NDX2 or ND5XS2?

I have not done any upgrade in years on my

  • Unitiserve
  • Dac (the one at 3300eur) with non-Naim PS
  • NAC 282 with non-Naim PS
  • NAP 200
  • Avantgarde Accoustics Duo

Now I decided to go for a streamer and tested NDX2 vs ND5 BUT the NDX2 I connected directly to the NAC and the ND5 to the DAC plus PS.

Well the NDX2 performed slightly better but not double price better and now I am not sure what to do but tempted to go for the ND5 (with a bad feeling

I had not enough time to test in dephts PS on NDX2 (tried and worked) and unfortunatelly did not manage to connect the NDX2 to my DAC and now am not sure what to do , especially as the NDX2 will take another 10% price increase from 01/09/22.


I had a TP PS and changed it to a Naim PS (XPS DR). Huge upgrade. So you might consider just adding a Naim XPS to your excellent DAC.

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This question has been asked several times before. My view – although many here will disagree – is that the NDX2 is maybe marginally better than the ND5XS2. But the difference to my ears is marginal, and is certainly not enough to justify the extra money.

I bought it a couple of years back to partner my SN2 and have never regretted it.


I would consider a 555PS for your NDAC. It was designed when the older non-DR units were current, so if you can find one of these on the used market it should be a good deal cheaper than the later version.

If you keep using a separate DAC an ND5XS2 would be a good transport. A cheaper non-Naim transport would do the job if you want to keep your expenditure under control.


They are good streaming DACs and I’ve had both in succession.

When I auditioned the NDX2 at home, for me it was just a overwhelming difference and improvement over the ND5XS2, I really did not expect it. I guess the NDX2 as a DAC implementation is just a class (or more!) above. If it’s not the same for you, well, nothing to worry about but I would give it a bit more time if at all possible?

Btw adding the XPSDR to the NDX2 (as you do!) later didn’t do much for me (a mild improvement at a rather high cost and extra shelf space).

If you are willing to keep the NDAC you have one more reason not to be too anxious about sending the NDX2 back —- it’s just that in this case adding an expensive second DAC (the ND5XS2) vs just a streamer (transport) may be a good question?


Does anyone have experiences of comparing the streaming capabilities of the Nova vs the ND5XS2/SN2 or SN3?

They are all roon endpoints with the same streaming functionality. I could hear a difference between the nd5xs2 and ndx2. Similarly with those two and the nova. The ndx2 made a difference to me, i wasnt looking for anymore, where the nd5 left me slightly wanting. The additioal depth quietness and soundstage become apparent after a couple listening sessions. I felt like i would be trading in the nd5 for an ndx2 before too long. The nova is absolutely outstanding for what it is, and if i couldnt have afforded the ndx2 id have bought the nova happily. The nd5 should have a screen. I am using the ndx2 with a supernait3, I love the combination.

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With regard to the user-facing software, app control, and inbuilt streaming capabilities/protocols/… they are identical. (Except for the missing screen+remote for the ND5XS2. And different HW interfaces, like Nova not having a digital out.)

They basically have the same streaming board and software.
(Not sure about any low level firmware difference for hardware components and surly they are built differently, affecting SQ. I mean the “IT/software” part of it.)

I can’t stand screens! Seriously. It just seems a waste of resources and dosh. But I accept that I may be in a minority.


Whereas, I really like my Nova screen, and it’s one of the reasons it’s hung on in my system despite much thinking about alternatives and a possible return to a separates solution.

We’re all differ in our preferences.

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Thanks. Good to know.

This does seem to be the vaunted combo to better my current Nova. Though, the forum isn’t unanimous on this, of course.


Whilst I don’t necessarily hate screens I do agree, why add more cost of a screen when you can place your tablet/phone on a discrete mount on top of your system

It’s worth remembering that the ND5XS2 has no remote, so you are wholly dependent on the phone. Maybe that’s ok, but I find it really nice to be able to pick up the remote and change the volume using system automation.

The only time I’ve done a direct comparison between the ND5XS2 and the NDX2 was at Naim, and to me the X2 is significantly better. It can also be upgraded with a PS, which the lesser model cannot.

My advice to the OP is to go for the NDX2, ditch the DAC and whatever PS it might be and get a proper Naim PS when the time is right.

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There is no volume control on a streamer; the remote on the SN2/SN3/preamp handles that. Or am I missing your meaning?

If you connect the streamer to the preamp or integrated you can control the volume of the amp using the streamer remote.

OK, I see what you’re saying. And that’s fair enough, if you don’t mind paying a lot more for the NDX2. I’m always amazed when we have these streamer comparisons that so many people here can hear such a big difference. I’m seeing “overwhelming” and “significant” in these posts. I don’t get that at all. Must be something wrong with my ears – or perhaps they’re coming out in sympathy with my wallet.


As ever, one person’s significant is another’s insignificant. These things are all good.


Completely unmeasurable and highly subjective but I’m of the opinion my Nova simply sounds better than it once did.

Since I’ve moved into my current house about a year ago, it’s subtly improved. Or my ears/mood/disposition/choices of music have!

No other components have been added or subtracted either.


I think it is unquestionably questionable. I was all set to get a nova, until i sat down and listened, and then i parted ways with another 7k, and i have absolutely no regrets. The nova is worth more than the sum of its parts which may also be true with the sn3 ndx2. Quite frankly im surprised the sn3 doesnt cost more.