NSS 333 review

I take your point! However, I am more interested in whether there is a sonic benefit in changing it.

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I can’t imagine there is, mine came set at 100%, and I actually turned it down to protect the speakers while I was getting used to it. Now back at 100%.

Hello Bjm, there is mention and comparison to SME manuals in the review, calling out the photography, quality paper, binding and general comprehensiveness from SME, and saying people paying 300 series sort of money likely expect better.

I heard the full 300 system (including 2x NPXes) at a dealer a few weeks ago now, it was the first time I’ve really heard a top end hifi. It sounded amazing!


I liked the review, I would like to hear it

But Naim/focal has no dealer where I live …

Mine was at 80% and and moving it to 100% made a difference which makes me feel crazy. :crazy_face:

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Excellent, and engaging, review @JonathanG.

I’ve never tried streaming - perhaps I will one day after this. Thank you.

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The one word I’ve used to describe the quality and the presentation of the NSS 333/NPX 300 over the last seven months is analogue :slightly_smiling_face:


A great review with some similar conclusions to the review in the Ear, I also found the guidance on the volume control useful - I now have a system that can induce ear bleeding, and the crazy power of the mono blocks is fully unleashed - quite helpful on bigger orchestral scores and my speakers ( Perlisten Audio S5t), which are superlative and handle the music with complete authority. Thanks for a great review and bringing the proper attention to this fantastic new system - a league and a league again better than much of the more expensive “audiophile” kit dealers love to sell you these days! Go Naim!

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Hi Mike,

Had an NDX with PS555. Did ‘upgrade’ to an NDS as the NDX2 in my system back then (282 plus 2 HiCap into 300 non DR, BW 804 D3) sounded to my ears lets say too analytical. Enjoyed the NDS with all its drawbacks. Bought my NSS333 last Nov. Never home tested, just listened to the full new 300 series at my dealers. My impression was as positive as Jonathan’s and is very well summarised by his article. Took the risk and ordered. I never regretted this. Actually - only when I stayed far too late to listen to my music collection……


Assume you using it with the 555ps?

To your ears 333 is more close to NDS than NDX2? I had same experience with NDX2 and moved to NDS and much prefer it.

You use 555 in 333?

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You have still the 252 ? If yes, for only local streaming ( from a server or Nas) , do you find the 333/ ps better vs Nds/ 555 dr?
Or you are talking about Tidal or Qobuz ?

Streaming does indeed open yet more opportunities, however worth bearing the following in mind:

  • Listening to iRadio, such as Naim radio/jazz/classical, as well as Radio Paradise and a vast additional array of other choices, depending on your preferences, is interesting in revealing new artists or even genres.
  • Streaming services like Tidal, Qobuz and Presto music (see David Hendon’s thread), allow those from iRadio to be further explored.
  • Streaming creates an even greater overhead on the 24 hours of the day - if you have plenty of time, it will be a lovely experience, otherwise it’s a case of cramming it all into 24 hours, that no matter how we might wish, simply isn’t enough for all our hobbies. Existing music in whatever form, tends to be somewhat relegated ime, ymmv. I guess it’s a case of managing overload; enjoy when you get there!

Is that with or without NPX300 on the NSS333? If with, where would the bare NSS333 sit in that hierarchy in your opinion (assuming you tried the NSS333 with and without NPX300)?

Hello Pslosarc, I did indeed try the NSS 333 with and without NPX 300. My experience was that the bare NSS 333 does indeed outperform the NDX2 (which I now own) and with the NPX 300 it is better again, however I did feel that the NPX 300 had a greater effect on the NAC 332 than it did on the NSS 333. The bare NSS 333 is exceptionally good even without its external power supply.

I hope that clarifies - so in order of preference I would rank:

NSS 333/NPX 300
NSS 333

However if I was assembling a 300 series system and only had one NPX 300 I would use it on the NAC 332. You may find my NAC 332 review which is now available online instructive.

Brg, Jonathan


thanks jonathan - excellent review - line 4 of your post needs an edit
would be very interested in a comparison of 222 + 300 against 332 + 333 bare

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I’ve listened back to back and the 333/332 has considerably better clarity and engagement in my opinion.


One disadvantage with this new volume control is that like on the unity there is no 0 unless you can see the dial. I think I did skip that part of the manual since it is impossible to set if you cannot see the dial itself. One day we will be over these terribel old ways of setting important functions in such a user hostile way, but without network capabilities I can live with this. Living in an apartment with speakers rated at about 92 db.

Nice article Jonathan, thank you. You mention the 332 headphone out compared to your Beyerdynamic amp. Which one do you use? I switch back and forth with my A20 for my power hungry ZMFs. I think I prefer the control my Beyerdynamic has though.

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Hi @JonathanG, given that now you own an NDX 2, how would you compare it to the bare NSS 333? What are the NDX 2 shortcomings? Are they different experiences? Would you consider the NSS 333 a different level or just an NDX 2 evolution? I also wonder where the NDX 2 fits sonically in the Naim hierarchy with the addition of an NPX 300. Hope I didn’t ask too much…

By the way nice review!