HDX on/off/shutdown & WAV v FLAC

Hi All,

I have decided to give the Naim Brand a try with “pre owned” an HDX CD/Ripper.(2TByte)

One very simple question relates to powering the unit on/off.

I know if I press and hold the front switch, then the unit will power down and I need to use the power switch on the back to re-boot it.

My question is “Is there a standby” type function ? and if so how do you operate it ?

I also notice that Naim seem to prefer WAV rather than Flac when ripping, has anyone noticed any difference?
Kind Regards


Hi Alan,

You’d have to check the manual, but I always shut the HDX down via the remote, which leaves the unit still powered up, and only use the rear power switch if I’m going to be away from home, and am shutting down the entire system.

As to standby mode, again, the manual should clarify this, but I have the impression that it goes into “sleep” mode when unused for a period of time which I think you can configure in “settings”

I’m quite possibly talking total bollox, for which I apologise, but the manual should reveal all.

Yes Naim ‘prefer’ WAV, but be careful on HDX as it rips WAV files in a way thats unique to Naim & they can’t be played on non-Naim devices. Also a Naim-WAV ripped file cannot be converted to the standard WAV format easily; first it will have to be converted in the HDX to FLAC, then the FLAC file can be exported & the converted on a computer with suitable software to WAV or any other file type

HDX is designed to left on, as it is also meant to be network server.
Most of Naim gear is not to be switched off either for that matter.

The HDX was designed long before the current EU rules on standby/network standby were bought in, so it won’t have the same energy efficient modes.
If you only intend to use the HDX as a player with its own DAC, or into a Naim streamer, you can leave your CD rips as WAV.
If you want to reduce file size to save space, or if you ever move the CD rips to a different device, you should convert them to FLAC on the HDX first. As WAV, they will play perfectly on any other device, it’s just that the metadata may not be readable. To my ears, the difference between WAV and FLAC is very small but noticeable. You can try it with one or two albums, and if you don’t like it, just convert them back to WAV.

The HDX was designed long before the current EU rules on standby/network standby were bought in, so it won’t have the same energy efficient modes.

True - but it’s not really going to use a lot of power when standing-by either :slight_smile:

Hi namesake Alan (although I’m posher than you since I have 2 ‘l’ :slight_smile:
Never had an HDX but have had a UnitiServe (US) for many years which is very similar.

As you can see from my own topic on the forum, I have finally changed my US to rip in FLAC and have also endcoded all my existing rips to FLAC.

My reasoning is that the US and HDX are fairly old tech and Naim has used its own internal and proprietary database within the units for tagging all the music. In preparation for having to replace my US at some time and moving on in the rapidly changing digital domain, I have decided to use the FLAC encoding so that all metadata can be embedded within the FLAC file and easily moved to other devices in the future.

Personally I have not heard a difference between wav and flac but then these ears are getting a little older now :smiley:

I am sure you will enjoy your HDX, my US has given me years of musical engagement,

No, but probably still more than current regulations would permit. Of course, they only apply to new products.

Huh??? WAV is WAV. I can play any WAV file off my HDX on any other device that plays WAV files. Now the associated information (cover art, song names, etc) may be unique to the HDX format but the actual WAV file is universal.

I think Mike just means that the metadata can’t always be read, but yes, the WAVs are just like any others. For example, I copy mine to a USB stick for my car, which allows me to browse and select by artist, album and track name, which is as much as I want when driving.

Naim package the metadata separately & not to the Microsoft/IBM original standard. Yes they can be played, but not on everything. They won’t play if you download them to a NAS, you will need to first convert them to FLAC on the HDX & then convert back to WAV using something like dBpoweramp after you’ve moved the FLAC files over to the NAS.

Hi All,
Thank you for the replies, most informative. For the record (No pun intended) I am using my HDX as local storage for my CD collection. One further question, I know you can backup the unit to a NAS drive, but could you back-up to a USB drive attached to the HDX.


The automatic backup requires a NAS, not a USB drive. I find it works very well, and would suggest that it’s worth the hassle of getting it set up.
If you really wany to use a USB drive you could put one in a computer and manually copy from the HDX drive. (I don’t know if any third party backup software would work here as I’ve never tried.)

I’d just drag the files over from HDX to an external drive.
And onto my favourite topic - back ups - one can never have too many.

Assume that any hard-drive will fail and plan for that. Keep multiple copies of the same, ideally in anit-magnietic containers, not attached to any network.

The problem with just “dragging and dropping” is that it’s easy to miss new files you might add. The easy, more foolproof way is for automatic, incremental back-ups to a NAS drive.

If you try to copy the whole lot each time, your computer should give you the option of only adding any new or changed files. Still, it’s easy to forget, and I’m not sure that a restore from backup would be possible from a USB drive. That would be a manual copy too, which the MQ folder might not like, and wouldn’t include any playlists you had made either.

When I moved from HDX to NDS plus NAS I had the opportunity to really listen to WAV vs FLAC back to back and decide how to build my new database. The difference was subtle but on balance WAV was perhaps slightly warmer as far as I recall. To my ears it was not night and day which I preferred, although Paul Stephenson (ex Naim CEO) posted on the same thread he felt it was more clearcut in favour of WAV…Anyway I decided that the metadata issue was more important than the very slight difference so chose to convert everything to FLAC and have used that for everything since.

Only your ears will tell you for sure


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I have a HDX, which now is in repair (for a looot of money…). New HDD, which costs silly (apparently the software licenses…)…I will sell it afterwards and go for a more stable product (had several problems with the HDX). Which leads me to the suggestion of ripping to FLAC, as the HDX will fail some day and then you’re stuck to the Naim-tagged WAV as I am now :wink:

All in all a great product though…but it’s basically an old computer and they fail rather sooner than later…

Many UPnP servers, including HDX/Unitiserve, Asset and Minimserver, can transcode FLAC to WAV ‘on the fly’ so you can have your cake and eat it!

Indeed. That could be the case.

I have a habbit of manually copying my entire library every now and then (in addition to making incremental back-ups whenever I buy something new).