NDX2 or NDS/Roon to stream Qobuz/Tidal - which gives best SQ?

Which gives better SQ to stream Qobuz/Tidal into SN3/Arivas:
NDS with Roon via NUC and OpticalRendu?
Or new NDX2?
Each option costs £5k.

Has anyone compared these?

Or is there a better way for SQ purposes (i.e. ignoring music management advantages of Roon) to stream Qobuz/Tidal into an NDS?

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To me it is not clear how you intend to use the opticalRendu with an NDS: the opticalRendu is an (optical) Ethernet to USB transport, the NDS has no USB inputs, to the best of my knowledge.

If you are looking for an Ethernet (wired or wireless) to SPDIF transport and Roon endpoint, you could consider an Allo DigiOne Signature. You will need two good power supplies, one for the RPi side and one for the “clean” side of the Signature. With GenToo Player, you also have a plug and play OS than is better supported than SonicOrbiter, in my view.

So what ways are there of streaming Tidal/Qobuz to an NDS without Roon?

Audirvana running on a pc or mac of some kind?

A Bluesound Node 2i - but that would bypass the NDS streamer?

A nas or NUC or fanless pc running something like bubble?

Is there any really good single device that can do this simply and well?

Jim, I think the answer is the NDX2. You only stream from Tidal/Qobuz and although you have asked the question a few times nobody has, I believe, given you the definitive answer that the sound quality is better through Roon.
The NDX2 would be fairly straightforward and fit well with your SN3, also giving you the potential for incremental upgrades.

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You would have to use a USB to SPDIF bridge in which case you do not need the opticalRendu as the bridge itself provides galvanic isolation.

I see that you have a 272 with a 555DR. Is the move do another system meant to improve the sound quality, the functionality or both?

In either case, I would try to avoid too long and complicated chains: either a good Roon endpoint with SPDIF output directly into the NDS or a single box like the NDX2.

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I do not use Tidal or Qobuz anymore but the BubbleUPnP app (only for Android) has support for Tidal, Qobuz and much more. I understand that the app allows one to replay Tidal and Qobuz streams on any UPnP renderer that has been wrapped into an OpenHome renderer by BubbleUPnP Server, but I have never tried this approach. BubbleUPnP Server has to run on a networked machine. For instance, I run it on an RPi4 that is wired to my router and also runs MinimServer and serves music files on my LAN. If I enter http://rpi7:58050/ in a web browser (rpi7 is the name of the machine that runs BubbleUPnP Server), I see all my servers and renderers and, for each renderer, I can select to create an OpenHome renderer and the maximum audio quality of Tidal and Qobuz. I have never tried this scheme with Naim renderers, thus you should better check with someone who has “rooniefied” his/her NDS or simply try this approach with your 272. It costs you nothing.

There are of course plenty of Tidal and Qobuz endpoints but very few with high quality SPDIF outputs. If you do not mind system redundancies, you could use an ND5 XS 2 as a pure transport, see also https://community.naimaudio.com/t/nd5xs-or-nd5xs2/6782?u=nbpf. Another device that looks very interesting is the dCS Network Bridge, in my view.

I’d prefer not to use a usb to spdif converter at all.
The idea of moving to another system is aimed at improving sound quality, (not functionality).
Yes, I am looking for a simple system without long and complicated chains of boxes.

Nds or Ndx2/ SN3 will not sound better, just different, vs 272/555dr/ 250. A better source but lesser electronics.
The real uplift would be ndx2/ 555dr/ 282/ 250. And why bother with Roon, if sound quality is your goal. Ndx2 will give you Qobuz with hirez streaming, all you need I think.


So do you think NDS/555DR or NDX2/555DR is better?

I’ve never heard either of them!

I’ve found a 2018 NDS but would have to drive a long way to listen to it - setting off tomorrow at 6:00am!

(Obviously the NDS is £3.2k whereas the NDX2 is £5k new. So I could spend some on Roonifying it to get Qobuz).

Nds is apparently still a bit better, but not by a big margin. However it can’t stream Qobuz or with additional hardware which is not optimally integrated.
Ndx2 has Qobuz integrated and your goal is to stream online with best sound.
If you wanted to stream locally, from a nas or Melco, nds would be the first choice.
But in your case, Ndx2 without hesitation.

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Wow - that means a lot coming from a happy NDS user.
Thanks FR.
But you have a library and I’m a freewheeling web streamer.
A lot of people have also said the same, that the NDX2 would be the better route to go.
Maybe I’ll sleep in tomorrow then…
In that case, I should probably then wait until May to see if the 272/2 does arrive.
And then compare it to the NDX2.

