ND5 XS2 vs ND5XS

I understand, 1 think, that the XS2 has the new streaming platform, and thus the benefits that gives. However, used ND5XS would be more affordable. I have heard the awsome NDX2, but can’t afford it, so i am considering ND5XS or less affordable XS2. My streaming systems currently consist of a logitech Squeezebox or Pi/Allo Digione both feeding an IRdac. I am wanting a more robust and idiot friendly user interface as well as a step up in SQ. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I’m not familiar with the Pi/Allo/IRdac combo, but I was very familiar with something similar using a microRendu 1.4 feeding a DAC. I sold them all off and went for a ND5XS2. At this point I wouldn’t bother with a ND5XS as it would be a sideways move in my humble opinion (IMHO) and less flexible. The ND5XS2 is something special for the price point. At first I wasn’t sure it was better compared to my previous setup, but after 2 weeks I knew I made the right decision. It was so much better for a SQ point of view, user interface, and general not having to mess around with it.

A used original NDX is in budget. I would do the comparison between that and the ND5XS2.

I suspect the NDX will win but the new features of the new streaming platform may appeal.

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Thanks for the advice. I am sometimes very happy with my current setup, but at other times not so, and my main aim is to reduce the 'inner shouting ’ when I have to wait for re- indexing my own hi res collection. BTW, I am using an Olive series 92/90/Flatcap.

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I would Go Nd5xs2. Two main reasons: reliability ( no screen) . Last generation arquitecture applied , learned from the past.


I was there just recently. ND5XS2 is the right choice between the two streamers. I’d save a little money and wait for the ND5XS2 over a sideways move.

The older generation streamers were really designed to stream a local music collection from a NAS, with a limited range of web streaming services added later. If you have any intention of streaming from an online subscription service I would stick with the current range that was designed for that job, otherwise you may be faced with the need for various workaround solutions to get the best from a streaming platform that was designed over 12 years ago. The WiFi performance on the old models is also not great, so although I would recommend an Ethernet cable with any streamer, the old Naim models make it more or less obligatory.

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Thanks, it’s the conclusion I was leaning towards.

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I do now subscribe to both Qobuz and Tidal, so the newer models become a more pressing target

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I owned both the ND5 XS and the XS2. I would estimate the ND5 XS2 sounds 10-15% better than the older XS. It is clearly better for sound quality. Add the new streaming platform, and I strongly suggest you get the XS2.

Definitely look at the ND5 XS2 then. Native integration and, it’s also a Roon end point should you wish to go that direction. Airplay2 as well. There’s a lot going on with the new streamer.

If you buy an ND5XS2 you do not need an Allo DigiOne. If you buy an Allo DigiOne, you do not need an ND5XS2 but rather a DAC with SPDIF inputs. If you are interested in internet streaming services, you should not buy a ND5XS, but an ND5XS2 would be fine.

Are you still happy with nd5xs2. I’ve noticed others getting rid after little more than 12 months and some feeling necessary to tweak. I’m still waiting for my Naim dealer to get back to me regarding demo.

I’m 100% happy with it. I’ve had mine just over a year. I did find a Naim nDAC second hand for a great price and I’m using the ND5xs2 to feed it currently. Yes it’s 2 boxes for my source, but the SQ is equal to if not slightly better(different) than a bare NDX2. IMHO even without the nDAC I’d be happy especially paired with a SN3.


I do find the discussions on here interesting. Especially when the ND5xs2 is mentioned. Those that have ndx2’s will tell you they can hear a difference. And for ,£3k I’d hope so. I’ve listened to both albeit seperately and could not hear anything to make me want the NDX2. The front ends are pretty much the same. Just different DACs and a screen appear to be the main differences.
I did try and buy a qutest to take care of DAC duties.
If i’m honest I did not want the temptation of adding a power supply at a later date.
The newer streaming platform is the clear driver for buying the newer model over its older brother.
But, if you only stream from a Nas for example rather than tidal or Qobuz, then do try the older model.


Hi all,

I am interested in this topic as well. How do you guys (with expierience from both ND5 XS and XS2) rate the pure SQ? Any upgrades onboard the XS2? DAC?

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