Nubert, renowned for its speakers, steps into the world of all-in-one systems with the nuConnect ampXL. This amplifier integrates a HiRes streamer, offering a wide range of features, ample power, and an attractive price. In this review, we explore its design, features, and performance to determine if it lives up to the Nubert legacy.
Introducing Nubert’s latest audio marvel, the nuConnect ampXL, a true all-in-one amplifier that seamlessly blends HiRes streaming capabilities, robust power, and versatile connectivity options. Renowned for their exceptional speakers, Nubert extends their expertise into the realm of electronics with this impressive offering. In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the design, features, and sonic prowess of the nuConnect ampXL to see if it lives up to the high standards set by its creator.
With a design characterized by minimalist elegance and solid aluminum construction, the nuConnect ampXL exudes a timeless appeal. It’s more than just good looks; this amplifier boasts an extensive array of inputs and outputs, including Bluetooth with aptX HD support, UPnP, AirPlay2, Chromecast, and Spotify Connect, ensuring you’re well-equipped for any audio source. Additionally, Nubert’s proprietary X-Connect system enables wireless multiroom audio without the need for a complex network setup. As we explore the nuConnect ampXL further, you’ll discover its exceptional versatility and unwavering commitment to delivering outstanding sound quality.
|Nubert nuconnect ampxl
|Streaming integrated amplifier, Class D
|2 x 340 W at 4 ohms
|Airplay / ChromeCast / UPnP / Bluetooth / Spotify Connect
|X-Connect wireless connection, room measurement
|Dimensions (W x D x H):
|43 x 27.1 x 7 cm
Design and Build
The nuConnect ampXL sports a sleek aluminum enclosure with subtle cooling fins, exuding a timeless, minimalist look. The front panel houses a bright OLED display and a large push-turn control for intuitive navigation. The build quality is impressive, with solid materials and meticulous craftsmanship. This amplifier feels substantial and well-constructed.
The Nubert nuConnect ampXL impresses from the moment you lay eyes on it, with its design reflecting a harmonious blend of functionality and elegance. The amplifier’s chassis is constructed from solid aluminum, a choice of material that not only lends durability but also exudes a minimalist, timeless aesthetic. The aluminum front panel is robust, and the material thickness throughout the unit adds to its overall build quality.
At first glance, the ampXL may appear similar to its smaller sibling, the nuConnect ampX, but in a full-size format. The straight-edged housing features horizontal cooling fins on the sides, hinting at the amplifier’s prowess. The front panel is intentionally uncluttered, with only a handful of buttons and a generously sized push-turn control knob. The focal point is the bright OLED display that provides vital information, making menu navigation a breeze. The inclusion of a 6.35mm headphone jack on the front panel adds convenience for private listening without the need for external speakers.
What sets the nuConnect ampXL apart in terms of design is its attention to detail. The device, weighing over six kilograms, is meticulously assembled, with no visible screws marring its sleek exterior. Controls, including buttons and knobs, exhibit superb resistance and tactile feedback, making every interaction with the amplifier a satisfying experience. This remarkable attention to detail extends to every aspect of the amplifier’s build, resulting in a product that exudes quality and reliability.
In terms of dimensions, the nuConnect ampXL measures 43 centimeters in width, 32 centimeters in depth, and merely seven centimeters in height. This compact footprint allows it to fit seamlessly into various audio setups, whether as the centerpiece of a stereo system or integrated into a home theater configuration. The elegant design and robust build of the nuConnect ampXL set the stage for what promises to be an exceptional audio experience.
One of the standout features of the ampXL is its connectivity options. It features Bluetooth with aptX HD and Low Latency codecs for high-quality wireless streaming. It supports UPnP, Apple’s AirPlay2, Google Chromecast, and Spotify Connect for comprehensive streaming capabilities. Additionally, the ampXL is compatible with Nubert’s X-Connect system, allowing for seamless music or TV sound transmission to other Nubert devices.
Inputs and Outputs The ampXL offers an array of inputs, including USB-B, coaxial, and optical digital inputs, as well as an RCA input for analog components. It even accommodates a turntable with its phono module for MM or MC systems. While it lacks an HDMI interface for TV sound, it includes an ARC adapter for this purpose. Moreover, there’s a subwoofer output for enhanced bass performance.
The Nubert nuConnect ampXL sets a high standard in terms of connectivity, offering a wide array of options to cater to a diverse range of audio sources and setups. This comprehensive approach to connectivity is a testament to Nubert’s commitment to ensuring that users have the flexibility to integrate the amplifier seamlessly into their audio systems.
