NAD CI980: Elevating Audio Performance to New Heights


In today’s world of advanced technology and immersive audio experiences, having a high-quality sound amplifier is essential for any audio enthusiast or professional installation. Whether you’re setting up a home theater system, a multi-room audio setup, or a commercial sound installation, the right amplifier can make all the difference in delivering exceptional sound quality.

In this review, we will be diving into the world of hifi sound amplification and exploring the features and performance of the NAD CI980 amplifier. NAD, a renowned brand in the audio industry, has crafted this amplifier specifically for professional installations, offering eight channels of powerful amplification for a variety of applications.

The importance of high-quality sound amplification cannot be overstated. A good amplifier enhances the audio signal, providing clean power to drive speakers and ensuring accurate reproduction of music and other audio content. It allows you to experience the full range of frequencies with clarity and precision, immersing you in an audio experience like no other.

Whether you’re a music lover seeking to create an incredible listening environment or a professional installer looking for a reliable and versatile solution, the NAD CI980 promises to deliver exceptional performance and functionality. Let’s delve into its technical specifications, design elements, functionality, sound characteristics, and overall value for money to see if it truly lives up to its reputation as a top-notch hifi sound amplifier.

Technical Specifications

The NAD CI980 amplifier is a powerful and versatile multi-channel amplifier designed for professional installations. It offers 8 channels of amplification with a power output of 50 Watts per channel at 8 Ohms, providing ample power for each zone. In bridge mode, it can deliver 120 Watts at 8 Ohms, allowing for even greater flexibility in system configuration.

When it comes to sound quality, the NAD CI980 excels with its impressive signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 80 dB. This means that the amplifier produces a clean and clear sound with minimal background noise or distortion. With a total harmonic distortion (THD) of only 0.03%, the audio reproduction is faithful and accurate, ensuring an immersive listening experience.

The amplifier features multiple inputs and outputs to accommodate various audio sources and devices. It includes 5 analog RCA inputs and outputs, providing connectivity options for different audio components. The NAD CI980 supports a wide range of audio formats, allowing you to enjoy your favorite music in high fidelity.

In terms of frequency response, the amplifier covers a range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, capturing both the deep bass frequencies and the crisp highs with precision. It is capable of driving speakers with different impedance levels, making it compatible with a variety of speaker setups.

Overall, the technical specifications of the NAD CI980 demonstrate its capability to deliver powerful and high-quality audio performance. Whether you are setting up a multi-room audio system or need a reliable amplifier for professional installations, this amplifier offers the versatility and performance required to elevate your listening experience.

Design and Construction

The NAD CI980 amplifier boasts a sleek and modern design that is sure to complement any professional installation. Its black color adds a touch of sophistication to its overall appearance. The amplifier is constructed using high-quality materials, ensuring durability and longevity.

One notable design feature of the NAD CI980 is its efficient cooling system. The built-in low-noise fans effectively dissipate heat, preventing overheating and ensuring optimal performance even during prolonged use. This feature is crucial for maintaining the amplifier’s reliability and longevity.

In terms of reducing interference, the NAD CI980 incorporates advanced shielding technology. This helps to minimize any unwanted noise or distortion, resulting in a clean and pure audio signal.

The connectors and switches on the NAD CI980 are of excellent quality. The removable Phoenix-type speaker terminals provide a secure and reliable connection for your speakers. These terminals ensure a solid and stable connection, minimizing any potential signal loss or degradation.

Furthermore, the presence of LED indicators on the front panel allows for easy monitoring of the amplifier’s status and clipping in each zone. This feature adds convenience and ensures that you can quickly identify any issues with your audio setup.

Overall, the design and construction of the NAD CI980 amplifier are top-notch. Its sleek appearance, efficient cooling system, high-quality connectors, and switches all contribute to its overall reliability and performance.


The NAD CI980 amplifier offers a wide range of functionality, making it a versatile choice for various audio setups. With its multiple connectivity options, you can easily connect different audio sources such as CD players, computers, smartphones, and more. This allows you to enjoy your favorite music from various devices without any hassle.

In terms of controls, the NAD CI980 provides balance controls and tone adjustments, giving you the flexibility to fine-tune the sound according to your preferences. Whether you prefer a more bass-heavy or treble-focused sound, this amplifier allows you to customize the audio output to suit your taste.

Additionally, the NAD CI980 offers various operating modes to cater to different needs. Whether you want to create a multi-room setup or focus on a single zone, this amplifier has got you covered. It allows for individual level adjustments for each zone, giving you precise control over the volume in different areas.

