Hi guys, just how much of an upgrade is an NDX over my existing ND5XS?

Considering I mainly use it for Tidal streaming (CD quality) and internet radio (mainly stations above 256kbps with quite a few at better quality than that)

Considering I don’t stream really hi res will I notice the difference?

Rest of system SN2 (with HicapDR) into Linn Majik Isobariks

Cheers all


Not quite answering your question, but using ND5XS into NDAC via S/PDIF is a huge upgrade - I’d do that. (In fact I did do that!) You could also try power supply on ND5 … but instinct tells me do NDAC first. S/H value of your unit is low now, so if it’s doing what you need in terms of function, it’s worth maximising it.


If you just stream Tidal and iradio like I do, then there isn’t a better deal for the SQ in the entire Naim lineup than the NDS. And it pairs beautifully with the SN2. I have the NDS/SN2 combo.
And the HiLine is a great cable to connect them with.
You’ll find many posts here that say it’s the best SQ for what it can be had for pre-owned. Many say it sounds as good as the NDX2, just different, but the usual hurdle is Qobuz, which doesn’t matter to you.
Some even prefer the NDS over the NDX2.

Anyway, worth researching …

Agree with above re NDS … as long as you have the budget to dump the ND5 and purchase NDS + PSU. As you asked about a simple move to NDX I assumed your budget was more limited. With same PSU … NDS and NDAC aren’t a million miles apart (I own one of each).

I owned ndx/ndac/555dr and they sounded great. The nds/555dr was so much better I could barely believe my ears.

I had the ND5XS both on its own and with the XP5XS PSU.
I asked the same question of Naim re the NDX and was told it would be slightly better due to better hardware for the output sockets & DAC output stage and case work (full height Classic case vs Slim XS Case). So I didn’t upgrade and jumped straight to the NDS, initially using the XP5XS before changing that for a 555DR.

Perhaps you could try getting a XP5DR as it improved playback of CD format material, which is what you are streaming.
Or and May be easier a XPS or XPS DR, which should not only boost your ND5XS but provide a PSU option if you wanted to go to a NDS in the future.

So Gaz - as always it depends how much you’re willing to spend, and where you want to end up.

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