NAD D 3020
Stereo integrated amplifier with built-in DAC and Bluetooth®
Our take on the NAD D 3020 by Crutchfield's David Brown
A classic audiophile amp reborn for the digital age
Ask old-school audiophiles about the NAD 3020 and, chances are, you'll see a smile form on their face. The 3020 was a simple integrated amplifier that introduced a generation of music lovers to NAD's smooth tone and powerful output that punched harder than bigger, more "spec-heavy" amps. That's just what NAD has re-created with the D 3020 integrated amplifier. With a built-in digital-to-analog converter, Bluetooth streaming, and its array of digital inputs, the D 3020 is poised to introduce a new generation of digital music lovers to high-fidelity sound.
24-bit/96kHz DAC with asynchronous USB input
The original 3020 integrated amp had it easy. About the only source anyone hooked up to it was a turntable. But with so many digital music sources available now, NAD had to outfit the D 3020 with a first-class digital-to-analog converter capable of high-resolution playback. So this amp is ready for CD and Blu-ray players, network streaming devices, and more. There's also an asynchronous USB input for using your computer as a high-fidelity music source. For MacBook® users, the analog minijack input doubles as a mini-optical input — just like the headphone/optical output on your MacBook.
More power than you think
If you think 30 watts doesn't sound like much power, don't be fooled. Not all watts are created equal, and NAD has a long history of designing integrated amps that sound far bigger than their specs might lead you to believe. Highly efficient, this little amp is perfect for powering a pair of bookshelf speakers while delivering warm, detailed sound from digital and analog sources. Need to fill out the bottom end? Connect a powered sub to the D 3020's subwoofer preamp output.
Designed to fit in tight spaces
This isn't your everyday rack-style component. The compact and streamlined D 3020 can stand on its side for placement on a desktop or shelf. Or lay it down flat in your cabinet or rack. You won't find a lot of unnecessary buttons cluttering this amp's front panel. Just an extra-large volume knob and a button for toggling between sources. The display shows which source is selected, as well as the volume level. What more do you need? Maybe Bluetooth? You got it. Stream tunes wirelessly from your smartphone, tablet, or computer for convenient playback.
- 30 watts x 2 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.005% THD
- compact, low-profile design; vertical or horizontal orientation for placement flexibility
- built-in 24-bit/96kHz digital-to-analog converter
- asynchronous USB input for playback of high-resolution digital music files from a connected computer (up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution)
- Bluetooth wireless connectivity for streaming music from compatible smartphones, tablets, and computers
- aptX® encoding provide high-quality music streaming from compatible devices
- 1 pair of analog stereo (RCA) inputs
- miniplug analog input for connecting an iPod or other portable player
- can also be used as an optical input for Macbook laptop computers; miniplug-to-Toslink adapter included for use with an optical cable
- standard Toslink optical digital input
- coaxial digital input
- no phono input to connect a turntable you'll need to add a phono preamp
- stereo binding-post speaker terminals
- dedicated mono mini (3.5mm) output for powered subwoofer
- built-in headphone amplifier with 3.5mm minijack output
- 12-volt trigger input
- remote control
- 2-5/16"W x 7-3/8"H x 8-5/8"D (standing vertically)
- weight: 3.05 lbs.
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Hybrid digital amplifier
- 6' AC power cord
- Remote control
- CR2025 3V battery
- Toslink-to-3.5mm adapter
- 4 Self-adhesive rubber feet
- Quick Setup Guide
- Warranty Card
Bought this as a desktop amp and it is awesome. With the volume semi cranked I can hear it pretty much throughout our home. Produces nice clean sound.
Anonymous, Franklin, TN
NAD D 3020 Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms)||30|
|Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms)||Not given|
|Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms)||Not given|
|Minimum Impedance||4 ohms|
|Signal to Noise Ratio||90|
|Digital Music Features|
|Built-in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter)||Yes|
|High-resolution Audio Playback||FLAC, WAV|
|Total Analog Inputs||2|
|Optical Digital Inputs||1|
|Coaxial Digital Inputs||1|
|Dimensions and Warranty|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
Hybrid Digital Amplifier: The NAD D 3020 is a hybrid digital amplifier which incorporates NAD's PowerDrive and Soft Clipping technology for dynamic power, low distortion and noise, and minimal power consumption. Even at 30 watts x 2 channel, the D 3020 has the ability to drive difficult loudspeakers to satisfying levels without adding noise or distortion.
- NAD PowerDrive Circuit: The D 3020 use NAD's proprietary PowerDrive amplifier technology that provides high dynamic power and low impedance drive capability. This uniquely efficient power supply topology provides the real world benefits of high dynamic power that remains uncompromised by low impedance speakers.
