HeadLine Quandary - Need More Power?!

I have a Nait XS2, FlatCap XS, StageLine S and HeadLine 2 in my system. For the last year I’ve been using the FC to power the Nait and HeadLine with power to the StageLine coming from the Nait. I recently came to the conclusion that I’m getting more benefit out of using the FC to power StageLine than using it to power my HeadLine which has pulled the later component out of the system.

I enjoy the HeadLine and I’m trying to sort out a new power supply. I appreciate that the majority of forum members will advise that I should get a HiCap DR to power the Nait but it’s out of budget (for now!) so I’m curious what members would think of using a NAPSC vs a second FC XS.

Alternatively I could abandon the HeadLine but I do enjoy it as an upgrade to the Nait’s headphone amp. Thanks in advance for any advice!

Dear Adikt
Everyone knows on the forum that the minimum to get a headline2 really singing is a supercap2 DR. Personally I have a Hicap2 non DR and it sounds excellent to me. I’ve never heard it with other supplies apart from the powered aux 2 socket of the 252 which sounds very good. I would go for a secondhand no DR Hicap if you can


I have mine powered by a NAPSC and it sounds great.


I’m sure it does and the advantage of a NAPSC is that they look the same with it being a natural partner. Hicap and Supercap are an overkill but it does sound good though


Depends on your headphones. The FC delivers higher voltage than a NAPSC. I’d exoect the FC to far outperform the NAPSC. When I used a HL2, the NAPSC sounded fine but not really enough with my Sennheiser HD800. The HCdr was miles better and not just in finesse but drive. I sespect the 3v difference accounts for a lot.

My headphones are modest, a set of Focal Elex’s from Massdrop which are basically Elex’s with some Clear bits. I don’t have a lot of experience with other “hifi” headphones (I’ve owned a couple sets of Grado’s) but I believe they’re relatively easy to drive.

Thanks for mentioning the HL2, I edited my initial post to include that detail.

The fact that it’s the same form factor as my HL2 and StageLine is a consideration for me given that space on my rack is at a premium and I could fit all three on one shelf.

See if you can find an older HC and have it serviced.
I use an Olive series HC and no complaints here, paired with the Celestee (soon to be Clear MG).


It depends on how much you use headphones and how much money you have spare! I’m sure the better PS will be a step up but for my needs a NAPSC with the HL2 is really great. Try that first?

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I am baffled by the OP’s question. In what sense is ‘more power’ needed?

All the replies mention various Naim ‘boxes’, but all supply the SAME power.

Nor can the OP’s problem be a lack of volume because, again, all the ‘boxes’ will allow the Headline the same range of volume.


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They don’t. The NAPSC supplies 3v less than the FC/HC/SC .

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A vote here for the powered socket on 552. That’s what you should get. :wink:

Flatcap and HCDR both decent alternatives.

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Not recommended by Naim - it creates an earth loop impairing overall system performance.

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Not doubting your experience but internally the Headline regulates down to 13V so it “shouldn’t” matter what the supply voltage is.

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So what is the effect of that?

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My apologies for the lack of clarity, it was a long day and there may have been some whisky involved.

To rephrase my OP, at the moment I have no way to power my HL 2 and I was asking if members would recommend a NAPSC or skip it and use a second FC XS in my system. I have no experience with the NAPSC to draw on and wasn’t sure what forum members thought of it. I also acknowledged that the most popular opinion would be skip the FC all together and add a HC DR to my system which I think is out of budget.

FWIW, I was doing some research last night and on the used market here, a FC XS is approximately 2x the cost of a NAPSC and a HC DR is 3-4x the cost.

My Headline came with a NAPSC as a complete package, which is then connected to the NAC282.

This does sound very good when I use my headphones, but then, I haven’t tried a FlatCap or HiCap.

As it is not my main source of listening, I am very happy with it.

It’s like everything associated with Naim kit, there are always upgrade options.

If your headphone listening is the main way of listening, then go with the best that you can afford and be happy with that spend.

If your headphone listening is a secondary way of listening, then go with the NAPSC and enjoy the music, spending the extra money on more music.


I thought that was true only if it’s left connected while playing the main system (which I don’t).

Thanks, I appreciate the advice.

My listening habits tend to change with the seasons. In the summer I’m outside a lot more and and my listening tends to be later in the day on headphones when the families winding down/sleeping. In the winter my listening time moves forward in the day and the headphones get used less.

Based on the feedback I think I’ll try to find a NAPSC.

It’s not ideal and affects the system including Headline. If you’re ok with that then fine, but obviously Naim don’t recommend it.