NAD Masters Series M50.2
Digital music player with 2TB storage, CD ripper, Wi-Fi®, and Bluetooth®
Our take on the NAD Masters Series M50.2 by Crutchfield's James Ralston
Turn stacks of CDs into an organized digital music library
What if you had ready access to every single song in your CD collection — without having to deal with the physical discs themselves or the space they take up? How much more fun would you have if accessing an artist or track was as simple as a few taps on your phone's touchscreen?
NAD's Masters Series M50.2 lets you rip your CDs to its built-in hard drive, so you can jump in and enjoy any and every bit of music in your collection. This audiophile-grade player has 2TB of dedicated storage with mirrored backup to keep your music safe. And CD storage is just the start of what you can do with this network-enabled audio hub.
Play streaming music sources...
Subscribe to internet music services like Spotify® or TIDAL? The M50.2 can make them sound their best. Built-in dual-band Wi-Fi lets you connect to your home network wirelessly, or you can use the Ethernet port to make a wired connection. Want to stream content from YouTube, or quickly hear something from a friend's phone? Bluetooth is on board for just such an occasion.
...or plug stuff in directly
USB thumb drives, audio components with optical or coaxial digital outs, even analog sources — the M50.2 can handle them all.
And here's a nice touch: if you download high-resolution music files from HDtracks, you can do "direct ripping" straight to the unit's hard drive, without ever having to turn on your computer.
BluOS app control and multi-room music
The heart of the M50.2 is its BluOS operating system. This is the same control system that's used in Bluesound's high-fidelity streaming speakers and components. That means you can play songs from your ripped music library in other rooms of your home by adding other Bluesound speakers and players. Bluesound is one of our favorite multi-room streaming systems, because it's fully compatible with high-res music, and it sounds awesome.
- music storage device with slot-loading CD drive and 2TB internal hard drive
- 2TB of mirrored backup storage
- rips CDs as lossless FLAC files for convenient storage and excellent sound quality
- "direct ripping" of high-res files purchased from HDTracks — no computer needed
- BluOS compatibility for further expansion with Bluesound wireless speakers
- plays high-resolution music from CDs, internal storage, network storage devices, connected USB drive, or streaming services
- streams high-resolution MQA songs and albums from TIDAL MASTERS (subscription required)
- built-in dual-band Wi-Fi® for a robust wireless connection to your home network
- high-fidelity Bluetooth aptX® audio coding for greater sonic detail with compatible devices
- supported sample rates: 32kHz to 192kHz
- supported bit depths: 16-24
- solidly built chassis and heavy-duty front panel fight sound-muddying vibration
Bluesound Wireless Whole Home Music System:
- control the system with a free BluOS app for your smartphone, tablet, or computer (Android™, iOS®, Kindle Fire, Windows®, and Mac®)
- also controls other Bluesound players on your home network
- plays MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, WMA-L, FLAC, ALAC, MQA, WAV, and AIFF files
- plays internet radio stations from TuneIn Radio and iHeart Radio
- Spotify® Connect support (Spotify app and premium account required)
- plays streaming music from services like TIDAL, Slacker, and Napster
- play and send music to multiple rooms when you add other Bluesound players
Connections and General Information:
- touch-panel display for play/pause/skip and other music playback controls
- front- and back-panel USB Type A ports for connecting a thumb drive with music files
- digital audio inputs: 1 optical, 1 coaxial
- stereo RCA inputs
- audio outputs:
- 1 HDMI 1.4 audio (may require BluOS firmware update)
- 1 coaxial digital audio
- 1 optical digital audio
- 1 balanced digital AES/EBU (XLR)
- USB output for mass storage mode
- Ethernet port for a wired connection to a home network
- detachable AC power cord
- IR input allows control via optional IR repeater systems (not included)
- no remote included
- 17-1/8"W x 4-9/16"H x 13-9/16"D
- weight: 17.9 lbs.