- Soft Clipping: NAD's Soft Clipping circuit gently limits the output of the D 3020 to minimize audible distortion when the amplifier is over-driven.
- NAD's Full Disclosure Power Ratings: 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 ohms and at 20Hz to 20kHz is a much more difficult achievement. The NAD D 3020 is rated at 30 watts x 2 channel (@ 20-20kHz, in 8-ohms, with 0.005% THD).
Note: The D 3020's highly efficient design wastes less energy resulting in cooler running and longer life; standby power consumption is <0.5W.
Bass EQ Circuit: An innovative Bass EQ circuit helps small speakers sound bigger without overdriving or damaging drivers.
24-Bit/192kHz DAC: The NAD D 3020 hybrid digital amplifier incorporates an excellent quality 24-bit/192kHz DAC with 8 channels mixed to 2 channels for playback of your high-resolution digital music.
Asynchronous USB Input: The NAD D 3020 features an asynchronous USB (type-B) input to insure the lowest possible jitter (timing errors) from your connected Windows or Mac computer. The D 3020's USB input supports up to 24-bit/96kHz high-resolution music files on your computer. The D 3020 is compatible with Mac OS X Snow Leopard (version 10.6) or later version. No additional USB driver required. It is also compatible with Windows (XP SP2 or higher and 7) with an additional USB driver download required from NAD website.
Digital Optical/Coaxial Inputs: The NAD D3020 is fitted with one digital coaxial (RCA) input and one optical (toslink) digital input for connection of your digital audio sources like CD and DVD players, satellite/cable boxes, or Apple TV. The unit will accept 2-channel PCM audio signals from the Optical or Coaxial inputs (not compatible with Dolby Digital/DTS).
Dual Analog Inputs: The D3020 offers two analog inputs; a stereo RCA input and a 3.5mm Aux input. Use the stereo RCA input for older non-digital audio components, like your AM/FM tuner. Use the 3.5mm Aux input to connect your portable digital music player. The 3.5mm input can also be used as an optical input for Macbook laptop computers (miniplug-to-Toslink adapter included for use with an optical cable).
Bluetooth aptX Music Streaming: The NAD D 3020 offers built-in Bluetooth aptX technology. Via Bluetooth, you can wirelessly stream music from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to the hybrid digital amplifier. The D 3020 even supports aptX audio coding which delivers CD-quality sound wirelessly over Bluetooth. The D 3020 is compatible with most Bluetooth devices (such as Apple, Android, and Blackberry). However, due to the differences in Bluetooth technology, some Bluetooth enabled devices may be incompatible, function improperly, or may not support all features.
Binding Post Speaker Terminals: The NAD D 3020 hybrid digital amplifier is equipped with four binding post terminals to connect your loudspeakers. The binding post speaker terminals will accept bar wire (up to 10AWG), banana plugs (dual or single), pin-connectors, and spade-connectors.
Subwoofer Output: The NAD hybrid digital amplifier features a mono mini-jack (3.5mm) subwoofer output for connecting an external powered subwoofer to your system.
Built-in Headphone Amp: The D 3020 features an integrated headphone amp with a 3.5mm headphone output jack to connect a pair of headphones for private listening. A specially designed low noise headphone circuitry accommodates a wide range of headphones, even 600-ohm studio models. Once headphones are connected to the D 3020, your connected speakers will be turned off.
IR Remote Control: The NAD D 3020 comes with an IR remote for wireless operation of the hybrid digital amplifier. You can turn amplifier on/off, raise/lower volume, and switch sources from the remote. The playback controls on the remote are not functional.
+12V Trigger Input: The +12V trigger input (3.5mm) lets you turn on/off the D 3020 from another device with a +12V trigger output.
Vertical or Horizontal Mounting: The NAD D 3020 can be installed vertically or horizontally. Four self-adhesive rubber feet are included.
- Vertical Dimensions: 2.3125" (w) x 7.375" (h) x 9.75" (d)
- Horizontal Dimensions: 7.375" (w) x 2.3125" (h) x 9.75" (d)
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?