I must admit that I’m struggling (as Nestor did) to find an elegant way to get Qobuz into the NDS.

Anyway, I really love the SQ of my system as it is - so waiting a few more months will not be bad at all.

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I stream locally only, no Tidal or even need for Qobuz really. If you were in my case, I would advise you the nds vs Ndx2.

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I don’t know how elegant it is but I know someone using my old NDS with the Sonore UpnP Bridge and a Roon Nucleus. He is very happy with it and it is very easy to set up.

It is also not too much trouble to set up your own NUC with Roon at a significantly lower price than the Nucleus. This will give you Roon/Qobuz on an NDS.


Until Oct. 2019 upmpdcli had native support for both Tidal and Qobuz. That’s how I used Qobuz initially: just run upmpdcli on a RPi + DigiOne Signature combo and connect to the nDAC. Work done.

In Oct. 2019 Qubuz access was revoked and the Qobuz plugin for upmpdcli stopped working, see “www dot lesbonscomptes dot com slash upmpdcli slash hash news”.

Since then, streaming Qobuz to devices like the NDS has become less straightforward and/or more expensive.

I think that @frenchrooster is making very good points and that you should not be in a hurry with upgrading. You have a nice system and in a couple of months we might have more interesting options.

I also would suggest that you learn what BubbleUPnP Server can do for you in your current setup. It is very easy to setup through a simple web interface and runs completely silent in the background.


But adding an extra power supply to replace the internal one is part of the Naim ecosystem… I don’t look at it as system redundancy on the internal power supply regulation and stand by optimisation. The same can be said, though possibly less impacting on using the device as a digital out or analogue out… the products are designed for max performance so you can’t do both simultaneously … again it’s not really system redundancy, it’s system capability, you choose which features to use and system optimises itself appropriately… it’s a nice feature about many of the Naim products.

All you need to use BubbleUPnP Seerver is a web browser and an understanding of what the software can do for you.

The usage is straightforward by just checking and unchecking buttons.

One certainly does not need a degree in engineering to use BubbleUPnP Server.

Perhaps the problem is that the documentation is not very well written or that many people simply do not have the patience to read it carefully.

I do not think that the ND5 XS 2 can be upgraded with an external PSU but I might be mistaken, of course.

What I meant with “If you do not mind system redundancies” is “If you do not mind using the streamer as a transport” or, in more mundane terms, “paying for a DAC that you do not use”.

Of course, there is nothing wrong in doing so and, as you point out, one can look at the ND5 XS 2 as a DAC with, among others, an Ethernet input or as a transport with an additional analogue output.

Ok, but like wise you may not equally be using the SPDIF output and stream transport capability function of the streamer if you only ever use its analogue out…
My point these are product features, rather than circuitry which is replaced more capable circuitry, which to my mind would be redundancy…
To my mind the biggest improvement with the new streamers is it s digital streaming architecture and circuitry… huge advancement went here… I would be disappointed anyone reading these threads decided not to take advantage of it just because they weren’t thinking of using the analogue outputs which in them selves are less significantly changed in the new streamers.
I look at the analogue outs as a fall back resilience option if my DAC needs to be serviced… another option of using Naim streamers.


I did set up bubble upnp server afaik.
There was a thread on it, which I think you were on.
It was a fiddly thing to set up, but it did connect in the end.

The problem was that it was directing the files into my old ASUS laptop via WiFi for processing.

This degraded the sq as much if not more than any uplift that was gained by unpacking the flac files.

Since then if I leave the upnp option enabled on the 272 it sometimes bursts into song of its own accord by playing my playlists via upnp.

If I organize wired Ethernet for my laptop it would probably work a lot better, so that might be worth doing.

@Simon-in-Suffolk: I basically agree with your analysis. Still, looking at the analogue outputs of a Naim streamer as a fall back option is a viewpoint that might not suit everybody if you consider that those outputs make up for a significant portion of the costs (isolation, dedicated PSU rails, etc.) of the new streamers. I can imagine that a bare NP800 with a good intergated power supply would not cost much less than an ND5XS2. But I very much doubt that the same applies to NDX2 and ND555 and, if I had to buy a new transport to feed an NDS or a Naim DAC, I would very carefully compare a Naim streamer used as a transport to a pure transport before making my choice. That is also because the Naim streamers, in contrast to NDS and nDAC, rely on a software system that still needs some polishing.

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