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NAD CI 980

8-channel multi-room power amplifier, 50 watts x 8

3 Reviews

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Item # 745CI980

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Our take on the NAD CI 980

For decades audiophiles have counted on NAD for solid value and superior sound in their listening rooms and home theaters. With the CI 980 multi-channel amplifier, music and movie lovers can now enjoy that same legendary NAD performance with their custom installations and multi-room audio systems. The CI 980 makes an excellent choice for any multi-room system where sound quality really matters.

Top-notch, multi-room sound

For decades audiophiles have counted on NAD for solid value and superior sound in their listening rooms and home theaters. With the CI 980 multi-channel amplifier, music and movie lovers can now enjoy that same legendary NAD performance with their custom installations and multi-room audio systems. The CI 980 makes an excellent choice for any multi-room system where sound quality really matters.

Handy hook-up options

With three turn-on options (front panel switch, 12V trigger control, or signal-sensing), this amp easily adapts to any type of installation. Multiple CI 980s can share the same input signal, giving you the capacity to configure music zones that perfectly suit your listening spaces. Individual inputs for each zone allow different music sources to be connected and assigned to single listening rooms. Each zone features its own separate gain control so you can easily adjust the volume to fine-tune the sound of your system.

Cool, efficient, and easy to install

Unlike traditional amps that run hot and waste a lot of energy, the CI 980 boasts high-efficiency switching amplifier technology for cooler operation, reduced weight, and clean, undistorted sound even at high listening volumes. Dual thermostatically activated internal fans ensure reliable operation. Detachable speaker connection blocks make installation a snap. And brackets are included for neat, simple rack mounting.

Product Highlights:

  • 50 watts x 8 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.03% THD all channels driven
  • bridged mode output is 120 watts x 4 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz)
  • perfect for adding surround channels to a home theater system or powering music zones in a multi-room audio system
  • 4-ohm stable for use with a wide range of speakers
  • high-efficiency switching amplifier technology for lighter weight, cooler operation, and energy savings
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 80 dB
  • 12-volt trigger/signal-sensing auto-on with auto shut-off
  • global RCA bus inputs/outputs for distributing a single audio source among multiple amp channels and passing input signal on to another amplifier
  • line-level inputs and "loop through" outputs for all channels
  • local/global mode selector input setting for each stereo music zone
  • separate gain controls for each zone
  • removable Phoenix-style speaker connectors for easier installation
  • detachable power cord
  • dual thermostat-controlled cooling fans
  • rack mountable (brackets included)
  • less than 0.5 watt standby power consumption
  • 19-1/16"W x 4-3/16"H x 12-3/4"D
  • weight: 12.6 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • 8-Channel power amplifier
  • 6' AC power cord
  • 4 Phoenix-style connector blocks
  • 2 Rack ears (installed w/ 8 screws)
  • 2 End-caps
  • Quick Setup Guide
  • Warranty Card

Simply said, the NAD CI 980 is a clean sounding amp at a reasonable price . It doesn't hurt that Crutchfield is easy to deal with !

Tim, Cincinnati, OH


NAD CI 980 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(3 Reviews)

Nice amp !

Tim from Cincinnati, OH on 12/3/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Simply said, the NAD CI 980 is a clean sounding amp at a reasonable price . It doesn't hurt that Crutchfield is easy to deal with !

Pros: Good value

Cons: Phoenix speaker connections

An amazing and well thought out amplifier.

analogstyle from Ft Worth, TX on 6/20/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was looking for an amp that would pair up with my 4 Polk Audio 70-rt ceiling speakers. Let's start with the input from the preamp. You can run an input globally as well as control that gain. You can also pass though out, to another amp input. Non-Globally, each stereo channel has the exact same feature, individual gain and a pass through out. Each channel also has a selector between global and local. If you wanted to connect individual Sonos Connect's to all 4 channels, for individual rooms, CI 980 is a great option. You can mix and match as well, that is one of the reasons I find the amp well thought out. There is a "stereo" or "bridge" mode on every zone as well. Gives you so many options for it to be a multiple room or multiple channel solution. In my case I have 4 speakers in one room, this is where bridged mode comes into play. I am running the NAD C165BEE with a Sonos Connect, NAD AM/FM Tuner, the 4 Polk 70-rt's and a sub for my 1000 sqft cabinet shop. You won't get the half the power and clarity from the Sonos Connect AMPs and you will save money as well. If I were going to do a multi room Sonos set up, I would buy 2-4 connects and this amp. Lastly it has the 12v IN/OUT switch capability, removable rackmout brackets and very quiet fans if you are doing a custom cabinet/closet install. You won't be disappointed. The NAD CI 980 is a great value and amazing sound.

