ND5 XS2, Hi fi News review

Highly commended.


Love mine. But for the price of course

It’s also in this months Stereophile.

A great device that has the new streaming front end with great capability for different digital sources and the option of using the internal DAC or external DAC.

I bought this over one of the new Uniti models because of this flexibility provided by the digital-out.

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It is so good that it has been Highly Commended 94 times by HFN. All articles have been posted on the Connection page. They are going to keep me busy reading until Christmas. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Chag -

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Dudley’s comments about using Tidal and Qobuz (“…bass was rubbery, and the sound grainy overall”) is what I’ve experienced in the past and has subsequently kept me away from streamers/media players.

Is this still the majority view when compared to spinning silver discs?

I have the first generation ND5 XS. I have to disagree; I do not find Tidal rubbery or grainy. Tidal HIFI tier sounds as good, or almost as good as local files on a upnp server (a Mac Mini in my case).


Both TIDAL and Qobuz sounds excellent, also I use the Optical input direct from my CD player.
Amazing piece of equipment for the money.
Would love to listen to the NDX2 or 555 at some point

I found that on my NDX Tidal sounded less engaging and rather dull in comparison to local streaming. I found I wasn’t enjoying it anywhere near as much and didn’t bother with a subscription.

On my NDS it is less so and pretty close. Using Roon via a UPNP bridge removes the difference completely and I am now a subscriber.

I have to say that describing “bass was rubbery, and the sound grainy overall” sounds like a load of codswallop to me and has nothing to do with how music sounds.

A few people were quite vocal in their criticism of Tidal SQ on the old forum. I do agree that it sounds inferior to local UPnP, at least on my NDX, but I think it improved over time, and I found that the gap closed considerably since it was released. Those who continued to criticise it based only on a free trial period when it was first added were, I felt, unfair.

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Please ,never rely on reviews I can assure it is very far from being the real thing.
As far as I’m concerned tidal played fine on the nd5xs ,it’s just from a nas sound got more incisive but not so ethereal and easy on the ear.
And that just before the firmware and a proper siting on fraim glass /ball bearings which would shuffle cards in an expected way.
Just to tell you It’s not that easy to assess the final judgment, not to mention reviews no matter their source may have meaningful relevance in real practice.

I think the new streaming board helps a lot with Tidal sound quality…still like my Core, but its a preference that is very msrginal. Probably cos i bought them.

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I have ordered my ND5 XS 2 today and hope it does live up to it’s positive magazine reviews. I have also considered many other options too (including just sticking with my CD player). Fingers crossed. I am looking forward to receiving my first ever Naim streamer and getting and running with it at last. A year long in the planning! .


Good :+1:


Thank you Andrea :sunglasses:

He’s here in front of me and I’m enjoying it with tidal right now …

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Excellent news Stephen. I know you deliberated long and hard on this but i think you’ve made an excellent choice with this particular player. Look forward to hearing more when it arrives.


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Sure James. Many thanks to you. Yep, shortly after ND5 XS 2’s arrival I will be ordering a black Fraim Lite and then i will also contribute to the Systems pics thread. I’m starting to feel rather excited now that I have done all my rips and everything’s almost in place. Oh, a Audioquest Vodka 1.5 metre Ethernet cable is also coming. I can’t wait!:sunglasses:


Congratulations on your purchase Stephen. I have been enjoying the first generation ND5 XS for over a year. I am sure the ND5 XS2 is even better! Have fun with your new black box.

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Thanks DanielH,
I see you have new speakers in the system pics thread. They look absolutely wonderful and i know you have been on a speaker hunt for quite while now and you got there in the end!

Happy listening!