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The Naim Mu-So 2 was already an exceptional AirPlay 2-enabled speaker, but the wood and Bentley editions up the bar even further with luxurious finishes.
Incredible smart speakers
Before tackling the new finishes, it's important to revisit what set the original Mu-So 2 apart from the rest of the connected speaker market. Naim Mu-So 2 debuted in 2020 as a successor to the first-gen Mu-So. It improved in several ways, including the output wattage.
We could go on for ages about the Naim Mu-So 2. It's packed full of features that few can compete against.
It's overflowing with inputs — you can play music via optical cable, 3.5mm auxiliary cable, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, Chromecast, HDMI ARC, or USB. There are also options to stream directly to the speaker using Spotify, Tidal Connect, or internet radio.
The device can be controlled from the dedicated Naim audio app, where you can tweak settings, sign in to your various accounts, and assign your favorites for quick access.
As it supports AirPlay 2, you have many HomeKit benefits. The speaker will appear in the Home app, and you can include it in your scenes and smart home automation routines. It can automatically turn off when you leave your home or play an upbeat playlist when you trigger your "party time" scene via Siri.
As we'll dive into later in this review, the design is also impeccable. The expansive body sits atop an illuminated acrylic base. The inputs are hidden underneath where they're out of sight. The controls appear on the top of the dial only as your hand approaches, otherwise fading into the glossy top surface. And the all-aluminum heat sink expands across the rear of the speaker.
Naim knocked it out of the park with the Mu-So 2 from the design, audio quality, and connectivity options.
We reviewed the original Naim Mu-So 2 at launch in early 2020. While the speaker carries a hefty price tag, it more than justified its place as a luxury Hi-Fi smart speaker. Since then, they've only continued adding new features and releasing these special edition models to bolster its value further.
Light wood is an option
The light wood edition replaces the metal frame with all-natural Ayous hardwood for a more natural take on the speaker. Ayous is harvested sustainably to produce a luxurious product while doing its best not to harm the environment as much as it would otherwise.
The wood is impeccably finished, stained, and lacquered to present a light oak hue. The aluminum heat sink on the rear has also been anodized a light tan to match the light wood, rather than just silver.
The grille on the front is color-matched as well. Instead of a solid tan, it's a heathered neutral tone that pairs well with the light oak finish. Of course, the grille is also removable, and users can swap it for any color they wish from Naim's available options.
As you examine the speaker, you can see the care that went into crafting it. The circular dial on top that you use to control the speaker is countersunk in, and the wood curves down to surround it while leaving room for your fingers to spin the dial.
We tend to lean towards a darker aesthetic, with much of our interior occupied by walnut pieces rather than oak, but it is hard to deny how good the Naim Wood Edition looks. It gives off more of an Apple appearance, looking quite at home in an Apple Store next to Apple's custom wood tables.
Many Apple fans like this light, airy, modern design, and the Naim Mu-so 2 Wood Edition is a perfect, albeit pricey, addition to that.
Partnering with Bentley
The Bentley edition is also crafted from Ayous hardwood but with a dark finish rather than the light oak. The top is almost entirely black, but the wood grain is still able to peek through. It reminds us of a lovely slab of ebony but with not as tight grain.
A copper-tinted lattice pattern around the control dial pops against its inky surface.
The swappable grille still has a heathered texture but is now infused with woven copper fibers.
The touch surface is jet black with the metal and light wood versions of the Mu-So 2. It looks ok but contrasts a bit too much, especially on the light wood version. The Bentley version is already dark, making the control dial's touch surface much more suited.
The company has created a specially tinted heat sink that matches the other copper accents for the heat sink.
A final touch is the Bentley logo, etched into the acrylic base. It is illuminated from above so that just the words light up, subtly displaying the pair of collaborators.
Should you buy the light wood or Bentley editions of the Naim Mu-So 2?
The wood and Bentley versions of the Naim Mu-So 2 don't carry any special features on their own. They are merely new finishes to the already capable Mu-So 2. If you were sold on the Mu-So 2 before, these add nothing but some fresh style.
That said, audio gear is historically about the style almost as much as the sound. We've seen incredible designs on speakers, record players, and headphones, and Naim holds its own.
These devices have niche markets. Not everyone is buying a speaker this large or at this price range.
If the price and size don't discourage you, it's worth it.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Upgrade your audio
If you're interested in upgrading your audio system with the premium editions of the Naim Mu-So 2, you can find the light wood version on Amazon for $1,690 on Amazon or Crutchfield and the Bentley version from Crutchfield for $2,290.