Naim CI Series

If anybody is interested, there’s a video on the Absolute Sound:

2 Likes

I agree - when it matches the use case, the 102 looks like a cute thing to hide away and rely on app control or use it as streaming target only.
Looking forward for any reports from people, who can get their hands on them.

I don’t get the different approach to “Watt” across the different ranges (Mu-so with 6x 75W, the 102 with 2x 150 (or more), the other Unitis with 40-80W, now the new PE with 150W… - I know, it’s not comparing apples with apples, but the dact sheets also make it very difficult to compare between the products. (Example: PE lists some signal/noise ratio levels, which no Uniti had listed beforehand… so, what does it mean?)
Yeah, I know: go an listen. :wink:

Thanks Richard. I was thinking/hoping that it would have been a good idea. If only to silence us Naimies that have been ragging on about having an inexpensive add-on Naim streaming module for our legacy products in order to receive Qobuz etc.
Sigh …

But there are plenty of non Naim affordable option that fix that issue. Does it have to have a Naim badge?

1 Like

I’d like it to be Naim so I can control it with the NDS’s system automation and the Naim App.

Is there any knowledge of what AMP modules CI 102 is using? It will be tricky to believe that just like Nova PE, those would use Purifi at 1/6th of the price.

My feeling says that the module may be the same, but that there is an entirely different powersupply in place. That’s speculation.

Oh, I’m eying one for in the gardenhouse or as an ideal bedroom system.

It’ll either be the Naim bargain of the year or a tarted up Sonos Amp (£590) with a nice logo on it (and significant price premium).
I have a Sonos Amp and for the money there’s not much it isn’t capable of.

2 Likes

Yes, Sonos made a very good multizone system. My favorite feature has been Alarm setting with the song of my choice taken from the music library or directly from streaming service at the same time every morning.

It’s competitor BluOS (Bluesound & NAD) is lacking that feature, despite producing (very slightly) better sound.

I wonder if the CI Series will have that feature, as up until now I don’t see many (convenience) features like that on Focal&Naim app.

1 Like

My first thought when it was announced was that it could be a nice substitute for my Atom in the Lounge. I expect as part of a bespoke installation it will be a solid solution, what I’d now actually be keen to evaluate is if it works well compared to a Sonos amp (which I used to have in my kitchen on top of the cupboards but now have in my office).
I’ve had both the original and current Sonos amps, I currently use mine to drive a pair of PMC DB1i setup on my desk as near field stereo pair.
I use it with Roon and can’t really fault it, I’ve never had any issue with it and it works with every streaming service imaginable as well as Roon.
The one nice aspect of Sonos is you can just add their speakers wirelessly, the Naim system is clearly a professional install solution and one aligned around the Focal CI ranges.
I have 300 Series in wall speakers which my Atom is driving currently, it’s a very nice setup and more than enough for what it’s used for (TV audio via HDMI ARC).
I still aim to loan one and see how it squares up against the current Atom setup, if it seems to perform well it might be an option and that allows me to move the Atom in to the office!

1 Like

I guess Naim’s version for Sonos’ wireless speakers is MuSo (and QB).

Obviously reflects how different segment the two brands are targeting.

That’s Sono Era 300, right? I’m pretty sure the CI is more than capable to handle them, and your Atom currently is overkill in terms of expected SQ.

No, incorrect, Focal 300 Series in wall speakers!

https://www.focal.com/en/custom-integration/in-wall-in-ceiling-loudspeakers/300-series

MuSo is a multiroom Stereo system, Sonos can handle multichannel audio to allow for surround setups including soundbars and subs for example.

2 Likes

Additionally, Naim’s CI Series still lacks any audio signal processing intelligence, it requires a 3rd party audio processor to handle any of the multichannel audio formats, like Dolby Atmos as an example.
It provides an ability to amplify multichannel audio and optimise the speakers to an extent but without those additional processing products in the chain it’s not going to do those things at all, whereas Sonos as a system can do that natively and is designed as such to do so.

1 Like

Oh sorry, in that case, it’s gonna be a perfect match with Naim CI.

As for multichannels, I think Focal has multichannel products (Astral & SibEvo) which could be leveraged into a more competitive CI features.

Yes for sure hence the interest in my case as I felt I’m perhaps more aligned to the target setup for the product from the off.
I have had multichannel setups in the past but when I redid the lounge I stuck to a 2 channel setup where the Atom and Focal in wall are utilised.
Adding more channels is not a neccessity in my case and it works without complaint as a 2 channel setup.
The appeal specifically is having a dedicated amp that can be an equivalent replacement for the Atom without feeling I’m loosing anything that the Atom brings to the performance.

1 Like