NDX2- Applemusic - via USB

After watching a YT-video of Darko Audio (HI-RES Audio and Apple music done) i tried using the USB connection with my ipad/iphone to play Hi-res AM.
Seem not to work (no sound)

Any guidance on getting this to work?


Do you have a DAC connected to the USB connector on the iPhone/iPad then DAC output to NDX2? The streamers won’t accept a USB to USB connection for the devices to relay audio directly.

The Ndx2 doesn’t have USB. The USB port is only for a memory stick or usb hard drive.
You need an usb to spdif cable converter. But I don’t know how it can work with an IPad/ IPhone.

Hi Alley-Cat/frenchrooster

I want to use the NDX2 as the DAC as it is a DAC. A additional DAC seems a bit overkill.
No option than?
NDX software update request to update the USB an option? Or is the USB not correctly wired to be able to do that?

The USB sockets on the NDX 2 are for USB memory sticks or hard drives only, they can’t be used as inputs for the internal DAC.

You’d need a USB device in the middle that could send the audio stream to the NDX2 via optical/SPDIF I’m afraid - check the ‘Apple Music incoming’ thread.

Neither Amazon or Apple have really provided easy methods to play their hi-res audio to the newer streamers/Uniti platform without additional boxes or jumping through hoops.

Best we can hope for is Apple Music added as a service (Naim would be keen I suspect if Apple co-operated) or enhancement of Airplay 2 to send the music over the network in better than CD quality (many streams apparently are 256kbps AAC currently).


You could use an Apple CCK converter cable, which allows USB out from your iPad. You could then use a USB to SPDIF of you choice which you could then connect to your NDX2


Any recommendations on a USB to SPDIF/optical out device?

The thought that springs to mind, is Apple Music sufficiently better than the native options from Tidal or Qobuz to warrant dongleing your way to a solution?

It’s likely Naim are in contact with Apple to integrate Apple Music in a more straightforward manner akin to Tidal or Qobuz.

Apple TV has been successfully extended to non-Apple devices for example, that rather than re-engineering Airplay seems a more likely solution for us at some point in the future.

The old apple Airport Express (looks like a white apple tv) has optical out, if you can find a used one, that can act as an airplay bridge, controlled wirelessly from your iDevice and outputting over optical spdif to your NDX2.
You can even hard wire it to your LAN over Ethernet. It may well be limited though on the optical interface to 24/48, need to check specs…

I have one, I’m going to test it out of curiousity!

But Apple make the app it’s not giving the a 3rd party access to it’s streams which is what is needed for Naim or any vendor to integrate it. They currently don’t provide this via the APi only access to library stuff and playing via apple music app or API player. It might change but I doubt it.

It’s a point of reference, Apple TV is available as a service on multiple platforms and device types implimented in a number of ways, either using a browser (HTML/Javascript) or a native application (C++).
Apple will have played a part in enabling that but development and integration of Apple TV would have been done by numerous parties external to Apple based on tools and frameworks made available to them.
There’s nothing (technically) stopping Apple doing the same with audio made available from their Apple Music CDN. The most likely constraint being content licencing and certification on the target platforms.
Airplay provides a defined extensibility but has inherent constraints that don’t currently accommodate the higher resolution audio formats they now offer from within Apple Music.
Sonos have a native integration of Apple Music, if constrained by their hardware to 24/48 also, but shows it is possible in principle.

True; but the problem with sending the music via AirPlay to it seems to be, that already the Music app on iOS decides to send AAC only via AirPlay 2. Once it behaves “properly” (as another thread indicates, this might happen with iOS 15?), this would work; at least for “lossless” (though likely not for “hires”).

But I have those lying around here as well; and 1 is still use on another system here.

If you have the time/appetite you can load the iOS 15 beta on to your iDevice as well.
I expect anything that gets music from Apple Source to Naim destination with currently available means will be at best a work around with limitations not to mention extra boxes and cables in the middle.
I expect the only way you’ll get beyond 24/48 without putting another DAC in the path is with a USB to SPDIF bridge, the native apple music app would then need to be happy with sending the data over USB in the correct format for conversion to optical/electrical spdif.
I may have a fiddle about with these scenarios as time allows.

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I found a USB Type C to optical digital device.

Look for Reiyin DA-03, might take some digging about to actually buy one having said that!


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I have that Airport Express as a wi-fi extender in an upstairs room, from memory it was limited to CD quality.

Have you considered the Topping DS10 mini, Darko uses this as digital bridge. I am thinking of this route for Amazon HD. I will be looking at using the missus laptop into the DS10 into the XS2 toslink input. So the DS10 will bypass the internal DAC on your IPAD pull it through and the XS2 will do the conversion and output. In theory :slight_smile:

My thoughts exactly - these Apple threads are head scratchers. The NDX2 is an $8k streamer - if one can’t afford - or want - to feed it with Qobuz or Tidal, perhaps best to move on and find a cheaper streamer to work with Apple. Otherwise one will just have to throw more $ at it, such as a good USB>SPDIF converter. But whatever floats other’s boats I guess…

Scratch ur head no more. Let me try to clarify why I would AM in my 8k streamer;
I do have some 1000 CD’s, DSD, Hi-res purchased and stored on a harddrive. Using Roon to integrate this with other services (where possible ) to be able to play albums I do not know or have . I have tried Spotify (not Roon and not hi-res), Qobuz (did not have many of “my artists) and so I am now using Tidal (working well, not all the music I like). Since approx one year I use AM through the household and like their playlists ( I do transfer them to Tidal). I use music services to learn about new music. Mind you, I listen 70% of the time to an ACC radio via my 8k steamer (groove salad).
So in order to simplify things I would like to use only one service (AM) and since they also offer hi-res my interest has increased.

And all argument above aside, I just like to fiddle around and try new things. Rest assured, AM is only of great interest to me, if it would integrate with Roon, but that’s a whole other discussion. So hooking up AM to my ndx2 is just the beginning.

Njoy the weekend

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I have a family Apple Music subscription - don’t use it much myself, but if it becomes feasible to use it for hi-res to streamers why wouldn’t I look at it? I susbcribe to both Qobuz and Tidal anyway.

It’s not really about cost for me just having more options and broader content coverage - just like hi-fi incremental gains may be tiny but it all helps.

From what I gather you use a lightening to USB camera adapter.

This one I believe allows you to charge while using correct, Hive?

Also, I have the Lightening to Digital AV adapter; but that will not work for this? Does anyone know?

Not sure about the AV adapter; that’s the one with HDMI?
It might help, if you use an adapter to extract SPDIF from HDMI or route it via your TV.
Whether Apple / Music will send lossless (from the app) via HDMI I don’t know, but plain stereo PCM should be default here?