When it comes to brand partnerships, there aren’t many that make more sense than the one between Bentley and British high-end audio manufacturer Naim. Both make products with prices reaching into the stratosphere, with similar ideas about craftsmanship and quality.
Now, if you’re a high-end audio enthusiast, like me, you probably know that Naim’s stuff is no joke, and if, also like myself, you aren’t the child of an oligarch, it’s probably way outside your budget. That’s why the newly announced Mu-So 2 wireless speaker collaboration from Naim and Bentley is so cool. It’s still not cheap, but it’s a lot more accessible than anything else that either brand makes.
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The Mu-So takes design inspiration from modern Bentleys like the Bacalar and the EXP 100 and is the first Mu-So to feature wood in its design. It can be used as a normal Bluetooth speaker, or you can even connect it to your TV to help with its sound. It’s also got Wi-Fi and USB inputs. The Mu-So can be controlled via the multifunction knob/screen on top of the device as well as via Naim’s app.
The Naim app allows you to connect with streaming services like Tidal and Spotify Connect and play music through Apple AirPlay. The app is available for iOS and Android, and while I haven’t tested it yet, it seems to be well-designed.
Now we come to the rough part of the story, and that is, of course, the cost. How much is the Naim x Bentley Mu-So speaker? Try $2,100. By most people’s standards, that’s a lot of quiche. By audiophile standards, that’s pretty damned reasonable. Is it worth it? As I said, I haven’t tested it, but if it’s at all comparable to Naim’s other products, my guess is yes.
But wait, as they say, there’s more. Bentley is also teaming up with Focal from France on a set of high-end headphones. The headphones are of a closed-back design (this means less chance of bugging people around you with sound bleed), and they have been designed to mimic the sonic profile of the Mu-So. The materials used here are similarly sumptuous, with earcups finished in Pittards glove leather.
As you might have guessed, the Bentley x Focal Radiance headphones aren’t cheap either. They will retail for $1,300, which isn’t necessarily egregious for high-end headphones, but it does seem like a lot for wireless headphones. Still, you’ll look like a total legend wearing them on a plane when everyone can travel again, so maybe it’s worth it?
Both the Mu-So 2 speaker and the Radiance headphones will be available starting in October from selected Focal, Naim and Bentley retailers as well as online at Naimaudio.com, Focal.com and shop.bentleymotors.com.
2020 Bentley Flying Spur: Heritage meets modern luxury