Starting with wireless options, the nuConnect ampXL is equipped with three well-placed antennas, enabling it to receive Bluetooth signals from smartphones and other compatible devices. Notably, the ampXL supports high-quality Bluetooth transmission using aptX HD and Low Latency codecs, ensuring that even without a Wi-Fi connection, users can enjoy CD-quality audio streaming. This capability adds a layer of convenience, making it easy to pair smartphones and tablets for quick playback.
For those looking for true streaming functionality, the nuConnect ampXL offers a diverse set of options. It is compatible with UPnP, Apple’s AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast, and Spotify Connect, providing users with a broad range of choices for streaming their favorite music. The internal streaming module and built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC) support Hi-Res signals up to 192 kHz at 24 bits, ensuring high-fidelity audio reproduction.
One unique feature that sets the nuConnect ampXL apart is its compatibility with Nubert’s proprietary X-Connect system. This system allows users to send or receive music or television sound in a master/slave configuration with Nubert active speakers and other brand amplifiers, creating a versatile and integrated audio ecosystem without a router. This capability is a testament to Nubert’s commitment to user convenience and versatility.
Moving to the physical connections, the nuConnect ampXL offers many options to cater to different audio sources. It features an Ethernet socket for wired connection to a home network, ensuring stable and reliable access to streaming services. Additionally, it includes another Ethernet slot labeled “Out,” allowing users to connect a separate streaming bridge or music server, simplifying cable management.
Digital audio sources are well-catered to, with USB-B, coaxial, and optical digital inputs, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of devices. An RCA input is also provided for connecting analog components, while vinyl enthusiasts can connect their turntable directly to the RCA sockets. The integrated phono module even supports both MM (Moving Magnet) and MC (Moving Coil) systems, offering flexibility for vinyl playback.
Despite lacking an HDMI interface, the nuConnect ampXL provides a solution for TV audio output. It includes an ARC (Audio Return Channel) adapter, which securely attaches to a USB-A socket, allowing users to enjoy improved TV sound through their audio system. This thoughtful addition ensures that users can elevate their television viewing experience without additional hassle.
Lastly, for those seeking enhanced bass performance in their audio setup, the nuConnect ampXL includes a subwoofer output, enabling users to connect a subwoofer for a more immersive audio experience, particularly when watching movies or listening to music with deep bass content.
In summary, the Nubert nuConnect ampXL’s connectivity options leave no stone unturned, offering both wireless and wired connections to cater to a broad spectrum of audio sources and devices. This versatility, coupled with the attention to detail in both design and build quality, positions the nuConnect ampXL as a highly capable and adaptable integrated amplifier for discerning audio enthusiasts.
Setup and Operation
Setting up the nuConnect ampXL is straightforward. You can connect it to your network via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, and the Nubert app assists with configuration. The app allows for remote control, calibration, and sound correction. It’s compatible with AirPlay and Chromecast, making music selection convenient. However, there’s no proprietary streaming app from Nubert.
Setup and Operation:
Setting up and operating the Nubert nuConnect ampXL is a straightforward and user-friendly process, ensuring that even those new to audio systems can get up and running without significant hassle. Nubert has designed the amplifier with convenience in mind, offering multiple ways to configure and control the device to suit individual preferences and requirements.
1. Initial Setup:
Upon unboxing the nuConnect ampXL, users will find that the amplifier is neatly packaged and comes with all the necessary accessories for a hassle-free setup. The package typically includes the amplifier unit, a power cable, a remote control, and other relevant documentation.
To begin, users should identify a suitable location for the amplifier within their audio setup. The nuConnect ampXL’s sleek and compact design allows it to fit seamlessly into various environments, whether placed on a shelf, in an equipment rack, or on a dedicated stand. Its aluminum housing exudes a sophisticated, timeless aesthetic that complements most interior styles.
Once the physical placement is determined, users can connect their preferred speakers to the amplifier’s speaker terminals. The amplifier supports a wide range of speaker types and sizes, making it versatile enough to accommodate various speaker configurations.
2. Network and Wireless Setup:
For users who prefer wireless connectivity, configuring the amplifier’s network settings is a breeze. The nuConnect ampXL offers both Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet options for network connectivity. Users can choose the most suitable method based on their preferences and available infrastructure.
Wi-Fi setup typically involves selecting the desired Wi-Fi network using the amplifier’s control interface or mobile app, and entering the network password if required. The ampXL’s compatibility with the Nubert X-Remote app simplifies this process for both iOS and Android users, allowing for easy network configuration and control.
For wired Ethernet connection, users can simply connect an Ethernet cable from their home network router to the amplifier’s Ethernet port. This method offers stable and reliable network access, ideal for streaming high-quality audio content.
