NAD C 338
Stereo integrated amplifier with built-in DAC, Wi-Fi®, and Bluetooth®
Our take on the NAD C 338 by Crutchfield's Deia Z.
Smart and connected
The NAD C 338 integrated amplifier lets you connect digital, analog, and even wireless music sources. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you connect it to your home network so you can easily access your digital music library and stream internet radio. Support for Spotify® Connect and Google Cast (now called Chromecast built-in) gives you near limitless music options. You can also stream music from any Bluetooth enabled device, like a smartphone or tablet. NAD's remote app gives you convenient control over your system from compatible Apple® and Android™ devices.
Clean amplification for your speakers and headphones
The C 338 uses an advanced Class D amplifier design for consistent performance. Its highly efficient power supply provides a noise-free foundation, generating huge power with negligible distortion — up to 1000 watts instantaneously to faithfully reproduce the energy and excitement of all your favorite music. A built-in high-performance headphone amplifier can drive even the most demanding studio monitor headphones.
- 50 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.01% THD
- 50 watts x 2 channels into 4 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.01% THD
- 4-ohm stable for use with a wide range of speakers
- Class D Asymmetrical PowerDrive amplifier design
- 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converter for high-performance playback of digitally connected sources such as a CD player
- built-in Wi-Fi for listening to music from a networked PC, internet radio, and music streaming services
- includes support for Google Cast (now called Chromecast built-in) and Spotify Connect
- built-in Bluetooth for wireless music streaming from a compatible device
- supports the aptX® codec for wirelessly streaming CD-quality sound
- independent built-in high-output headphone amplifier
- remote control
- free NAD control app for iOS® and Android™ lets you use your compatible mobile device as a remote control
- 4 digital audio inputs (2 optical/2 coaxial)
- 3 stereo RCA audio inputs, including a phono input (for use with a moving magnet cartridge)
- subwoofer output
- full-size headphone jack
- pair of binding post speaker connectors
- detachable power cord
- 17-3/16"W x 2-13/16"H x 11-15/16"D
- signal-to-noise ratio: 92 dB
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Hybrid Digital DAC Amplifier
- 6' AC power cord
- 2 WiFi antennas
- Bluetooth antenna
- Remote control (Amp 3)
- CR2025 3V battery
- Quick Setup Guide
- Chromecast Built-in installation instructions
- Warranty Information
- "Attention" note
Would be great if NAD included tone controls and USB.
Anonymous, Bethesda, MD
NAD C 338 Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms)||50|
|Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms)||Not given|
|Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms)||50|
|Minimum Impedance||No B ohms|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||98|
|Digital Music Features|
|Built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter)||Yes|
|High-resolution Audio Playback||No|
|Total Analog Inputs||3|
|Optical Digital Inputs||2|
|Coaxial Digital Inputs||2|
|Dimensions and Warranty|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
Hybrid Digital Amplification: NAD has moved away from the old-fashioned power-hungry linear power supplies and Class AB output stages that waste nearly half of the energy consumed and produce heat rather than sound. Instead, NAD has developed even better performing circuits based on switch mode power supplies and Class D output stages. Once thought to be inferior to traditional topologies, this new Hybrid Digital Amplifier design is very linear over a wide bandwidth and provides consistent performance into all speaker loads, providing a dramatic advancement over previous Class AB and Class D amplifier designs.
- Customized Hypex UcD Output Stage: The C 338 uses a customized version of the proven Hypex UcD output stage operating in a fully balanced bridge configuration. This allows for massive power with nearly un-measurable distortion and noise in the audible range. Every detail of this design has been carefully planned and perfectly executed to deliver every last drop of performance.
- Sophisticated Power Supply: The C 338's power supply is capable of 160 watts continuously and over 300 watts instantaneously to allow for short-term musical transients. It can operate with any AC mains voltage from 100 to 240 volts and provides pure DC power to all the various stages of the C 338. This highly efficient supply also provides near perfect regulation of voltage across a wide range of conditions and provides a solid noise-free foundation for the amplifying stages.
Full Disclosure Power (FDP): NAD uses Full Disclosure Power (FDP), the most demanding criterion for performance measurement. FDP specifies distortion under the most extreme conditions of low impedance loads and frequency extremes, rather than the simple and easy 1kHz @ 8 ohms test quoted by many of other manufactures. NAD uses this stricter performance criterion because it more closely matches the demands of real music and real loudspeakers. Maintaining specified distortion at 4/8Ω and at 20-20kHz is a much more difficult achievement. The benefit of NAD's Full Disclosure Power is the total elimination of audible distortion at any listening level. This provides pinpoint imaging and realism with music and movies alike.
