NAS sound quality

I want to buy anas. I’m thinking either a Qnap or a Sinology, will either one make a difference in the sound? Is there a better choice?

No and no. In terms of sound and choice.

For what it’s worth my main NAS is a QNAP with a Synology NAS as a backup for the QNAP - main reason is Synology have a good range of low cost servers.


I have just bought new Qnap and very happy with its performance and how its desktop looks.

No difference btw qnap and synology, but you’ll get a big boost with a dedicated NAS like Melco or Innuos.


I haven’t done any comparisons myself, but there are those who claim they can hear differences. Considering the difference I have found the most improbable components in the digital chain can make, I’d recommend that you compare yourself if you can. I will be a demo out of curiosity when my Roon Nucleus is delivered.

QNaps are easier to change the music management software
That’s the main reason they are the preferred NAS


In the recent past Synology have always provided their own ‘Media Server’ UPnP & 3rd party Minimserver in their Package Center. In the last month they have approved Asset UPnP, & it’s remarkably simple to install & configure compared to Minimserver.

1 Like

If you can hear a difference, there is one. If you can’t, there isn’t. Past that it is impossible to predict, although I can comment from personal experience, for what it is worth.

The short answer is no.

The longer answer is that I have used a number of models from ReadyNAS and QNAP down the years for storing music and I have never heard a difference between:
specification (CPU and RAM)
brand, capacity and type of HDD
Asset and Minimserver (I haven’t tried any others).

I have heard differences between:
HDX-SSD and Asset.
Ethernet cables
Ethernet switches
File formats - I prefer WAV.

Your mileage may vary. At face value, either of your proposed makes of NAS will be just fine and (probably) indistinguishable in sound quality.

Tried a couple of WD My Book Essential 2TB drives. One failed and the other is somewhere or other in my den. For the last while I been using a QNAP and have found it to be reliable and hassle free. I am unaware of any discernable sound quality difference between them.

I upgraded from a synology ds213j to a synology ds218play about a year ago. There is a noticable difference in sound quality in both my own system plus two others locally to me. The software being used is minimserver, the same version on both as this sounded better than mediaserver.

If possible always try the options in your own system rather than relying on others opinions.

It is possible to set up Audio Station on a Synology NAS to transmit audio direct from the NAS’s own USB sockets (if they’re both in close proximity) - I have tried this via USB to my DAC V1 and it sounds really quite poor compared to a better source. I thought I’d try this since it’s a ‘free’ feature on Synology NAS drives and would potentially remove the need for a dedicated streamer. It’s a nice feature, but definitely buy a streamer/bridge and don’t connect the NAS direct. NAS are just too noisy to be a good source.

A nas IS going to be a rather poor usb audio source, as it seems you discovered on your own. There is a reason that audio hardware manufacturers put a lot of thought and engineering into this – engineering that is lacking in a Synology nas.

1 Like

If anything a power supply on the NAS may make a difference. But that’s just an incing on the cake.
Other ‘bits’ of the streaming network are far more important.

I tried that also. In my case, no difference. But there can be such variability. For the outlay, it’s worth a try.

Based on another post in this forum, I’m now running MinimServer on my Synology DS218+ and I’m very happy with it. Just a quick step-by-step:

  1. Install Java 8 package first if it’s not already on there
  2. Install MinimServer package (it should start automatically after installation)
  3. Point it to your music folder on your NAS and give it a moment to scan and index the contents
  4. … profit!

Have a look at Asset UPnP for Synology. I have used Minimserver & yes its OK, but it needs Java & all that entails.
Asset is a simple one package install, it works & browses much the same as Minim but its easier in all respects with setting up, fine tuning & personalising. .
As for sound quality on NAS (the thread topic) I have yet to hear any change in sound no matter what media server I’ve used.


Thanks for the tip! I will have a look into Asset too.

On balance I preferred the sound of Asset, Using Roon now, though, which has a similar balance.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.