NDX2 Qobuz via Naim app or Qobuz app + Chromecast?

I find the Naim app (although much improved) still lacking in functionality. And I use mostly Qobuz (hig res) as my source when streaming. I control my NDX2 from either my phone or tablet (both android).

My major concern is audio quality. My second concern is usability. This leads me to a detailed question on the NDX2.

Is the the internal NDX2 data flow/stream, when streaming from Qobuz via either Chromecast (Qobuz app) or via the Naim app, exactly the same? Not concerned with control flow, that is clearly different.

No guesses please. If possible answer from Naim authorised source (or a pointer to where I could find that). Thanks.

Kind regards,
Jan.

If you are after a definitive answer then @Stevesky could you comment please? Thanks

In the meantime, you’ll get up to 24/192 via chromecast reference https://stereo-magazine.com/review/chromecast-audio-review which is the max that qobuz provides.

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Does the Naim kit take a hdmi connection for the chromecast or do you need an arc type adapter.

Edit: or is is it chromecast onboard?

Hi for the streamers, it’s via built in connectivity. Hdmi is only on the atom/star etc.

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Hi, sorry to be blunt, but this is not the answer to buy question.
Please limit answers to to this post to relevant information on the actual (quite technical and detailled technical) question: Is the the internal NDX2 data flow/stream, when streaming from Qobuz via either Chromecast (Qobuz app) or via the Naim app, exactly the same?

Thank you for your question, but as i said in my question: no guesses please.
As you are clearly not not aware that an NDX2 has a build-in Chromecast capability, you do not seem to be well enough informed to intervene in this discussion. Thank you for keeping this thread clean.

You don’t need an authorized Naim source to get the adequate response LJS: it’s undoubtedly Naim app as for optimal sound quality.

Then hopefully you will get a reply from Steve Harris Software Director Naim Audio Ltd. copied above. I am ex Naim but was not involved in software development for the products.

Generally, from what I often read here, the hierarchy for quality of Qobuz via the new Naim streamers:

  1. Native Qobuz on Naim App.
  2. Qobuz via Bubleupnp ( generally used before the native Qobuz integration)
  3. ( or similar to 2). Qobuz via Mconnect app.
  4. Qobuz via Chromcast.

I’m afraid that I can’t provide the authoritative source for the Qobuz app either, but typically when you Chromecast all that the mobile device does is to instruct the player to play a certain track. The player fetches the data directly from the content server and your mobile has nothing to do with this anymore. This might provide some info: https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/2198012-is-chromecast-streaming-wifi-direct. And this: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/17875596/does-the-content-stream-from-wifi-directly-to-chromecast-or-from-wifi-to-androi

Edit: However, when chromecasting from the Chrome browser with tabcasting, the browser encodes and sends the data. Hence, the performance of the computer with the browser matters, at least for video content. For small audio data, I don’t see how it would make a difference. (Consider that you can send any other data between computers and it is the same data on both sides - else, networking would not even be possible). Tabcasting: https://support.google.com/chromecast/answer/3228332?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en

Edit: Try to start the chromecast stream from the Qobuz app to the NDX2. Then shut down your mobile. Does the NDX2 continue playing, including after its buffer should have emptied? Might not work anymore though for other reasons even if the data is transferred directly by the streamer :frowning:

Apologies for the thread drift.

“When you Chromecast all that the mobile device does is to instruct the player to play a certain track”

Exactly. Same goes for the Naim app. That is the control path.

But my question is: is the data fetched from the source in exactly the same way, whether the command came in from the Naim app, or via Chromecast from the Qobuz app? And does it follow the exact same route through the NDX2? In other words: is the data path exactly the same?

Only people with intimate knowledge of the internal HW and SW architecture of the NDX2 will be able to answer this.

Thanks to all the other people trying to provide extra information, but your good intentions only lead to thread drift.

OK, if the question is this precise, only the Lords of Naim can answer

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Ask Naim then. This is a forum. Of sorts.

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I Have. Just thought I’d try this forum also.

The data paths are by definition not identical…

Or do you mean after the Chromecast or Qobuz api?

Either way, I’m sure the same bits will arrive at the DAC.

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HI @LJS,

When using Chromecast the stream is bit perfect and native upto 192kHz/24bit. The downside of Chromecast + Qobuz is that it’s not really designed to run at such high sample rates. The buffer sizes are far too small (hence prone to drop outs) and the Chromecast stack is very inefficient so uses nearly all the CPU time in the streamer. Not only is this bad for unit response times, but not also great for sound quality as the electric noise floor of the product increases as everything works harder.

For this reason + others, earlier this year we integrated Qobuz natively into the platform.
Benefits:

  • Proper buffering - We buffer up to 50MB of data at a time so very robust from internet data fluctuations. The average 16/44.1kHz track is fully loaded within 15secs, hence its playback from RAM buffer.
  • Efficient - near enough the same as playing a native 192kHz FLAC file from a NAS.
  • Faster to connect / play / do stuff.
  • Runs from the internal streamers Play Queue. Once the app has loaded in the play queue the streamer just gets on with it independent from the app / things in the cloud etc.

Overall, I would recommend use Qobuz via the Naim app if possible.

Best regards

Steve Harris
Software Director
Naim Audio Ltd.

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Curious way to ask a question on this forum but don’t trust any of it members, apart the Naim engineers . Why ask…

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Thanks Steve. It’s a question I’ve sometimes wondered about in an idle moment. So in theory it’s the same but in practice very likely not, for the reasons you describe.

@Stevesky, thank you for this very complete answer. I understand the data path is different. With Qobuz + Chromecast, the Chromecast stack is used to retrieve the data from the network source. With the Naim app, the NDX internal streamers Play Queue is used to retrieve the data from the source. As such your recommendation makes sense, a lot of sense.

To bad that when using Chromecast, the internal streamers’ Play Queue was not used.

May I suggest that some of the usability issues, in which the Qobuz app is superior to the Naim app, would go away.be adressed in future releases of the Naim app ? Then this dillema would go away.

Kr
Jan.