nDAC USB Connection

Hi all,

I have recently picked up the nDAC second-hand.
Is it possible to connect to a music server via USB-A to USB-A?
I’d like to connect something like a laptop/NAS/Server directly, if possible.

Thanks in advance.

The USB input is just for playback from USB devices such as memory sticks rather than allowing USB DAC functionality directly from a computer / server.

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As @james_n correctly pointed out, the nDAC does not support ASIO USB input.

So the solution here, if your computer has not coaxial or optical output, it to use a ASIO to SPDIF converter. Note, that is not simply a lead. It is an active device, though there are some which are elegantly powered by the USB port. You can find basic ones online for less than $20 but be prepared to pay more for a quality converter. Given how electrically noisy such things can be, I would suggest opting for optical as the conversion target so that the nDAC and computer and USB adapter are galvanically isolated from it.

For around a hundred quid, you could consider a Raspberry Pi with a “Digi” interface board (SPDIF outputs), and MoOde or Volumio software. That will provide the electrical or optical data stream to the NDAC, combined with music library functionality, and with a bonus of a large number of internet radio stations.

It is possible to connect iOS devices directly via USB.
Currently I like using my iPad as source, either playing locally stored music or streaming services.
Other possibility is a good quality USB to S/PDIF converter like the Shiit Eatr or Mutec MC-3 USB

I had the nDAC and added to it the AudioPhilleo 1 MkII SE with PurePower (its little power supply).

In my experience it is the perfect partner for the nDAC.
It not only is a USB to S/PDIF converter, it is a lot more. Check their website.

It’s expensive but it is worth every penny, IMO (still have mine!).

You can then add a Raspberry Pi based streamer and you’ll end up with a fine streamer!



Nota : The USB interface of the Naim DAC-V1 was designed by AudioPhilleo.


Yes, but within the limitations of the iOS protocol. It certainly won’t do hires. I have used various music Apps to stream radio. It’s a bit of a faff.


But aren’t all your recommendations, Thomas? :smiley:


If you can find an early MacBook or Mac Mini, the audio port doubles as an optical output and works well with a decent toslink cable into your nDAC. The Mac Mini can be used headless which is what I did when I had an nDAC and is a surprisingly good-sounding source. You will need to find one made no later than around 2015, but sensible to check. There seem to be plenty available on the usual sites.


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Really? :thinking:

The AudioPhilleo is a well engineered piece of kit. It’s on nDAC level.

Its resale value is interesting if purchased new.
If bought used, it can be sold later with little or no loss.

So I don’t consider it being an overly expensive purchase in regard of the nDAC.

Of course a direct connection to a computer via TOSLINK is a very inexpensive option. But in terms of sound quality we are clearly far behind…


I’ve been very happy with mine for more than 2 years in 552/500 system.

I had a £50 soundcard in my PC into nDAC via toslink which wasn’t even a rival to the tv via toslink.


What is the impact to DSD when feeding over S/PDIF?
What I’m thinking (if possible) would be to get a NAS with S/PDIF output. Is this even an option??
(I know I’m opening a can of worms with DSD in the first place. What I’m curious about is the feasibility to feed music files upto and including DSD to the nDAC).

Why not, but not sure it is best thing to do in terms of sound quality.

A NAS, is a small computer. Computers are noisy little things. You don’t want to connect them directly to your nDAC.

If you really want to connect a computer directly to your DAC, without using something like the AudioPhilleo then @PeakMan’s solution is probably the best option.

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Unitiserve. Core ??


Correct. In fact the old iPod Classic will also display the current firmware version in the nDAC - easier than counting “blinking lights” on the nDAC itself.

You can also plug a FAT32 formatted USB stick into it.

Another option (as I mentioned before) is an Raspberry Pi based streamer. Ethernet in — SPDIF out.

Costs range from around £100 (RPi, IQAudio or Hifiberry Digi interface board, PSU, Moode or Volumio software), to Allo USBridgeSig/DigiOneSig/Shanti/Moode at around £700.

Wait, what! Really? I hope I didn’t toss my old iPod classic!

You have to plug the iPod Classic into the front port, and set it playing - e.g. currently playing Suzy Noosha :slight_smile:

Then go to settings/about and scroll right to get to the “new” fourth screen:

nDAC v4.11.8, which I believe is the latest :smiley:


Thanks for this. I just hope I didn’t toss mine out.

We still use ours in our elderly Audis (A6 & TT) which both have “after market” iPod interfaces into the Audi Symphony systems :smiley:

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Smart. I have an older iPod touch but I can’t seem to locate my classic