NAD C 368


Integrated amplifiers

The new NAD’s Classic series C-368 multimedia center is claimed to be designed from scratch, which means it is not a re-iteration of any previous model.  NAD focuses on a commercial user with its impressive array of analogue and digital connectivity, yet it delivers surprisingly smooth, powerful and refined sound for any low-budget audio fan.

Function and form

Ease of use

The NAD C-368 amplifier is built around the company’s proprietary “PowerDrive” circuit. The thinking behind this topology is straightforward – the circuit senses the operating conditions (voltage and amperage) of the output stage and decides on-the-fly which of the two windings of the amplifier should be used to optimize either current or voltage demand from speakers. This way the PowerDrive should minimize distortion into any load. The output stage employs switching Class D Hypex UcD modules to make the C-368 greener – at the end it consumes less energy and provides 2x80W irrespective of your speakers’ specifications.

I am not going to list all the inputs and outputs of the device since there are many of them – please refer to the diagram that is attached to this review. However, to make the C 368 a real digital hub of your home entertainment system you need to invest extra money into optional boards that slide into bays at the rear: a type-B USB for connecting laptops, HDMI sockets (4K), or a Bluesound network streaming support. NAD’s BluOS creates direct link with music in all formats including FLAC, ALAC and WAV, with streaming rates up to 24bit/192kHz. An aptX Bluetooth is also available via a screw-on antenna so you can send music to a pair of wireless headphones, or receive signal from a smartphone or tablet. To make everything complete, a MM Phono preamp and a headphone preamp are also integrated.

All above makes NAD C 368 fantastically versatile amplifier/DAC, closed in a rather uninspiring dark grey case in the typical NAD style. The buttons are plastic, the remote controller is a stock one. The C 368 is half-empty inside so the amp’s size is a tax for “rack size” standardization.

Bass management


I liked two things immediately. First, the C 368 has an auto-on function, which powers on the unit from stand-by when sensing an audio signal from one of its analog or digital inputs. Second, the sound was very solid and robust right from the start.

The C 368 had a very good bass fundament that lent the sound certain robustness and heft. The slow drumming of Ringo Starr suits the NAD’s presentation very well; the thumps were quite nicely delineated and were rolling like thunder, even though their contours were slightly soft. The C 368 definitely does not lack weight but I wish it had more transient precision on lows.

Also, when I turned up the volume, the amplifier was a bit more laid-back and I missed a bit of life. The plus is that the sound fullness never induced listening fatigue in me.

Clarity & delicacy


The NAD C 368 surprised me with a nice sense of air and ambience. It was there like a ‘halo’ around instruments and voices rather than transparent crispiness, yet it succeeded to enhance my listening enjoyment. Excellent Opus 3 recordings made in a church’s ambience were expansive and breathing.

Delicate ride of brushes on cymbals in Twin Peaks soundtrack was not exactly how I was used to hear it through high end components, yet it succeeded in creating an illusion of sufficiently quick transients and sound openness, and provided enough detail for money.

Tonal accuracy

Temporal resolution

As mentioned, C 368 provided full and rich sound that inclined towards midrange sweetness. Just a little bit to give violins silky glow and lushness. As if the NAD masterfully combined Japanese sound of 90’s with the punch of modern amplifiers. Considering the questionable quality of contemporary digital recordings I think that the C 368’s voicing was a deliberate choice from designers’ team.

Spatial resolution

Soundstage width
Soundstage depth

The soundstage had very good width, depth and plasticity, I could not find any particular flaw with it.

It shrank a little bit when I used NAD C 368 as a DAC connected via Toslink to a CD transport, as well as when I used mp3 streaming from an iPhone. The latter, however, revealed another NAD’s strength: the constricted dynamics (and actually the constricted everything) of mp3 became very listenable. I know a lot of people with huge mp3 libraries and the C 368 seems to be the right tool to extract the best from the sound without etchiness and hardness. I only regretted that I could not test the BluOS high-resolution streaming as the unit did not have the board implemented.

There is quite a number of DAC amplifiers available in the low-tier price segment - Yamaha, Denon, Rotel, Pioneer or Vincent, to name a few. The C 368 is a very good alternative, especially due to its optional connectivity.

Price as reviewed:26 900,- Kč

Recommended resellers

Ketos Smart Media, Nupaky, +420 602 180 597

Associated components

  • Sources: C.E.C. TL-51XR, iPhone 7
  • Amplifiers: Mark Levinson No.432, Mark Levinson No. 326S
  • Loudspeakers: Revel Ultima Studio2, Dynaudio Special Forty, ATC SCM11
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Kubala-Sosna Emotion, Argento Audio Serenity & Flow
  • Power conditioning: IsoTek Titan, Argento Audio



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