The one-box hifi most likely to enhance an interior is the Naim Mu-so, which I reviewed early last year. Appearing to float on a base of transparent, white-lit Perspex, it resembles an architect’s model for a national library in Scandinavia. It also sounds an absolute dream.
Well, the Salisbury-based firm has done it again. This baby version of Mu-so, the Qb, is a similarly styled 21cm cube of audio wonderfulness. While it comes in black, there’s also an accessory range of coloured speaker grilles, which turn the Qb into a prototype Barcelona art gallery.
These grilles conceal a fine range of speakers that spray sound around in a spatially convincing manner. There are two tweeters and two mid-drivers – all driven by 50-watt amplifiers – as well as two pistonic passive bass radiators and a conventional woofer with a 100-watt amp. This lot going at full pelt produces sound that is disproportionately loud for the Qb’s size – the bass especially is massive. Overall, the Qb is superb, although the vocals sounds a bit thinner to me than on the orginal Mu-so.
There are many options to feed the Qb with music, wired and wireless, plus you can string them together to go multiroom. And while the Qb is Spotify-friendly, it also works with the high-resolution streaming service Tidal.