Need DAC and Streamer

Hi everyone,

Wondering about buying a DAC and a Streamer budget 2500$

I have a Supernait 2, Utopia headphones, ProAc speakers

I’m on my way to buy a second-hand Chord DAC Hugo 2 and the Bluesound Node 2i

Any comments or suggestions!?

Your choice is fine, assuming you’ve ruled out the nd5xs2 already.

You might want to consider a Mac mini with audirvana perhaps with the Hugo 2. More flexible and they work very well together

I had the Bluesound Node 2 with Chord Qutest. Great sounding combination until I could move to the ND5XS2.

I used a Mac Mini + Chord Hugo 2 and they pair very nicely. I used that with both Audirvana and Roon both running on the same Mac Mini. This is also a primary store for ripped CD’s and other local audio content including podcasts.
SN2 + ND5 XS2 also a lovely combo and within the Naim ecosystem, tidy with less cabling and mess as well.
If you like the sound presentation of the Hugo, also consider the Qutest unless you expect to need a portable DAC.
I also have a iFi iDSD micro which supports MQA, more a curiosity than anything else but nice to have it for comparisons sake.
If I had to pick a preference, I’d likely lean towards the ND5 XS2 from those I discussed.

Agree, provided budget can be stretched or pre-used is available and acceptable.


I would recommend the Meridian 210 >> Chord Qutest.

Power the Qutest with an SBooster and the an Ultra II for a very nice uptick in performance.

I am using this with the M-Scaler and am very happy.


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I’m edging towards Innuos Zenith as my streamer accompanied by the Phoenix USB reclocker and a Qutest as I need none of the additional functionality of the Hugo 2. It’s a route which seems to offer detail and warmth and some future proofing along with the ability to upgrade or replace the DAC.

I’ve not really see anyone pin down where they see the Qutest in relation to the internal DACs of the Naim streamers. Any views?

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I’ve just moved to an innuos Zenith MK3 from a Mac mini and audirvana. The uplift is very considerable and I wish I’d done it earlier. Personally I prefered chord Hugo to the DACs in Naims streamers but it’s a matter of taste. I went Chord Hugo TT 2 and M Scaler recently which is quite probably my end DAC. Will probably add a phoenix to the zenith but this is easily the best source I’ve ever had

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Is it a matter of taste? Are there areas in which each excel?

I suspect I’m biased. I found chord DACs more detailed and more realistic. I would have preferreded to like the Naim options but I tried the ndac for a week with my Hugo and it didn’t work for me, the NDX was no better. The TT2 with and without the M Scaler is just thrilling to listen to with a good source. Apologies for not having the vocabulary to explain it better. Best to listen to both over a period of time and see which you prefer

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I’m very happy with my Innuos mini but still can’t get it working with spotify…

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