ND5XS2 plus Hugo1 - is it a good match?

Hi there,

I’m considering to buy a ND5XS2 into my Chord Hugo > Supernait2. Would this be a good match?

The other option is NDX2 into my Supernait2. If I make this deal I would be forced to sell my Hugo, and still it would be around 2,5 kE more expensive for me.

Is the software and functionality all the same in ND5XS2 and NDX2?

Hi, the NDX2 works in just the same way as the ND5 except that you have a remote control (not a very good one in my view) and a screen.

Personally I would keep the Hugo as I found mine to be better sounding than my NDX2.


If you are looking to improve feed into Hugo I’d try a HoloAudio Red network streamer (c£900) this has no redundancy of DAC section if you were to get say ND5XS2 and continue to use Hugo.

It will not - both nd5xs2 and ndx2 are full blown DACs and attaching Hugo creates big redundancy with no penalty in sound quality, however.
If you’re going to use Hugo, you need some digital-only streamer called as transport with the USB or coaxial output. Such streamer will cost you a fraction of nd5xs2 neverming ndx2.

I disagree. The DAC chip is a relatively small and inexpensive component of a Naim streamer, and bypassing it into a separate DAC gives you far less redundancy that adding a power supply upgrade. Many of us find that Naim streamers make great digital transports when paired with Chord, Naim or other DACs, and it’s great that Naim put an SPDIF output on all of their streamers for those who choose to take this path.


There are much more than just a dac chip. The DAC is dac chip plus hell knows how many components in the output stage. The DAC requires proper linear psu. The digital only streamer is much more simpler guy.

If the choice of dac is not Naim, why go for a streamer that has already a dac. Personally, if I had to buy a Chord dac, I would buy the best only transport for the Nd5xs2 money, which is Lumin or Innuos Pulse or Pulsar.
The sound signature is more given by the dac, so the Naim transport will not give a Naim sound if paired with a non Naim dac.
And in the Nd5xs2, you pay not only for the cheap dac chip inside, but all the implementation which goes with it. A waste of money in that case.

1 Like

Yes a great match

The ND5x2 isn’t a streamer with a DAC, it’s a DAC with a streaming board.
The streaming board stuff is a small portion at the top right of the photo below.

It would be great if Naim could supply the streaming board in a small box with transformer and voltage regulation. Ethernet and wifi input, with a couple of digital outputs. :grinning:


The Hugo and HugoTT sound their best with a good transport. The ND5XS2 is excellent and will work great.

1 Like

The guy who designed the Hugo recommends the use of optical input, which the ND5xs2 doesn’t provide.

1 Like

When I had an ND5 XS2 I had it hooked up to a Hugo 2 for a while to compare, mainly because I could rather than needed to.
Ultimately I ended up with an NDX2, as others rightly point out, for ND5 money you can get a dedicated transport only product, the user experience will differ between brands so worth making sure you like the interface/app and service support.

It worh noting for those who are not familiar with electronics that the left half of this device is a DAC, and the right half is a streamer plus power supply unit. As we see, the PSU is quite large. Howerver, if we don’t need the DAC, we can make the PSU much slimmer since it is the DAC who requires such a big transformer.
The streamer is that green top right module, about a quarter of the total electronics.
However, this is not all. If we compare this picture with the same for the NDX2, we clearly see that the right half is absolutely identical, and the left one is much bigger.
So, using ND5XS2 or NDX2 as a transport results in significantly higher costs.

Most of the electronics on the right hand side are also associated with the dac.

I’d say of all the large black capacitors, only the one on the right hand side is associated with streaming.

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