ND5 XS2 vs BlueSound Node 2i?

But it was enough of a lift in performance to persuade you to buy a 2nd ND5XS2 for your second system iirc. :wink:

And did you sell the Node 2i or use it as a door stop?

Managed to sell on the Node as its not heavy enough to be a door stop!

Plenty of happy Node users with excellent setups over on Pink Fish.

Its not a bad product Jim and you appear to be the only one I know who has had a bad experience wonder if your unit was faulty?


The one I bought from Amazon worked perfectly.

It just sounded horrid to my ears compared to using the streamer in my then 272/555DR.

OK - not a fair comparison pricewise.

But it sounded much worse.

There’s something I love about Naim sources that the ND5XS2 has, and the 272 had, that died when I had in my system for a prolonged test a dCS Network Bridge, a BS Node 2i and an Auralic Aries (at different times).

These products give a bland “nothing-burger” sonic signature to the music.

(For decades I used a Marantz tuner and Rotel turntable and was happy with them - solely because I’d never heard anything better.)

Perhaps also the combo 272 with external transport doesn’t work very good. It’s not like connecting directly an external dac, because the 272 is a preamp/ transport/ dac in a same case.
I remember Hificritic reviewing the DCS network bridge. They found it improved the Nds/555 dr connected to it.
But in your case, the Network bridge was not a great success.
So perhaps the Node/ Ndac is much better vs Node/ 272.

OK I’ll get drawn in.
Took me 2 years of research and community advice before I bought my nd5xs2. Had it for 5 months and delighted with it.
Streamers are difficult to compare because apart from sq you need to experience how comfortable you are using it.
I use the Naim app on my iPad. Stream wirelessly for qobuz and Apple Music. Couldn’t be simpler. Having said that the Bluesound node 2i is a great piece of equipment and excellent value for money.
I love my CD player and cd collection but @Stephen_Tate was right. The streamer is being used the most. Thanks Mr.T.


I have a Node 2i with a Chord Qutest acting as a DAC. Sounds fantastic, and much cheaper than the ND5 XS2. Don’t believe the naysayers, for the money, the Blusound is a fabulous bit of kit. The app is a joy to use as well.


I’ve only tried the Node 2i in my system when I had 272/555DR, so I cannot say what it would be like in my current system.

But as I said above, I did recently try the Auralic Aries streamer (high quality build without DAC) for a few weeks in my current system and it gave such a bland sound that I could not listen to it - I ended up much preferring YouTube into nDAC via optical cable.

Getting my ND5XS2 back into the system was a delight.

As you know I listen to mostly jazz and acoustic music, so tonality and the reality of instruments is crucial to me.

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I believe you of course. However a lot of members here use the Auralic products and seem to enjoy. We all have different ears.

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I’m not aware of any who use Auralic into an all-Naim system.

[Anyway, this is now in ‘thread drift’ territory…]

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Maybe not really a thread drift, as the thread is about Bluesound vs Nd5xs2 used as transports.
Other transports in that price category could enlighten the thread too.
Lumin transports would be also interesting to consider.

@PeakMan went from 272/XPS to Auralic G2. Another member has a full Statement with a 4 box of Auralic sources.


Having compared auralic Aries with ND5XS2 into Mscaler Dave I concur with Jim

The Aries sounded bland to my ears the Naim was another league above it

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Based on my experience the Nd5xs2 is better than the Node2i. It should be for the price. However With a bare 272, the Node2i into the 272 DAC was better with Qobuz and on par with the NAS. I only changed it out when I added a power supply to the 272. The ND5XS2 into a 282 was better than the 272 with power supply.


I agree with all of this.
(I don’t think I tried the Node into bare 272.)
I notice you now have ND5XS2 into nDAC into 282.
I have ND5XS2 into nDAC/555DR into 252, which sounds sublime.

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Phew - I am not alone.

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Auralic is a very young company cannot be compared with Naim with over 4 decades audio expertise

In streaming they are relatively young, as they begun in something as 2010 ( with HDX).
Linn started in 2002.
I have never heard Auralic, but know they are leading the streaming high end market with Naim and Linn today.

Indeed but that was the Vega G2 which is a streamer/DAC/preamp rather than an Aries which is a pure streamer. Also I was set on active ATCs so my comparisons were done with input into SCM40As rather than into a Naim power amp.


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Ok, but do you find the Auralic dull sounding? I guess not.

I have an Auralic (Altair G2.1) and choose it after comparing an Altair G1 with an ND5 XS2, both auditioned with an SN3. Wouldn’t describe Auralic’s as dull, but rather as neutral and detailed. In contrast the ND5 XS2 added a bit more colour to the music, which I can see some people might prefer. I listen to a lot of vocal / soul / classical music which the Auralic excels at.


I was lucky enough to be able to listen to the ND5 XS2 and the BS Node (2021)/Qutest at the same time. I was not interested in listening to ND5/Qutest as this was too much money for me. I already had the Qutest.

I was able to play the same tracks at the same time and switch between them. From my profile you will see that the Node/Qutest won out. And this was not just my finding - I got my daughter (20s) to listen as well and she agreed with me. The Node (new model) also has the advantage of having 5 presets on the top screen which can be programmed to a radio station/playlist/album etc which makes it quick and easy for those without the app.

Let your ears decide.