ND5 XS2 Connectivity

I would like to hardwire connect an old iMac (2012) directly to my ND5 XS2 and use it as a DAC (not using Airplay). iMac only has USB connectors. Does anyone know if there is any way to connect these 2 items? Thanks so much.

No, not directly, the streamer has no usb input for computer connection. The only inputs to use the DAC are Toslink or coax or BNC.
Only option is to use a DDC.

An IMac of that vintage may have a combined headphone out / mini toslink port.

If so you can use a mini toslink to toslink optical cable to connect the IMac to the ND5XS2

thank you to both posters!

Both ideas are worth investigating. I did not know that there was such a thing as a mini toslink to toslink optical cable, and I had imagined a digital to digital convertor but did not know that that existed either.

Glad to get such prompt advice less than 24 hours after posting. I am glad I joined the community.


Hi Pedro
What music sources do you want to use with your Mac? Streamers are designed to play music from a network connection, and like your Mac, need a network connection in order to work.
While it is possible to connect the two devices directly to each other as discussed above, you could argue that you are wasting the abilities of the ND5XS2 by doing this when you could just use a DAC with a USB input.

Hi Pedro, Some years ago, I used the optical out from a dedicated MacMini into an nDAC via a mini toslink to toslink cable and the results were surprisingly good. Indeed, playing a ripped CD, slightly better than using my CD player as transport into the DAC.


All great points, thank you. I use the Naim as a streamer with ROON connecting to network using a Powerline adapter since my place is not totally wired for ethernet. The REAL reason for the question is that at times I watch movies on my iMac and the built in sound is sub par. For those occasions I would like a direct connection between NAIM and iMac, using Naim only as a DAC playing audio through the same stereo I have setup for listening to music while at the computer. In the past I have had some lag issues between audio and video using Airplay so I was looking for a solution for this problem. Thanks again to all of the people offering advice to the newbie.


Yes, the 2012 iMac does, so this is the best option.

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I wasnt aware of this on the 2012 models, apologies.
I based my comment on the OP stating they had USB only on their Imac.

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No need to apologise, it’s far from obvious and I only found out from a comment on the Forum and then having to dig into the Apple specs to find out if my late 2012 was compatible. Works really well though, but I don’t need it now as I use Roon and run my ATV into a bluray and send the audio from a coaxial output to my NDX2.

In that case the optical connection would be ideal. Obviously you wouldn’t need it for Roon if you already have this working over your network, although it would work if for some reason you wanted to.

Another option is to use a USB to SPDIF converter but probably simpler and easier to try Toslink first.

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