Digital Source Suggestion

Hi all,

I have a loudspeakers system formed of Focal Aria 926s connected to Naim Supernait 2 then Naim DAC. nDAC is connected to my LG C2 TV as a source temporarily. I am missing a good digital source.

I am thinking of ordering a ND5 XS2 and bypassing its internal DAC but since I have already invested for a good DAC, spending a significant amount of money to a network player with DAC seems unreasonable to me.

As far as I know Naim don’t produce digital streamers. But I want to buy a good digital streamer that also sounds good with Naim products. I have found Lumin U2 mini within my budget but it is made in China and I don’t know how it sounds with Naim.

I would love to learn your opinions. Thanks in advance!

I’d just get an ND5 XS 2, and enjoy the related benefits such as integration (control the amp and source from one remote).

Upgrades often bypass included features in all sorts of products. Naim’s external power supplies bypass the included power supplies in a number of products, for example, so it’s not without precedent.

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The nDAC is a great match with the ND5XS2.

The nDAC excels with a good transport.


Quite a few on here use tje Lumin with Naim so it’s probably fine. Ditto the DCS Network Bridge and Auralic Aries.

Depends on how much you want to spend. An Ifi Zen Stream costs peanuts and will add all the streaming functionality you’re likely to need. I use one with a decent DAC and don’t regard it as a mismatch.

You could also evaluate moving the nDAC on and replacing it with an NDX2. While the nDAC is a better DAC, the NDX2 is superb high end solution to both your needs.


I agree, the ND5XS2 is the obvious thing to get, and will fit in nicely. It’s perhaps worth pointing out that the player does not have a remote, which means that it and the SN volume cannot be controlled with one remote. However, both ND and SN can be controlled using the Naim app.


Oh yes of course! Thanks

Perhaps it’s good to realise that the DAC will make a far bigger difference than the Streamer itself. So by using the nDAC you’re pretty much certain it will sound “Naim” whichever streamer you choose. So I wouldn’t worry too much on that front, although it’s of course always wise to audition.

Other than that note, I’m not familiar with anything around your budget, so can’t recommend anything specific.

I have a Lumin P1 into a SN3 + HiCap DR and it sounds fantastic, so no problem with mixing Lumin and Naim. If you can demo the Lumin U2 Mini, especially at home if possible, I think you will be impressed with its sound quality, noting that Lumin design in Hong Kong but build in their dedicated factory in China. Their reliability is very good if you are concerned about that and their Control App is excellent also.

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If you just want to start streaming then these are great low cost options without going diy:
Cambridge audio mxn10 £450
NAD cs1 £299
Bluesound node £549
All 3 will quite happily feed your ndac.

I ran a U2 Mini with my old nDAC (+252DR+300) for a couple of months now until I sold the system. Excellent in sound and function. But I think the ND5XS2 would be a better match, at least visually. Streamers do sound different (due to clocks, noise) so you may want to listen but I doubt the ND5XS2 would disappoint you. There are some good lower-cost ones like the Holo Audio RED but then you need to be careful to check you get the streamer-functions you need.

I’d recommend an Auralic Aries G1.1 it’s not cheap but not crazy priced either. It’s made in china and very hi quality. I’ve been using the G1 for several years and it’s been outstanding


Node 2 or Aries G1. Both good value for sq imo.

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I know it’s not true to directly relate how good a streamer is and its price but i had a thought like a streamer that costs similar to a streamer with dac might be higher-end since a good quality dac is not cheap.

So, let’s say ND5 XS2 (DAC bypassed) vs Lumin U2 mini for example, afaik they are in the same price range. Should I expect Lumin to be more noise-free or built with higher quality clocks etc?

Unfortunately Auralic is hard to find in my country. Also I was looking for cheaper ones too. My first options were Bluesound Node, WiiM Mini or Argon Solo Streamer, I would bypass their DACs. But I assume paying the extra for Lumin or ND5 XS2 is worth it (I am still not sure, but I assume). I will ask for a demo maybe.

It also depends on how you are going to stream, as if its from the internet via Qobuz, Tidal etc that may focus your choice because Naim and Auralic streamers do not process Tidal Hi-Res MQA tracks where as Bluesound Node and Lumin U2 Mini will, so make sure your streaner will stream what you want.

I was just going to ask the same question. At least to some extent, your decision should be driven by the source of your music, i.e. streaming services (if yes, which one (s)), local files and/or Roon etc. Make sure you have a look at the streamer‘s specifications and it supports the services you want to use.

I will mostly stream from Tidal, and probably sometimes I will use Airplay 2 to stream from my iPhone/iPad. MQA is not something I am a fan of, but still having it would be nice. I would also like to have UPnP streaming.

I am thinking of connecting my TV too, but it can be handled in nDAC level, so it’s not a big issue.

For a digital bridge (DAC-less streamer) the Hermes from Sonnet Audio is superb. I have two, one feeding a Metrum Pavane DAC into a SuperNait2. The second feeds a Resonnessence Mirus Pro DAC into a 252/SuperCapDR, 250 system.

Another standout is the Emerson digital bridge, from Wattson Audio. At the Montreal Audio show a week ago, two of the best sounding systems were using the Emerson.

Both are around the price range of the Lumin U2 mini.

Seeing as you already have a nice DAC, you could look at a Tesco Value option like a Chromecast Audio. Archimago wrote a couple of blog posts on them a few years back -

I used the above back when I was still using streaming services. Now I use a Raspberry PI loaded with Moode Audio software which supports Airplay, Bluetooth and UPNP amongst other things

I originally used a Sonos Connect with my Naim nDAC which worked well. However, I upgraded the streamer to a Cambridge Audio CXN v2 a few years ago. I use the digital output into the DAC. There was a significant improvement to the sound. This shows that the nDAC sensitive to the quality of digital input. I have found the StreamMagic app used with the CXN is very easy to use and integrates well with Tidal etc. I suspect that the Naim ND5 XS2 would work very well, but I am not sure about spending £2,500 just for the streaming platform and not using the DAC. I think it would require a listen to both options before making a decision.

I use a Primare NP5 - I think it’s the same streaming board used in some of their full size gear. Pretty small and inconspicuous, works fine.

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