Finally... a 2-channel product that offers some of the basic amenities of a modern AVR in a smaller (albeit pricier) package. The NAD Masters M10 BluOS DAC/amp with Dirac Live
is a premium product that genuinely expands the world of 2-channel sound to embrace Hi-Fi streaming and using a TV as a source thanks to HDMI ARC input, which makes it a bit of a envelope-pusher in this segment. And crucially, it offers Dirac Live, one of the best available solutions for room correction. With a bit of care in setup, the NAD Masters M10
is able to produce great 2-channel sound because it offers the DSP processing that's been taken for granted on the home theater/AV side of things for some time now.
I lived with the Master M10 for a number of months, using it with several different speakers ranging from PSB Alpha T20 towers to Polk's Legend Series L200. I used it with and without a subwoofer, with and without Dirac Live activated, etc.
Now, what I'm not going to do here is get into a long, technical review. The reason is simple... the Masters M10 works properly. That is to say, it delivers clean, transparent, neutral sound at output levels that complement the power handling of many consumer speaker systems. That is to say, it is a good digital integrated amp and getting the most of it is a matter of setup. Instead, I recommend you check out the extensive comments in AVS Forum, where you'll find over 370 comments (so far) including owner's impressions.
Here are the strong points of the M10:
- HDMI ARC in... so you can use it with a TV. Since you can get apps like Tidal and Spotify on TVs now, this is smart.
- Features Dirac Live
- Nice GUI on the front panel
- Runs cool and the amps are good
And here are the caveats:
- Costs more for considerably less functionality than an AVR
OK, that's about it! If the NAD Masters M10
fits your application, there's little else out there like it and it is a slick package and so it comes highly recommended. You should check out the full feature set and make a value judgment from there. Just remember, you can buy a really nice AVR (like the NAD T777 V3) for the same money.
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Full Press release:
"NAD Electronics, the highly regarded manufacturer of high-performance audio/video components, unveiled a new and unique Masters Series product, the M10, a BluOS™ enabled amplifier that can serve as the heart of a quality whole-home system. In its simplest form, the M10 ($2499 U.S. MSRP) is an ultra-high-performance streaming amplifier with great audiophile sound. Or it can be combined with other players in a BluOS ecosystem of wirelessly networked music players throughout the home for a whole-home audio system. The M10 will be available in February 2019.
Looking further under the hood however reveals that the M10 also has even more to offer. There is Dirac Live Room Correction to ensure your music can be precisely dialed in for optimum performance. In addition to audiophile quality sound, the M10 features complete connection flexibility allowing it to integrate into virtually any environment.
The M10 also has inputs for all your other audio sources, both analog and digital. It even has an HDMI Audio Return Channel to make it easy to integrate with most modern flat panel TVs allowing the sound to come through your high fidelity speakers yet be controlled by your TV remote. The M10 is fully compatible with all the leading smart home systems to control lighting, shades, HVAC and security from one smartly styled interface.
For years, NAD has been widely recognized as a pioneer in cutting-edge digital audio reproduction. For example, their Masters Series has redefined high-end audio by introducing the world’s first closed loop digital amplifier with performance exceeding analogue parameters leading to an entirely new digital system architecture. With the inclusion of BluOS™, the powerful wireless multi-room Bluesound™ music management software, BluOS supports the new standard for High Res streaming, Master Quality Authenticated (MQA). BluOS also supports over 15 free and paid subscription services as well as supporting locally stored music libraries.
State-of-the-Art Amplification- NAD is also well established as a leader in HybridDigital amplification and Masters Series amplifiers have garnered audiophile acclaim around the world. The M10 utilizes HybridDigital amplification featuring the remarkable Hypex nCore
amplification stage offers state-of-the-art performance along with the ability to drive virtually any loudspeaker. Conservatively rated at 100 watts per channel, the M10 is both highly efficient and remarkably powerful, with the ability to render even the subtlest musical details with lifelike realism. Effortless dynamics and a complete absence of electronic noise are hallmarks of this advanced technology.
