Exclusive reviews of the latest kit
THREE OF THE BEST
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We’ve tested and rated all of the newest and best kit, including world exclusives, in our £1million reviewing suite. Read on for more…
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DuneHDMax £400 Page 19 Troublesome performance mars a good streaming idea
6 www.whathifi.com 6 www.whathifi.com
The Viso 1 sports curves in all the right places: it might look a little derivative overall, but it’s still an attractive design MORE EXCLUSIVES!
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Cocktail Audio X10 (500GB)
NAD C356BEE DAC
NAD raises the quality bar for iPod docks
NADViso 1 | iPod Dock | £500
Given how popular iPod docks have become in recent years, it’s surprising that hi-fi specialist NAD has taken so long to launch one of its own – but its new Viso 1 system has been well worth the wait. In fact, it’s good enough to worry class-leaders such as the Geneva Model M, which is some achievement for a first-time effort.
Of course, not being the first to market does have its advantages, and it’s clear that NAD has spent a lot of time poring over its competitors’ efforts to help hone its own product. If you can see hints of the B&W Zeppelin in the Viso 1’s design, we’re not at all surprised: everyone in the office made precisely the same observation the moment the NAD emerged from its packaging.
That’s not necessarily a disadvantage, mind you. The Zeppelin is a looker, so it follows that the Viso 1 is, too: while it’s surprisingly light, especially compared with the hefty B&W, it certainly looks as upmarket as it ought. As an added bonus, its slightly squarer proportions (48cm wide and 26cm high, against 64cm and 17cm for the Zeppelin) mean it occupies a smaller proportion of your desk, shelf or table.
The Viso 1’s docking cradle provides further evidence of NAD’s thorough benchmarking. Like the similar assembly on the B&W Zeppelin Mini, the Viso 1’s can rotate through 90 degrees to allow for landscape orientation of your iPhone or iPod Touch (see below), a desirable asset for fans of iTunes’ Cover Flow feature. But here, it’s made all the more attractive because NAD has incorporated a clever clamping mechanism to lock your portable in place, avoiding the unwelcome ‘sagging’ effect that can afflict the Zeppelin Mini’s dock.
Attention to every detail Even the arrangement of key controls is superior to the Zeppelin: alongside volume up and down, there’s a dedicated source button on the Viso 1’s central metal ring, so – unlike the B&W – you can easily switch between inputs without having to use the remote control. That’s handy, as is the fact that the NAD’s simple remote works well.
The Viso 1’s internal arrangement is just as thorough. Its drive-unit configuration has been deliberately kept simple, with just a pair of (relatively) full-range
Twist to play Rotating the Viso 1’s docking clamp through 90 degrees is worthwhile for Cover Flow fans. It looks great and, thanks to the NAD’s well-engineered clamp, it works smoothly too.