- warranty: 3 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- requires high-speed internet connection
What's in the Box:
- Digital music player
- 6' AC power cord
- 4 Magnetic feet
- 2 W-LAN antennas
- Cleaning cloth
- USB thumbdrive
- Quick Setup Guide
- Warranty Card
NAD Masters Series M50.2 Reviews
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Master Series Digital Music Player: A hybrid of NAD's renowned Master Series M50 Digital Music Player and M52 Digital Music Vault, the M50.2 Digital Music Player combines high-res music listening, multiroom wireless streaming, 24-bit/192kHz storage, and CD ripping into one beautiful component.
Note: Pair the M50.2 Digital Music Player with one of NAD's Master Series' preamplifiers and power amplifiers, integrated amplifiers, stereo receivers, or AV receivers (all sold separately).
CD Transport: The NAD M50.2 Digital Music Player features a front-loading CD slot. The built-in CD transport can playback Audio CDs (CD-A) only. The M50.2 will automatically start playback of an inserted CD. Playback is different and much improved in the M50.2 over conventional CD players. Instead of streaming directly from the disc to the output, the M50.2 momentarily stores the data in a memory buffer where it is re-clocked to the M50.2's high precision master clock for the lowest levels of jitter.Disc Ripping: The M50.2's CD transport can rip an inserted Audio CD directly to its built-in HDD thanks to NAD's own music management software. Ripping is completely automatic. With a network connection to the Internet, this music management software captures metadata and cover art, without the need for a computer. Everything is organized and instantly available for playback. You can browse your music collection using album art or category listing, and easily create playlists on the fly. You can choose to rip your Audio CD music as MP3 or FLAC files.
- MP3 (default format): Standard audio compression designed to keep bandwidth low with little degradation. Files are ripped at 320kbps, the highest level of sound quality available to MP3 format.
- FLAC (recommended format): High quality compression designed specifically for CD backup purposes. Files are ripped at FLAC level 5 balancing compression and rip speed at full CD lossless levels of 44.1kHz/16-bits
- Both: For Hi-fidelity quality playback with the ability to export or download to a personal MP3 Player.
Note: For ripping of multiple CDs, insert the next disc as soon as the current disc is ejected (it is not necessary to wait for the encoding to be completed before the next disc is inserted). Only Audio CDs can be ripped. It will not rip Blu-ray, DVD, DVD-Audio, HD-DVD, or other types of Optical Disc format. The CD ripping procedure can be stopped at any time by selecting "Eject CD".
HDTracks Ripping: You can also purchase, download, and store high-res tracks (up to 24-bit/192kHz) from HDTracks on the built-in HDD with no computer needed. Now, you'll be able to access and share your entire digital music collection and stream it in studio-quality quickly and easily.
Internal Hard Disk Drive (HDD): The NAD 50.2 Digital Music Player features 4TB of internal redundant storage featuring RAID backup. You get 2TB of music storage with another 2TV of mirrored back storage. Inside NAD M50.2 resides an ultra-low noise 2x 2TB (Terabyte) HDD array. These special low noise media hard disc drives run cool and completely quiet. Unlike HDDs made for general computing, the M50.2 drives do not require fans for cooling.
Note: Audio files stored on the HDD can be played back at the M50.2 and wirelessly distributed to other Bluesound components in your home for multiroom playback.
RAID 5 Technology: The M50.2 Digital Music Player provides a high level of protection for your valuable digital music collection. Using a Redundant Array of Independent Discs (RAID 5) technology, the M52's two 2TB hard disc drives (HDD) make it nearly impossible to damage your music. Front panel LED indicators display the status of the HDDs, and alert you if there is an HDD failure. Even if a disc drive fails, you won't lose data; simply replace the drive, and the system automatically reconfigures itself.
Wired or Wireless Network Connection: The M50.2 Digital Music Player connects to your home network and Internet provider via a hardwired Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) jack connector or wireless WiFi (802.11 b/g/n; 2.4GHz) connection. Either network/internet connection allows you to stream music from the built-in HDD, select online music services, and your Windows or Mac computer.
Bluesound Wireless High-Resolution Audio Eco-System: The NAD M50.2 is part of Bluesound's wireless high-resolution audio eco-system. The Bluesound wireless high-resolution audio eco-system consists of music players, amplifiers, hard-drives, and wireless speakers to playback your high-res and low-res music files, along with your favorite online music services throughout your home using your home's WiFi network. With an advanced WiFi antenna design and blazing ARM Cortex9 Processors, Bluesound ensures a solid connection in every corner of your home. Play your music in perfect sync or play different music simultaneously to any Bluesound device in any room.