Universally hailed as good quality sound for the money, from my research. [ Jim Mar 01, 2018 ]
Friend recommended the product, and I've had very good service from Crutchfield in the past. [ Curtis Jan 16, 2018 ]
based on recommendation of a close friend and true audiophile. I also have had NAD equipment in the past. [ Mark Dec 13, 2017 ]
Needed a basic, quality Bluetooth amp, and this is NAD as a great price point. No brainer, at least for my needs. [ Jerome Dec 08, 2017 ]
I was helped by Otis and he advised this is a good unit to buy [ daniel Nov 17, 2017 ]
Had the original 3020. Loved it. Primary reason for buying this, though? It fits on an 11" shelf. Jeff [ Jeff in Chicago Oct 22, 2017 ]
Excellent Amp [ Tom Aug 06, 2017 ]
Size Use with Computer/Mobile Very Good Reviews [ Robert Jul 21, 2017 ]
Great reviews [ Bing Jul 08, 2017 ]
Great Reviews just what was needed for desktop computer set up cannot say enough good things about it's capablities. [ Norman May 27, 2017 ]
I was about to buy a Rotel A12, but the dimensions are full-sized rack-mount and I need something for my desktop. Then I discovered the NAD D 3020 and while the specs indicate it supports fewer watts per channel, it should still be plenty for my needs and the form-factor is going to work much better for me. [ Maris Mar 27, 2017 ]
Reviews. [ SANTHOSH Mar 08, 2017 ]
Been a fan of NAD since I bought my first 3020 way back in 1981, and I love the new features, especially the size and Bluetooth capability. [ Matthew Feb 05, 2017 ]
The NAD D 3020 is rated very highly by many sources, but I am worried about it being only 30 watts per channel at 8 ohms. I bought it to compare to my current digital amp, the NuForce DDA120. [ Mike Jan 24, 2017 ]
Features, Price, and Good Reviews [ Danny Dec 19, 2016 ]
Great with my Martin Logan LX16's [ John Nov 24, 2016 ]
I'm a fan of NAD products and the D 3020's size and digital input options make it an ideal choice. [ S Nov 14, 2016 ]
NAD historical quality, size, features, and price. [ Jim Nov 02, 2016 ]
I needed an amp that could fit on a smallish kitchen shelf and power two Klipsch RB-41ii speakers. The NAD D 3020 offers the small footprint I needed and it provides several input and output options for the devices I intend to use. [ Cynthia Oct 06, 2016 ]
NAD gear is some of the best for listening to classical music. This is for a smaller space. [ E Soren Oct 06, 2016 ]
It has all the features I need: USB/coax/optical inputs, 2 analog inputs, subwoofer out, headphone out. Plus the $100 price reduction helps. Better reviews and rep than the Teac, Monitor Audio, PS Audio, and NuForce units that compete with it. [ John Aug 07, 2016 ]
Computer audio amplifier with DAC and subwoofer output. [ Michael Jun 25, 2016 ]
review and size [ edward Jun 06, 2016 ]
for the fantastic literate reviews [ EDWARD Jun 03, 2016 ]
reviews in stereophile [ Thomas May 06, 2016 ]
reviews [ John Apr 23, 2016 ]
I am a lifelong guitar player that swore I would never use a solid state guitar amplifier. A company called Quilter labs figured out a way to make a solid state amp sound and feel as good as a tube amp, so I bought two of them. They sound amazing. They used a class D amp to do it. I understand this thing also has a class D amp. Hopefully it will sound really good. Scott [ Dennis Feb 26, 2016 ]
On sale. [ Jerald Feb 26, 2016 ]
multi purpose DAC amp [ Roger Yeakle Feb 15, 2016 ]
Perfect for use. Good reviews. [ Steven Feb 08, 2016 ]
Love the NAD amps and due to its past history on its fantastic performance and reviews. [ AMIT Jan 24, 2016 ]
Best bang-for-the-buck among higher-end DACs. [ Loren Jan 18, 2016 ]
Small footprint. [ E Dec 23, 2015 ]
audio quality and feature set [ Joshua Dec 19, 2015 ]
13 questions already asked
I do not have a subwoofer, but if you google this unit it states that there is a dedicated mono mini (3.5mm) output for powered subwoofer. [ Robert Feb 07, 2018 ]
The D3020 has a 3.5mm jack as a sub out. I'm using a 3.5mm to rca interconnect running to a Polk sub and it works great. [ Mike Feb 07, 2018 ]
It does not. [ Michael Feb 01, 2018 ]
No, not specific bass and treble controls. As the manual notes, however, a setting allows you to "Boost overall bass response by at least 6 dB. BASS is illuminated in the display with BASS EQ enabled." [ John Jan 31, 2018 ]
There is no bass or treble control on this amp. This is not an issue with its performance. [ Chris Jan 31, 2018 ]
The cord comes with it - it is a three prong 120V - I use mine with my outside tv hooked to two bose speakers [ Breck Jan 18, 2018 ]
The NAD D3020 power cord has a Mickey Mouse (slang) or IEC320C5 (official) connector. It is same power cord used by laptop power supply bricks. [ Robert Jan 18, 2018 ]
