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NAD vs Naim – Detailed Comparison

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NAD and Naim are two renowned and well-respected brands in the audio industry and produce high-quality speakers, soundbars, headphones, and subwoofers.
In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at the 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

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.

Naim Quick History

Naim was founded by Julian Vereker in 1973. Vereker was a racing car driver, entrepreneur, and self-taught engineer with a deep passion for music. He spent his spare time listening to and recording his friends playing live in the 1960s.

His disappointment with the sound of professional recording equipment at the time led him to design his power amplifier. The company’s headquarters is based in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

Sound Quality

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.

Naim Sound Quality

Naim devices are a good option for those who want uncompromising sound quality devices. They give you the exact sound as it was recorded, either good or bad.

This type of original recording reproduction is suitable for vinyl record players and turntables. They have a balanced sound at every volume, while the bass hits hard and has a lot of elasticity.

Features

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

Naim Features

Naim possesses many beneficial features which include the following:

  • Multiroom and high-resolution audio support
  • Wi-Fi, AirPlay, Chromecast built-in
  • Touch Controls
  • Naim App for Android and iOS
  • Bluetooth and Ethernet Connectivity
  • HDMI ARC, Optical, USB, digital and analog Inputs
  • Alarm clock (in some devices)

Build Quality

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.

Naim Build Quality

Naim devices have a unique styling and luxurious build quality. For example, the Naim Mu-So speaker is built with a remarkably wooden cabinet in a layer of anodized aluminum with an elegant brushed finish.

Naim mu-so QB V2

There is a mirrored acrylic base light at one end to highlight the Naim logo, with an extruded heatsink that keeps it cool.

Ease Of Use

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.

Naim Ease Of Use

There are many easy ways to control Naim devices at your fingertip. You can control them using the remote, the Naim smartphone app, or their stylish touchscreen display. There’s also a video and a manual to help you whenever you have difficulties installing or using the devices.

Cost

NAD Cost

Receivers: $20 – $5000

Amplifiers: $50 – $3000

Speakers: $100 – $1500

Naim Cost

Naim devices seem a little bit expensive for the kind of devices they produce. Below is the price range for different devices produced by Naim:

  • Preamplifiers: $2000 – $5000
  • Amplifiers: $1500 – $6000
  • Speakers: $1000 – $3000
  • Digital Audio devices: $500 – $1500

Space Requirements

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.

Naim Space Requirements

Some Niam devices consume a lot of space due to their shape and size, while some do not. An example is the Naim compact multi-source music player with a 10.5 x 9.7 x 3.8 inches and weighing 15.43 pounds. It is advised to consider the available space before getting any product.

Remote Controls

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 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.

Naim Remote Controls

Naim only has a remote control for a few devices, though they produce remote controls that work perfectly for more than one device. Naim mobile app can also be used to control some of their devices. The remote control works in a range of 10 meters to 15 meters.

Connectivity Options

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

NAD Power Range

Receivers: up to 1000 watt peak

Speakers: up to 250 watts RMS

Amps: up to 1000 watts continuous mono

Naim Power Range

Naim devices are power-saving, i.e. they use less power consumption. They have an average power range of 100W to 200W. Most Naim amplifiers produce power of 70W per channel into 8 ohms.

Frequency Response

NAD Frequency Response

Speakers: 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz

Receivers: 20 Hz to 20kHz

Amps: 20 Hz to 20 kHz

Naim Frequency Response

Naim frequency responses are not so wide and generally range from 20Hz to 20kHz. Though the frequency response of Naim devices varies. Like the Naim mu-so QB V2 with a wider range frequency response from 24Hz to 48kHz.

Conclusion

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. On the other hand, Naim devices have a beautiful design, extensive features, and outstanding sound quality. Naim is one of the best audio devices you may get out there, especially if you like good looks. It may be a bit costly when compared with some other audio devices, but its stunning design and performance easily justify the hefty price tag.

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