NAD C 388 BluOS
Stereo integrated amplifier with built-in DAC, Wi-Fi®, and Bluetooth®
Our take on the NAD C 388 BluOS by Crutchfield's Deia Z.
Power and flexibility
At 150 watts per channel, NAD's C 388 integrated amplifier fills your room with detailed, virtually distortion-free sound and brings out the best in all your music. Connect it to your home network for easy access to your digital music library and internet radio streaming. Bluesound's proprietary BluOS operating system lets you enjoy lag-free multi-room wireless music.
Connect digital or analog music sources and stream music via Bluetooth from your computer or a compatible mobile device. You can also stream audio from connected sources to a pair of Bluetooth headphones. NAD's smart, future-proof Modular Design Construction (MDC) lets you upgrade the C 388 to include features like 4K video pass-through.
Clean amplification for your speakers and headphones
The C 388 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.
A free app with advanced control options
Operate your system via Wi-Fi® using the BluOS Controller app with your Apple® or Android™ device, or your Windows® or Mac® computer. It gives you flexible control over your music system, letting you access, control, and stream music to different BluOS-enabled zones. Synchronize multiple audio zones, or stream different music to different zones at the same time. You can even use your Apple Watch to control your system.
A wealth of high-resolution streaming options
BluOS can send 24-bit high-res music to any room in your home, without any loss of sound quality. Stream music from your personal library or from internet streaming services. The selection of supported services — including TIDAL, Spotify®, and Rhapsody®, among others — is one of the most impressive we've seen.
Innovative customization options
Two MDC upgrade slots let you add or swap modules on the back of the unit so you can tailor the C 388 to your exact needs. One slot has NAD's BluOS module pre-installed, while the remaining slot is available for customization and expandability.
Other available upgrade modules include:
DD HDM-1: This module adds three HDMI inputs and one HDMI output. It supports video resolution up to 1080p and two-channel PCM audio with 24-bit/192 kHz resolution.
DD AP-1: This module adds a balanced and single-ended line input and a MC/MM phono input, with high-quality 24-bit/192 kHz DAC audio.
DD USB-2: This module adds additional asynchronous USB and SPDIF coaxial and optical digital inputs.
DD HDM-2: This module adds three HDMI inputs and one output with support for 4K video resolution and two-channel audio with 24-bit/192 kHz resolution.
- 150 watts x 2 channels into 8 or 4 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.009% THD
- 4-ohm stable for use with a wide range of speakers
- Class D Asymmetrical PowerDrive amplifier design
- connects to your home network via wired Ethernet for music streaming
- includes support for Spotify, Deezer, TIDAL, Slacker, Radio Paradise, Napster, Murfie, and Calm Radio
- free internet radio from TuneIn Radio and iHeartRadio
- BluOS compatibility for further expansion with Bluesound wireless speakers
- free BluOS controller app for iOS®, Android, Windows, and Mac OS X
- compatible file types: MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, WMA-L, FLAC, ALAC, WAV, and AIFF
- 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converter for high-performance playback of digitally connected sources such as a CD player
- built-in Bluetooth for wireless music streaming from a compatible device or wireless headphone listening
- supports the aptX® codec for wirelessly streaming CD-quality sound
- independent built-in high-output headphone amplifier
- 2 MDC (Modular Design Construction) slots for adding additional capabilities and features (one slot has the pre-installed BluOS module)
- remote control
- compatible with leading third-party control systems like Control4, Crestron, RTI, and URC
- Ethernet port for wired connection to a home network
- USB (Type A) input for connecting USB thumb drives and compatible external hard drives
- second USB (Type A) input for connecting included Wi-Fi dongle
- USB mini (Type B) input for service only
- 4 digital audio inputs (2 optical/2 coaxial)
- 3 stereo RCA audio inputs, including a phono input (for use with a moving magnet cartridge)
- 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
- full-size headphone jack
- 2 pairs of binding post speaker connectors for A and B speakers
- detachable power cord
- signal-to-noise ratio: 95 dB
- 17-1/8"W x 4-3/4"H x 16-5/8"D (6-3/8"H w/antenna)
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Hybrid Digital DAC Amplifier
