Can Naim multiroom stream to other brands?

Trying to figure out a solution to a complex multiroom issue. I want to know if Naim streamers (Uniti, or ND5XS2 e.g ) can stream to other brands, for example a Kef LS50 II wireless. I suspect the Naim streaming protocol is proprietary and will only stream to other Naim products using the native protocol (please correct me if I’m wrong), but I wonder if there’s a way to stream from the Naim source using Chromecast or Airplay II. If I understand correctly, I know I can group the two devices using Airplay to play together, but I think that means I’d have to use my iPhone as the source, and I don’t want to do that; I want to use the Naim streamer as the source. Can this be done?

Nope, the Naim products are sinks/receivers only for anything but their own multi-room protocol.

If you don’t want another „common sources“ (e.g. for AirPlay 2 or Chromecast), you would have to do some tricks. The Unitis are likely pretty useless here, since they don’t have any output (apart from headphone/pre-out).
With streamer you would need some box, which takes digital-in and streams it to other devices. (Not sure, if Sonos, Yamaha, … have such a box.)

Roon… but it costs.

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Yeah. That’s what I feared. Shame there’s no common industry standard protocol. Roon won’t work for this application (going into an off grid cabin with wifi but no internet. Looks like I’ll have to go with wired. Thanks everyone.

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What do you mean as the source?

I am probably displaying my ignorance about what Naim call mulri-room here, for which I can only plead that (ignorance), but as I see it the DAC part will only output as analogue wired to an amp. The rendering stage can only send its rendered digital stream via the digital outputs (eg SPDIF). So what does it send to a player in another location only connected by network? I assume that what it is doing is getting the UPnP server in the NAS, or the remote online streaming service provider, to stream to all devices in linked rooms in unison, and synching the rendering in those devices. If that is the case the device doing the co-ordinating would have no influence on the sound quality of the music played in another room, so which device is doing the “multi room play” is irrelevant to sound quality, only the renderer and DAC in each individual room having a bearing on the sound quality fed to the amp. If my conjecture is correct, then not being able to use the Naim streamer to multi-room play to other brand devices in other rooms, instead using some other device to do the job, would make no difference to sound.

By source, I mean I want the Naim streamer as the initial control point and generator of sound (in this case, either a Uniti all in one playing to attached speakers or an ND5XS2 playing into a Nait of some sort via analog out), so one zone is basically a simple system (streamer/preamp/amp/speaker). I want the second zone to play in sync, and yes, the sound quality of the second zone will be dependent on what equipment receives the stream and converts it to analog ouput.

I just want to be able to use the Naim streamer as the source of audio signal, not use, for example, an iPhone to stream the signal to the two zones. I can’t imagine using the Tidal app on the phone to stream to an ND5XS2 using airplay is going to have the same quality as a native Tidal stream from the ND5XS2. Though I’m only speculating as I haven’t tried…

If you have no internet connection you won’t be using Tidal unless you download material onto your iPhone for offline listening. The only way that is getting to your Naim and other streamers is via Airplay of Chromecast, either of which would do multiroom.

I believe you could, by taking the computer with the Roon Core (with copies of the music) with you, or have a Core in the cabin. As you have no internet, you need local downloads anyway, and the Core does not have to be permanently online. As others have said, it costs, but it would be a solution

Thanks Chris. I knew this; I was using it as an example, but you’re right, it contradicts my original message. In reality, I will hook up a router with a USB stick in the back of it with the library on it to create a kludgy NAS, and then UPnP to the streamer, then ideally on to the secondary zone.

Would the functionality of Roon even work without internet? No metadata lookup, no algorithm to select Roon radio tracks. I suppose I could set up the core at home where I have internet, put the library on the core and have it do its metadata thing there (and presumably store that data on the core), then transport to the off grid site, but would it continue to work?

Of course functionality might me somewhat limited (it won’t be able to look up new things online), but should work. It seems there is 30 days between required online checks, so depends on how long you stay in the cabin. If you put the Roon software & the music files on a laptop or Roon Rock onto an Intel NUC, which is small, you could take it with you when you go to the cabin.
I suppose the bandwidth for the license check is minimal, so if you can get any kind of internet on the phone, you might be able to do it through that.

Remember that the reason for Roon needing a Core is in part that the metadata needs to be local for quick access. Once downloaded, it works e.g. also when internet is out temporarily in a home installation. I suppose home users would be pretty pissed off if their Roon stopped working completely whenever the home internet has an outage.

E.g. a post on the Roon forum:

dylan Roon Staff: Technical Support
Roon does require you to periodically connect to the internet or it’ll log you out after some time, but that time is many weeks. As long as Roon is able to access the media on the NAS with your setup you’ll be able to use Roon without an internet connection for the trade show.

The question was regarding a NAS, if you have everyone local on the machine where Roon runs, that works as well, of course.


Geoff_Coupe Community: Moderator
If the internet is down for more than 28 days, indeed you have nothing. However, if the internet is down temporarily, then Roon will still play music that you have in local storage. No streamed albums, obviously, and you won’t get “Recommended for you” or New Releases For You", but Roon will still run.

danny Roon Labs: COO
Roon requires an internet connection. At the moment you can go offline for about 30 days – this is mostly driven by metadata licensing requirements.

For example, we must report to copyright authorities every month on how many lyrics have been viewed, and which lyrics those are. It’s so that royalties can be paid to the lyrics authors. I guess we could turn off lyrics if you don’t have internet access, but that is lame.

It is not on our roadmap to change this requirement.

When it does have internet, it checks every day. So if you unplug it and take it with you, it should work for 30 days:

danny Roon Labs: COO

that happens every day you do have internet.

Just start Roon the day before you go to your cabin.

It’s not hard at all… the number could be changed easily to 60 days, 90 days, 365 days, or even 5000 days. Difficulty in implementation is not the point. Roon has never had a long-term (defined as 30 days) offline solution – if you require more than 30 days without internet, Roon is not what you need. This is not something we are considering to change.

Naim streamers have a UPnP server built in, so you would probably be better off connecting a USB drive to it directly. It can then serve music files to other streamers. The only thing it can’t do is play them in sync as the multiroom thing only works with other devices of the same brand.

I may be missing the point here but why not set up your own LAN at the cabin? A router and some Ethernet cable linking the rooms should work with your setup.

He has wifi there, which is a LAN. He still needs compatible software and devices that can send and receive data in a multi-room setup. Of course ChrisSU is right, if there is no simultaneous multi-room required

Does it have to be a 2nd system? (E.g. because you want to use it independently as well?)
Any chance, a 2nd set of speakers (with or without power-amp as separate or powered-speakers; depending on primary system) would do the “trick”?

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