If you're looking for a way to add high quality streaming audio to your existing hi-fi or home cinema setup, NAD has you covered. The Canadian hi-fi legends have a new smart streamer, and it's surprisingly affordable: just £299/$349/€399.
The CS1 uses audiophile-grade components to deliver audio at up to 24-bit/192KHz, and it has pretty much every modern audio feature you'd want: Bluetooth 5.0, Ethernet and dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity; AirPlay 2, Google Cast, Spotify Connect, TIDAL Connect and Root; MQA rendering and decoding; DLNA and UPnP.
No matter which service you prefer, the CS1 is designed to stream it in the best possible quality – and to stream your own digital library too.
What does the NAD CS1 connect to?
The CS1 connects to your home network via Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable, and it has RCA analogue outputs so you can connect it to your amp, AV receiver or powered speakers. There are also optical and co-axial outputs for powered speakers with digital inputs, to home theatre receivers or to external DACs.
As you can see from the photo, there aren't any flashy touchscreens or other eye candy here. The CS1 has been designed to use your phone, tablet or computer as the controller: you can stream audio from any app on iPhone, iPad or Mac, from iTunes on a Windows PC or from any cast-enabled app or device.
The CS1 doesn't ship until March but it looks like a great upgrade for people who've built up seriously impressive audio systems over time: rather than replace perfectly good hi-fi hardware in order to get better connectivity, the CS1 is much like the Sonos Port: it adds streaming capabilities to your existing kit for a relatively low price.