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NAD C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier is Surprisingly Affordable

The $1499 NAD C 700 Network Amplifier delivers power, connectivity, and a lot of bells and whistles. But is it enough to sway people away from the pricier competition?

NAD C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier

$1,499 is still a lot of money, but we think NAD is definitely making an interesting move with the new NAD C 700 Streaming Amplifier. Not everyone can afford to spend $2,500 to $3,200 on a streaming amplifier and while that applies to a number of models in the NAD lineup, there are plenty of products from Naim, Hegel, Linn, and Cambridge Audio that are considerably more expensive and out of reach for some.

What makes the NAD C 700 interesting (and perhaps somewhat puzzling) is that it sits above the Bluesound POWERNODE that is also manufactured by Lenbrook (NAD’s parent company) and sells for $900 USD and below the brand new NAD C 399 Hybrid Digital Amplifier that retails for $1,995.

The C 700 delivers more power than the POWERNODE and comes with a 5″ screen so that users can view album art and system settings.

NAD C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier Angle
NAD C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier Angle

The NAD C 700 offers greater connectivity options than the Bluesound POWERNODE, but does not include an internal phono pre-amp. That’s a lost opportunity in my opinion.

The more expensive NAD C 399 and NAD Masters M10 V2 offer a superior amplifier and the C 399 is fully modular which we think gives it better long-term value.

The C 399 is the first amplifier to incorporate the latest generation of NAD’s Modular Design Construction (MDC) technology: MDC2. MDC2 lets users add optional modules that provide functions such as BluOS Hi-Res multi-room music streaming, Dirac Live room correction and more.

The POWERNODE and C 700 do not offer support for Dirac Live but they do share the same BluOS app which is one of our favorite control apps right now.

Not every control app is created equally and NAD and Naim deserve top marks for how they have developed their apps and kept updating them with fixes and upgrades. BluOS offers access to almost every major music streaming service and all of the current units support MQA. We’re not sure if the C 700 supports Roon at launch but we suspect it will follow the other products in the lineup and do so.

The C 700 supports Apple AirPlay 2, Tidal Connect, and Spotify Connect out of the box which is a very smart play by NAD.

So what have NAD tucked inside the C 700 that makes it worth $1,499?

Housed in a compact and modern design, the NAD C 700 was designed with a listener in mind who seeks an uncompromized listening experience with a focus on value. Inside the solid aluminium housing is a powerful HybridDigital UcD amplifier and BluOS Enabled network streamer. Using the intuitive BluOS app, the ability to cue music from a digital library, or stream from internet radio and online services like Spotify, Amazon Music HD, Tidal, and Qobuz could not be easier.

NAD C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier Front
NAD Electronics C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier (front)

Compact and Modern Design

Thanks to its elegant, minimalist design and premium materials, the C 700 will engage the most demanding of listeners — audibly as well as visually. The C 700 is housed in a solid aluminium case, with a smooth glass front panel and 5” high-definition color display that shows album artwork, track status, and system settings. Via the C 700’s color display, adjusting amplifier settings is quick and convenient with the added benefit of having the ability to learn commands from any pre-existing remote control.

“The C 700 creates exceptional value for those seeking a modern and easy-to-use standalone music system”, comments Cas Oostvogel, NAD’s Product Manager. “Ever since NAD introduced the legendary 3020 integrated amplifier in 1978, the NAD brand has been renowned for value, performance, and innovation. With the C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier, NAD has completely updated that tradition for the streaming era.”

Powerful HybridDigital UcD Amplification

The highly efficient UcD amplifier design is renowned for ultra-low noise and distortion through the entire frequency range, regardless of the loudspeaker load. Employing NAD’s proven HybridDigital UcD amplifier technology, the C 700 can deliver 2 x 80 watts of continuous power and 2 x 120 watts of instantaneous power.

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NAD C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier Rear
NAD Electronics C 700 BluOS Streaming Amplifier (rear)

Just Add Speakers

The C 700 has everything needed to play music, by just adding speakers. The BluOS app creates an intuitive way to select music from dozens of different streaming services, internet radio, or to play music stored on an external drive connected to the C 700’s USB port. 

In addition to the audiophile grade speaker outputs, the C 700 has a subwoofer output jack where it’s required. Convenient low and high-pass crossover settings in the BluOS app provide a seamless blend between the subwoofer and main speakers.

The C 700 has two pairs of RCA analogue inputs, as well as coaxial and optical digital inputs, for connecting disc players, game consoles, media adapters, and other components.

There’s also an HDMI eARC port for connecting a HDTV with HDMI ARC support. This allows the C 700’s volume setting to be adjusted from the TV’s remote. Two-way aptX HD Bluetooth provides a convenient way to listen to music through wireless headphones, and stream audio from any smart device.

Key Features

  • HybridDigital UcD Amplifier
  • Continuous Power: 80 Watts per channel into 8/4 ohms
  • Instantaneous Power: 120 Watts per channel
  • 5” high-definition colour information display shows album art, track progress, and system settings
  • Solid aluminum body and glass front panel
  • Works with intuitive BluOS Controller app forAndroid, iOS, macOS, and Windows
  • BluOS multi-room streaming to 63 zones
  • High-resolution audio to 24-bit/192Hz
  • MQA decoding and rendering
  • Lossless and high-resolution streaming from Amazon Music HD, Deezer, Idagio, Qobuz, and Tidal
  • Support for Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and Tidal Connect
  • Voice control via Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant
  • Optical and coaxial digital inputs
  • HDMI eARC port
  • Two-way aptX HD Bluetooth
  • 12V Trigger output

For more information: nadelectronics.com

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Mike Cornell

    September 30, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    If I’m not mistaken, the new Powernode also delivers 80 wpc, so basically this a Powernode with a screen.

    • Ian White

      September 30, 2021 at 3:50 pm

      Mike,

      The power rating might be the same but I don’t think it’s using the same amplifier technology. It is trickle down from the NAD Masters lineup.

      I rather like the Powernode and I raised an eyebrow when I saw the release. It’s definitely more of a NAD M10 V2 on a diet.

      Ian White

      • Gil

        October 1, 2021 at 10:56 am

        Ian,

        What has trickled down from the Masters series? I don’t recall any Hypex UCD modules/technology in recent Masters amps. Maybe a long time ago. As you might recall, first Hypex came out with the UCD modules and then the NCore modules (improving on UCD). Purify technology (not Hypex) is the latest Class D amplification used by NAD.

        • Ian White

          October 1, 2021 at 11:33 am

          Gil,

          Let me circle back with the NAD people because that’s the story they are selling. I think you’re correct because the C 700 uses the same amplifier modules as the C 268 and C 368 which are both UcD.

          I think the PR people are confusing the functionality of the unit versus the actual power modules being utilized.

          I’m going to revise until they clarify.

          Best,
          Ian

  2. Mike Cornell

    September 30, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    Thanks, Ian. It’s always great to have choices, especially when they’re more affordable!

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