- Pre-installed DD BluOS module
- 6' AC power cord
- 2 Bluetooth antennas
- Remote control (SR 9)
- 2 "AA" batteries
- USB dongle
- 41" USB extension cable
- MDC cover plate
- 2 Screws
- Quick Setup Guide
- Mounting Instructions
- Warranty Information
NAD C 388 BluOS Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms)||150|
|Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms)||Not given|
|Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms)||150|
|Minimum Impedance||4 ohms|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||95|
|Digital Music Features|
|Built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter)||Yes|
|High-resolution Audio Playback||ALAC,AIFF,FLAC,WAV,MQA|
|Total Analog Inputs||2|
|Optical Digital Inputs||2|
|Coaxial Digital Inputs||2|
|Preamp Outputs||Stereo RCA|
|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 388 BluOS 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 388 BluOS's power supply is capable of 200 watts continuously and over 600 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 388 BluOS. 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 mosat 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: 150 watts x 2-channel (@ 20-20kHz, into 4Ω or 8Ω, at 0.009% THD, with both channels driven)
- IHF Dynamic Power: 400W into 2Ω / 350W into 4Ω / 250W into 8Ω
Binding Post Speaker Outputs: The amplifier features A & B speaker terminals to power two pair of loudspeakers. The speaker terminals consist of eight binding posts that will accept single banana plugs (single only), pin connectors, spade lugs, and bare wire (up to 10AWG). The amplifier supports 4Ω speakers when only one pair is connected, however, when two pair of speakers are connected a minimum impedance of 8Ω is recommended.
Discrete Headphone Amplifier: The NAD C 388 BluOS 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.
Line Outputs: The C 388 BluOS features a low impedance line-level stereo output that can connect to another other amplifier or powered subwoofer to extend the hybrid digital DAC amplifier's versatility.
Tone Control: The NAD C 388 BluOS hybrid digital DAC amplifier lets you adjust Bass (60Hz) & Treble (20kHz) from -7 to +7dB, as well as Balance between the left & right speakers (L10 to R10).
Filters: Filters provide easy bi-amplification or subwoofer integration by adding the required filters to redirect bass frequencies to the subwoofer. Select High Pass or Full Range. When High Pass is selected, low pass audio signals within the 40Hz to 200Hz are sent to the C 388 BluOS's subwoofer preout and high pass audio signals are sent to the C 388 BluOS's amplifier section and speaker outputs. Select Full-Range to deliver audio signals with the whole frequency spectrum to the C 388 BluOS's amplifier section and speaker outputs.
Bluetooth Music Streaming: You can wirelessly pair and connect instantly to the C 388 BluOS with Bluetooth (4.0), 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 388 BluOS.
Note: Make sure to plug in both antennas to the "BT Antenna" ports on the rear-panel.
Dual USBA Ports: The MDC DD BluOS module features two USB (type-A) ports to directly connect your USB mass storage class (MSC) device; such as a thumbdrive or external hard-drive. The unit's USB ports support music playback from these compatible USB devices formatted in FAT 32. Not only can USB audio be played back on your compatible NAD digital integrated amplifier or digital pramplifier, but can also be wirelessly distributed to the rest of your Bluesound components throughout your home for multiroom playback. The USB port is not compatible with the direct connection of an Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad or Android devices.
Note: There is also a mini-USB (type-B) port and a third USB (type-A) port that are used for service purposes only (not for consumer use). Only authorized service personnel can access this USB port.
Digital Inputs: The NAD C 388 BluOS 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 388 BluOS'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 388 BluOS 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.
Modular Design Construction (MDC): Modular Design Construction (MDC), an exclusive feature of NAD, allows you to customize the NAD integrated amplifier with additional capabilities and features, now or in the future. One available MDC slots can accommodate a variety of upgrade modules (all sold separately) including 4K video capable HDMI switching and additional Digital Inputs
- Balanced/Unbalanced & Phono MM/MC Module: The DD AP-1 module (745DDAP1, sold separately) adds a balanced and unbalanced analog line-level input, plus a MM/MC compatible phono input.
