How good a streamer does one need for online streaming services

Hi Folks,

I am setting up a new system for the family that is going to integrate the tv with a 2 channel naim streaming system and am wondering how good a streamer I really need if I am not going to be using local files on a nas or otherwise. It will only be used for Spotify and possibly Tidal or Qubuz although Spotify is the only one we are currently subscribed to.

I don’t want to invest more than I need to in order to make the most of these streaming services and thought that perhaps a second hand uniti may be adequate as I haven’t bought the amplification yet. Perhaps separates can still do these services justice, I just don’t know.

I get the idea that Tidal flac is not quite as good as locally ripped files so no doubt there is a level of quality in streamers where this becomes an issue below which the difference is not noticeable and I am wondering what level of streamer this would be?

Any enlightenment you can provide would be appreciated.

Kind regards.

ND5XS2 will do the trick.

1 Like

Hi @Thetan . You really need to give more information, particularly on budget. Of the streaming services you mention, I only use Qobuz, but that can be spectacularly good, with sound quality at a level to justify use with top grade Naim kit. Buying second hand is generally a good idea with Naim as is talking to a dealer.


Would a mu-so 2 be sufficient? You can connect the tv via hdmi, and use Spotify/tidal/qobuz.

In my experience the sound quality from Qobuz is excellent and often virtually indistinguishable from local files. As such, I don’t think use of Qobuz is itself a basis for downgrading the streamer below what your budget otherwise would permit. I use Qobuz exclusively in my secondary system/residence with a ND5 XS 2 and find it very enjoyable.

Ok thanks for the ND5x recommendation. That’s helpful.

Thanks Peakman, good point on the budget I should have said something about that. £3000 would be the ceiling.

Thats good news on Qubuz - I didn’t appreciate the quality of the service was that good. I will do a trial with it when I get a streamer.

Thanks for info.

Thanks for the suggestion Robert but I am planning to drive a set of floor standing speakers with this system.

+1 for ND5XS2

1 Like

Hi JanW, thanks for your pointer. Much appreciated.

+1 for ND5 XS2 but be aware there is quite a wait for new. Possibly track down a recent model through a dealer?

Despite redundant pre-amp functions my dealer thinks the Atom HE sounds clearly better than the ND5 XS 2. A couple of hundred quid more in cost but I would definitely do a head to head comparison if possible. The ‘standard’ (non-HE) Atom costs the same and would remove the need for any amplification and like the HE version has several inputs although will not sound quite as good.

1 Like

… add a nap 100 or a 140, job done.

That’s an interesting suggestion - I was not even aware of the HE version. Thanks.

Ok. Got you. Simple system.

I can see the original NDX comes up for sale quite a bit. How does it compare to the ND5 xs? I know the new generation have a new platform that is future proof but what does this really give one? What does it give someone who is simply using online streaming services?

What does the family want?
A simple easy to use one box solution perhaps plus speakers.
Your budget is £3000 plus amplification plus floor-standing speakers - that’s potentially a hefty amount.

Do you need to connect a DVD/Blu-Ray and/or cable/Sky box etc.?
Are you streaming movies?

I suggest that, if possible, you also visit a dealer to acquaint yourself with to all the latest streaming possibilities - Qobuz (the best), Internet Radio and localfiles/nas (maybe the family want to play their music).
You can then think about a solution as I suggest trying to select a stand-alone streamer first is a bit premature.

P.S. Avoid early Naim streamers.

Thanks for your interest.

Yes a simple - easy to use system that women and non hifi types can use.

The £3000 budget I mentioned earlier was for the streamer or better still streamer amp combo. Speakers and tv in addition to that. Sorry if that was vague.

The tv will me a smart tv with streaming movies from Netflix, apple, Amazon etc and the signal will presumably come straight from there. No disc players involved. Streaming music also but on from the likes of qubuz - no nas

I was originally thinking that a uniti nova might be a good option as the hdmi facility would probably make the tv, as a source signal more reliable and provide better sound quality. Also the 80 watts would probably help make a stab at movie type bass when using two front speakers.

There must be a significant difference between the older naim streamers and the newer ones for you to advise avoiding them. Would the improvements be relevant for the type of system I am putting together?

There’s a ND5 XS2 for sale on PFM at the moment

Hi and thanks for that. I just sighed up for that forum. I am not really familiar with getting around it. How do I find the item?