3. Wireless Streaming and Source Selection:
The nuConnect ampXL offers a wide array of streaming options to cater to various user preferences. Users can opt for Bluetooth streaming, which is as simple as pairing a smartphone or tablet with the amplifier. The ampXL supports high-quality Bluetooth codecs like aptX HD and Low Latency, ensuring superior audio quality for wireless playback.
The ampXL supports UPnP, Apple’s AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast, and Spotify Connect for users seeking comprehensive streaming capabilities. These options provide access to a vast library of music from streaming services and networked devices. Selecting the desired source can typically be done using the amplifier’s control interface or through the Nubert X-Remote app.
4. Physical Source Connections:
The nuConnect ampXL caters to users with physical audio sources as well. It offers a variety of input options, including USB-B, coaxial, and optical digital inputs, allowing users to connect devices such as CD players, Blu-ray players, or media streamers. Analog components can be connected via the RCA input.
Vinyl enthusiasts can connect a turntable directly to the amplifier using the RCA sockets, and the integrated phono module supports both MM and MC cartridges, offering flexibility for different turntable setups.
5. Television Sound Integration:
While the ampXL lacks an HDMI interface, it provides a practical solution for improving television sound. The inclusion of an ARC (Audio Return Channel) adapter allows users to connect their Smart TVs to the amplifier via USB-A. This feature enhances the audio quality of television programs and movies, providing a more immersive viewing experience.
6. Control and Calibration:
The nuConnect ampXL offers multiple methods for control and calibration. Users can operate the amplifier using the included remote control, which provides access to essential functions such as volume control, source selection, and tone adjustments. Additionally, the Nubert X-Remote app serves as a convenient control interface for iOS and Android users, offering intuitive navigation and customization options.
One notable feature is the amplifier’s room calibration capability. Users can calibrate the amplifier to their listening environment using the app and a compatible microphone (iOS users can use the internal microphone). This calibration process optimizes the bass reproduction for improved precision and accuracy, ensuring that the audio output is tailored to the room’s acoustics.
7. Multiroom and X-Connect:
For those interested in expanding their audio setup beyond a single room, the nuConnect ampXL supports Nubert’s proprietary X-Connect system. This system allows users to create a master/slave configuration with Nubert active speakers and other brand amplifiers, enabling multiroom audio without needing a dedicated router.
In summary, the Nubert nuConnect ampXL offers a hassle-free setup and user-friendly operation. The amplifier provides versatile connectivity options whether users prefer wireless streaming, physical audio sources, or television sound enhancement. The inclusion of the Nubert X-Remote app and room calibration features further enhances the overall user experience, making it accessible to both novice and experienced audio enthusiasts.
The ampXL delivers an impressive audio experience. It reproduces a wide frequency range, with powerful and deep bass, clear vocals, and detailed treble. It excels in subtlety, offering a nuanced and three-dimensional soundstage. The tonality is pleasantly neutral with a touch of analog warmth, ensuring a harmonious listening experience. It handles various music genres and complex orchestral pieces with ease, providing a dynamic and engaging performance.
Sound Test and Sound Quality:
The Nubert nuConnect ampXL undergoes a comprehensive sound test to evaluate its performance across various audio scenarios and genres. This sound test assesses its sound quality, tonal balance, dynamic range, and ability to reproduce both subtle details and powerful, high-energy music. Here’s an in-depth look at how the amplifier performs in different listening scenarios:
1. Musical Precision and Clarity:
One of the standout qualities of the nuConnect ampXL is its ability to deliver musical precision and clarity. During the sound test, the amplifier demonstrates its capability to reproduce intricate details in music, allowing listeners to hear subtle nuances and fine textures within the audio recordings. This level of detail retrieval is essential for audiophiles and music enthusiasts who appreciate a faithful and transparent sound reproduction.
2. Bass Response and Impact:
The amplifier’s impressive bass response provides a satisfying and well-controlled low-end performance. In tracks with deep bass elements, such as electronic music or bass-heavy genres, the ampXL delivers a tight, impactful bass that doesn’t overshadow other frequency ranges. This balance ensures that listeners can enjoy powerful bass lines while still hearing the midrange and treble frequencies.
3. Midrange Accuracy:
The midrange frequencies, where vocals and many instrumental elements reside, are rendered with exceptional accuracy. The ampXL reproduces vocals with a natural and lifelike quality, making singers’ voices authentic and emotionally engaging. Instruments in the midrange, such as guitars and pianos, exhibit rich and realistic timbres, contributing to an immersive listening experience.
4. Treble Clarity and Detail:
Its clarity and attention to detail characterizes the amplifier’s treble performance. High-frequency instruments like cymbals and strings sparkle with precision and brilliance. The ampXL’s ability to resolve intricate treble details adds depth and realism to the music, enhancing the overall listening pleasure.
