The NAD VISO 1 is a higher-end wireless speaker system with a distinctive look and sound. Ever since my Audyssey Audio Dock Air mysteriously died, I’ve been on the hunt for another great Airplay system to fill my living room with thundering dub bass lines.
The VISO 1 used to be a simple iPad dock but has expanded to become an impressive speaker system that never met an input it didn’t like. You can attach a smartphone/PMP via USB, an optical input, Ethernet, Bluetooth, Airplay and a good old-fashioned 3.5 mm jack.
When it works, the Airplay is a delight to use and ridiculously simple to set up as you just plug in an iDevice and share the wireless networking settings. However I found the Airplay frustratingly inconsistent – it would sometimes be there ready and willing to go, and sometimes I would have to connect via Bluetooth. My iPad Air would always connect via Airplay and my iPhone Bluetooth so I’m not sure whether to point the finger at NAD or Apple. And in either case I would get amplified sound out of the device so it’s not the world’s biggest complaints.
Design-wise the VISO 1 is odd but distinctive – a round boom tube with a metal hoop around the front. I found it really hard to resist the temptation to carry it around by the hoop, but you probably aren’t quite as stupid as I am. A custom wall-mount bracket accessory is also available to securely mount the VISO 1AP to any wall.
However you connect it or carry it, the VISO 1AP sounds incredible. Internally the VISO 1AP is completely digital, directly powered by NAD’s sophisticated closed loop DAC technology. This leads to great acoustics – the bass is clear and punchy, the sound can fill a large room without distorting and it’s a perfect party speaker. The ability to attach optical outputs means you can hook up a media centre and play TV shows and movies – to great effect.
It’s a great sounding system and the ability to play nicely with a range of wired and wireless technologies extends its shelf-life.
The VISO 1AP is available now in White and Black finishes, and has an MSRP of £499.