Standard 3 prong 110 VAC plug - but I do NOT recommend this device. Powering up is slower than death and sound is weak. I should have returned this device but too late now. A big letdown from both NAD and Crutchfield. [ LAURENCE Jan 18, 2018 ]
No [ Jerald Jan 13, 2018 ]
The unit in the picture appears identical to the one I purchased in 2016. Not sure what v2 means. [ Brian Jan 13, 2018 ]
I use a regular digital optical cable to connect to a Sonos unit. No adaptor is used in my case. It works well. [ Timothy Aug 04, 2017 ]
YES IT CAN [ ADRIAN Aug 04, 2017 ]
Sorry- I have not been able to get my Comcast remote to control my NAD amp at all. None of the codes for NAD on the Comcast website worked. [ Frank Jul 19, 2016 ]
No it doesn't. You have to turn it on manually, using either the remote or the touch-sensitive power light on the top;. [ Israel Jan 27, 2016 ]
It doesn't on a digital coaxial connection. I highly doubt it does on optical. [ Jonathan Jan 27, 2016 ]
Speaker sound is very subjective, and each brand/design has a characteristic sound. I have used JBL (my preference), Bose, Klipsch, and Infinity with my NAD amplifier, and the audio characteristics were exactly as I expected from each speaker. Therefore I would recommend that you audition speakers and find what you like, but before purchase is final listen using the NAD amplifier. Keep in mind that the amplifier is relatively low power, so you should concentrate your search on relatively efficient speakers. Also note that it is frequently recommended that the speakers should cost about the same or a bit more than the amplifier. Thus $1500 speakers with a $400 amplifier is unbalanced quality unless you are planning to upgrade the amplifier. [ CHESTER W Aug 16, 2015 ]
That's a tough question. It depends on so many factors. But, for what it is worth, I use my NAD D3020 in a sub/satellite configuration with a pair of Focal Chorus 705s and a Definitive Technology 10" powered sub. Works great! [ Maynard Aug 14, 2015 ]
I've paired mine with a set of Axiom bookshelves and a Velodyne sub. [ Patrick Aug 14, 2015 ]
Paradigm Studio 20s sound great. [ CRAIG D Aug 14, 2015 ]
Kef LS50 Wonderful. [ Lawrence Aug 14, 2015 ]
You can connect through a standard 3.5 mm AUX cable. [ Viswanath Apr 22, 2015 ]
I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: The USB input on the NAD D3020 integrated amp will just be for connection of a computer. It is a type B USB connection which will not be compatible with any iDevices. If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Krissy Apr 22, 2015 ] Staff
I don't have an APTX device. But standard Bluetooth on an iPhone connects fine. It's not the best method, but it does work through the speaker outputs. I assume the headphone would be the same. Sorry couldn't help more. [ Maynard Dec 04, 2014 ]
I have iMac, iPad, iPod, and iPhone devices and they all "pair" with the D3020 via bluetooth no problem. Since bluetooth is only another input to the amp, the signal appears at the headphone jack too. [ CHESTER W Dec 03, 2014 ]
sorry i only wired it to the speaker so don't know how it works for your case. [ fan Dec 03, 2014 ]
To my knowledge, there's no indication on the D 3020 that a bluetooth connection is aptx or not. That's probably because aptx is a compression codec that allows for higher bitrate audio to be transmitted over bluetooth's limited bandwidth, not necessarily a different kind of bluetooth connection. If the transmitting and receiving devices both support aptx, then I believe it just defaults to that codec. Both the main and the headphone DACs support aptx. Wouldn't make sense for the hardware not to support the software. [ JOHN Dec 03, 2014 ]
Chris: Unfortunately it does not have a low freq cut-off. I love this thing. It sound awesome for a little amp. [ Lawrence Sep 18, 2014 ]
I contacted NAD about this. I was told that when the sub-out is engaged, its pre-set at 100hz for the sub out (low pass) and the speaker-out crossover (high pass) is also 100hz [ JAMES Sep 18, 2014 ]
No, it is fixed. [ Maynard Sep 18, 2014 ]
Yes, as a matter of fact im using a sub-woofer with the D3020. For most and in my case it requires a converter/adapter cable (mini-jack to RCA). It works and sounds great with my Polk Sub-woofer! [ JAMES Jan 13, 2014 ]
7 answers I'm interested in the 3020 for a desktop computer system I'm beginning to assemble based on the many rave reviews it has received. However, I'm a little confused as to why NAD did not opt for a 24/192 DAC instead of a 24/96. This doesn't seem to make any sense when many lesser priced components from other companies do utilize the higher rate DACs in similar products. The same might be asked as to why NAD did not incorporate DSD decoding ability since that seems to be such a hot commodity of late. Are these missing abilities going to be a severe drawback for a computer music system or am I just not seeming the big picture here? [ Robert Jan 06, 2014 ]