- 4K HDMI Module The MDC HDM-2 (745HDM2, sold separately) adds HDMI capability with three HDMI inputs and one HDMI output for video plass-through. Based on the latest 6GHz HDMI chip, the MDC HDM-2 includes full support for UHD (4K) video pass through to a video monitor, plus support for 24-bit/192kHz 2Ch PCM (not compatible with Dolby Digital/DTS).
- 1080p HDMI Module: The DD HDMI-1 module (745DDHDM1, sold separately) adds three HDMI inputs and one HDMI output for video pass through. Full 3D Video support with video resolution up to 1080p/60. Supports 2 channel PCM audio with 24-bit/192kHz resolution (not compatible with Dolby Digital/DTS).
Note: These MDC modules are all sold separately (not included with the C 388 BluOS). You can add only one MDC module.
Pre-Installed BluOS Module: The NAD C388 BluOS hybrid digital amplifier is equipped with a pre-installed NAD MDC DD BluOS module. BluOS is a digital music management software system developed by NAD's sister brand, Bluesound, that offers wireless multiroom audio streaming. Thanks to BluOS, you can now stream network audio from your computer or mobile devices, as well as stream music from internet radio and select online music services directly to the NAD C388 BluOS amplifier, plus other Bluesound components throughout your home.
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.
Wired or Wireless Network Connection: The pre-installed MDC DD BluOS module allows this NAD hybrid digital amplifier to connect to your home network and Internet provider via a hardwired Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) jack connector or wireless Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) connection. Either network/internet connection allows you to stream music from your Windows or Mac computer and NAS drive (such as the Bluesound Vault, sold separately); as well as stream select online music services.
Note: Included with the MDC DD BluOS module is a Wi-Fi dongle and a 41" USB extension cable that must be plugged into one of the module's USB (type-A) ports for wireless connection to your network.
Bluesound Controller App: The free Bluesound Controller App turns your Apple iOS (7.0+) iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android (OS 4.0+) smartphone/tablet, Windows (Vista higher) PC or Mac (OS 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 Wi-Fi 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 NAD C 388 BluOS with the pre-installed MDC DD BluOS module 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|
Note: 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 C 388 BluOS 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.
- 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 eco-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 Wi-Fi from your Apple iOS or Android device to the NAD hybrid digital amplifier 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 pre-installed MDC DD BluOS module 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.
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 handles the key functions of the C 388 BluOS. The IR remote can also be used to directly command other NAD products that respond to applicable common remote control codes. This includes other NAD Stereo Receiver, Integrated Amplifier, and Preamplifier models. It has additional controls to remotely operate NAD CD Players, AM/FM Tuners, and dedicated AM/FM/DB Tuners. It will operate up to a distance of 23'. The remote requires two "AA" alkaline batteries (included).
Remote Connections: The NAD C 388 BluOS is fitted with a 12V trigger input/output, an IR input/output, and a RS-232 port for custom integration and advanced remote connectivity
- 12V Trigger In/Out: The +12V trigger output (3.5mm) lets you turn on/off another device along with the C 388 BluOS. The integrated amp can also be turned on/off by another device using the +12V trigger input (3.5mm).
- IR In/Out: The IR input (3.5mm)is used to control this unit using an optional infrared repeater or the IR output of another component. The IR output (3.5mm) can be used for control of another NAD component.
- RS-232 Port: The RS-232 port allows connection to a compatible PC or external whole-house control system. NAD is a certified partner of Control4, Crestron, RTI, URC, AMX, Savant, & Elan.
Auto Standby: The C 388 BluOS can be setup to automatically go into standby mode if there is no user interface interaction and no active source input for 30 minutes.
Auto Sense: The Auto Sense feature enables the C 388 BluOS 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've been an a highend audiophile for over thirty years. One of my first test amp was a NAD amplifier. My current system is down - I consider NAD to be an excellent replacement. [ ROBERT Jan 27, 2018 ]
To replace my older NAD C162+C270 setup. [ Baskaran Nov 25, 2017 ]
BUILT QUALITY, TECHNOLOGY APPLY TO THE PRODUCT. SOUND QUALITY [ LIGHTS UP Oct 26, 2017 ]
1 question already asked
Thanks for your question. Unfortunately the manufacturer is not listing that spec anywhere. I do have the shipping weight of the box which is 31 pounds. Hope this helps. [ Kenny Jul 21, 2017 ] Staff
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