ND5 XS2 vs BlueSound Node 2i?

How do you connect the node to the qutest ?

Coax at the mo.

Optical as recommended by the designer Rob Watts.

Been discussed before

I have an NDX 2, and sotm SMS200 ultra, a node 2i and a zen stream, the NDX2 and the node 2i have internal dac’s and the ndx 2 is better, but using all of them connected to an external dac,s thay I have a few they all sounded different, and they all have their positives and negatives.

The node 2i with an external dac can give you very good results, the differences between streamers are there, and the more expensive the better, but not that much in the proportion the price suggests.

As a standalone unit using the internal dac of the node 2i is not bad, but is not a jaw dropping sound, but as a transport is very good. Depending if you already have a dac and on the software you will use consider the zen stream, it will give a better sound than the node 2i.

I have tried the bnc with coaxial adaptor on the NDX2 as a transport and I did not find it to be as good as other dedicated streamers. But as a stand-alone streamer is very good.


Hi Sonwleo,I also currently use an if I Zen stream. Reading between the lines,are you saying the Zen stream sounds better than the Ndx2 as a transport into an external Dac?
Personally I think it is really good for the price.

There is a setting on the NDX2 about sample rates and you need to use the correct setting

There’s no way an NDX2 will sound worse than the other streamers as I tested and it’s the best sounding streamer into a chord Dac

He never said he was using a Chord Dac either.:man_shrugging:

Could be a compatibility issue with the dac’s I have here, anyway as a stand alone is a very good and stable streamer.

I do not have a chord dac, maybe in the future I consider it, anyway the Dave Is at the moment the one I would like to have but the price is not for me.

Most Chord DAC owners would like a DAVE…

It’s not too bad especially with an Mscaler :wink:

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I own a SuperUniti which I used to use as a streamer into my RME ADI -2 DAC. I have tried the NDX2 on loan (demo) in my system, which I didn’t think moved things on much and since then I have bought A node 2i which again I use as a streamer into my RME DAC.

As streamers only they all seemed to be very similar re SQ to me so I have stuck with the Node 2i because i like the interface and it gives me access to Qobuz where the SU does not. I chose not to buy the NDX 2.


That’s the thing I’m after! :grinning:

That comes with the DAVE

I bet it does.

Have been swamped Last term, and am embroiled now in intensive research projects and helping my son with his studies.

Three kids plus job as academic is a recipe for total loss of social life.

But one day I’d love to hear it!


Sorry for the late reply, I have been a little away from the forum little time for me lately.

Regarding the zen stream being better than a stand alone NDX2, no is not, but they are very different products.

What I can say is that I have some expensive cables that here from past systems and tried the config below with the zen stream.

The Zen Stream with an iPower Elite, the power cable on the power elite I only experimented with an audioquest Monsoon and a audioquest tornado, the network cable used was an audioquest vodka and the usb was an audioquest Diamond. This was excessive but where the only better than stock cables I had available and not in use.

And that as a transport made me think is an amazing streamer, used only two dac’s one was the pro iDSD from IFi the other was the internal dac of a Denon pma-2500ne.

If you ask me, the NDX2 has better detail and more texture, and can locate things with more precision, but produces a smaller image. The power cable on the ndx is an audioquest Hurricane source and the network cable an audioquest Diamond.

The zen stream for 399 euros is a bargain when paired with a good dac, and the NDX2 is not 15 times better, but is better and is a stand-alone unit with integrated dac, DSD is not that great on the NDX2. I still think the digital bnc of the NDX is not very good on my external dac’s, and that could be a compatibility issue. If for a moment I though the NDX2 was worse in sound there was no reason to keep it.

The. Zen stream is good for the price and is good for roon use. Better than the node 2i as a transport.

The node 2i has a much better out of the box software than the zen, the node 2i is a more complete and mature product has an internal dac as a bonus, not a great dac but works very well. The software of the zen is bad, at least in my view of it, is based on an old Linux kernel running a personalized old version of volumio.

As a roon user I normally never use the provided software for more than updating the units.

I hope I have helped you with this reply…


I only mentioned the digital out, If in my system I liked more the digital out of the NDX, I for sure removed right away one of the other streamers.

As a stand-alone streamer the ndx 2 is very good and has a lot to it, and I did not say that is bad or has a lesser internal dac, is an amazing stand alone unit, and with the two dac’s mentioned using coaxial out does not combine as good as the others.

Thanks for the clarification sonwleo. I use my Zen stream with Roon too,which is almost a must have with this product.
It is hard for me to tell exactly what the Zen is giving me,because I changed my speakers,streamer and Dac all around the same time.:slight_smile:

The Zen stream at least comparing it to an sotm SMS200 ultra is more to the musical side and more relaxed with big image is a bargain, the sotm is more detailed and textured, like adding sharpness to all sounds. IFi products are normally good and musical easy on the ears.

Pair the zen stream to an sbooster or IFi ipower elite and you will have a decent upgrade, I like very much the sbooster, I use them in my switches, is a solid power supply that not brake the bank.

The NDX2 costs 6000 euros, the zen 399 and with good dac can give you a great listening experience, and with the diference in price you can upgrade other gear. A power supply for the Naim is very expensive even if elevates the sound of the NDX2 price is something to take into account.

And my opinion is subjective as every system and listening roon, speakers and personal taste can be present on an advice, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. I like all my streamers and the tendency to give them a favorable comment is bigger.

Expensive normally is better, but not 10 or 20 times better, and depending on the match with the system could even be worse. A good match of medium products can give you better results sometimes than a bad match of very expensive and good products.


I actually already have an Sbooster BOTW powering my Dac, and was planning on adding one to my Zen stream soon. I talked to my local dealer just before Christmas about ordering one for me. He was going to contact Ifi, to see which voltage they recommend. I told him not to rush, so I can recover from the holidays…might give him a call next week.