Naim hiss

I have seen many comments about hissing and Naim Audio so I thought I’d better check. Sure enough, if I pause the CD, kneel with my left ear against the speaker and my other hand covering my right ear in a silent room, there is a slight hiss. This is a serious problem!

Sounds normal to me. A slight hiss is to be expected.


Is it? This is by design, in that they could remove it, but then you would loose SQ. So which would you choose, a hiss you an hardly hear with great SQ, or no hiss and lower SQ.

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Tongue firmly in cheek!


Maybe that will reduce the hiss :wink:


Taking the hiss


Obvious Advice of the Day (or any day)

If anyone finds the need to get very close to their loudspeakers to hear any trace of hiss, find a nearby comfy chair instead.

Alternatively, use a good pair of headphones to listen to the system.


Any activity starting with an H, hiss, hum or hiccup is quite acceptable with NAIM gear. Nothing to worry about.


Naim hiss is much superior to other manufacturers’ hiss. A much higher quality.

Embrace it.



Maybe you need to play jazz records where the bassist plucks the strings instead of bowing them. :rofl:

I’ve assumed that the lower input sensitivity (higher value) on the NC range has made hiss a thing of the past. Not sure if any owners have commented on that though

Most systems exhibit this to some degree, but normally one would have to place one’s ear right against the speaker to hear it. It always seemed more pronounced to me with Naim stuff though.

When I had my IBL’s, driven first by a NAP90 and later an olive 250, the hiss was evident from the listening postion when no music was playing. Since I left the system permanently powerd up it was there all the time, but I got used to it and didn’t notice it in the end. Like a ticking clock. However, if ever I powered down the system the lack of hiss was very noticeable - the silence was deafening! It will be more problematic the more sensitive are the speakers.

I now use a Moon integrated amp and even with my Klipsch horn-loaded speakers which are very sensitive, there is total silence, even with my ear right next to the speakers.

If there’s no hiss try the power switch .
Hiss on switch on usual drops in level as units stabilise.
Naim units have got quieter with each generation .
It’s normal , if you have none check your hearing .
If all you have experienced is recent equipment try 70s /80s equipment then you won’t complain .

To be fair, kind of expected seeing that it’s even in the naim:

Hiss and hum, it’s a naim thing.
I am glad to say i no longer have any off it.
Must be better for it, as unwanted noise is exactly that, unwanted.
If something else did it, it would be looked at as a major problem, but for some reason it’s not a problem.

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If you can’t hear at the listening position, or elsewhere on the room when not pkaying music, it cannot be a problem. If you can, then it may be, depending how intrusive.

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The big question is what is these unwanted noises doing to the actual sound we get to hear?
As remember hifi manufacturers go to great lengths to make things as quiet as possible so we get to hear more of what we should.

So i guess the question is, what would you rather have, noises or no noises???

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Have a friend who bought an NC system very recently and there was also hiss, so…:man_shrugging:

Simple answer - listen and decide if you like the sound!
I am not in any way defending noise - the lower it is the better, however in practice electronic devices produce thermionic noise, even if with whatever speakers we use and within the limits of our hearing it might not audible even with ear directly in front of tweeter. That leads me to wonder why no manufacturer selling exotic esoterica for the megarich hasn’t (yet!) marketed an amp cryogenically cooled close to absolute zero…

It’s more about signal-to-noise and whether ’noise’ is noise when below our threshold of perception - no matter that it can be perceived under different conditions.

I insist on listening in an anechoic chamber but I’m still plagued by the pounding of my platelets.

Who designed this defective world?

“ It sounds paradoxical, but an experience as passive as lying corpse-still in darkness and almost perfect silence is a weirdly intense one. The unnatural context quickly forces my hearing to sensitise. As minutes pass, my breathing and internal movements become more pronounced.

Things that before were merely feelings—digestion, the relaxation of muscles—become audible. I hear the snapping of sinuses and a faint scraping sound as I raise my eyebrows and scalp shifts across skull. After around 45 minutes, Dance explained, I’d start to hear the blood moving through the capillaries around my ears. Eventually, there it is—a soft whooshing sound, the blood literally pumping around my head.”