Pros: individual zone flexibility (global, stereo, gain levels and bridged modes) sound quality, power, price point and well built

Cons: The only one I will mention is the channel plugs for your speaker cable. Don't plan on using any speaker wire over 14ga, not that an amp of this power needs more. Just be aware if you are the bigger is better type. A nice quality 14ga wire just fits.

Enjoying the unit so far

S Willis from Oregon on 1/4/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Had the 980 about two weeks now, using it with a Cambridge CXN network player and B&W in wall speakers. Also using a cheap subwoofer to fill out the bass a little.

Pros: Great sound quality with my other gear, clear treble and bass. Sound on par with a Rotel stereo power amp I also own. Very happy with the sound quality.

Cons: Minor practical gripes: When using global input, all indicated lights are lit on front of unit - even if a channel is set to local input the indicator light is on. Also gain control on each channel seems to have no effect when using global input, not possible to adjust volume of global sourced zone separately. One more thing, if you have the amp in a listening room you may hear the cooling fans during quiet passages.


Hands-on research

Product Research


8-Channel Power Amp: The NAD CI 980 Class AB power amplifier has 8-channels of clean low distortion power set up in a quad stereo zone configuration for custom installation and distributed audio systems. Boasting 50 watts of continuous power per channel, the CI 980 is designed to drive low impedance speakers (down to 4Ω) even over long wire runs. The CI 980 can easily provide the instantaneous peak current required for good bass response and expansive sound by utilizing multiple discrete high power output devices. Its low distortion and noise allow the subtle details of your music to be heard clearly.

Bridgeable: The power amplifier's bridging feature allows you to pair any of the channels to become a single high-power channel (60W @ 8), creating additional flexibility.

Toroidal Transformer: The CI 980's power supply features a custom toroidal transformer that maintains very low impedance for lowest noise and good damping factor of 150.

Global & Zone Inputs/Outputs: Selectable zone or global inputs/outputs further simplify wiring and add to the power amp's flexibility. The NAD CI 980 features a set of stereo RCA inputs and outputs for Zone 1, Zone 2, Zone 3, and Zone 4. The RCA output terminals are simply "loop-through" outputs, so you can pass the same input signal to another amplifier. Each input channel has an independent gain control. There is also a Global stereo RCA input and output with adjustable gain control.

Phoenix Speaker Connectors: The CI 980 power amp is fitted with Phoenix speaker connection blocks that make installation a snap, and wiring further simplified.

Forced Air Cooling: The NAD CI 980 utilizes thermostatically controlled forced air cooling to ensure a long trouble-free service life.

Automated Turn-On: The CI 980 may be turned on in three discrete ways for complete system flexibility; from the front-panel standby button, the 12V Trigger circuit, or by the input signal-sensing circuit.

  • Front-Panel Standby Button: A front-panel standby buttons allows you to turn on the power amplifier, as well as set it to standby mode.
  • +12V Trigger In: With the +12V trigger input of the CI 980 connected to the DC output jack of a compatible auxiliary component, the CI 980 can be switched remotely from standby mode to operating mode and vice-versa. Use a 3.5mm minijack cable to pass +12V from the auxiliary equipment into the CI 980.
  • Input Signal Sensing: The CI 980 can bet set to instantaneously turn to operating mode from standby mode if it senses any input signal (approximately above 20mV RMS input) applied through the Zone 1 input, Zone 2 input, Zone 3 input, or Zone 4 input. The unit will automatically go back into standby mode when there has been not input signal for 30 minutes.
Note: The On/Off power control is managed by the Automated Turn-On logic or ATO Logic circuit that requires the CI 980 to be switched back to standby mode in the same manner it was activated. In other words, if the CI 980 is switched On via a +12V-control signal, it cannot be switched to standby mode via the front panel STANDBY button, it must wait for removal of the +12V-control signal. In practice, you probably would use only one of the methods once your CI 980 is installed.

Protection Circuitry: The amplifier is fully protected from short circuit and overheating and automatically restores operation after the condition is rectified. Indicator LEDs for each zone show protection status

Rack Mountable: The power amp's 2U rack height and included rack ears make good use of precious rack space.

Our Product Research Team

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Q & A

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Performance. Features and experience with brand [ Daniel  Jul 28, 2017 ]
Reputation [ Heagan  Jun 07, 2016 ]