Headphones to suit Headphone output on a Nait XS 2

Dear Members,

I have been away for some time and had to re-register. No problems, I am back and happy in Naim Land once again.

Question: I share the TV/HIFI room with my wife. Which is a good thing. When Shelley is not gardening she watches Netflix (a lot). Then we retire to bed. I would so love to turn up the amp a little, though this would disturb Shelley’s sleep. I would love to sit back to some of my favourite CDs and sip a nice single malt.

Up until now I have been trying to validate purchasing a pair of Focal Utopia headphones. Though I think I have been going about it all the wrong way.

CD Player: Marantz CD-85 circa 1990. (CD player roll-off at 15kHz. My hearing tops out at 13kHz)
Amplifier: Nait XS 2 circa 2017
Speakers: Celestion SL6Si circa 1990

I was toying around with the idea of a CD player upgrade and a loud speaker upgrade. As I will possibly only allowed to use the loud speakers on rare occasions. I thought I would purchase an Audiophile headphone plus upgrade the CD player to a Naim CD5 XS.

The CD5 XS is still on the table as this does not make sound, only improves it. The loud speaker upgrade is out. I also released after a lot of research. Audiophile equipment costs in the tens of thousands if not more. I am shooting far above my weight.

Back to reality. I understand sound is personal. I thought instead of purchasing a headphone amplifier and headphones as well. Why not use what you have.

So I put it to the Forum. What headphones would be a good match for the Class “A” output of the headphone amplifier on the Nait XS 2 please? Since I am not going to spend $4,000 AUD or more on speakers. Possibly it might be wiser to invest the money into some high quality headphones that are a match for the output capabilities of the Nait XS 2 headphone output.

Starting with a clean slate and an open mind to the Forum Members experience and recommendations.

Warm regards,


P.S. I have no experience with Streamers. Location Australia with 40MB/s NBN speed rate.

I would advise against anything that will place too much of a demand on the headphone amp - so high impedance Cans like the Sennheiser HD650 are probably best avoided.

The Utopias may well be too much headphone to hang off the end of your system - probably better to re-allocate funds to the rest of the system. However, the Elears may well be a good choice. I really like them when I tried them at the factory last year - and that was just being driven from an Atom, so the NAIT xs should have no issues there. I also have a pair of Hifiman HE-400is that I use for general duties and they’re easy to drive and sound good too, but the Elears are in a different class both in build, and sound.

Otherwise, if you are sharing the same room for TV and music you might want to look at a pair of sealed headphones. They are a bit of a compromise against the open variety, but they do avoid any annoying leakage and also isolate the listener from the worst of any TV noise. Just make sure the impedance isn’t too high…


Closed headphones with low impedance (> 50 ohm) should be fine.


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I use a pair of Grado SR325e from a Nait 5si with no problems but they do leak a lot of sound and probably deserve a better headphone stage to be fair. No issues though…

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I use a pair of Shure SRH1540 closed back headphones with my XS 2 and to be fair they have been a revaluation, good base plenty of fine detail and great soundstage for a medium priced closed back and a snip at under £450 here in the UK.

They come with a spare cable, spare set of super soft and very comfortable ear pads and an industrial type hard case.
Don’t hesitate you won’t get better for the price and trust me I tried a few types from various manufacturers before taking the plunge.
Then all you have to do is sit back and enjoy.

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