NAD Viso Two review

Packed with goodies, but not all relevant to the hi-fi buff

TechRadar Verdict

Even better equipped than most, thanks to some comprehensive video features, the Viso Two succeeds astoundingly well at audio too, with both a verve and poise that outclasses the competition.


  • +

    Good sound

  • +

    Great set of features


  • -

    Slow FM tuning

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This unit certainly has a lot of bits, bobs and gizmos in it, not least because in addition to doing audio, it is a fully-featured DVD player complete with upscaling HDMI output and various video ins and outs. If we listed it all, we'd have no space for the actual review.

From an audio point of view, it's a fairly close match to the Myryad Mi, with CD plus FM radio (DAB's an add-on module, though) built in, three analogue and two digital inputs and a connection for an iPod dock add-on.

The inclusion of video has meant there's some compromise over front-panel control layout and the remote doesn't strike us as a model of ergonomic brilliance either, though the way it lights up blue is admittedly impressive.

Still, a little experimentation soon shows how to access and control the various functions and the only real frustration is the slowness of FM tuning. The volume display, cleverly, is calibrated so that '0dB' corresponds roughly to full power from 'peak bit' on CDs, with positive numbers indicating more gain than this and negative, less.

NAD's case design for the Viso is unusual in appearance and also in assembly – even after removing 20 screws we were still unable to get inside! A little peering informed us that a large frame transformer supplies power, while an array of decent commercial-quality components looks after audio and power supply functions.

The power amplifier is constructed against a fan-assisted heatsink, but the fan is intelligently controlled and never came on while we were playing music.

Sound quality

Despite the presence of all the video gubbins, this unit attracted almost nothing but praise and did so at what we can only call an extremely competitive price. Its sound was described as airy and yet punchy, as well as detailed and with good depth.

The only 'but' to be attached to that, is the fact that the sound is not particularly analytical: if you demand from your hi-fi the ability to dissect sound so that you can tell what make and model of instrument each musician is playing, you'd better keep looking. But few people with those expectations will even have started to read a review like this!

There's also the valid point that our listeners were comparing the Viso with equipment of like intent, but it's surely not irrelevant that all of them had heard some quite fancy kit in the same room, driving the same speakers, not so long ago and still didn't recoil in horror from the sounds on offer.

On the contrary, they took immediately to the highly attractive soundscape produced by the Viso, appreciating it for its combination of realism and punch.

It handles voices very well, with a good balance between vowels and consonants (no trace of excess sibilance) and also between vocal and accompaniment and this sets up a high standard of communication, which is maintained in purely instrumental tracks.

A stereo image of good width and depth, coupled with an unforced tonal character across the spectrum, makes sound easy to enjoy and to follow. The image isn't pinpoint in its precision, but in the circumstances one somehow doesn't even want to care.

The very bottom few notes of audibility are, perhaps, a little vague and power delivery at climaxes can occasionally seem just a little slapdash but, again, there's sufficient cohesion and general plausibility to the sound that these are minor quibbles.

The FM tuner is, likewise, a lively and full-bodied performer. By any reckoning, this is an impressive showing for full-featured convenience audio.

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