Even though we live in an age of advanced technology, in the past few years we are witnessing many embracing the old-new approach to listening to music. People have always wanted to listen to the music they like at its best, but getting equipment that reproduces a sound that is identical to the original can be a real challenge.
Naim Audio is one of the most successful British brands getting its way back to the music lovers’ homes and for a good reason. If you are not familiar with the brand, that’s alright. For a long time, Naim was available only for a niche selection of customers and was not possible to find their products even in a high-street store.
The Story of Naim: How It All Began?
Since 1973, Naim has been designing and producing handmade music systems. The company was founded by Julian Vereker (1945 – 2000), a self-taught engineer who was recording his friends’ bands playing live but was not fully satisfied with the quality of music reproduction.
As a man who was passionate about both racing cars and music, he turned from building his own racing cars to experimenting with amplifiers. The original idea was not to compete with other audio engineers and hi-fi creators on the market at the time. Instead, Vereker was aiming for creating something new, something that turned out to be a business dedicated to exploring and finding the best sound quality.
In 1972 he won a contract to supply Capital Radio, which has just started with audio equipment and that’s how Naim was born. On 4th June 1973, the company was officially incorporated in Salisbury, in the historic Wiltshire town.
The vital mission of the company remains at its core as it creates its brand identity as an audio lifestyle product. Today, you can find a range of carefully selected Naim Audio products and enjoy the well-kept secret of the UK’s hi-fi circles that are not willing to compromise on the way they listen to music.
From the beginning, Naim has strived to hone and perfect methods of manufacturing and to reveal a pure experience of music that is as close as it can be to the original source. Every product is designed with the quality of sound in mind and crafted to take you deeper into music and help you enjoy the adventure in a unique way.
What makes Naim stand out from the crowd is the dedicated effort and the remarkable high-end audio solutions they are providing to their customers. For almost 50 years now, they have been combining premium products with a niche target audience. And regardless of the transformations the company has seen over the years, the focus has always remained on high quality and design.
Naim Products: The Evolution of the Brand
If you are more than just a casual listener to music, then your appetite for high-quality products must be huge. When Naim first started, its speakers and amplifiers were very popular among audiophiles, however, as time was passing by the company realised that it needed to evolve in order to stay relevant. It’s a brand with a history of inspiration and innovation and infinite curiosity.
Julian’s first successful design was a compact version of an early Naim power amp, the NAM 502. It was combined with speaker drive units in one cabinet, a design that won the contract to supply audio equipment Capital Radio in 1972, which was a start-up radio station at the time. The following triumphs were the 1974 NAC 12 preamp and the 1983 NAIT integrated amplifier.
Naim NAIT 1 power amp was the company’s first integrated amplifier and remains one of its most iconic products ever. Then there were Naim 32/snaps/250 power amp in 1984, which came in three parts, including the 32 pre-amp, the power supply and the 250 stereo power amplifier, a legendary piece of equipment, which received several makeovers, getting better every time.
The Big Steps
Partnership with Bentley
In 2000, the new Audio NAP 500 was introduced, featuring a modern highly industrial aesthetic that enhanced Naim’s futuristic image and since then company kept developing its reputation as a high-end audio manufacturer for the modern world. In 2008, Naim made the in-car music system for the British luxury carmaker, Bentley.
The Muso Range
As Naim was concentrating on sound quality, aesthetics and innovation, the next step was a move into the digital world. In 2014, Naim launched its very first wireless music system called Muso and soon they were no longer operating through audio specialists only but started selling through the Apple Store and high-end retailers like John Lewis.
In 2016, the Naim Muso QB was introduced and it was the more affordable route with the highest quality of audio in the hi-fi world. It was an example of how keeping up with new technologies doesn’t necessarily mean giving up on the brand’s essence.
Muso and Muso QB offer versatility with performance and their simple, but still, advanced connectivity including Bluetooth, Spotify, USB, AirPlay, TIDAL, Apple iOS, Android App and Analogue and Digital inputs for complete control.
Naim ND 555
The ND 555 streamer is the very best Naim makes right now, as the former is the first of its streaming products to gain 500 series status. It focuses on the company’s traditional approach rather than trying to reinvent anything. The ND 555 may come with or without a built-in power supply, and in case it doesn’t, you will need to add one of the Naim’s 555 PS DR outboard power units.
The 555 PS DR can be also used with the NDS and NDX network players, the DAC digital to analogue converter, the HDX hard disk player/server and the CDS2 CD player. Whatever Naim product it partners with, the 555 PS DR power supply will improve every aspect of the music you are listening to.
Naim SUPERNAIT 3
This is the third generation SUPERNAIT, released in 2019. It may not exude a luxury aura, but it’s certainly a quality product based on a rich heritage of previous integrated amplifiers. It’s a great choice if you want to add a rhythmic drive and precision to your system.
Naim Uniti Range
Even though the Uniti range came out a few years before Muso, it contains the most popular Naim products. It was also a big move for Naim as this type of hi-fi model, all in one, were not viewed as a serious alternative to a full hi-fi system before. Each one of them is designed to give sound quality from a single, space-saving box and now every Uniti model features Spotify, USB playback, Bluetooth AptX wireless streaming and more.
While a Naim product may come at a higher cost, it’s a worthwhile investment as each product is specialised, conveys luxury and provides longevity. Naim is not a brand that struggles to compete in this digital world, instead, it’s a brand that sets itself apart by offering not only a high-quality product but a lifestyle.