- Output power: 2 x 40 W into 4-8 ohms
- Damping factor: (not specified)
- Inputs: RCA Line, RCA Phono, 2 x Optical
- Outputs: RCA Pre Out
- Network: Wi-Fi
- Streaming: Chromecast, Bluetooth
- Dimensions and weight: 6.3 x 22 x 25.2 cm / 3.27 kg
- Colour: Black
- Web: nadelectronics.com
The smallest amp in the test is from NAD and is called Amp1. That doesn’t mean it is less capable. With Chromecast streaming over Wi-Fi, it supports the vast majority of music services, and they’re controlled in the usual way from their native apps.
Connecting the amp to the network is super easy: just open the Google Home app (iPhone or Android) and the amp pops up there. Follow the instructions and you’re in business. Just know that the amp doesn’t have an Ethernet connector, so it needs to be somewhere with good Wi-Fi coverage.
In addition to two optical digital inputs, where you can easily connect the TV and perhaps a CD player or games console, there’s also turntable input for MM pickups plus an analogue line input. And a preamp output for connecting a separate power amplifier or subwoofer.
The sound of the NAD Amp1
I like the warm, rich sound of the Amp1. There’s a good midrange focus on Madrugada’s ballad “Ecstasy,” with Sivert Høyem’s voice sounding big and beautiful.
The bass notes from the piano on Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” pick up well, and while the NAD amp isn’t among the most powerful, it has nice energy in the drum rhythms on more festive music.
Still, there’s only so much the Amp1 can handle when you crank up the volume, and it doesn’t have to be pushed very hard before it loosens its grip and things start to slip a bit. Still, power-wise it’s on a par with the Sonos Amp, and that’s got to be a good thing at this price. Besides, I think the NAD sounds better.
The small Chromecast amplifier NAD Amp1 is easy to use and has an inviting sound with good focus in the bass area. It may not shine quite so much upwards in the harmonics, but the overall impression is very good.
The Amp1 isn’t among the most powerful amps, and that can be heard when you turn it up, but for general music listening and with a pair of lightly driven speakers with a sensitivity not far below 90 dB, it’s a pleasure to listen to.
Plus for turntable input and preamp output!
Also in this test
A host of features
None in its class has the same connectivity options as the Marantz NR1200. It also sounds really good.
Bluesound Powernode (N330)
Improved giant slayer
The tiny Powernode streaming amp from Bluesound has got even better and is definitely the strongest in its class.
Cabasse Stream Amp
Cabasse Stream Amp is not a new product, but it performs well in the modern streaming world.
Has become too expensive
The Sonos Amp is powerful enough to drive decent speakers. But the price has gone up too much lately.
Harman Kardon Citation Amp
Big amp in small package
The Citation Amp can stream just about anything, and it does so with better and bigger sound than most in its class. Watch out, Sonos!