There has been much written about all-in-ones as of late, especially by us—not surprising since they are so incredibly capable. They really do take a lot of the effort out of building a system. So much so, you might be willing to put up with a few compromises. Except there are few, if any, to be found—at least with the units we’ve reviewed. This is especially true with the new C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier from NAD.
We wanted to get a thorough and detailed perspective on the new C 700, so we reached out to ListenUp’s own David Spear. David is currently a sales consultant in our Boulder store and an industry-certified field technician, which means he has a lot of knowledge when it comes to evaluating performance. Plus, he has the C 700 at home and has already logged hundreds of hours of listening time.
Big System Sound
The first thing we asked David about was sound quality. For him, and likely many of you, there is zero room to budge here. If the sound isn’t exceptional, it doesn’t matter how capable a component is. David described the sound of the C 700 as "Surprisingly full and well-defined.” He likened it to amp and pre-amp combos found in ultra-high-performance systems. “Over the years, I've become well versed in the sonic characteristics that define a high-performance system. And I’ve got to say the C 700 has a lot of them.”
David contributes the sound quality in part to the C 700’s BluOS enabled network streamer with 24-bit/192Hz high-res capability and MQA decoding and rendering. “But the amp is impressive as well!” he says. “The ultra-efficient UcD design results in low noise and distortion through the entire frequency range. It’s pretty incredible.”
Sound Quality Highlights
-HybridDigital UcD Amplifier, delivering 80 watts per channel
-High-resolution audio to 24-bit/192kHz
-MQA decoding and rendering
-Lossless streaming from Amazon Ultra HD, Deezer, Idagio, Qobuz, and Tidal
All Kinds of Capability
The next thing we asked David about was capability. Here the C 700 delivers much as it does on sound. “It’s not wanting in any one area,” he explains. “The BluOS app interface is simple and intuitive, there’s support for all the major streaming apps, two-way aptX HD Bluetooth, and all the necessary inputs—analog, HDMI, optical and coaxial, and USB for an external hard drive.” It’s safe to say the C 700 can meet the needs of about any listener from streaming addicts to vinyl purists.
-BluOS app interface with multi-room streaming into 63 zones
-Optical and coaxial digital inputs
-Two-pairs of line-level analog inputs
-External drive port for your digital library
The last thing we asked David about was appearance. Like a lot of all-in-one owners, David wanted to simplify his setup and do away with a bulky media cabinet, which meant his C 700 would be out in the open, placing even more importance on aesthetics. “I really love the high-def color display. You can display album track art or sound levels, giving the music an engaging visual appeal that can be seen from across the room,” he says. “It just brings the whole experience to life. Plus, the chassis design itself is really engaging. I wouldn’t even think of hiding it away.”
-5” high-definition color display for album art, track progress, and system settings.
-Solid aluminum body and glass front panel
So there you go, another all-in-one that is all the rage. Except, this one may have set the bar beyond reach. Thank you, David. And thank you NAD! To buy, learn more, or schedule an audition, call, chat or visit your nearest ListenUp showroom.