5. Dynamic Range and Energy:
In high-energy tracks and dynamic musical passages, the nuConnect ampXL shines with its ability to handle the wide dynamic range of music. Whether it’s the sudden crescendo of an orchestra or the explosive impact of rock drums, the amplifier maintains control and composure, ensuring that listeners experience the full range of emotions the music conveys.
6. Immersive Soundstage:
The amplifier creates an immersive soundstage that allows music to envelop the listener. It offers a spacious and three-dimensional audio experience, making it feel like the instruments and vocals are positioned in a well-defined space. This spatial quality adds depth and realism to the soundstage, enhancing the overall enjoyment of the music.
7. Versatility Across Music Genres:
Throughout the sound test, the nuConnect ampXL showcases its versatility across various music genres. Whether it’s classical, jazz, rock, electronic, or acoustic music, the amplifier adapts to each genre’s unique characteristics, ensuring that the music is faithfully represented. This versatility makes the ampXL suitable for a wide range of musical preferences.
8. High-Resolution Audio Support:
One noteworthy feature of the ampXL is its support for high-resolution audio. The amplifier’s internal streaming module and digital-to-analog converter (DAC) can handle HiRes signals with resolutions of up to 192 kHz at 24 bits. This capability allows audiophiles to enjoy music in its purest and most detailed form, especially when streaming high-resolution audio files.
In conclusion, the Nubert nuConnect ampXL impresses with its sound quality and performance across the entire sonic spectrum. It delivers precision, clarity, and a balanced tonal character that caters to audiophiles and discerning listeners. Its ability to handle various music genres, offer an immersive soundstage, and support high-resolution audio makes it a versatile and compelling choice for those seeking an all-in-one amplifier that excels in sound reproduction. The ampXL consistently delivers an exceptional audio experience, whether critical listening or casual enjoyment.
In the world of all-in-one amplifiers, the Nubert nuConnect ampXL stands as an outstanding performer that exceeds expectations. Its impressive sound quality, versatile connectivity options, and meticulous attention to detail make it a compelling choice for audio enthusiasts and casual listeners alike. Throughout our evaluation, the ampXL consistently delivered a musical experience that captured the essence of every genre and composition.
From its precise musical reproduction to its controlled bass response, the nuConnect ampXL demonstrates an exceptional balance that allows music to shine in its truest form. It handles high-resolution audio with finesse, bringing out the nuances and subtleties that audiophiles crave. Whether you’re listening to a delicate acoustic arrangement or the thunderous energy of rock music, this amplifier adapts effortlessly, providing an immersive and emotionally engaging sonic journey.
Furthermore, the ampXL’s thoughtful design, build quality, and user-friendly operation enhance its overall appeal. Its seamless integration of streaming capabilities into a traditional amplifier design sets it apart in the market. With the nuConnect ampXL, Nubert has once again demonstrated its commitment to delivering audio excellence. If you seek an all-in-one system that offers superb sound quality, extensive connectivity, and versatility across genres, the Nubert nuConnect ampXL is a compelling choice that will elevate your music listening experience to new heights.
Why You Should Buy the Nubert nuConnect ampXL:
- Exceptional Sound Quality: The nuConnect ampXL delivers an audiophile-grade listening experience. Its precise musical reproduction, balanced tonal qualities, and impressive power output make it an excellent choice for music enthusiasts seeking high-quality audio.
- Versatile Connectivity: With a wide range of connectivity options, including Bluetooth, UPnP, AirPlay2, and Google Chromecast, the ampXL accommodates various sources and streaming preferences. It even supports USB and analog inputs for added versatility.
- Build Quality and Design: Crafted from premium materials, the ampXL boasts solid aluminum construction, sleek aesthetics, and a user-friendly interface. Its robust build ensures longevity and reliability.
- Streaming Integration: Adding streaming capabilities to a traditional amplifier design provides the convenience of modern music access without compromising on sound quality, making it a forward-looking investment.
Why You Might Not Buy the Nubert nuConnect ampXL:
- Price Point: While offering excellent value for its features and performance, the ampXL falls into a higher price range. It may not be suitable for budget-conscious consumers.
- No HDMI for TV Audio: If you’re specifically looking for an amplifier with HDMI connectivity for TV audio, the ampXL doesn’t include this feature. However, it offers alternative options for TV sound integration.
- Limited Mobile App: While the Nubert app offers control and calibration functions, it lacks music selection capabilities. Users who prefer an all-in-one app for streaming may find this aspect less convenient.
In summary, the Nubert nuConnect ampXL is a top-tier all-in-one amplifier that excels in sound quality, build, and versatility. It’s an excellent choice for those who prioritize audio performance and appreciate its rich feature set. However, it may not be the ideal fit for budget-conscious buyers or those seeking HDMI connectivity for TV audio.