Can new iPad Air affect sound via Naim app?

I’m sure I will be considered nuts but…
I replaced a very early iPad with brand new iPad Air today.
My system source is ndx2/555dr ps.
My ndx2 is directly wired from router and I use a wireless access port to send signal to my iPad. I’m using a ER regen switch.
I stream Naim radio and use Qobuz as my streaming service.
Now the new iPad functions much better - faster response and crisper visuals…all expected.
But… my system sounds better overall. That’s not possible, right?
I’m nuts, right?

Systems change in sound from day to day - or at least our ears can and do. The only way to reliably tell if the apparent change in sound is indeed due to the iPad (or anything else when changing) is blind testing. Easily done with a willing volunteer (not suggesting double blind which takes a lot more effort - it really isn’t that important). My son enjoys obliging for me, making it a challenge to try to catch me out.

Do you have your old iPad still so you can compare ?

Yes and tried it
No difference
Oh well

nuts :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


Agreed. Totally nuts :crazy_face: :joy:

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Just FYI, all the iPad does is to tell the streamer what it should play

I think what is happening is that this situation highlights how our mood and feelings can effect our overall experience. The feeling of being satisfied and pleased with something new can translate to a perceived improvement in audible experience also. It is a really interesting concept. The reward systems in the brain basically leads to a dopamine surge. The more dopamine from various pathways the more pleasing the experience.
I sometimes think of hifi upgrades like illicit drugs, the need for the same experience requires bigger doses to stimulate the same or greater experience. Only in hifi it might be a new power supply or streamer.


Exactly. So a change of iPad cannot have any effect on sound quality when used as described in the first post.



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Yes the practical, measureable influence of individual components is generally very small, but is often perceived to be big because people expect it to be.

The component with by far the highest distortion levels in a hifi system are the speakers. Most speakers will easily reach around 1% distortion when played at average volume levels.

Therefore realistically, a change in room humidity from e.g. 20% to 50%, could have a more drastic effect on sound output than swapping a £100 DAC for a £10.000 DAC, due to the effect it has on the mechanical properties of the speakers.

More air possibly?



It’s a bit like the way your car runs really well after you’ve given it a good wash & polish.


@davidf I would be similarly optimistic about all tech if I’d just bagged myself one of those new iPad Air models that look like the Pro? Well jealous, if that’s the one :rofl:. Would you recommend? Halo effect and all?

Hahaha exactly. Or feels nippier after an oil change!!

It’s certainly possible there has been some environmental change that has benefitted your system, but it won’t be down to your iPad.
The iPad or Android client simply loads an item onto the streamer’s inbuilt play list when using the Naim app … and the streamer itself then does all the hard work and pulls the media back from the server.

I’m far from convinced of that, though if cones were untreated paper/wood pulp then it could make quite a difference, but I don’t think any hifi speakers for well over half a century will have such drivers and other materials or treatments are far less susceptible to humidity. Otherwise there minor change in speed of sound, which will affect speaker port tuning as well as room nodes and comb filter frequencies (see Humidity and Sonics - #7 by Innocent_Bystander).

What humidity might do for any individual’s person’s mood or even ears may be another matter.

Yes i meant that the combination of those environmental factors could easily have a more noticeable impact on the output than the change in DAC.

For example, the Monoprice Liquid Spark DAC by Alex Cavalli costs about £100 and has a measured output distortion of around 0.0002%, with a signal to noise ratio of around 116dB at a near linear response close to 0dB.

It will be very hard to find a £10.000 DAC that performs audibly better, while retaining the same linearity.

Ofcourse an expense DAC may deliberately introduce noise or distortion which could subjectively be perceived as more pleasant, but that is a different matter.

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I live in a tropical climate and have paper coned drivers. Cant say I have noticed any difference between the wet and dry season related to humidity, although I have considered this. The drivers don’t seem to go soft like paper. They must be impregnated with something. The biggest difference comes with having the windows open in the dry season instead of closed with aircon in the wet/humid season. This seems to give a better bass response with less reverberation when all the windows are open for obvious reasons. We have 5 large windows and a sliding door in the kitchen/lounge that are open for 6 months of the year and covered by security/insect screens.

Open windows are like adding full frequency 100% effective absorbers of the various sizes and positions, and with neither neighbours to intrude upon nor external noise to allow in they can certainly have a highly beneficial effect. The very best hifi system sound I’ve ever heard was played outdoors - resulting in virtually no room effect. That is what sold me on room treatment.

Wow interesting… I might have to try this just out of interest. Did the bass not disappear?