Nac n 272 versus nova with 2021 nap 250dr

I have a Nova which I am going to connect to a previous model 250DR. How would a NAC N 272 compare for sound quality?

The 272 should have the edge, plus can be upgraded with xps dr/555 ps.


The Nova looks and sounds great and will play Qobuz.

The 272 has older streaming architecture and will not (by itself) play Qobuz. However, it is excellent on Tidal and better as a pre-amp, and (as mentioned above) gets even better with an external PS - well, it is Naim…

We compared Nova to ND5XS2 into old 82/Hicap/250. That’s similar in level to what you plan.

For SQ, the Nova lost, despite being prettier. The Nova also has good grunt but will probably run out of steam with some speakers that a 250 will drive well.

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I think it is a swings and roundabouts choice, both have merits as said above.
I would add another option into the mix, the Atom HE and 250DR, which I think is more cost-effective than the Nova.

The OP already has a Nova, I think…?

I compared 272 and HE with 250.2 and Focal 1028Be, the 272 (without power supply) was better on all criteria except the headset and interface.


If the OP is only going to be streaming from local sources, I’d suggest going for the 272 on SQ grounds. If streaming from eg. Qobuz is important stick with the Nova and wait till a NC222 becomes affordable. Personally, I’d go for the 222 before adding a power supply to the setup.


You may find 272/250 a little better than Nova/250 but you should understand that the streaming section was designed a long time ago and while I’m sure Naim will support it as long as they can, streaming providers may change their services, and availability of spares is already beginning to cause problems for some 1st gen streamer users.

272/xpsdr and 250dr… you are quiet for a while if like me the SQ passes before the interface…

The Gen 1 streamers are so cheap now that it’s worth getting one just to try it and selling it on if you don’t like it. Just make sure it’s had a new screen.

272 if you use local streaming/Tidal (v.4.8), toslink/tv=excellent dac and pre-amp, remote, good headphone amp. Option to use it as pre-amp only and add external streamer later.

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You are right - the 272 is at a very good price. There is no real scope for a power supply as there is no space for one

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