nDac+Bluesound Node2i OR NDX (Not NDX2)

I have a Naim XS2 and a Bluesound Node 2i. However the streamer seems to be the lacking part in my system.
In terms of sound quality what would be the better option?

  • Keep the Node 2i and add a second handNaim nDac
  • Buy a second hand NDX (not the NDX2 or ND5XS2 as my budget won’t allow it) and sell the Node

I only use Tidal and Qobuz to stream music, no CD’s and no network-stored music.

I know that some NDX have trouble with Tidal and Qobuz sometimes but I can connect it wired and my internet and router are very fast so I think it will be fine.

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Hi, if you’re happy with the way the Node works, I would probably vote for the NDAC. Good though the NDX is, it doesn’t give you Qobuz, and Tidal sound quality on it is not quite as good as locally streamed lossless files. The reliability issues some experienced with the old generation Naim streamers is not related to your internet line speed or local network setup, and although not everyone experienced these problems, they are due to factors out of your control.

I am OK with the BluOS platform but I care more about SQ than how the platform works. SQ is by far the most important for me.

Will I still get the “Naim sound” (like the NDX has) if I use the Node into the nDAC?

The Node on it’s own is a very capable streamer and DAC.

I’m listening to my Node 2i as I type playing Vangelis Nocturne - Qobuz HR via the DAC on my 272 and it blows me away how good this streamer really is go for an nDac you will not be disappointed.


Have to agree with Hifiman, the Node is an excellent streamer. Have you set the sound quality setings to hi res in tbe bluesound app.?What is it you don’t like. As you have no other source to compare it too, it may not be the Node that is lacking. I run a node 2i straight into a xs2 and am very happy with the sound.the internal dac is very capable. Let us know and see if we can assist.


If you want to use internet streaming services (Tidal, Qobuz, Idagio, etc.) a second hand NDX is not an option, due to the limitations of its non-upgradeable streaming board.

A second hand Naim DAC with a good front end (Bluesound Node, Allo DigiOne Signature, Meridian 210, Primare NP5, …) is a more flexible approach than the integrated ND5XS2 and NDX2 and is in your budget.

However, the Naim DAC is a bit sensitive to the quality of its source and the sound quality of the front-end + nDAC combo will also depend on the quality of the front end.

I use since a few years a DigiOne Signature (powered by UpTone Audio JS-2 and LPS-1.2) as a front-end for my Naim DAC and I am very happy with the results.

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Yes, I think you will. Remember that Naim used to sell the NDAC as a potential upgrade to the internal DAC in the NDX, and many NDX users went down this route, just using the NDX as a digital transport. So I think the best move for you would be to keep the Node and run it into an NDAC. I’m not saying that the quality of the digital transport is unimportant, but the Node is still pretty good at what it does, and has a much wider range of sources that the rather dated NDX.

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When using the Node via the DAC in my 272 I still maintain the “Naim” sound, using the nDac + Node will be the biggest bang for buck and easy on the wallet.

After using various DACs over the years, Hugo, Lavry DA10, nDac my ears prefer the Naim sound hence why I opted for the 272 as an AiO package but I required a streaming platform the 272 could not deliver in comes the Node to fill that gap.

Probably not as important as the sound but visually the nDac and XS2 will look great together as they are both in slimline cases.

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BlockquoteYes, I think you will. Remember that Naim used to sell the NDAC as a potential upgrade to the internal DAC in the NDX, and many NDX users went down this route, just using the NDX as a digital transport. So I think the best move for you would be to keep the Node and run it into an NDAC.

Well explained ChrisSU

Actually what I miss is speed and punch in the music and perhaps what is described as PRAT. When I auditioned the Atom and the Nait XS2 (Nait was connected to the ND5XS2) the music had a certain speed in it and I couldn’t keep my feet still. Now at home, using the Nait XS2 with the Node 2i it misses this rhythmic speed and punch that I heard during the audition.

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Could it be that the dealer has a demo room that it set up to get the best out of the equipment? You would expect a dedicated demo room to be set up to have good acoustics, and they should be able to set up the system to sound as good as it can.

Ok, so it’s the absence of PRaT rather than lack of SQ?

It’s both prat and attack/punch

That’s for probably an aspect too. Like with any Hi-Fi purchase and dealer demo.

I have another question again to further complicate this.
My taste for sound is a rich and full sound.
Would it be better to toss the Nait XS2 + nDac idea and purchase a Superuniti?

I know it doesn’t give me Qobuz and sometimes has problems with Tidal also but would if Tidal works well wouldn’t it be a better sound than that coming from the Nait XS2 since the amplification is derived from the Supernait.
If the streaming part is lacking I could connect a Node 2 (not 2i) into the DAC of the Superuniti as use that as the streaming frontend.
I can sell my Nait XS2 + Node 2i for about €1900 and buy a Superuniti for about €1750.
In this case I don’t need to buy an nDac anymore and maybe get a better amp as well than that of the XS2?
Options, options, options…

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A search will reveal in-depth instructions but there is another possible option (hinted at earlier).

I have an NDX, had months of issues with Tidal and even when that worked I wasn’t too impressed with the sound quality. I also was keen to try Qobuz hi-res after being impressed with it with a Cambridge 851N Streamer.

Source a used Synology NAS unit from eBay - decent, recent models available starting at less than £200. Install BubbleServer on the NAS. Set up the software to transcode FLAC to WAV on the fly. Then, set up the bubble software to ‘see’ the NDX as an openhome renderer. On a controlling phone, tablet or iPad install your choice of app - I use Lumin but there is BubbleUPNP, Kazoo, Mconnect and many others. Add your subscription details for Tidal and Qobuz and away you go!

I have a large collection of files stored on the NAS but you don’t need to if you only stream music - in effect, you’re using the hardware on the NAS as a NUC or mini PC without having to spend a fortune.

This is the best my system has ever sounded and, just as importantly, I’ve had precisely zero issues with interrupted streams, unresponsive apps or any of the issues I had with the NDX + Naim app. To be fair, the issues were almost 100% Tidals end but weeks of comms with them for me nowhere. I cancelled Tidal some weeks ago and haven’t missed anything even though it worked perfectly with my current setup.

Good luck with it.


The Superuniti is great if you want a one box solution with plenty if power, but I think you would be better off with the Node/NDAC. If your speakers really need more power, maybe look at a Supernait later, but my gut feeling is that you will find the Superuniti a step down.

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Interesting solution. I already have a NAS for my movies but it is a bit older so I hope it is powerful enough to work with those apps. Its a Asustor AS202TE (1,2GHz Dual-Core, 1GB) from 2014.
I will have a look at these apps to see how user-friendly they are and further investigate this workaround.

Thanks! A clear answer once again :smiley: