5italic & speaker ‘pop’; how to eliminate?

Forgive me if this has been asked; looking for a way to get rid of the snap, crackle, pop when firing up the amp.

Rather not leave it on. Can’t be any good to the speakers to my ears…

Thanks in advance all…

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I don’t know about your specific amp, but it is typical of Naim amps to do that. It shouldn’t do any harm to the speakers. The general Naim advice is to leave it on 24x7 which most of us do. This also gives max SQ as it is always warm and ready. You wont get rid of the pops unless Naim redesign their amps, and accept a lower SQ as a result. Naims main intention is always SQ, and this is just a consequence that we accept.

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This from a local respected tech with decades in the biz…

“Don’t leave your Naim or anything on all the time. This is a very poor practice encouraged by some who had a reason because their amplifiers had two design problems (early Bryston), and many extremely misguided individuals who think they understand how things work (they don’t). Most audio equipment properly designed works properly at best performance within minutes of turning on. The worst will take 15 minutes. Anything beyond that will never stabilize and I can guarantee you there are serious design issues with that stuff.”

Makes sense to me…. Ought to be a way to isolate the speakers at start up. Looking into that now

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Well in this case it’s not misguided individuals but Naim who says “keep it on”. Of course you can turn it off anyway.

There is a way to isolate the speakers, it’s called an output relay that brings the speakers online only after the amp has stabilized. However, Naim does not include one in the circuitry because it does definitely not help the sound and might be detrimental. (Also it’s one more thing that can break).

You don’t say how loud the pops are. Soft pops are normal and not harmful as stated in the manual. (Obviously can’t be harmful if music is louder). Very loud pops should not happen

Perhaps we need a poll?

Is Naim gear designed by

a) “a local respected tech with decades in the biz”, or

b) “many extremely misguided individuals who think they understand how things work (they don’t)”


Personally, I don’t like the pop it makes, and prefer to turn OFF the boxes when not in use. But as recommended by the manufacturer, I feel they know best. Also, I personally think they sound better when left ON and “warmed up” whenever I want to play music. So, I just leave the boxes turned ON except when I go on holiday (which nowadays I don’t), and when there is a thunderstorm.

In life, everything has pros and cons. Naim is no exception, their products do have its quirks. It’s just a matter of deciding whether it’s acceptable to you or not. To me, the pros out way the cons.

Perhaps you’d be better off buying a brand designed by people who do ‘understand how things work’ instead of Naim?

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Hm. Nowhere in my manual does Naim recommend leaving this or any other amplifier on 24-7.

If I’m missing this somehow please refer to the pertinent section.

The sound is a pronounced sharp pop on power-up, and a much softer one power-off.

All with volume turned off, muted…

I guess I could unplug the speakers at power up then select a source? A less than graceful workaround agreed.

I’ll add it’s not a problem I’ve had to deal with on my venerable Cyrus 1 from 1986.

Meanwhile I’ve reached out to Naim themselves for a solution. I’m not sufficiently reassured that this issue won’t harm the superb speakers I’m using, Monitor Audio SE 25th Anniversary minitowers, last of the UK- built MAs.

Less than helpful.

Where does Naim recommend the amp or anything else be left on 24-7?

Not to be found in my copy of the manual.

Please show me in the manual where it is recommended that this or any other piece of Naim is to be left on 24-7.

Section 3-3 describes leaving on and 3-2 relates to your power-on thump. I think this manual includes your amp, mine are so old that they’re not in here, so I’m not certain about this being the right one.

Can’t find the Nait 5i manual online, but this is from the 5si and all amps have the same in the manual:

Granted that it dos not say 24/7, but it does say “long periods” and the fact that the 5i model have the on/off switch at the back is a hint :slight_smile:
As I said above it is not an absolute requirement, feel free to turn it off every time, not a problem either.

If your pop is not exceedingly loud, it is not a problem. As stated, it is possible to avoid it by adding a relay to the output, put Naim decided otherwise.

I do agree that dealers should point this out. If a person feels that the popping is more important than the music, Naim is not for them. That’s fine too.


I think the fact that the term “long periods” is preceded by “the sound may continue to improve for over a month” is pretty much advice to leave it on at all times if possible. Mine only gets switched off for holidays and thunderstorms.
Personally I’d follow the written advice in the manual over some local tech guy.


The advice to keep it on came from my Naim dealer 22 years ago, and my kit has been on and working ever since. It also seems to be the advice from other Naim dealers, so by all means check with who you got your from.

Are you powering up the power amp last? If not then you should.

If yes. And you get the noise, the only way of avoiding is connecting the speakers after everything else is powered up. Many amps have internal relays that do just that. Decades ago when I had a home assembled amp that didn’t, I built in a switch that I operated a few seconds after power on. You can build your own relay delay switch - a quick internet search will find circuits, and last time I looked there were pre-built units you could buy.

Yes, always. It’s been mentioned that this issue is less pronounced on the XS & SN….

You’d do well to ignore it. I found my way to this forum trying to identify and resolve the pop from my then new 5i amp and in less than 10 years have ended up with a ridiculous audio system, mainly through finding out on here what’s next. Run away, while you still can. Your finances will be much the better for it.

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Not to worry. For the better part of 35 years the same Cyrus1 I bought new in ‘86 has been my main stereo. It’s still doing it’s thing in the office…

If an XS or SN doesn’t have this quirk I’ll consider one of those eventually. Meanwhile, leaving it on is what we are going with here…. Not wanting any potential harm to come to the remarkable MA SE minitowers… tough to replace those.

The “pop” has never been known to damage speakers. All Naim amps do it so whether you have a Nait 5i or a NAP250, it is an idiosyncrasy of Naim. Upgrading won’t change that.