MacbookAir to NDX1

Need to connect my 2021 MacBook Air to my NDX . Don’t believe I Bluetooth supports ‘lose less’ so streaming via Bluetooth isn’t the preferred option. Was wondering if I could use the thunderbolt ports on the Mac and input to one of the digital ports on the NDX? Would this route carry the lossless signal to the NDX 1? What are my options?

This was my reply on the other post, I’d guess the Topping D10s would work for you too?

Thanks for your reply. That’s a DAC , the NDX has its own DAC so we should be able to connect to one of the ports ? My questions are linked to what cables, ports , sound format would the MAc Deliver? Thanks

The Topping is a DAC if you use the Line out, but if you use the S-PDIF out it converts USB to S-PDIF digitally, which is why airedog uses it to connect his Mac to the Nova (which has a DAC as well). So if the NDX has S-PDIF input it may work for you as well

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Lol…Thank you…much better than I could have explained it.

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Thanks, holding out to see if there is anyway to achieve this connection without any new hardware :blush:.

Appreciate your suggestions!

It depends a bit, on what audio you want to send to the NDX1.
If it’s media files you already have locally, a UPnP server software will help. (People can recommend, what’s best working with Mac and NDX1; I don’t have experience here.)
If you want to stream anything “live” (from a browser, any other app, …), you will likely need some hardware in between (like the direct digital transport mentioned above; or some add-on device, which receives e.g. AirPlay and put this digitally into the NDX), unless you want to connect the headphone jack of the MacBook (analogue).

Wanted to stream from Apple Music to the NDX 1 . NDX1 only supports Spotify and Tidal integration. So one needs to find a workaround . I currently use Bluetooth - how ever apple say music site says Bluetooth doesn’t deliver their loseless format. The stereo output might be an option.

I stream files I own over UNPN so yes that’s valid. But looking to have an option to the Spotify /Tidal integrations . Tidal rarely works so given up on that. Spotify still haven’t got around to launching their Hi Res offering.

The best option is a first generation Apple TV or Airport, which have optical outputs that you can connect to the NDX. Then use Airplay from Apple Music or the Tidal/Spotify/Qobuz apps.

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If you have another new generation Naim streamer, you can Airplay from the Mac to that streamer, then multiroom to the NDX also.

Ah yes - I have an old Apple TV …that’s certainly an option. Any idea

  • if one would get the benefit of the lossless quality available on Apple Music?

  • Would this all work over WiFi? So assume no connection needed via Bluetooth?

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Unfortunately there is no good option to get the full hi-res Apple Music at the moment, other than a USB enabled DAC, and then there are issues with having to change the output resolution for each file, as the Mac doesn’t do this. There’s a big long thread about that.

Airplay will work wireless to the ATV and then wire the ATV to the NDX. But if you need to set up the wireless on the ATV you will need to do that on a TV as you need the remote and screen to connect the router and input the password. Another option is to use a wi-fi extender that has an Ethernet port on it - I do this for my Uniti2 too, as it is more reliable.

I have a wifi extender with an Ethernet port as well. How would that work? I guess the wifi set up via the TV is a once off? The TV and ndx et Al are in separate rooms.

But I hear you say none of this really allows one to get the full benefit of Apple Loseless?

Any suggestions on the toslink cable ( I believe)?

Have a first generation Sonos as well but didn’t want go that route.

If the extender has the Ethernet as an output, this would be the best option. You just connect the Ethernet output to the first generation ATV (I think that would work without a password, otherwise, it would be a once off set up via a TV screen). Then use a regular toslink from the ATV to an input on the NDX and your done.

ATV will give you Apple lossless, but not the full benefit of the newer Apple hi-res, as it’s not compatable with Apple devices (odd, but true - for the moment at least).

Nice thanks, I actually have a spare Ethernet outlet where the NDx is placed so don’t need the extender. Can just run the ATv off the network splitter . Need to find a decent Toslink? Or are they generally equal in quality.
That’s strange about the Apple devices and high res. @Mike_S Thanks for your inputs here.

That’s a cool thing if you use Qobuz desktop version with a Mac: the Qobuz controls the rate so when I play through the Topping the rate is matched (and displayed on the Topping.)

I haven’t tried that, I use the Roon desktop, which integrates my library, Tidal and Qobuz. When Apple sort out the hi-res, Apple Music might be tempting.

I use Chord clearway, which are pretty affordable, but a regular one would be fine I think as a start.

What firmware version is your NDX running? The last few updates were related to Tidal performance so you should make sure it’s on the latest 4.8 or it won’t work.