Note: Up to 16 Bluesound devices can be connected in a strictly wireless environment. If you want to connect more than 16 Bluesound devices, you will need to connect the Bluesound devices to your network using a wired connection. Bluesound can then control up to 64 devices in a strictly wired environment.
Bluesound Controller App: The free Bluesound Controller App turns your Apple iOS (8.0+) iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android (OS 4.0+) smartphone/tablet, Windows (Vista or higher) PC or Mac (O X 10.7+) computer into a full-featured remote control for the Bluesound wireless music system. The Bluesound Controller App on your compatible device uses your home's WiFi network to connect with Bluesound devices, so you can play all the music you love anywhere in your home for a wireless multiroom music experience. Get on-demand access to your music libraries on your home network, stream live Internet radio from almost any place in the world, or listen to one of the many music services available on Bluesound, all from the palm of your hand with the easy-to-use Bluesound Controller App.
Supported Music Formats: The Bluesound wireless audio system supports both low-res and high-res audio files; including MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, FLAC, ALAC, WMA Lossless, MQA, WAV, and AIFF. Bluesound has been designed to work with today's larger music collections, and has indexed libraries up to 100,000 songs in demonstrated practice (this will depend on the music's metadata & artwork). Bluesound also offers gapless playback by default for all supported file music types.
|Compression||File Type||Sampling Frequency||Bit Rate or Bit Depth|
|Lossless||WMA-Lossless||up to 96 kHz||up to 24-bit|
|FLAC||192 kHz||up to 24-bit|
|Uncompressed||AIFF||up 192 kHz||up to 24-bit|
Notes: Bluesound cannot index or play AAC files with the extension ".m4p". These files were purchased in iTunes prior to 2009 and are subject to copy protection. Apple Consumers with an iTunes Match subscription can delete and re-download these files free of charge from their iTunes Cloud
MQA (Master Quality Authenticated): Bluesound is the first wireless multiroom audio system to support MQA (Master Quality Authenticated). MQA is a revolutionary end-to-end technology that captures and delivers master quality audio in a file that's small enough to stream or download. Bluesound worked closely with MQA to implement technology inside each Bluesound component to ensure the listener will hear MQA encoded music and streams exactly like the source and the way the artist intended you to hear it when it was approved in the studio.
Note: MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) support will require a firmware update.
Online Music Services: With a network and internet connection, the NAD M50.2 lets you access select online music services & internet radio. The Bluesound Controller app on your Apple iOS or Android device will serve as the controller for these apps and provide song/artist information with Album Art.
- HDtracks: HDtracks is a premiere online music store for audiophiles who demand the best sounding music. It is their purpose to provide the largest online library of studio-quality high-resolution music downloads complete with liner notes. Download fees will apply.
- Spotify Connect: If you subscribe to Spotify Premium and have the Spotify App on your Apple iOS or Android smartphone, you can stream Spotify to the Bluesound system. Spotify is a digital music service that gives you on-demand access to one of the largest music libraries in the world (over 15 million tracks and counting). Spotify makes it easier than ever to discover, manage, and share music with your friends. You can browse music by artist, album, track, or most popular; and create your own music library with customized playlists.
- TIDAL: TIDAL is a global streaming service that offers over 30 million songs in high-fidelity CD sound quality. TIDAL has two pricing tiers; either $9.99 or $19.99 a month. Both pricing levels allow you to access TIDAL's entire music library. The $19.99 tier has the added benefit of high-fidelity sound at CD-level quality
- TuneIn: The Bluesound system includes access to more than 70,000 free internet radio streams from all corners of the globe via the TuneIn radio service. Just select the TuneIn logo from the main Music menu and browse among the 70,000 stations neatly organized into popular categories and select a station that appeals to your mood.
- iHeart Radio: iHeartRadio is a free, all-in-one digital radio and music streaming service that lets you listen to thousands of live stations from across the country and allows you to create personalized custom stations featuring songs from the artist you select and similar music.
