Really love this digital source. Great sound and flexibility. Now that Dirac live works, it's gone to the next level. I was able to measure and cancel the room effects, and it's made a huge difference, especially for imaging. Many of the initial bugs, in the app and unit, have been resolved since purchase, through updates. I use it as a source for my tube and digital amps. Compatibility with MQA streaming works really well. Love all the bells and whistles, but in the end it's simple to use and sounds amazing. One ask would be for a second line level unbalanced rca output. The unit only has one balanced and one unbalanced output. I have a complicated setup, but only one unbalanced output is limiting.
0 of 0 found this helpful
There are a few standout features of this device that put it in a league that has no competition. There are no other devices out there that have all these features (aside from the NAD M10): 1. Dirac Live (24/96) 2. MQA Rendering 3. Roon Ready 4. Independent Dual Subwoofer outputs (with Dirac Live Bass Management coming soon) All of that above wouldn't matter if this thing didn't simply have outstanding sound quality, and it delivers that in spades... super natural, transparent, resolving sound while connected to my B&W 804 D3 speakers & Emotiva XPA5 Gen3 amp. I upgraded from a Sonos Connect that was connected to a Marantz preamp. The sound quality of the C658 compared to my Marantz playing the same song off Tidal HiFi shocked me... I was surprised by how much I was previously missing. Before the C658 I didn't understand how much of a difference a good DAC could make. BluOS is decent, but I've personally been using this with Roon primarily. It works flawlessly with Roon and I'd recommend to anyone considering this product that you look into setting up a ROCK or purchasing a Roon Nucleus to go along with it. Roon is a huge improvement over BluOS. The front display on this is also really nice. I like that I can sit back on the sofa 10' away and see what song is playing via Roon/BluOS without needing to look at my phone. Last thing... I wish this had XLR inputs for use as a Home Theater bypass device, and I also wish it had dual XLR subw
Pros: Sound Quality, Dirac Live, MQA, Roon Ready, Dual Subwoofer outputs with Dirac Bass Management, flexibility.
Cons: My primary gripe with this thing is that I tried to use it in Home Theater bypass mode which means that it is sitting between a home theater processor and my amp. To do this you enable Analog Bypass, Auto Sense, Network Standby, and set the Line 1 analog to Fixed Volume -20. Unfortunately, there's a bug where the volume gets stuck on the previous input when Auto Sense wakes up the unit and switches to Line 1 for the Home Theather Bypass operation. NAD says they're aware of the issue.
9 of 10 found this helpful
Superb product. Well designed Bluesound app on iOS works seamless. Tightly integrated with my bluesound node and vault. Tidal MQA works super duper. So does Qobuz Sound reproduction is mellifluous with musicality and staging with utmost perfection
5 of 5 found this helpful
Disappointed with this item and so returned it (thank you to Crutchfield for your generous return policy!). The problems I experienced: 1. Often fails to detect coax input, making it impossible to play the input. 2. Loses subwoofer setting (resets to "None" on wake from standby). 3. Loses Dirac Live filter profile selection (resets to "None" on wake from standby). 4. I didn't catch during my exhaustive research that you have to pay another $99 for Dirac full frequency. The NAD and Crutchfield websites don't mention you're not getting full frequency Dirac Live. 5. The iOS app UI isn't as user friendly as it should be. I was really bothered with the way the Library player always returned to a default playlist after playing a selection. I would much rather it pick up playing the next song in the list from which the original selection was made (the way iTunes works, which I can't believe I'm saying, but there it is). 6. Would have really appreciated Airplay support, but it does not have it. I was mostly interested in Dirac Live and DAC. I'm now considering the miniDSP SHD, which appears to be similar in terms of features but is a good bit cheaper and includes full Dirac Live.
Pros: Excellent build quality Nice feature set
Cons: Flaky settings detection and persistence. Lacks full frequency Dirac Live. Mobile app UX could be improved .
