devices
  • Wi-Fi 
  • USB port
  • Several input ports such as- Coaxial, optical, MC & MM phono and RCAs  

NAD Features

The key features of NAD products include:

  • Low harmonic and intermodulation distortion
  • Modular Design Construction (MDC) that helps prevent untimely obsolescence
  • “Simple is better” design philosophy
  • NAD PowerDrive technology

Build Quality

Arcam Build Quality

Arcam devices are said to be in the middle of the road with their build quality (not bad but not fantastic) i.e they don’t always have a 5 star rating.

Arcam devices are built with a full metal jacket (FMJ). They are built using both steel and aluminium. The aluminium covers the front panel while the steel covers the chassis. This makes some of the devices looks like tank which some customers don’t find attractive but it makes the devices durable

NAD Build Quality

NAD receivers are built with elegant all-alloy casework. The internal construction is intricate with rigid panels and magnetic iso-point feet offering rock-circuit for the multi-layer circuit boards. In addition, the Modular Design Construction chassis is “future proof” and allows for easy and affordable upgrades.

NAD speakers are built to last with, while the amps tend to have poor build quality and tend to have common faults.

Ease of Use

Arcam Ease Of Use

Arcam devices are easy to use for people with or without smartphones, the mobile app is compatible for both iOS and Android device users to control the sounds from the comfort of your phones.

People without smartphones can control Arcam devices with the use of remote control. Arcam devices also have a well labelled and soft button at the front for easy access and control.

NAD Ease Of Use

NAD products are built with simplicity in mind, making them very easy to set up and operate. They easily connect to Wi-Fi from the Google Home app, and they come with headphone jacks and USB ports for easy connection to external devices. They also connect to BluOS.

Cost

Arcam Cost

Arcam devices seems kind of expensive but affordable.

Below are price ranges of Arcam devices

  • Amplifier- $500-$2500
  • AV Receiver- $2000-$7000
  • Streamer- $500-$1500
  • Speaker- $300-$1500

NAD Cost

Receivers: $20 – $5000

Amplifiers: $50 – $3000

Speakers: $100 – $1500

Space Requirements

Arcam Space Requirement

Arcam devices are very portable and handy. They consume less space.

FMJ A18 has a dimension of w×d×h (432×275×85) and has a weight of 7.2kg

NAD Space Requirements

Speakers, amps, and receivers are built with a compact design. They require very little space for pavement and will not crowd your living room or basement.

Remote Controls

Arcam Remote Control

Arcam devices have a remote control that works for more than 1 device. You’ll be able to control both devices eg (sound bar+Tv. They work in a range of 15 metre. 

NAD Remote Controls

Although NAD now makes some receivers with touch screen displays to make them easier to control, they still make remote controls to make this reality more practical. The remote controls come with the receivers, amps, and subwoofers but can still be purchased separately if you lose your factory remote or when it is ruined. Remotes cost between 20 dollars and 50 dollars.

Connectivity Options

Arcam Connectivity Option

Arcam devices have several connectivity  options. They can be connected both with wired connectors and wirelessly.

WiFi and Ethernet are available for wireless connection while USB, coaxial and RCA are available for wired connection.

NAD Connectivity Options

 

Speakers

  • Single-ended RCA
  • 12 V trigger input
  • USB
  • RCA
  • Bluetooth

Receivers

  • Bluetooth
  • RCA
  • USB
  • Wi-Fi
  • Balanced XLR auto-sensing inputs

Amps

  • Speaker level inputs
  • RCA

Power Range

Arcam Power Range

The device’s performance and capacity determine the rate at which Arcam devices consume power. Nevertheless, Arcam devices consume less power than some brands.  They have a power consumption in the range of 300 watts to 400 watts. An example is the FMJ A18 with a power consumption range of 350 watts.

NAD Power Range

Receivers: up to 1000 watt peak

Speakers: up to 250 watts RMS

Amps: up to 1000 watts continuous mono

Frequency Response

Arcam Frequency Response

The frequency response of Arcam devices also varies from device to device depending on the capacity of the devices but on average, Arcam devices have a frequency response range of 0.3hz to 20khz. An example is the FMJ CD17.

NAD Frequency Response

Speakers: 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz

Receivers: 20 Hz to 20kHz

Amps: 20 Hz to 20 kHz

Conclusion

On a final note, Arcam devices might be expensive but the functions and other qualities are worth it. Arcam devices are the best option for anyone who wants devices that consume less power but not for those who want cheap devices.

NAD is committed to simplicity, innovation, performance and value. With highly-flexible outputs, NAD offers a balanced connection to powered speakers and amplifiers. Besides, it produces high-fidelity audio at very affordable prices.

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