Nd5x, nd5xs2,ndx2. Thoughts of the journey


I bought a supernait 3 around early Jan, This was an upgrade from nait xs2.
I have been streaming via nd5xs with hi cap dr through some proac d20r’s. The supernait 3 is a super bit of kit I must say, a major upgrade even though I still really enjoyed the nait xs2.

The nd5xs still sounds great but of course could be bettered but at a price. I also am interested in the Roon direction.

My question is how much is the sound difference between the nd5xs and the nd5xs2 and how? And again to the ndx2? To your ears.

When auditioning it is difficult to examine like for like as Singapore Hi-Fi scene differs from UK so appreciate your views.

As a footnote as an owner of an incredibly messy set up I decided to take some time yesterday to tidy up the cables and speaker placement, must say it made quite a large difference. Even the wife noticed, or was that her way to make sure I keep it that way?


The new Nd5xs2 is totally differenr in a good way. The sound is more open, clear and detailled without loosing the Naim sound. The step behind the two Nd5 is bigger vs the nd5xs2 and NDX2.

I had a ND5-XS and was never really all that impressed with it. I’ve always been more into analog, and the ND5-XS never got more than about 5-10% of playtime, and was mostly a waste of money for me. When it failed last year and went off to service, my dealer arranged for a NDX2 as an audition loaner. I never returned it (purchased it as b-stock).

Once I had the NDX2 I started playing it almost as much as my TT, maybe 60/40% in favor of analog. It’s that much better, and was the first time I ever considered digital to be good enough to play for serious listening. I have since added a XPSDR and that transformed it into something special. It’s still not as good as my analog front end (which is about 50% more expensive), but good enough that I play it about as much as I play records. I use Roon with Qobuz and locally stored FLAC files 100% as source for the NDX2.

The ND5-XS is way out of this league. It doesn’t even come close.

1 Like

Before spending 5K for an NDX2, I would certainly listen to Chord’s Qutest and TT2, and both provide a great upgrade path too — the MScaler…

1 Like

I have a ND5 XS2, played through XS2. I demoed ND5 XS2 and NDX2 at dealer, played through Supernait 2 (prior to release of Supernait 3; dealer didn’t normally stock XS2). While there was a noticeable difference between the two streamers, I opted for ND5 XS2 for three reasons. First, while the NDX2 sounded better, both units sounded really good. I’ve had my ND5 XS2 for over a year and been very pleased with how it sounds in my system (speakers are Audio Physics Tempo Plus, which are very revealing). Second, the price difference was, in my view, far greater than the improvement in a sound quality. (This is not a criticism of NDX2 but indicative of how much Naim has achieved with the ND5 XS2.) Third, streamers are a relatively new and immature technology and I had concerns about spending more on a streamer at this stage in this product’s life cycle that might be rendered either outdated or obsolescent in a few years time. Given that, I decided it made more sense to buy the less expensive streamer. In my view, I can always upgrade or (hopefully) obtain much of the benefits of technological improvements by simply using the ND5 XS2 as a steaming platform with an external DAC in the future.


get a pre loved ndx2 for £3.5k

no brainer IMHO

I made exactly the same reflection with the SN2 at the time. I agree with you: to worth the upgrade you must add an xps to the ndx2 to be in a different league, bare the nd5xs2 win.

1 Like

Thanks man

Yes I thought about the qutest but kind of want to explore the roon interface as I find the naim one a little frustrating.
I guess your view is exactly what I wanted to hear , a clear upgrade for someone that is not seeking nirvana but just that little extra to a system I enjoy already. Just a little more sparkle a little more control a little more depth.
Plus I reckon I can get away with telling the wife the screen fell off the xs2, telling her it grew would be a tad more difficult.

1 Like

This is probably one of the most sensible posts I have read in a long time. Having said that…I had recently saw a second hand NDX for about £1000 and wondered if that would be a better upgrade than selling my ND5xs and using the money to purchase the NDxs52?

Bearing mind my pre/amp are the NAC152/NAP155.

A secondhand NDX will have the older, legacy streaming platform, so you will lose native Roon support, Qobuz integration and more. And there will likely be no more feature upgrades via firmware anymore. Personally, I would chose a ND5XS2 over a legacy NDX. Others can pipe in as to whether the NDX DAC is better or not.


Do give the NDX2 a try at Abslute Sound first. If you like it, you may also ask if you may have it for home demo (Likely over Sunday). If this is not possible, an A / B comparison with you brining your ND5XS to the shop may be worth exploring.

There’s a thought, thanks.
But dangerous ground home demo’s I’d imagine they tend not to go back…

Am interested in finding out if anybody here has made the switch from NDX to ND5XS2? If so, what are their experiences?

Good question, I’d like to know that too…

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.