13 of 14 found this helpful
So this one is a little complicated. Not the unit but the situation. Well the unit can be as well actually but in a good way. I have to say I love this preamp/dac but unfortunately it came with several problems. I mean this thing has about everything you need in one device if you run separates. I had to return it but might very well get it again later after the bugs are ironed out. See pros and cons for details.
Pros: - A great all in one solution. - Nice aesthetics that blend pretty well with other components. - Has Bluetooth AptX HD built in which works great! - Has dual sub AND balanced outs! - Has several analog AND digital inputs. - Great build quality.
Cons: - Dirac-Live not available yet - No output on either sub or balanced outs - Unusually "bright" sound characteristics to the point of it being mention on the forums. If Dirac-Live was working that would fix this I believe.
8 of 10 found this helpful
Just love. Sounds great, built in phono preamp with analog bypass. My records never sounded this good. And the BluOS is outstanding.
3 of 3 found this helpful
I replaced my Parasound Halo Integrated with a Primaluna tube amplifier this spring. Given that change, I needed to sort out a preamplifier, a phono stage and streaming capability. I considered things like the Parasound Halo P6 Preamplifier with a Bluesound Node 2i, the Mytek Brooklyn with the Node 2i and the Brooklyn Bridge. One other option I considered was the NAD C165 Preamplifier and the Bluesound Node 2i (tone control knobs are a plus). While that combination was the same price as this NAD, the other two were $500-1500 more than the C658. None of the competing options offered the Dirac room correction which I cannot comment on at this point. I just consider that an optional bonus once they get it out there which should be soon. The phono stage is very good, maybe comparable to a $250-400 preamp. I think it gives up a smidgen to the Parasound Halo phono pre, but the difference is not so big as to abandon my one box goal. The Bluesound streaming is excellent. Listening to Tidal MQA tracks is convincingly accurate, so much so that it exposes poor recordings for what they are. Spotify Connect works great (I really wish they would jump into hi res from an app format perspective) and the TV sound coming via optical input is great. Be advised that when you use Bluesound, you are stuck with their interface, just like with Sonos. It is not as good as the native apps. My tube amplifier sounds great and the NAD does nothing to interfere. Highly recommended!
Pros: Fewer boxes, great sounding DAC, MQA decoding, serviceable phono stage, tonally neutral, optional HDMI switching module
Cons: Phono stage could be a little bit better, balanced outputs would have been nice, tone control knobs would have been nicer than having to dive into menus
12 of 12 found this helpful
NAD C 658 is a game changer. Several years ago, I created a dedicated stereo system for the purpose of listening to my NAS stored CDs, purchased HiRes music, and SACDs. I was not satisfied with the performance of an old home theatre preamp that I was using so I have been looking for a solution for over a year. I have been watching news about the development of a new hifi device that was being described as a digital preamp but most were priced over $8,000 which is beyond my budget. Even though NAD does not call the C 658 a preamp, in fact it is and so much more. The C 658 replaced a dedicated PC, DAC, headphone amp, and preamp that had cost over $10,000 with one magnificent component. Connected to NAD M22 v2 amp, Paradigm Prestige 95F stereo speakers, and Ethernet CAT6 Gigabit LAN for connection to NAS and internet Tidal Masters MQA listening, I was blown away with the warmth and depth that the C 658 provided for both NAS stored music and streaming. There is not enough space to talk about all the features this wonderful component offers, read the NAD datasheet or owners manual. I do want to let you know that the performance is so impressive, I have spent every available moment listening to music with a permanent smile. As an unexpected bonus, I even plugged in my two favorite headphones (Sony MDR-Z1R & Oppo PM1) into the C 658, wow. Even the headphone amp in the C 658 offered a new warmth and depth I never heard before. Well done NAD, this device is a game changer.
Pros: Preamp/DAC/streamer as one component, BluOS, Roon supported, full MQA rendering, music reproduction far surpasses price category. Modular Design allows for future upgrades.
Cons: Dirac Live was not yet available for C 658, NAD support advises update should be out in several weeks. MDC modules listed in owners manual are not yet available.
50 of 51 found this helpful