NAD CI 720
BluOS™ wired network stereo zone amplifier
Our take on the NAD CI 720 by Crutchfield's Deia Z.
Audiophile sound meets streaming flexibility
NAD's CI 720 BluOS network stereo amplifier lets you enjoy high-resolution music in any room of your house. It gives you lag-free digital music playback using Bluesound's proprietary BluOS operating system. Plus, you can connect audio sources directly via its USB, optical, and analog RCA inputs. The free BluOS app gives you easy access to your tunes through Wi-Fi®. (The CI 720 must be connected to your network via an Ethernet cable.)
Geared toward custom whole-house installations, this stereo amp packs 60 watts per channel into a slim chassis — its "blade" form factor lets you install up to six CI 720s in a single 3U rack space. The RM 720 custom rack accessory with power management and Ethernet switching simplifies your installation.
A wealth of high-resolution streaming options
Bluesound's BluOS wireless music system 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.
A free app with advanced control options
The BluOs Controller app 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. The app works with your compatible Apple® or Android™ device or your Windows® or Mac® computer. You can even use your Apple Watch to control your system.
- 60 watts x 2
- 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
- supports high-resolution playback (up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution)
- HybridDigital™ amplifier technology for high-fidelity sound with minimal distortion
- 3U-height "blade" chassis — fit up to 6 units in a single 3U rack space
- thermostatic fan cooling for enhanced reliability
- compatible with leading third-party control systems like Control4, Crestron, RTI, and URC
- universal voltage (100V-240V)
- Ethernet port for wired connection to a home network
- analog RCA input
- Toslink optical digital audio input
- USB input (Type A) for connecting a USB memory stick and other compatible devices
- USB mini input (Type B)
- IR input
- Phoenix speaker connection block
- subwoofer out
- 2-3/16"W x 4-3/4"H x 13-13/16"D
- weight: 3.5 lbs.
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Network stereo zone amplifier
- 2' AC power cord
- 39" Ethernet cable
- Speaker terminal block
- Machine screw
- Quick Setup Guide
- Warranty Information
Network Stereo Zone Amplifier: The 60-watt per channel, single-zone CI 720 Network Stereo Zone Amplifier with HybridDigital amplification technology is the perfect addition to today's most advanced custom home audio systems. Featuring 60 watts per channel, and powered by BluOS, the advanced music management operating system, the CI 720 allows you to access and stream 24-bit high-res music with the control of a smartphone or tablet via Ethernet and third-party control systems like Control4, Crestron, RTI and URC.
HybridDigital Amp Technology: With 60 watts per channel, and up to 165 watts of Dynamic Power on tap, the CI 720's integrated HybridDigital amp can drive any speaker to lifelike sound levels without adding noise or distortion.
USB Port: The CI 720 features a USB (type-A) port to directly connect a USB mass storage class (MSC) device; such as a thumbdrive or external hard-drive. The unit's USB port supports music playback from these compatible USB devices formatted in FAT 32. Not only can USB audio be played back on the CI 720, but can also be wirelessly distributed to the rest of your Bluesound components throughout your home for multiroom playback.
Note: The USB port is not compatible with the direct connection of an Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad or Android devices.
Analog & Digital Inputs: The CI 720 also features both analog and digital inputs. There is one stereo RCA input and one optical (toslink) digital input. Both inputs support 2ch PCM audio (not compatible with Dolby Digital/DTS). Not only can the analog & digital input audio be played back on the CI 720, but can also be wirelessly distributed to the rest of your Bluesound components throughout your home for multiroom playback.
Speaker Outputs: The NAD CI 720 features a removable phoenix-style terminal block for its speaker outputs. You can connect one pair of speakers (4 or 8 ohm).
Sub Output: The CI 720 features a mono-RCA subwoofer output for adding practically any powered sub (sold separately) with a line-level input and built-in low-pass crossover.
IR In: This 3.5mm input is connected to the output of an IR repeater (sold separately) or the IR output of another component to allow control of the CI 720 from a remote location.
Thermostatic Fan Cooling: The CI 720's highly efficient energy-saving amplifier and thermostatic fan cooling adds enhanced reliability.
Mounting Options: The CI 720 can simply be placed on a shelf or be installed to a wall using the two keyhole-slots on the side of the network stereo zone amplifier. To facilitate mounting the CI 720 in a rack, NAD offers the RM 720 Rack Mount Accessory (745RM720, sold separately). This useful accessory allows six CI 720s to occupy a 3U rack space, providing a neat and tidy installation. The RM 720 also includes blanking plates for a neat front-panel when less than six amplifiers are installed.
Bluesound Wireless High-Resolution Audio Eco-System: The NAD CI 720 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.
Ethernet Jack: A wired Ethernet (RJ-45) connection is required to setup the CI 720. Using the supplied Ethernet cable, connect one end of the Ethernet cable to CI 720's LAN port and the other end to the corresponding LAN port of your wired Ethernet broadband router.
Note: The NAD CI 720 does not offer built-in WiFi for a wireless network connection.
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 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 CI 720 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 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 NAD CI 720 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 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.
3rd Party Controllers: The CI 720's network connectivity and built-in BluOS operating system enables custom integration with several of the top control systems - including Control4, Crestron, and RTI. Unlike many other network audio solutions, BluOS has a published API that allows a more complete and sustainable integration.
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.
1 question already asked
Thanks for your question. For information on selecting the speakers 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 between the models and help you make the best choice for your system. [ Kenny Mar 06, 2017 ] Staff