The CI 580 from NAD Electronics
NAD Electronics has unveiled two upcoming multi-zone streaming products designed for performance-grade distributed audio systems. Joining the company’s Custom Integrator (CI) Series, the CI 580 will be a four-zone streamer featuring BluOS to deliver a flexible package. Also including BluOS, the CI 720 Network Stereo Zone Amp is a single, stereo zone network streamer featuring NAD’s hybrid digital amplification.
Available in both of these network music players, BlueOS features a deep integration with several of the top control systems, including Control4, Crestron, RTI, and URC. Unlike some other network audio solutions, BluOS has a published API that allows a more complete and sustainable integration.
The CI 580 packs four stereo zones into a 1U rack space to provide the most flexible and cost effective BluOS package of the series. Zones can be synchronized (up to 36) or can play individual streams, all in full 24-bit resolution with sample rates up to 192kHz. Fixed or variable line outputs provide further flexibility. A system interrupt is also included, lowering volume so users can hear when a doorbell or alarm sounds.
Like all NAD products, the focus of the 580 is squarely on performance with DACs, OPAmps and passive circuit components selected for musical sound quality. Multiple CI 580s can be used to provide as many zones as required; CI and setup are designed to be simple, using the BluOS App. Multiple Zone Groups are fully supported.
While the NAD CI 980 Amplifier is a good companion to the CI 580, the latter can be interfaced to any quality amplifier. The CI 580 will be availabe for around $1300.
The CI 720 from NAD Electronics
NAD Hybrid Digital power makes the CI 720 single stereo zone solution unique. The “blade” form factor allows up to six Network Zone streamers to occupy a single 3U rack space. The slim form factor means it can also reside locally in the zone – behind a flat screen TV for example, where the analog and digital inputs can accommodate the local source in addition to the network stream.
To facilitate mounting the CI 720 in a rack, NAD will offer the RM 720 Rack Mount Accessory for around $299 MSRP. This accessory allows six CI 720s to occupy a 3U rack space in a distributed audio system. For additional convenience, the RM 720 includes network switching and provision for power management so only one Ethernet cable and one AC cable needs to be run to the rack, which significantly simplifies installation.
The CI 720 also has analog and digital inputs, which can support cable boxes, and other non-network sources and makes them available and selectable in every zone. Additional features include USB input, Ethernet In/Out, standard network protocols, and universal voltage (100-240). The CI 720 will be available for around $900.
“As the custom market continues to grow, NAD believes that innovative performance solutions will differentiate the true custom integrators from the less skilled tradesmen and DIY solutions coming to market,” explained Greg Stidsen, direct of technology and product planning for NAD Electronics. “NAD has deep roots in the custom market and our new CI multi-zone BluOS streamers showcase our proprietary technologies in ways that deliver valuable benefits to both the quality-oriented custom integrator and their clients.”