- Continuous Power: 50 watts x 2-channel (@ 20-20kHz, into 4Ω or 8Ω, at 0.03% THD, with both channels driven)
- IHF Dynamic Power: 80 watts into 8Ω / 150W watts into 4Ω / 210 watts into 2Ω
Binding Post Speaker Outputs: The amplifier features four binding-post speaker terminals to connect up to one pair of loudspeakers (minimum impedance of 4Ω). The binding posts that will accept single banana plugs (single only), pin connectors, spade lugs, and bare wire (up to 10AWG).
Discrete Headphone Amplifier: The NAD C 338 incorporates a discrete headphone amplifier with low output impedance and very high output voltage capability, enough to drive even high impedance studio monitor headphones. Connecting a set of headphone to unit's front-panel 1/4" jack will mute the speaker outputs. Volume, tone, and balance controls are all operable during headphone listening.
Sub Output: The C 338 features a low impedance line-level, mono-RCA output that can connect to a powered subwoofer (sold separately). Low frequency information up to 200Hz is sent to the connected powered subwoofer.
Bass EQ: The Bass EQ feature boosts the overall bass response by at least 6 dB.
Wireless Network Connection: The NAD C 338 is equipped with built-in WiFi for a wireless connection to your home's wireless router and network. It uses dual band (2.4GHz/5Ghz) Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) for high-performance streaming. This wireless connection allows you to access Chromecast Built-in and Spotify Connect.
Chromecast Built-In: Chromecast Built-in lets you instantly stream select music apps from your Apple iOS or Android mobile device to the NAD C 338 hybrid digital integrated amplifier. Unlike Bluetooth, Chromecast Built-in works over WiFi so you can connect more than one device to the NAD C 338 at a time and control what's playing from anywhere in the house on your mobile device. Because the music apps are streamed from the cloud, you get crystal clear sound and your mobile device's battery won't drain as fast compared to Bluetooth.
- Google Home App: Use the Google Home App for Apple iOS 8.0+ and Android OS 4.2+ to connect the NAD C 338 to your home's wireless WiFi network from your Apple iOS or Android device. You also get to configure compatible apps within the Google Home App, plus adjust various settings.
- Supported Content: Chromecast Built-in offers Internet Radio apps like TuneIn & iHeart Radio; plus online music service apps like Pandora, Spotify (requires Premium subscription), Google Play Music, and more. You can even mirror exactly what's playing on your Android phone or tablet to the C 338. Or, if you're on your laptop or computer, you can also cast any music streaming website through the Chrome browser.
- Simple-to-Use: Simply tap the Cast button from a Chromecast Built-in compatible music app to start streaming to the NAD C 338. You can even adjust the volume or change the song, right from your mobile device. And with Chromecast built-in, you can keep using your phone to send texts, answer calls, and scroll through social media without disturbing your music.
- Multiroom: Using the Google Home app Apple iOS 8.0+ and Android OS 4.2+, you can sync multiple products with Chromecast Built-in in multiple rooms of your home to play the same song throughout your house at the same time.
Note: Chromecast Built-in is a cloud based function and requires that the NAD C 338 and your Apple iOS or Android mobile device are on the same wireless network, and have access to the Internet.
Spotify Connect: The integration of Spotify Connect will enable Spotify Premium users to instantly see, select, and stream to the NAD C 338 hybrid digital integrated amplifier from within the Spotify app (for Apple iOS 8.0+ / Android OS 4.0+) on your compatible Apple iOS or Android OS device.
Bluetooth Music Streaming: You can wirelessly pair and connect instantly to the C 338 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). There is no control or song/artist info display from the C 338.
Digital Inputs: The NAD C 338 is equipped with two optical (toslink) digital inputs and two coaxial (RCA) digital inputs. These digital inputs will support 2ch PCM audio up to 24-bit/192kHz (not compatible with Dolby Digital/DTS).
Analog Inputs: The NAD C 338's stereo RCA inputs (2 Line/1 Phono) can accommodate all kinds of analog source components by offering ideal input impedance characteristics with linear ultra-low-noise buffer amplifiers to prevent any sonic degradation caused by inappropriate loading of the source device.
MM Phono Stage w/ RIAA Equalization: The NAD C 338 hybrid digital DAC amplifier includes an MM Phono stage with precisely accurate RIAA equalization, high overload margins, extremely low noise, and an innovative circuit to suppress infrasonic noise that is present on all LPs - all without affecting bass response.
NAD Remote App: Power, volume, source selection, and device settings are all controlled using the intuitive interface of the NAD Remote App (for Apple iOS 9.0+ and Android OS 5.0+) from your compatible Apple iOS or Android OS device..
