Technology Profile - Audio
The NAD M10 v2 streaming audio amplifier exemplifies the company’s value-driven approach to high-performance sound.
FIFTY YEARS AGO A GROUP OF AUDIO IMPORTERS IN EUROPE – all music lovers – set out to develop products that were not only affordable, but offered excellent fidelity and a quality build. At this time in the history of the audio industry, most quality audio niche products were ruthlessly expensive and the mass market was dominated by poor quality imports from global electronics giants.
When NAD’s gregarious Managing Director, Marty Borish, hired the company’s quiet genius of an audio engineer, Bjorn Erik Edvardsen, the NAD magic began to percolate. Soon this creative team saw a space in the market for a new category of affordable, high-quality electronics. Sure, there were high performing amplifiers in the marketplace, but they often came with a lot of extraneous features that bloated their cost. Edvardsen believed he could make an affordable amplifier that utilized state-of-the-art engineering by focusing solely on the essentials for good sound. Young people wanted in on the experience, too, and affordability was obviously an issue. This revolutionary concept became the ethos that would drive NAD to produce some of the most storied prod¬ucts of a generation.
Fifty years later, NAD is still offering cutting edge technology and superb musical fidelity in a range of audio products any discerning music lover would be envious of. Of note is the latest iteration of their BluOS streaming audio amplifier, the M10 v2.
Digital music files have now gone beyond what the original CD format was able to reproduce, resulting in spectacular aural experiences that reveal every nuance of the original recording.
Imagine going to an art museum and viewing artwork that has 90 percent of the original artist’s input missing. Or dining at a fine restaurant where the chef leaves out 90 percent of the ingredients. Not very enticing to say the least!
This, in a nutshell, is what is known in musical terms as compression. In our digital world, studios and broadcasters have stripped 90 percent of the original content of songs – known as MP3 files – in order to shoot them over poor quality internet connections and into phones and cheap headphones, figuring that the masses on planet Earth either won’t care or won’t notice.
But music lovers do care and they do notice!
On the other end of the spectrum is hi-res audio – music files that are lossless, meaning there is nothing removed from the original intent of the artist. And today, digital music files have now gone beyond what the original CD format was able to reproduce, resulting in spectacular aural experiences that reveal every nuance of the original recording. So for the sake of this article, when we talk about streaming audio, we are referring to lossless — beautiful, uncompressed sound that is as the artist originally intended.
MQA is a breakthrough audio technology that enables music fans to stream the original master recording in their home, car or on their mobile devices. MQA audio powers the world’s best-sounding music services and consumer devices.
Based on research into human neuroscience, this technology captures every element of a recording’s resolution. It enables the listener to build a 3D sonic picture and enter into the performance as if it were live. Devices or apps with the MQA decoding capability, like the NAD M10 v2, unfolds the MQA music file to reveal the original master resolution.
BluOs is a wireless ecosystem that uses your home’s wired/wireless network to connect enabled devices and play your music in perfect sync across your home – or, different music in different rooms simultaneously. Using advanced technologies BluOS transmits lossless music at lighting fast speeds with no lag and zero loss in sound quality. From just one source component, you can enjoy music indoors and out by simply adding BluOS-enabled wireless speakers.
M10 v2 BluOs streaming amplifier
Combining a sophisticated music streamer and powerful amplifier in one super-stylish component, the M10 is made for the way people listen to music today. And the BluOS multi-room wireless platform allows you to queue up your music and hear it in glorious high fidelity throughout your house and outdoor living spaces. The v2 improves on its award-winning predecessor by adding an easy upgrade path to Dolby Digital surround sound and a nifty remote control.
Two major revolutions are underway today pertaining to how people listen to, and access, their music. The first deals with all of the various places you keep your music files. In the case of the NAD M10, you can use the BluOS app on a smartphone, tablet or computer to queue up music from your favorite streaming service, or music stored on USB and network drives. You can also stream music from your iPhone, iPad or iTunes library via AirPlay 2. Select music by voice using Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant. The M10 can be integrated into Apple, Control4, Crestron, Lutron and other home control systems so you can control music playback along with your lighting, shading, climate and security. You can even choose tracks and adjust volume from the M10’s luxurious touchscreen.
The second revolution in high performance audio is what is known as “Just Add Speakers”. With the M10 v2, you have everything you need except your speakers of choice to begin rocking out the neighborhood. And with BluOS, which is a wireless protocol, you can add powered speakers around the house and access your music from the M10 streamer. So no pulling wires and no hassles – want music in your bathroom? Simple. Just add speakers.
Created by the award-winning design firm DF-ID, the M10 v2 features a solid brushed aluminum chassis, Gorilla Glass top and front panels and a bright 7-inch touchscreen. Behind the display lies a sonic powerhouse that delivers thrilling dynamics and exquisite detail. The M10 can stream lossless and high-resolution audio from services such as Qobuz, Deezer and Tidal; and has full MQA hardware decoding and rendering capability.
The M10 v2 is the perfect amplifier for the Internet era. With the easy-to-navigate BluOS app, you can play music from your favorite streaming service as well as locally stored audio files. The M10 plays nicely with its neighbors for connecting disc players, game consoles, external drives, media adapters, flat-panel display and other components. It also features two-way apt-X HD Bluetooth. You can listen through wireless headphones, stereo speakers, a surround sound set-up, or BluOS-capable wireless speakers arrayed about your home. Hi-Fi doesn’t get more modern than this.
For more info on the NAD M10 V2, click here.