Looking For Upgrade Options for Headphones

Hello all! First post on here, and a new Naim audio fan. Love the sound.

That being said, I am looking for information that I was not able to find on the web.

I currently have a Naim CD5si, NAP100, and a DAC V1. I am looking for an upgrade to the DAC V1 for headphone use, and have been looking at the Nait XS 2 since it also has a 6.3mm output and spdif/coaxial input. Current streamer is the BlueSound Node 2i.

My question is, is the headphone amp in the XS 2 better than the DAC V1? I was thinking of running the DAC V1 to the XS, and then using the headphone out on the XS instead. That way, if the amp is better, I still get to use the DAC and get a better output. I also have a lot of 4-pin XLR headphones, so if anyone knows of a Naim product that accepts that as an output and a spdif input as a source, awesome.

Sorry if this has been answered before, as I searched all over the web and could not find an answer. Any advice or recommendations are helpful!

Hi, there is no digital input on the Nait XS2, only analogue DIN and RCAs.
The V1 is a pretty decent DAC/headphone amp. I’m not sure if the Nait would improve on this.

As for balanced XLR for headphones, I’m afraid there are no such options from Naim here. If this is a priority I wonder if you should be looking at a separate dedicated headphone amp that can provide it.

No. The headphone amp in the v1 is better than the headphone amp in the SN2.

To my knowledge you need a dedicated Headphone amp to better a V1.

Those inside intg amplifiers are usually not that exiting compared to a dedicated.

Not clear what cans you use, maybe just get some better ones, lots of very good cans at reasonable prices available these days.
When I used V1, I had excellent result using both Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic and AKG, but there are many others out there.

You definitely need a dedicated headphone amp if the v1 doesn’t work for you. I used my v1 only with headphones and found it to do a pretty good job. Supposedly it is the same hpa found in the SN2 but I think the v1 sounds better. If you want the best sound from the v1 you should use a usb source.

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