IR Remote: The included IR remote control provides wireless operation of the C 338. The remote offers the following control functions - Power On/Off, Source Select, Volume Up/Down, Bass EQ, Cast Playback (Play/Pause & Previous/Next Track), Mute, and Dimmer.
Auto Standby: The C 338 can be setup to automatically go into standby mode if there is no user interface interaction and no active source input for 20 minutes.
Auto Sense: The Auto Sense feature enables the C 338 to wake up from standby mode when triggered by an active source input with an audio signal.
Our Product Research Team
At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.
Why did you buy this?
I research many products and wanted a Class-D amplifier (less heat) with wireless connectivity. NAD has been around for a long time and has a very good reputation. Kay, the Crutchfield advisor who worked with me, was very helpful. [ Christopher Jun 22, 2018 ]
I needed a vertically thinner integrated amplifier for the physical space I had. I also liked the fact that a smartphone app could be used to remotely control the integrated amplifier. [ christopher Dec 12, 2017 ]
Features & Quality [ William Nov 25, 2017 ]
Right features, right capabilities... decent price. [ Herman Oct 20, 2017 ]
Very pleased with previous NAD products. Very pleased with Crutchfield service. [ Steve Oct 06, 2017 ]
Quality build, great features. [ Toby Gene Sep 20, 2017 ]
Because it's an integrated amp with Chromecast audio built-in. [ ALVESTER May 17, 2017 ]
Quality. Ease of use. A mix of old and new: Vinyl for me, Bluetooth for my wife. [ Mike Apr 25, 2017 ]
My cousin's company owns the technology in the NAD amp that does the WIFI/Bluetooth connections, called Libre Wireless. Also I am a huge fan of NAD Quality. [ JACK M Apr 19, 2017 ]
Great ratings and a lot of research [ Douglas Mar 27, 2017 ]
I chose this amp based on NAD's reputation for great sound, all the various digital connections including wireless and bluetooth,plus bass boost for quieter listening times. Also,I can connect a subwoofer for both music and movies. Plus there is a 60-day return policy allowing me to test drive the amp and return it if I need to, which I doubt. I'm powering a pair of Polk Tsi 200 bookshelf speakers and trust there will be enough power for them. [ William Mar 21, 2017 ]
Nad reputation [ william Mar 20, 2017 ]
I bought this amplifier to replace my NAD C326BEE. The C326bee also has 50W per channel and is a very nice amp but it has no digital inputs or streaming capability, and the C338 has all of those features plus a built in moving magnet phono stage. [ Michael Mar 04, 2017 ]
8 questions already asked
I have not tried that specific combo, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work. My experience with NAD's class D amps is that they are very conservative about recommended wattage ratings. They are capable of driving more demanding speakers than you would think. Both KEF and NAD are great companies. [ Sadge Mar 31, 2018 ]
Yes it will, Kefs are very efficient. 50 watts of NAD power is conservative. I also own the 368 , which is 80 watts. [ Michael Apr 02, 2018 ]
I use a C 338 to drive a pair of Elac Uni-Fi UB5s and they're less sensitive than Q100s, so you should get plenty of volume. My step daughter has a C 338 paired with PSB Imagine XBs and they sound amazing together. Besides streaming her music, she uses the additional optical connection to her TV for movies and gaming. It's a versatile amp. I particularly like the auto on/off feature because I have an internet radio connected to mine. [ TIM R Apr 01, 2018 ]
I may not be the right person to answer your question if you are asking about performance at high volumes. I use my c338 with a pair of B&W 601s and a sub woofer in a 3 season sun room environment- so my volume never gets very loud. The combo does deliver excellent imaging, [ BRIAN Mar 31, 2018 ]
Yes, the NAD C338 should sound great paired with the KEF Q100s. I drive my Martin Logan Motion 40s with mine and it sounds amazing. [ Clifford Mar 31, 2018 ]
Absolutely. [ Geoff Mar 31, 2018 ]
I do not know the requirements of the KEF Q100s, but I find the C 338 drives the Peachtree D5 very well, and it is not an easy load. The D5 has low sensitivity: 85dB and a rated impedance of 6 Ohms. [ WILLIAM Mar 31, 2018 ]
1 answer I just purchased this amp and it sounds great, but I am having an issue with the wi-fi. I was able set up the amp using the Google home app. When the amp is connected to the wi-fi network, the light on the power button stays a solid blue. After I got it connected, I was able to stream music using my iphone and the google home app. But as soon as I turn off the power and then turn it on again, the light stays solid blue, but I am not able to stream music and I have to re-boot the amp and reconnect to the wi-fi. Has anybody else had this problem? I am not sure what to do and need help. [ Doug Aug 20, 2017 ]