Overall, the NAD CI980 amplifier excels in terms of functionality by providing a wide range of connectivity options, balance controls, tone adjustments, and various operating modes. This ensures that you can easily connect your preferred audio sources and tailor the sound output to your liking, making it a highly functional and user-friendly amplifier.

Sound Characteristics

The NAD CI980 amplifier offers impressive sound characteristics that enhance the listening experience across various music genres. The sound quality is exceptional, providing a detailed and immersive audio performance.

One notable aspect of the sound is the outstanding instrument separation. Each instrument is rendered with clarity and precision, allowing for a truly immersive and engaging listening experience. Whether it’s a complex orchestral piece or a rock band, the CI980 amplifier ensures that every instrument stands out and maintains its individuality within the mix.

The bass response of the amplifier is powerful and well-defined. It delivers deep and punchy bass notes that add depth and impact to the overall sound presentation. The low frequencies are tight, controlled, and never overpowering, providing a solid foundation for any music genre.

In terms of treble clarity, the CI980 amplifier excels at delivering crisp and articulate high frequencies. The treble is detailed without being harsh or fatiguing, allowing for an enjoyable listening experience even during extended periods.

Overall, the sound presentation of the CI980 amplifier is balanced and natural. It accurately reproduces the original recording with fidelity and precision, ensuring that no details are lost in translation. The amplifier adds a touch of warmth to the sound signature, enhancing the musicality without sacrificing accuracy.

Regardless of the music genre being played, whether it’s classical, jazz, rock, or electronic music, the CI980 amplifier effortlessly adapts to each genre’s unique sonic characteristics. It faithfully reproduces the nuances and dynamics of each genre, allowing listeners to fully immerse themselves in their favorite music.

From delicate acoustic tracks to heavy metal anthems, this amplifier enhances every genre with its exceptional sound quality. It brings out the subtleties in classical compositions while delivering power and energy to rock and electronic genres.

In conclusion, the NAD CI980 amplifier offers outstanding sound characteristics that elevate any listening experience. With its impressive instrument separation, powerful bass response, clear treble, and overall balanced sound presentation, this amplifier is a worthy addition to any audio setup. It excels at reproducing various music genres with accuracy and musicality, making it a versatile and reliable choice for audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike.

Sound Performance

The NAD CI980 amplifier delivers an exceptional sound performance that will transport you into a captivating auditory experience. With its ability to faithfully reproduce audio signals, this amplifier ensures that every note and sound is reproduced with utmost clarity and precision.

One of the standout qualities of the NAD CI980 is its remarkable clarity. The amplifier maintains a high level of detail, allowing you to hear even the subtlest nuances in your music. Whether it’s the delicate plucking of guitar strings or the intricate layers of a symphony, the CI980 brings out every element with stunning clarity.

In terms of dynamics, this amplifier truly shines. It effortlessly handles both soft and loud passages, providing a wide dynamic range that adds depth and excitement to your listening experience. The CI980 ensures that every crescendo and decrescendo is conveyed with impactful dynamics, creating an immersive and engaging musical journey.

The tonal balance of the NAD CI980 is another aspect worth noting. It achieves a harmonious blend across different frequency ranges, ensuring that no part of the audio spectrum overpowers or gets lost in the mix. The bass is deep and controlled, while the midrange is rich and warm. The highs are crisp and detailed without any harshness, resulting in a well-balanced sound signature that pleases even the most discerning audiophiles.

Whether you’re listening to classical music, rock, jazz, or any other genre, the NAD CI980 delivers an impressive sound performance that elevates your listening experience to new heights. Its ability to accurately reproduce audio signals with clarity, dynamics, and tonal balance makes it a true powerhouse in the world of amplifiers.

With the NAD CI980, you can expect nothing short of exceptional sound quality that will leave you captivated and immersed in your favorite music like never before.


The NAD CI980 amplifier offers several advantages that set it apart from its competitors in the market. Firstly, its 8-channel design makes it ideal for professional installations, allowing for high-power audio distribution across multiple zones. This versatility is further enhanced by the ability to individually adjust the volume levels for each zone, providing customized control over the audio experience.

Another notable advantage of the CI980 is its bridgeable connection capability, which allows for the bridging of speakers in each zone. This feature increases the power output, delivering even more impactful sound to enhance the listening experience.

Furthermore, the CI980 boasts a sleek and sturdy design with a height of 2U, making it easy to integrate into any rack system. The inclusion of removable Phoenix-type speaker terminals ensures secure and reliable connections, while the included rack mounts provide convenient installation options.

