NAD C316BEE Integrated Amplifier with Phono Review

When you talk about the high-end amplifiers anywhere in the world, the NAD products will always stand out especially the new c316bee integrated amplifier. The NAD C 316BEEs is a series of the most recent integrated amplifier with amazing headphone output and sound stage. I have owned four of the amplifiers since their first release.

When I want a go-to budget-friendly amp, these are the products I always turn to. Many manufacturers today only focus on the latest features, and in the process, sacrificing sound. I love these NAD amps because they offer the best power solution, finesse, and simplicity. And each time I let one-off, it always reminds me of how much they have helped me grow. 

My recent review focused on the NAD C316BEE stereo integrated amp, the original version. In our Amplifier review, I will be talking about its upgraded version – NAD 316BEE V2. Think about this amp as a well-designed affordable amp. But that is not all; it is also a product that will give you the audiophilia satisfaction you need.

About the product

NAD C316BEE Amplifier
NAD C316BEE Amplifier

If you come across the NAD C 316BEE before, you will know what this amp is all about. The most significant difference with the NAD C 316BEE integrated is the addition of a new phono stage.

Due to the demand from consumers to add this feature, their company listened and made adjustments for the NAD c 316bee v2. Most people loved the NAD c316bee v2 stereo integrated amp, but those who enjoyed their vinyl records had only a few options. Now they can smile knowing there is a NAD C 316BEE Integrated Amplifier with a phono stage that incorporates the retro vinyl records. 

With this addition, I think NAD will reclaim its glory in the audiophile market as one of the most practical options for those seeking their first amplifier, especially with their latest 316 bee nad integrated amplifier. My days working with the entry-level audio products are long gone. But I find it easy returning to the time when simplicity mattered. For the past few weeks, I have enjoyed a blissfully captivating audio output without too many complications. I will base this NAD C 316BEE integrated equipment review mostly on the comparison with the version without a phono stage.

Features

NAD C316BEE Integrated Amplifier
NAD C316BEE Integrated Amplifier

Build

If you come across the NAD C 316BEE before, you will know what this amp is all about. The most significant difference with the NAD C 316BEE is the addition of a new phono stage. 

Due to the demand from consumers to add this feature, NAD listened and made adjustments. Most people loved the C 316BEE, but those who enjoyed their vinyl records had only a few options. Now they can smile knowing there is a NAD C316BEE Integrated Amplifier with a phono stage that incorporates the retro vinyl records. 

With this addition, I think NAD will reclaim its glory in the audiophile market as one of the most practical options for those seeking their first amplifier. My days working with the entry-level audio products are long gone. But I find it easy returning to the time when simplicity mattered. For the past few weeks, I have enjoyed a blissfully captivating audio output without too many complications. I will base this NAD C316BEE review mostly on the comparison with the version without a phono stage.

Functionality

The first thing I noticed from the box, apart from the design, was the power code. You cannot remove or upgrade it, so you may want to ensure your devices are well taken care of. Also, the unit calls for a grounded AC receptor or a separate earth ground. This is because grounding through any power cord alone will not work well.

NAD is transparent enough with all the features of their products. They have included all the information on the backside of the chassis. There is a main switch directly below the junction of the power cord. Many users go for the standby mode button on the front side and never realize the mains switch, hence it remains more of a ‘vacation switch.

Using standby mode will help you save a lot of power when you are not playing any music. The device draws less than 1 watt of power in this mode. To me, this is new to the V2 versions of the C 316BEE series. I have never seen any other component that draws such conservative electrical power in the stand mode. And for a year, NAD has never shied away from displaying the green printed logo next to the mains. 

There is more at the back of the C 316BEE V2. It may not be of much significance, but the amp comes with the usual warning and hazard labels. The specific designation of design and manufacturing locations is all presented in black and white. It is designed and assembled at companies’ international headquarters in Ontario, Canada. Nevertheless, it follows NAD’s strict specifications in China. Such information losses are detrimental as time goes by. I recall the last time I even looked at such info. And perhaps in the future, it will be viewed more negatively. 

Near the back panel center, there is one set of right and left five-way binding posts. Perhaps the company has tried to save more on adding a set of speaker outputs. But the truth is, most consumers only run one set of speakers on the amp. Another reason for this design could because consumers don’t understand the minimal speaker impedance for using any speaker. The NAD 316BEE v2 is rated with a minimum of 4 ohms out of the single pair of its speaker output.

To the far end, you get the moving magnet phono stage input. It is characterized by two pairs of line-level inputs that are color-coded with and white for easy identification. Also, these inputs correspond with the front panel in a mirrored approach. In other words, the input jacks are all set in perfect alignment.

Other notable features

There are a few refines on the aesthetics that are not on the previous version. They are all a bonus that serves the best functionality needs. First, the venting has been upgraded, though many will not notice it. They are still confined to the four rows running from front to back. However, in the V2, they are further subdivided into eight rounded segments. This means you no longer have to work with the previous version. The chassis has been tightened using eight recessed hex-head screws. This makes it more secure.

There are not many changes in the middles. Even with the inclusion of a phono, it has been relabeled to read ‘phono’ instead of a disc. Another change comes with the rounded edges that sweep a smooth radius around the sides of the V2. This was not in the previous version, and it never looked right. The controls haven’t changed either. It comes with the bass, treble and balanced knobs in the same position, and a ‘Defeat’ button. The volume control has been upgraded for better sensitivity. A simple toggle of this button gets you through other features.

Sound

NAD C316BEE Integrated Amp
NAD C316BEE Integrated Amp

I have always been very keen on how amplifiers sound. And the NAD 316BEE V2 did not disappoint. My connection to the U-Turn Orbit Basic produced a high-quality noise-free sound.

This c 316bee turned out to be more open to and detailed across different dynamics. The phono stage works nicely with grace, speed, and immediacy. The NAD c 316BEE is everything you can ask for in such a device. Nad electronics has built an incredible power output and inputs using 40 watts per channel for amazing sound quality for their 316bee model.

For speakers, I used the NAD 316BEE V2 integrated amp with the KEF Q100s, and it paired immediately. The music that came out was much livelier than I had initially thought. The digital domain does not disappoint either. I connected my Marantz SA8001 CD player and realized this amp could be in a higher class of products. The sound clarity was amazing. It comes with an inbuilt headphone amplifier that produces rich bass and distinct vocals. All instruments came out as clear when listening to the recording.

Pros

  • Incredible design
  • Phono stage
  • Simple functions
  • Stereo integrated 40 watts per channel
  • Amplifier nad is a reputable brand

Cons

  • It does not have the transparency of the best product

Verdict

A lot is happening in the world of integrated amplifiers today. NAD is one of the top manufacturers that have been serving the market for a long time and their rights reserved since 1972 . And their C 316BEE V2 does not disappoint. It comes at the same price as its predecessor, but offers more value for the money spent. It has improved on their functionality offering better volume control specs, remote control access and premium sound stage to block out noise and make this a surround sound system.