NAC-N272/250DR or NDX2/SN2

Auditioning both next week. Most people say the NDX2 is superior to the 272. However, if I only intend to stream from CD’s ripped to my Naim hard drive, is the NDX2 still better If the updated technology is unused?

I’d certainly expect so, the NDX2 would be a much better source.

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I would also expect so, if nothing NDX2 is a pure streaming source, while 272 box also includes the pre amp hardware.

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It also depends on your speakers; the harder they are to drive, the more the balance shifts toward the 250DR.


Could this be described as a predictable response from a NDX2 / SN2 owner?!

That said, I struggle to understand why anyone would ask such a question in advance of auditioning. Far better, I would have thought, to approach it with an open mind rather than with preconceived attitudes.

I would also lean towards the NDX2/SN2 if I was starting again. Not that I don’t enjoy my 272/XPSDR/250DR!

My vote is for the NDX 2 / SN2. Yes I do own this combination but the truth of the matter is I would not be buying the older streamer technology.

I have not doubt the 272 is a wonderful streamer/preamp combination. Having read through multiple treads over the past few years the 272 is held in high regard by many. So going in that direction would work.

But when spending my money and knowing how fast networking technology, hardware & software, changes I would be looking at the most recent up to date version.



I’m asking the question timmo because I’m wondering whether there is a need to spend the extra on the technology that the NDX2 possesses over the 272 if I don’t need it and am streaming solely from a Naim hard drive.
Of course I’m auditioning as I’ve said and will make a decision there and then having also discussed pro’s and con’s with the dealer.
Just thought it might be nice to get others thoughts in case I’m missing something. Surely that’s what the forum is partly about - to offer thoughts and advice to others who are unsure. I have no preconceived attitudes and will approach the audition with no bias one way or the other.


Well opinions will vary. I’ve heard both in direct comparison into Focal Sopra 2s. My preference was for the NDX/SN (not a NDX2 note) and the majority thought that on the door but not all.



Indeed yes. The NDX2 is the better streamer even from a local NAS/Core, even if you don’t use the other internet and connectivity capabilities. But the 272 gives you more power amp options. So, system matching with your speakers will come into play.

But then again, the supernait preamp is compromised by being next to the power amp. The 250DR is better than that in the SN. There is no right answer here.

I suppose another consideration is headphone use?

Agree, my comment was purely in relation to streamer performance. My expectation is that since NDX is a pure streamer it will perform better than 272 from streaming perspective. And than there is the new technology etc. In the end all of this is so subjective. What it comes down to is sound signature you like and the money you are prepared to spend. I am currently grappling with my next step…I can’t even hear a NDX2 demo, no demo stock available.

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Having listened to both for several hours I’ve come down in favour of the 272/250DR.
I can almost hear the groans from where I’m sat but for me I thought the NDX2/SN2 wasn’t as engaging or musical as the 272/250.
I listened to the 272/250 first and it immediately brought a smile to my face whereas the NDX2/SN2 I thought sounded a bit flat in comparison.
Let’s be clear there wasn’t a lot in it but IMO the 272/250 had the edge.
Seeing that I only intend streaming from my Naim HD, the extra capability of the NDX2 wasn’t important to me.
The difference I believe is that the 250 is so much better than the SN2. Obviously, most will probably disagree but as someone else said whatever one you prefer is the right one for you.
Interestingly, we also tried the ND5 XS2 through the 272 as a preamp into the 250. I also preferred this combination to the NDX2/SN2. The common denominator was of course the 250.
Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and advice.

Good choice! I think if you are just streaming locally then the 272 is an excellent streamer and the 272/250 combination is a fine amplifier too. I have the same, so I’m biased, but I don’t use Tidal etc and I would have chosen the same as you.

As a matter of interest, what speakers are you using?

Thanks David - it just seemed “right” somehow. Difficult to explain in a way but there was enjoyment in the sound whereas the other was a bit dry, if that makes sense.
Xanthe, the speakers were PMC Twenty5.23. Not the biggest or best but a fine speaker nevertheless.

You certainly won’t get any groans from me. The 272/250 is a wonderful pairing and hugely enjoyable to listen to. When I first got mine I used it with PMC’s twenty.23 and it was really super. It’s always good to know that the decision you made was based on listening and deciding what’s right you you. I’m sure you’ll love it.

I’ve had my 272 for four years now and it just sits there doing its thing. The rest of the system has changed around it but the 272 remains at its heart. Clearly there is life in the old dog yet.

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I attended a demo of ND5 XS2 with Supernait 2 v 272/250dr,

The expectation and aim of the demo was to show that the newer streamer is superior to the older series. This seemed to be the conclusion in the room with many nods in agreement but I preferred the 272/250. I suspect the main reason was the superiority of the 250. There’s a reason why it costs £600 more than the Supernait.

Glad you have made up your own mind by doing the demo. I’m sure you will enjoy it for many years to come.

the superiority of the amp and preamp. It’s a near 282/250 vs nait xs. A huge difference.