The D 3020 supports 24/192 via optical/coaxial inputs; the USB is limited to 24/96. If you go to NAD website and download the "DATA SHEET" it states: "> Reinventing an Icon By adapting to today's media sources and using state-of-the-art digital technology for the new world of digital music, the D 3020 puts a completely modern spin on an old icon. The original designer of the 3020, NAD's Director of Advanced Technology, Bjorn Erik Edvardsen, has been pivotal in developing the D 3020 for the new digital generation. Offering an excellent quality 24/192 DAC with 8 channels mixed to 2 for improved resolution, the D 3020 represents the same kind of value-bending innovation that gave the original 3020 its legendary overachieving phono stage." [ PAUL D Jan 12, 2014 ]
The key thing on the D 3020 is that NAD is following on the original 1970s 3020 by providing outstanding sound with basic features at attractive price. A manufacturer can always add more features and increase the price. As it is, the D 3020 sounds excellent in my study with MacPro source and JBL Studio Monitor speakers. If you peruse any technical articles or reviews, you will find that there is much more to the sound of a DAC than bit/sample rate number. Of course there are cheapie DACs, as well as good ones at $500 and $5000. And there is a difference; you get what you pay for. If you want to experience the full effect of studio-quality uncompressed data files at 24/192 you should probably buy a good DAC, quality amplifier, and appropriate speakers. You won't hear any benefit on a "budget" system. If you need the small physical footprint of the NAD, you should perhaps consider the D 7050. Though it is twice the price, it has the more sophisticated DAC, and a bit more power in the same vertical case as the D 3020. [ CHESTER W Jan 07, 2014 ]
Hello, As I don't work for NAD, I can't answer your questions definitively, but I'll do my best. I would imagine that NAD neglected to put a 24/192 DAC in the d3020 for two reasons. One, doing so would have eliminated any reason for someone to buy the DAC-only device in this lineup (the d1050 I think, can't remember). Two, including a 24/192 DAC in the d3020 would have pushed its price point up too high, or at least higher than that which NAD was aiming for. As to whether having a 24/192 capable DAC will degrade your listening experience or not, I suppose that depends on what you'll be listening to. It is VERY rare to come across music in true 24/192 form. For the most part, the only reason any music exists in the 192kHz format is for studio editing. So, if you're planning on using this unit to playback audio you've been editing, to listen for minute changes you've made in the range above 96kHz, then yes, I suppose you'd be better off with a unit that can handle that format. In any other scenario, the lack of 24/192 ability will almost definitely not make a difference. It's somewhat common for audiophiles like us to get caught up in having the absolute best, newest, highly-capable everything. Some of that, however, just isn't worth the price of admission. There's a reason why this unit is $500. That reason is because it's free of a lot of that kind of stuff. Finally, let me just say that I received one of the very first D 3020s to ship, and have been living with it for several months now. It's an absolutely excellent digital amp, and I could not be happier with it. I've read several of the reviews for it, and they're all spot on. This is, without a doubt, the best $500 you can spend on a digital amp, no problem. Before buying my D 3020, I did extensive research into competing products, only to discover that there weren't any really. [ JOHN Jan 07, 2014 ]
Don't know, I have it on Hi fi system. [ HARVEY Jan 06, 2014 ]
From a marketing perspective, having a 24/192 DAC would be a good thing. But, NAD has never been a company to get caught up in specifications. Amplifier power, for example, is always conservatively rated from NAD. In the end, it is a solid product that delivers great sound at a great price . IMO, the DAC rate is a non-issue. Very little source material is available at 24/192 anyway - only from HDTracks (or similar) and certainly not iTunes/Amazon. I'm not sure it is even possible to hear the difference between 24/96 and 24/192. Don't let the specifications alone drive your decision. [ Maynard Jan 06, 2014 ]
I doubt very much that there is anything that can be heard or felt above 96Khz. I think that the 192 stuff is another audiophile red herring. My two cents. [ James Jan 06, 2014 ]
sorry this is my first amplifier and i only used it for a CD player. i don't have much idea how it performs for the desktop system. [ fan Jan 06, 2014 ]