Nd5 xs

I was thinking about saving up for a new ND5 XS2 as a first streamer, but have come across a 2012 ND5 XS which seems to be at a decent price. Is there any significant loss of functionality between a 9 year old model, and a more recent model (or indeed new)? Would apps like Roon and Spotify work on this older model? What should I be looking out for in terms of reliability, etc? I’d like to be able to stream DSD files, for example, as I have made several recordings in this format using a Tascam DA-3000.

Hi, the old Naim streamers have their limitations. They support Tidal and Spotify, but that’s all. The new range supports Qobuz, Roon, AirPlay and Chromecast as well. They also have better internet radio performance, and are an overall improvement in sound quality. Much better WiFi performance too.
There are workarounds that can get round many of these issues if you can be bothered, but an ND5XS2 is always going to sound a bit better.

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And no Tidal connect too.
For me it’s not a problem, I stream only local files.

Of course the screen may well have been replaced already. If you know the Serial Number of the ND5 XS you are thinking to buy, Naim Technical Support can tell you whether that unit has had a screen replacement.

I’ve had an ND5XS and now an NDS. Have had problems with Tidal but Spotify works well enough.

I mainly stream iRadio and local files from NAS.

If you want to use the latest streaming platforms then the legacy products won’t work for that.

I know lots of you have got Tidal to work with legacy products but it’s never worked for me. It would start clicking and then fail.

No doubt network problems.

Other option is Bluesound Node 2i with a good DAC.

Lots of options out there.

Had the ND5 XS from 2011 and the screen went dimmer and dimmer, until it finally went blank and needed replacing in 2020 (9 years)

Instead, I simply traded it in for a brand new ND5 XS2 (though had to take a hit on the fact that the dealer had to fit a new screen, to be able to sell it on … albeit at trade cost).

From my understanding, the green screen WILL fail at some point and the screen on the unit you mention, is definitely on borrowed time.

I’ve always used both streamers with an external DAC (original Chord Hugo … which is still going strong!!!) and have to say, that the ND5XS2 is a far better ‘machine’ and I don’t miss having a screen whatsoever … seems pointless where it is positioned in my room in relation to the listening position and the Naim App works perfectly for me.

I reckon the ND5 XS2 will sound no worse than the NDX2 in my situation, since I’m using an external DAC and definitely don’t need the expensive screen.

Hope that helps :grinning: :grinning:


I made that same leap this year to a ND5XS2. I have it fed by the nDac and 555PS. It sounds really great and now I’m wondering what could be next. I would go with the latest technology so you could stream Quboz and high res files. It’s been an eye opener for me.

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Again, unless it’s already failed and been replaced by Naim. Incidentally Naim will replace a green screen for £150. You don’t have to pay for a full service.

Very helpful advice from everyone - thank you. The dealer has said that the screen has just been replaced, but I’d be interested in trying some of the options that the older machine won’t support, so I’ll probably pass at this time. I’ll keep listening to my NAT01 and Nait2 in the meantime!

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I have a qute 2 , so it virtually has the same platform as the legacy nd5xs , I only use it for tidal, all the other inputs are turned off. it’s on the latest software going into my naim dac, it’s great, no problems at all. I got a wa5 high gain antenna for it which sorted out some drop out issues. Screens been fine, just set the thing to turn off after 10 seconds.

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Exactly, if you set the screen to turn off after 10 secs it will last alot longer. Mine is set at 30secs on NDS. Had it a few years. ND5 XS before. No problems.

Just changed it now to 10 secs. All makes a difference :+1:

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It might help, but it might not. I’ve had to replace screens on three units, but mine were always set to switch off after 10 secs.

I heard the newer green screens on gen1 are an improvement over the previous modules

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