In terms of functionality, the CI980 excels with its efficient cooling system utilizing low-noise built-in fans. This ensures optimal performance and prevents overheating during prolonged use.

When comparing the CI980 to other models in its price range, it stands out due to its impressive power output. With 8 channels delivering 50 watts at 8 ohms and 120 watts at 8 ohms in bridge mode, this amplifier offers exceptional performance for its price point. Additionally, the CI980 supports trigger control integration, allowing seamless integration into multi-room systems.

Overall, the NAD CI980 amplifier offers a range of advantages that make it a standout choice among competitors. Its versatile channel configuration, customizable volume control, bridgeable connection capability, robust construction, efficient cooling system, and competitive power output make it an excellent option for professional installations and audio enthusiasts alike.

Value for Money

The NAD CI980 amplifier offers exceptional value for money with its impressive performance, extensive features, and reasonable price point. When considering the amplifier’s capabilities and specifications, it becomes evident that it provides excellent value in the market.

In terms of performance, the CI980 delivers powerful and clear audio across all channels. With a maximum power output of 50 watts per channel at 8 ohms and the ability to bridge connections for even higher power output, this amplifier ensures a dynamic and immersive listening experience. The low distortion levels of 0.03% and a signal-to-noise ratio of 80 dB further contribute to the high-quality sound reproduction.

The CI980 also boasts a range of features that enhance its value proposition. The ability to operate in four different zones allows for versatile audio distribution throughout various areas. Additionally, the individual level adjustment for each zone ensures precise control over the sound distribution, catering to specific preferences or requirements.

Furthermore, the inclusion of removable Phoenix-type speaker terminals simplifies installation and maintenance processes, adding convenience to the overall user experience. The rack-mountable design with a height of 2U makes it easy to integrate into existing setups or professional installations.

Considering its technical specifications, performance capabilities, and feature set, the NAD CI980 amplifier offers exceptional value for its price. It provides a comprehensive solution for multi-zone audio installations without compromising on quality or functionality.

Whether used in residential or commercial settings, this amplifier offers an excellent balance between performance and affordability. Its competitive pricing makes it an attractive choice for both enthusiasts and professionals seeking a reliable and high-performing amplifier without breaking the bank.

In conclusion, the NAD CI980 amplifier stands out as a remarkable value for money option in the market. Its combination of powerful performance, versatile features, and reasonable pricing make it an excellent investment for anyone looking to enhance their audio setup or professional installation without compromising on quality or budget constraints.


In conclusion, the NAD CI980 amplifier is a powerful and versatile multi-channel amplifier designed for professional installations. With its 8 channels and high power output, it is capable of delivering exceptional audio performance in up to 4 zones. The individual level adjustment for each zone allows for precise control and customization of the sound.

The design and construction of the NAD CI980 are solid and reliable. The removable Phoenix-type speaker terminals ensure secure connections, while the included rack-mount brackets make installation easy and convenient. The low-noise cooling system keeps the amplifier running smoothly without any distractions.

In terms of functionality, the NAD CI980 offers a range of useful features. The ability to bridge speakers in each zone provides additional flexibility in configuring your audio setup. The LED indicators on the front panel provide clear status and clipping information for each zone, allowing for easy monitoring.

When it comes to sound characteristics, the NAD CI980 delivers impressive performance. With a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, it covers a wide spectrum of audio frequencies with clarity and precision. The signal-to-noise ratio of 80 dB ensures clean and distortion-free sound reproduction, while the low percentage of non-linear distortion (0.03%) maintains the integrity of the audio signal.

In terms of sound performance, the NAD CI980 truly shines. It delivers powerful and dynamic audio that is rich in detail and depth. Whether you’re listening to music or watching movies, this amplifier provides an immersive and engaging experience that will satisfy even the most discerning audiophile.

One of the major advantages of the NAD CI980 is its value for money. Considering its high-quality construction, impressive features, and exceptional sound performance, it offers excellent bang for your buck. It is a reliable investment that will enhance your audio setup and provide years of enjoyment.

For potential buyers, I would highly recommend the NAD CI980 if you are looking for a multi-channel amplifier that can deliver high-quality sound in multiple zones. Whether you are setting up a home theater system or a distributed audio system, this amplifier offers the power, flexibility, and performance you need.

In conclusion, the NAD CI980 amplifier is a top-notch choice for professional installations. Its impressive features, solid construction, exceptional sound characteristics, and overall value for money make it a standout option in its class. Upgrade your audio setup with the NAD CI980 and experience audio like never before.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top