ND5 XS2 - still a smart choice?

I’ve only ever read good things about the CDT6000 and I had wondered exactly that, thanks!

For the price the 6000CDT is remarkable. I enjoyed the CD5Si but now there is more subtle detail. I don’t know whether this is down to a better transport or a better DAC but I’m now listening to more of my 2000 CDs than streaming


Is that a word?

If not it should be. Well done.


It certainly is, in the NE Scotland Doric.

Fiddly being awkward, fiddlier being more awkward!



Down South, I think "more fiddly " is more common.

Fiddly, fiddlier, fiddliest
Of course I had to look it up and it does seem to be a word!


I own two ND5XS2 one on the end of a Nait 50 (or Nait 2) the other ND5XS2 as a transport into a Chord MScaler / Chord Dave feeding a 500 series setup.

The ND5XS2 into the Chord setup is the best digital setup I’ve listened to the ND5XS2 as a standalone or transport is hard to beat and as someone mentioned up thread the streaming board is used in the NC series so plenty of life / support left.


The nd5xs2 is a very good streamer.
Still very up to date.
There is no need for display or remote. I also have an nd555 and very rarely use the remote and the display is nice to look at - but for design reasons only.
The streamer can by upgraded via nDAC plus psu.

Full recommend from my side


I’ve had it, replaced it with a costly, super-posh Bricasti M3 with Ethernet card and regretted the Naim ever since.
(I don’t have the M3 either anymore)


especially with Ndac.


Great move. If I had space in my rack for an ND5XS2 I’d do the same.

As I’ve said before, I wouldn’t be surprised if this combo runs an ND555 very close.

You’ve just breathed a new lease of life into your NDS. And it deserves it, it’s still a glorious sounding machine.


TLDR - I agree vigorously with @Dan_M. The ND5XS2 is beatable (esp the DAC) but it is very good and considerably better than budget alternatives that I have heard.

I have ND5XS2 (with 82/Hicap/250) and compared it with the NDX2 in my main system (52, 300DR etc). We noted that the ND5XS2 is not as good (unless you add nDAC) as the NDX2 (iirc, less vigour and less space) and you can’t use an XPS2 with it (something that improves the NDX2 materially), but it is still a very good source.

With the above amplification, an ND5XS2 is clearly better than a Nova, for example, and Novas sound pretty good.

I find the app works well most of the time and don’t really look at the screen or use the remote control on the main system’s NDX2 anyway.

On the other hand, the app does lose connection occasionally - swiping it up off the phone and reopening fixes it but it can annoy. It also very occasionally seems unable to communicate with the streamer altogether even after a few tries. I think this probably says more about my WiFi environment than about the app or the streamer or my phone tbh.


Wired or wireless, I’ve yet to use a streaming app from any manufacturer that didn’t occasionally need a reboot.

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Just be aware if you have high end speakers and amplification that the ND5XS2 may sound a little bright.

My 52 and 135s are quite revealing. You’d want a DAC with the ND5XS2 with anything from 82 or 282 upwards.

Ndac or alternative DAC would be good. I had a good external DAC when I had the ND5XS and it improved things alot.

Beauty of Ndac is you can add a power supply and improve things further.

The NDS is on a different level to the ND5XS2 and so it should be. But connectivity on NDS is poor without a workaround or streamer fed into it.

I have been so frustrated in the past with the NDS and it has been limiting. I tried Tidal twice and got my Internet Provider and Naim support involved to no avail. I wasn’t interested in work arounds as the NDS was slow communicating with the NAS.

Now when I am using ND5XS2 everything has worked very quickly. All my albums on NAS are available in a short time frame. Qobuz worked immediately. Everything is great with ND5XS2 apart from slight brightness.

But I am used to the NDS and CDS2 which are very high end sources just below the 555 range ND555 and CD555.

The sound quality of ND5XS2 is better than the ND5XS. And better than the CD5Si.

Once I get the NDS back from HQ. which will be the DAC, I think we are looking at a seriously good streamer.

But I have had to buy a Fraim base and 3 shelves for racking to accomodate the growing boxes as levels are too high and that’s very expensive, even used.

So if I had been on a tighter budget then an NDX2 with my 555PS would have been fine. But I think the NDS is very special in sound quality and I didn’t want to get something slightly worse, which would have defeated the point. It’s not just great connectivity I am after, it’s an improvement in sound quality. And I want to use Qobuz and modern apps. I don’t want the faff of workarounds.

Fraim base arrived today. Have busy weekend so will set it up next week after work!


Hi. The ND5SX2 is my first streamer and I have been using it for just over a week. I love it, but have nothing to compare it to.

Question: can the Naim app on my iPhone control the streaming loudness? I hate having to get up and use the SN3 volume knob.

Question: I have a Hicap DR connected to my SN3. Will adding one for the streamer, massively improve my ND5SX2?

You can’t add a HiCap to ND5XS2, only a DAC to improve things or get NDac and XPSDR or 555DR power supply.

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You need 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable and then switch on system automation in the settings.

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@Dan_M i suspect your power supply suggestions would be more than I want to spend. Since I am new to streaming and only have the ND5SX2 for eight days, I think I should wait to consider system changes. In fact, the who system except the Rega P9 is new as well.

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If you love it then leave it alone. Your system is nicely balanced anyhow.

Never had issues running Tidal or Spotify on my NDS.