ND5 XS2 vs BlueSound Node 2i?

I suspect I know the answer to this question but I wanted to confirm with folks who know for sure.
I’m curious if anyone has had any experience comparing the BlueSound Node 2i with the ND5 XS2 streamer. I bought the BlueSound for $500 a couple of years ago but have not had a chance to compare it to any other streamers. Is the ND5 XS2 worth an additional $3500 from your experience?

I upgraded from a 2i to the Nd5XS2 year before last. Yes, there is an improvement in sound quality, but it’s to be expected.
However, I think the Node is a superb streamer for the money.


Instead of an additional $3,500 for an ND5, you might want to look into the Naim DAC and keep the Bluesound as transport. Not only much cheaper but possibly also quite a bit better…


I would be curious to know how Bluesound / Ndac compares with Nd5xs2.
I would bet for the later, but it’s only my intuition.

I upgraded from a Node 2 to ND5xs2. The ND5xs2 is much better than Node 2 on my 282/SCDR/200 then. I’ve moved the Node 2 to use in a second system and later added an nDAC. Unfortunately that they are in different places so I didn’t have a chance to try them side by side. From my feeling, the Node2/bare nDAC is a bit better than ND5xs2 - I used CD5xs/Flatcap xs2 as a benchmark compared to both. The CD5xs combo used to be in the same system with either.


I searched for the Naim DAC and found only one model - the DAC-V1.
Is this the nDAC everyone is referring to or is nDAC a older model?

The nDac is an older model. It was excellent and they become available second hand sometimes.

Thanks! Can you point me to a good Naim Classified site?

Not really, but all the main UK dealers have used listings or if not a certain well known auction site. Pink Fish Media another hifi forum have quite a few Naim users and 2nd hand listings.

I’m currently using a Node/Ndac as the streaming transport for a 500 based system. To be honest I find the SQ exceptional for what it is - tweaked with the obligatory switch/DC1/Ethernet cable. It doesn’t beat my CDP555 or my LP12 for the ultimate musical experience but it does come pretty close.

A friend of mine (after hearing my system) went out a bought a Node, secondhand Ndac and switch. He reckons that this is on par with his CDS3. He’s just added the XPSDR power supply, two powerlines and a DC1 to further boost SQ. He’s now in a very happy place…well until his wife finds out!


I bought a BS Node 2i when I had a 272.

It sounded awful and went straight back.

The ND5XS2 is in a different league.


I cannot imagine a system in which a BS Node 2i is remotely as good (as a streamer and/or as a dac) than the ND5XS2.

“High-end DAC technology built into every Bluesound Player allows the NODE 2i to decode and stream MQA files in all their lossless glory.”

1 Like

but ND5XS2/Naim DAC would sound soo much better! :grinning:

(As would bare ND5XS2).

Yeah right…

Well, I’ve tested the BS Node 2i in my system vs a Naim streamer, and I use a Naim DAC.

Have you?

Not wishing to blow source hierarchy out of the water but before Christmas I borrowed my dealers ND555 for a couple of weeks. Was it better than the Node, of course it was but not, to my mind, £16+k better and it was not consistently better than my CDP555 or LP12, so I’m just biding my time to see how streaming technology develops over the next year or so. For now I’m quite happy using my Node like a radio but without the interruptions!

1 Like

I doubt that streaming tech will reach a plateau over the next 2 years!

The question of when and whether to jump to a better streamer will not be resolved any time soon.

As you have multiple sources, streaming is a fun and convenient way of listening and discovering music for you.

For me, streaming is my sole source.

My ND5XS2 has the same excellent NP800 streaming board that’s in the other Naim streamers, and I feed that as a digital output via Naim DC1 cable to Naim DAC/555DR (which gives slightly better SQ than a BS Node 2i).

How many 555DR PSs did you have on the CDP vs the ND555?

I suspect that if you flogged the CDP and got an extra 555DR PS the ND555 might outperform your CDP.

And there are other ways to optimise performance of the ND555 too.

Agreed, adding another supply would up the performance of the ND555 but that would equally apply to the CDP555.

As you quite rightly point out streaming is not my main source, so it tends to be used more for convenience than serious listening. I’m a late-comer to streaming. In fact I didn’t even move to CD’s until around 2002, so it’s about par for the course for me. I know I’ll have to make a jump at some point, as I really do love the ease of use but I am going to take my time.

1 Like

I’ve had / used the following

BS 2i / MScaler / Qutest
ND5XS2 / MScaler / Qutest
ND5XS2 / MScaler / DAVE (current)

Swapping out the BS 2i for the ND5XS2 there was a slight lift in performance but the BS 2i is not shabby at all and is an excellent streamer for the money, great software too.

An interesting test would be the latest BS Node into an MScaler/ DAVE but I won’t be conducting this test :grin:

In the past I’ve owned the nDac/XPS2 (probably 10 years ago now) nice DAC.