Is the NDX2 streamer significantly better than the ND5XS2 which I have?

I am currently using the ND5XS2 with my SN3 and really like it. Is the NDX2 a vastly better streamer? It would cost me about $6500 to upgrade. Home audition in NYC is not possible.

The posts in the forum generally say the NDX2 is more sophisticated with more bass in detail, but some say the ND5XS2 has more boogie and slam and PRaT. I am concerned about the increased bass for the NDX2. My room tends to hold on to bass.

My first new purchase will be the Utopia headphones going into the SN3. Maybe I should stop there?’

Has anyone lived with both streamers for long periods?

I have both.
Originally ran the ND5 XS2 on my 282/300 system and then moved it to the 202/200 system when I purchased the NDX2.
Both are excellent, but the NDX2 is very noticeably better in all aspects.
I then added an XPS-2 DR to the NDX2 and was awestruck by the difference over the ND5 XS2.
The ND5 XS2 is still very good and is used daily in my wife’s 202/200 system.


No, the NDX2 is not vastly better. The ND5XS2 has been the sweet spot in the Naim range since its launch; it’s largely the same streamer as its way more expensive sibling, but without a screen.

Yes, adding a power supply to the NDX2 will make it awesome. But adding a HiCap to your SN3 would make your current set-up astonishing, and that’s a more cost-effective approach than buying a new streamer.

Lots of people on the forum love the NDX2. And lots of others (including me) say that SQ differences between it and the ND5XS2 are marginal at best.

Let your ears be the judge; listen to both streamers on the same system at your NYC dealer.


I have the ND5 XS2 but when I felt like an upgrade got the Chord M-Scaler and the Qutest DAC. Using the ND5 XS2 as the transport. I think a number of people on here have gone down the DAC route with their ND5 XS2s. Just a thought.


@bhoyo Thanks. I could care less about the screen. Screens and LCD selectors do not play well with my visual impairment. I am only interested in a significant improvement in SQ.

I have a hicspDR for my SN3.


I’ve had both, NDX 2 is significantly better than ND5 XS 2, as you would expect from Naim. No regrets here.


I went to my dealers to buy an ND5XS. I came out with an NDX2. My wife was with me. We always buy hifi together. She is far more objective than me. The difference between the 2 streamers is well worth the money and is far bigger than the difference between NDX2 with and without an XPSDR in our opinion. We also love the screen, but that’s just a nice little bonus. Try before you buy :+1:


It’s a bit of a read but the thread below likely holds many interesting answers to your question:


@daddycool i have no desire to add a DAC and may not even want to add a power supply. I am just trying to look at the differences in streamers.

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Fair enough, yet that thread turned into a pool of forum wisdom and opinion about the two Naim streamers ND5 XS2 and NDX2 with or without power supplies or nDAC in any combination thereof.

For future reference then perhaps during a rainy weekend @Jaybar .


Maybe consider NSS 333?

Condensed summary: stand-alone NDX2 is obviously better than NDX5 XS2 but also significantly more expensive, will be even more of both with a power supply.

Consequently members have done all the comparisons, there was no “bad” of course, but the two favourites are the ND5 XS2 > DC1 > nDAC and the NDX2 > DC1 > nDAC > 555PS combinations, as you can see both with the nDAC.

Stand-alone, the ND5 XS2 into Nait 2 and the NDX2 into Nait 50 seem to be liked for classic low-box-count systems. With PSU a common pairing is NDX2 with XPS2-DR into a SN3 with HiCap-DR.


Well said @bhoyo

I absolutely agree with this statement.
Everybody hears things differently.
Everybody’s room is different and systems vary , sometimes even using the same components.

Your Room, Your System, Your Ears!
This is without doubt the most sensible approach👍🏼


@QuickSticks Home audition in NYC is not possible. Even if there was a significant difference at the dealer, there is no guarantee that I would hear that in my system and in my room. Hence the request for user opinion.

So, amp-first members live happily with a stand-alone ND5 XS2 into a SN3 as you have.

But for SN3, if you have the budget, the partnering within that level is the NDX2, a big upgrade.

If you wish to spend less money than that and arrive at minimal the same SQ, or spend more money to better that SQ, there are the XPS and the nDAC routes, or a combination of both.


Fair enough, can’t always do it the way we want.
I gave my views above, I hope they’re of some use.
Good luck :+1:t3:

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As others have mentioned hearing the differences in a shop help if you can not get a home demo in NYC.

My streamer journey was a NAIT XS2 with a ND5 XS, then a SN 2 with first a NDX then moved to a NDX 2. Each upgrade was listening in the showroom first and then a home demo. With each upgrade I experienced an improvement in the sound.

A lot of members have the same experience as mine and a lot members have gone in a different direction. The only right answer is what are you hearing. Perhaps I am fortunate in having a dealer that provides home demos. Other dealers provide home demos with a deposit. Others have had customers purchase but a full refund if returned within 7 days. So you may be able to find a dealer if you call around.

There are a lot of discussions regarding sound quality. What I hear in my room with my system may not work and sound different for another. Room size and furnishings, windows, clean electrical power, etc. Lots of threads discussing issues to be found.

Good luck with you decision.


Despite your other thread - ‘In a long conversation with my dealer, he strongly feels there is no need to upgrade’ - it seems you have a strong desire to spend on hifi equipment, so I think you should simply go ahead and get the NDX2 which will be an improvement.


If you want to stick to a single box (no separate DAC or PSU ever) then the NDX2 will be your long term solution.

As others are posting the ND5XS2 would be a very capable transport into an external DAC.


My two penneth is as follows: I have had the nd5xs2 for a few years now I used to own a completely different system years ago naim pre power supply etc with a cdx2 and supply. Great system but I sold it all after a life change. It was always source first in the past turntable first and then cdx2 and I was always happy. Once moving to a streamer system years later I started with a 272 loved the concept but nothing was as good as my vinyl. I changed the system after falling in love with atc and accuphase and decided on the nd5xs2 it all seem to gel but there was a big difference again with digital and vinyl. The digital was just ok. But with a simply revealing system it was always going to be a problem in the end. I needed a system where the vinyl and digital was equal somewhere the speakers could be happy with both but in my case I could never get the speakers set up for both only one source would sound right. So in come the ndx2 and this was no I need to go back to the other streamer to hear the difference it was just night and day for me. And my rule is it has to be like that or I won’t bother. The system now sounds complete, the speakers sound full and but not just tone change but everything sounds more realistic and the digital noise reduced so you can hear the layers of music and it all becomes believable! If your wondering what an ndx2 will bring to your system, start there and buy a lesser amp and speakers if you have too. Start source first! I wish Naim would bring out a top end integrated amp as I don’t want box count to go with it like the accuphase as I miss the synchronisation of volume etc but I can’t see that happening anytime soon. That’s my review!