The NAD C338 integrated amplifier is a compact integrated amplifier which offers an outstanding performance for a product of this range. It has a relatively common shape and a unique gray finish specific to the manufacturer. You will either love it or hate it… but it is a plain and quality product.
The front panel of the NAD C338 integrated amplifier includes a voluminous potentiometer, two push buttons to select the sources, and an equalization button which increases the basses of a few dB. In the center a display screen indicates the volume and selected source. There is also a 6.5mm jack headphone output. The back of the NAD C338 integrated amplifier offers multiple connections: two optical digital inputs, two coaxial digital inputs, two stereo RCA inputs, and a MM phono input ! The manufacturer has even added a LFE output for a subwoofer.
The digital inputs are compatible with the PCM stream to 24 bits/192 kHz. It comes with 3 antennas which have to be screwed to on? the back panel. Two of the antennas are dedicated to the WIFI connection and the third antenna is for the Bluetooth connection. There is also a speakers output (stereo) that accepts banana plugs, stripped cables, and forks. The power is modest but sufficient with 50 true watts and a type D amplifier.
In order to resolve the weaknesses and compatibility issues between different streaming services, NAD has decided to integrate a universal streaming technology offered by google called “Chromecast” into the C338 amplifier. The main interest of the Chromecast technology is that it is directly integrated into other online music applications. In addition, the audio stream does not go through the tablet, phone, or computer that manage the amplifier. Indeed, it is the NAD C338 integrated amplifier that connects itself to the server to stream music. It achieves this without decreasing quality.
The reproduction is loyal to the NAD products: dynamic, precise, and relatively neutral. We discover that the sound is neutral even on speakers that are difficult to drive. There is a very good tonal balance. It does not underline any range nor does put forward the medium high, like it is often the case concerning type D amplifiers. On the contrary, it is relatively soft in the middle of the spectrum and offers an articulate and controlled bass without any dynamic compression. The phono input is totally exploitable. We obtained excellent results with a simple REGA Planar 1 manual vinyl turntable.
The NAD C338 integrated amplifier is an unquestionable success. It makes it easy and efficient to stream music and the musicality is unquestionable. It is the “small” Swiss knife of the manufacturer. The NAD C338 integrated amplifier does almost everything and comes at an unbeatable price. Highly recommended!
EISA Award - Best value amplifier - 2017/2018 Franck
Power: 2 x 50 watts (THD 0.01%, 2 channels into 4 or 8 Ohms)
Power supply: switch mode
Amplification: type D (Hypex UcD)
Frequency response: 20 Hz - 65 kHz
Harmonic distortion (DHT): 0.01%
Intermodulation distortion (IMD): 0.01%
Signal-to-noise ratio: < -92 dB (1 W into 8 Ohms)
Signal-to-noise ratio: < -104 dB (50 W into 8 Ohms, Maximum volume)
Compatibility: DLNA, UPnP
Radios Internet : yes
Spotify connect: yes
Google cast: yes
ADP4 Bluetooth compatible aptX: yes
Control application: yes
EQ bass: yes
Optical digital input: 2
Coaxial digital input: 2
RCA stereo input: 2
Phono input: 1MM
LFE output for subwoofer: 1
Headphone output: 1 x 6.35 mm jack
Speakers output: 1 per speaker
Dimensions : 435 x 10 x 285 mm
Weight: 4.85 kg
Standby consumption: 0.5 watts