- Napster: Napster is a streaming music subscription service (starting a $10 per month) that allows you to play the full-length songs you choose on demand from a collection of over 10 million songs, without ads and without having to purchase or download the music.
- Slacker: Get the sound quality that you deserve with the new Slacker Radio® music library available in high-quality AAC audio on Bluesound. Listen to music streams at a bitrate of 320kbps and enjoy all your favorite Slacker stations in pristine MP3-quality.
Note: Availability of online music services may vary by region. Not all services may be available at time of purchase. Some services may be added or discontinued from time to time based on decisions of the music service providers or others.
Music Library From Your Mobile Device: From the Bluesound Controller App, you can stream music directly over WiFi from your Apple iOS or Android device to the M50.2's four zones and the rest of your Bluesound components around your home. The app gives you complete control of your compatible mobile device's music library with song/artist information and album art.
Computer Audio: The NAD M50.2 and the Bluesound wireless music system will pull music from an existing digital music library across the network on your Windows PC or Mac computer using Windows or SMB File Sharing (SAMBA) and the Bluesound Controller App for Windows & Mac.
- Windows: Music files stored on a Windows desktop or laptop can be accessed by Bluesound using Windows File Sharing. You will need to download the Bluesound Share Utility for Windows - Bluesound Share Utility Windows v1.6.zip. This utility will work on Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10.
- Mac: Music files stored on an Apple iMac or MacBook can be accessed by Bluesound using SMB File Sharing. You will need to download the Bluesound Share Utility for OS X - Bluesound Share Utility OSX v1.2.zip. This utility will work on any version of Apple OS X 10.8.x and higher.
Bluetooth Music Streaming: You can wirelessly pair and connect instantly to the M50.2 with Bluetooth, allowing you to stream stored music and music apps wirelessly from your Bluetooth-enabled source device; like your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. The high performance Bluetooth aptX codec is fully supported for true CD-quality sound from aptX-compatible Bluetooth devices (like Android OS 4.0+ smartphones & tablets). Bluetooth audio can be played back at the M50.2 and wirelessly distributed to other Bluesound components in your home for multiroom playback.
Software Updates: The NAD M50.2 automatically checks for updates or new software versions via its network connection. When it detects a new software update, a "Player Notification" window will pop-up and you will be prompted to "Upgrade now" or "Upgrade later".
Dual USB (Type-A) Ports: The NAD M50.2 is fitted with two USB (type-A) ports to connect select USB mass storage devices with music files. Typical USB mass storage devices compatible with M50.2 include portable flash memory devices (like a USB thumbdrive) and external hard drives (FAT32 formatted). Not only can USB audio be played back on the M50.2, but can also be wirelessly distributed to the rest of your Bluesound components throughout your home for multiroom playback. Supported music files include -
- High Resolution: ALAC, AIFF, FLAC, and WAV (up 24-bit and 192kHz)
- Low Resolution: MP3, WMA, AAC, and OGG Vorbis (up to 320kbps and 48kHz)
Note: The M50.2's USB ports are not compatible with the direct connection of an Apple iOS or Android device.
Analog Input: The NAD M50.2 is outfitted with a set of stereo analog RCA inputs for connecting an external analog audio device, such as NAD's C 427 AM/FM tuner (sold separately). Audio from the analog input can be played back at the M50.2 and wirelessly distributed to other Bluesound components in your home for multiroom playback.
Digital Coaxial/Optical Inputs: The M50.2 features a rear-panel optical (toslink) digital input and coaxial (RCA) digital input to connect your digital audio components, like a TV, Blu-ray player, or SACD player. The Digital inputs support sampling rates of 32-192khz. Audio from the digital inputs can be played back at the M50.2 and wirelessly distributed to other Bluesound components in your home for multiroom playback.
Note: If connecting to a television set's optical output, please make sure that you are able to select PCM as the default optical out audio format from your television's Audio menu. The M50.2 is not compatible with multi-channel audio signals and will not work with televisions that do not output PCM.