If you purchased the product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. They can walk you through the settings on the product and see if there may be a fix. Our toll-free Tech Support number is printed on your invoice, and is also available under the "My Orders" tab in the "My Account" section of our website. If you did not purchase the unit from Crutchfield, then you may want to contact the manufacturer, or try our online support center: http://crutchfield.custhelp.com/app/answers/list/kw/. [ Krissy Aug 21, 2017 ] Staff
Very well, though I am listening in a small room, but it sounds plenty loud [ Dylan Jul 28, 2017 ]
According to NAD, they use the Cirrus Logic DAC [CS4382], which is an 8 channel component and allows NAD to leverage multiple channels to provide a Dual Differential topology, borrowed from the Master Series. [ Herman Nov 16, 2017 ]
Thanks everybody. I've done a bit more searching, and according to the French review at on-mag, the DAC is a Burr Brown PCM1796. Not sure where their info comes from though. [ A G M Aug 04, 2017 ]
I've searched all the information I can find in our system and on NAD's site including their downloads. I cannot find a name for the DAC chip used in this integrated amp. It appears they are using a more general 24-bit/192kHz DAC in it. HTH! My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=101 [ Paul Jul 31, 2017 ] Staff
I don't know. I've looked but could not find anything. Perhaps contact NAD? I can tell you that I like the amp more and more every day. It just delivers on all fronts. At first I thought the lack of bass / treble tone controls would bother me, but it does not. It has the Bass EQ which gives the bass a nudge up - which is perfect. I leave that on all the time. [ Geoff Jul 27, 2017 ]
I've heard both and the C 338 has sufficient power to be used with a wide range of speakers, particularly bookshelf. The D3020 is best suited for high efficiency near field speakers, allowing you to step up from computer speakers. But the C 338 is a much more capable amp. [ TIM R Apr 01, 2018 ]
Thanks for the question! For more detailed 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 go over more specific differences between the two NAD models to ensure the right fit for your system, personal tastes and budget. [ Larry Jun 20, 2017 ] Staff
2 answers How can you hook up this amp to a pc. Not by the analog input(s) but by either the coaxial or optical inputs. Do I need to get a USB to SPDIF converter for example? (This unit has a built in dac already, I am not interested in buying an external dac to connect to a pc). Thank you. [ Steve Jun 02, 2017 ]
Hello Steve, I have this product which replaces an NAD C326BEE 50 WPC amp. Great amp, but no digital inputs. To answer you question, yes the USB to SPDIF route is the one to take. If you are trying to listen to your hi-res library from your pc. Personally after using a dedicated DAC (Emotiva ) for that purpose (pc to amp), I have cooled my heels on hi-res music, since streaming is now CD quality or slightly better with MQA on Tidal, and I only get my downloaded hi-res music from sites who can verify that the artist was actually recorded digitally and not a transfer from analog tape or an upsampled cd rip (95% of hi-res music from sites with 20 million plus catalogs use that method). So I am quite happy with the quality and convieniece of streaming with the NAD c338, I also bought the c368 with the BluOs module. Enjoy [ Michael Jun 06, 2017 ]
Some computers and some sound cards you can get for a computer have SPDIF outputs on them. If your's does not or if you cannot change the sound card to one that does have the SPDIF output, then a converter would be the only way to make them work together. My Bio: https://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=101 [ Paul Jun 05, 2017 ] Staff
1 answer Can I get more reviews/details about the actual sound profile of this amp? I am looking for something to replace my AMC 3050A. I am torn between the NAD C 338 and the Cambridge CXA60. Both are loaded with the digital features I am looking for in this modern world. I hate to say it, but Phono Stage is not important to me anymore. I am running through a pair of B&W DM602 S2's, and an SVS 12" sealed subwoofer. My musical tastes range from Bebop Jazz, to Thrash/Death Metal (demanding quick, detailed low end). [ Brandon Mar 10, 2017 ]
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. [ Kenny Mar 11, 2017 ] Staff
The NAD will provide frequencies at 200Hz and below from it's subwoofer output. The low-pass setting is not adjustable so, you can use the low-pass setting on your powered subwoofer if you want to set a lower frequency point for the cutoff. I hope that helps. My Bio: https://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=5 [ Ryan Mar 15, 2017 ] Staff
Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.
Get more power, more connections, and an upgradeable digital circuit board
The NAD C 368 offers these features:
80 watts per channel with 2 channels driven
stereo RCA preamp output for connecting a separate amplifier or powered subwoofer
RS-232C port for use with external controllers
IR in/out and 12-volt triggers
2 pairs of binding post speaker connectors for A and B speakers
2 MDC (Modular Design Construction) slots for adding additional capabilities and features
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