Dirac Live Full Room Correction* is featured on the M10 and offers a remarkable increase in fidelity by correcting both frequency response and time domain impulse response. This full version of Dirac Live, when properly calibrated, demonstrably improves clarity, naturalness, and pinpoint imaging.
BluOS Music Management and Control - BluOS is the operating system at the heart of the M10 that pulls music from the cloud or from a locally stored library and logically organizes it and makes it easily accessible. The user can easily play all their music from the internet including Apple AirPlay 2*. With over a dozen premium music services fully integrated, including High Res sources with full MQA decoding, the M10 opens the entire music catalog and puts it at their fingertips in Studio Master Quality.
BluOS Whole-Home Audio System – Despite its ease of operation, BluOS is also the most advanced multi-room system currently available, able to sync rooms together or play different music in different rooms all in High Resolution. The M10 can be combined with music players from NAD, Bluesound, and DALI with more products being added to the ecosystem every day there is an ideal product for every room and at a wide variety of price points.
A Master in Control Flexibility
Completely operable by Wi-Fi con¬nection to the BluOS App, one need never touch the M10. But as you approach the M10 the elegant, high resolution TFT colour touch screen beckons as the graphic changes from ‘now playing’ to ‘control panel’ allowing many operations directly from the front panel without opening the App. M10 users can benefit from hands-free control of their music from any Amazon Alexa supported device or via Siri. The M10 is fully compatible with all the leading smart home systems from leading companies like Apple, Crestron, Control4, Lutron and many others. This means that along with your lighting, shades, HVAC, and security, you can seamlessly control your BluOS multi-room music system from a common interface. An IR remote control is also included.
Elegant Design, Luxury Materials – NAD believes audio components should look and feel every bit as good as they sound. Industrial design was commissioned to DF-ID, a renowned design firm associated with many of the world’s top luxury brands. Principal David Farrage utilize panels of glass and extrude aluminum to create a unique look for the M10 that is both elegant and understated at the same time.
"The Masters M10 is a perfect example of an audiophile component that is luxurious and smart yet at the same time, discreet.”, stated Greg Stidsen, NAD's Chief Technology Officer. "It can effectively perform the same function that required a rack full of components just a few years ago and in many ways, is superior. Though the elegant form factor of the M10 takes up very little space and could be hidden away, but with its attractive design and striking display, why would you want to?”
The NAD Masters M10 will be on display at CES 2019 in the Lenbrook Suite 29-236 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, January 8-10, 2018. NAD will be joined there by sister brands PSB and Bluesound with Lenbrook personnel on hand to demonstrate the company’s premium products and answer any questions.
Complete Feature Set of the NAD Masters M10:
• BluOS Streaming Amplifier
• HybridDigital nCore Amplifier
• Continuous Power:100W into 8/4 Ohms
• Dynamic Power: 160W into 8 Ohms
300W into 4 Ohms
• 32-BIT/384kHz ESS Sabre DAC
• 1GHz ARM® CORTEX A9 Processor
• Dirac Live FULL Room Correction*
• Color TFT display with Proximity Sensor
• AirPlay 2 Integration*
• Two-way Qualcomm aptX HD Bluetooth
• BluOS multi-room compatible
• Gigabit Ethernet
• HDMI eARC
• USB Type A Input
• Stereo Line Inputs, Coax/Optical Inputs
• Preamp Output, Subwoofer Output
• IR Input, 12V Trigger Out
• Apps for iOS, Android, Mac OS, Windows, Crestron, Control4, RTI, URC, Elan, Lutron, iPort
• Wide variety of premium music services supported in App, including Amazon, Spotify, Tidal, TuneIn, Napster, Deezer, Qobuz and many others
*These features will be implemented via future software upgrades.
" - NAD