SPDIF Digital Outputs: The NAD M50.2 features 3-types of SPDIF digital outputs - AES/EBU (XLR), Coaxial (RCA), & Optical (toslink). Use these digital outputs to connect a preamplifier, integrated amplifier, stereo receiver, or AV receiver like NAD's M2, M12, M32 Master Series integrated amplifiers. These digital inputs will handle digital audio sampling rates up to 192kHz.
HDMI Output (Requires Future Firmware Update): The NAD M50.2 is fitted with an HDMI output, which is unusual for a stereo audio component. NAD included HDMI because it is a secure encrypted format that supports 24-bit/192kHz HD Audio in PCM's native I2S format (2ch only). The HDMI output does not offer video transmission.
Notes: The Firmware update to enable the unit's HDMI out is scheduled for April 2017.
USB-B Port (Service Only): The rear-panel USB (type-B) port is for service only (not for consumer use). Only authorized NAD service personnel can access this USB port.
Front-Panel Touchscreen Display: The NAD M50.2's front-panel touchscreen display offers song/artist information with album art and touch sensitive playback controls. Playback controls included Play/Pause & Previous/Next Track.
IR In/Out: The IR input (3.5mm) should be connected to the output of an IR (infrared) repeater (Xantech, etc.) or the IR output of another compatible device to allow control of the M50.2 from a remote location. The IR output (3.5mm) allows command and control of the connected device by directing its own remote control to M50.2's infrared receiver.
12V Trigger In/Out: With 12V trigger input (3.5mm) triggered by a 12V DC supply, the M50.2 can be switched On/Off remotely from standby mode by compatible devices such as amplifiers, preamplifiers, receivers, etc. The 12V trigger output (3.5mm) is used for turning On/Off an external device that is equipped with a 12V trigger input.
RS-232 Port: The M50.2's RS-232 port allows you to connect to any Windows compatible PC to allow remote control of the M50.2 via compatible external controller. NAD is a certified partner of AMX and Crestron and fully supports these external device
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5 questions already asked
Shane, the 50.2 rips a single disk at a time only. Never timed it and only ripped one disc so far. I had read about it being slow, but I sure didn't notice. I had it doing multiple things simultaneously without even a hint of a hiccup, and those things are: Firmware update, CD ripping to FLAC, playing a high res FLAC album via NAS drive. Do do a firmware update while doing ANYTHING is a surprise to me. [ don Jun 26, 2018 ]
It takes about 7 minutes to rip a CD. Does not hold multiple CD's. Must load one at a time. [ Alex Jun 25, 2018 ]
LOAD THEM INDIVIDUALLY [ KEN Jun 25, 2018 ]
I just ordered this over the Bluesound Vault 2 for 2 reasons. First, this one mirrors whatever you store. That means you get a total of 4 Terabite of storage, with the assurance that if a hard drive fails, you have back-up. The back-up is automatic! Second, this on will store - and show you - the Album Cover and Title. (I was advised by an expert at McIntosh to be sure I could see that information from the CD.) This unit also has a longer warranty and users are not reporting hard drive failures. I see this as meaning "less work" since I can rip and automatically catalog my hundreds of CD's very easily without worry about losing data or having to re-rip a CD collection. Yes, it's expensive. But we already have McIntosh components, which were not cheap either. [ TheraP Jul 16, 2018 ]
Thanks for your question. For information on comparing two or more models I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences and help you make the best choice for your system and your budget. [ Krissy Feb 02, 2018 ] Staff
For assistance with your car audio needs, feel free to contact one of our advisors directly by phone or through our online chat service: https://www.crutchfield.com/support/ContactUs.aspx [ Ryan Oct 30, 2017 ] Staff
This digital music player does not have any power output for driving speakers. It can be connected to an amp that does power the speakers like the one you have now. Feel free to contact an advisor on 1-800-324-9695 for a personal recommendation on a system for you. My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=101 [ Paul Jul 03, 2017 ] Staff
The music stored on the Vault 2 cannot be transferred to the computer or something else for storage. But that is not needed as this NAD network player/ripper can access and play the music stored on the Vault 2. You will be able to hear the songs you already downloaded. HTH! My Bio: https://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=101 [ Paul Mar 17, 2017 ] Staff