Obsolescence - Which Way To Go?

Yes… there are several, very good reasons, why it’s better (in my opinion) to maintain control of your material (albums).

Totally agree with these comments…I buy music on vinyl or download to my Melco 1N, frequently having decided on purchases after listening on various sources (including TV, Tidal, Quboz, car radio…)

That’s how I’m using qobuz at the mo. Download hi res and then stream to the renderer that feeds a separate dac. My renderer only supports 16/48 but with a flaky software plug in can support 24/96. I would love to try and buy a Naim renderer to support 24/192. Sadly I am having to look elsewhere.

It was a design choice not to add AirPlay support to the 1st gen. streamers as it has inferior sound quality to native streaming, so not really in line with what a brand like Naim is all about. You have ro jump through a lot of hoops to get AirPlay certification from Apple, and there is no room for negotiation. You tow tow the line, or you don’t get the approval.
The first products to have AirPlay support were the Musos, along with Spotify, added to give appeal to these ‘lifestyle’ products.
Times change, of course, and with the ever increasing range of online services available, I guess it was inevitable that Naim would add AirPlay and Chromecast support to the current range, even though it still doesn’t sound as good.
Incidentally, Naim have never added AirPlay support to a product retrospectively. Even if they wanted to, I doubt it would be technically possible.

I don’t think that’s correct. Maybe Airplay was always supported, but Airplay 2 has definitely been added retrospectively to the first gen streamers (at least Mu-So). But the point was of course that it would have been nicer to add something instead which wasn’t (i)OS specific, but universal.

Regarding the sound quality, I wouldn’t know about Airplay, but with Chromecast on my Uniti Star I can’t detect any audible difference that I’m confident I’d pick out in a double blind test. So even if theoretical, but not audible to me. Perhaps if you have better ears, system and/or speakers, but on a Qb I can’t imagine any loss would be audible to anyone. (Again, can only speak for Chromecast)

Yes, streamers that supported Airplay now support Airplay2, but that’s a very different matter to adding Airplay to devices that were never designed to run it.
Chromecast certainly doesn’t sound as good as native streaming to me, certainly on Qobuz. See here for an explanation of why that might be:

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Triggers broom… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

It’s very easy to add Airplay to an early streamer for very little cost. I have done so with my Unitiqute 2, just by purchasing an Airport Express for around £8 and connecting it via Toslink to the UQ2. I then renamed that input to AIRPLAY.


Hi Lindsay,
I feel your pain on this one, having been through the very same process about a year and a half ago.

First, the CDS3 is a REALLY tough act to follow, as we both know. It’s a not a change to consider lightly. Some owners prefer the (now obsolete) NDS to the CDS3. I am not one. I prefer the natural, organic flow of the CDS3 to the ever so slightly synthesised sound of the NDS.

Like you, I suspect that streaming services will come & go (bust), with new ones arriving periodically. Equally, they will all have to keep updating their software, so version compatibility is an ongoing battle.

This one of the reasons that we finally chose to separate the streamer from the dac.

At least with something like the Sonore Rendu streamers, you can stream several different ways (via Roon, LMS and several others). This helps to ensure longevity in the products. Many other reputable makes do this too, so this is not a Sonore USP. But the price point for the performance is in a league of its own (other than Raspberry Pi based devices).

If £1300 of opticalRendu is not embarrassed by a Chord M Scaler & DAVE, then it is more than good enough for most of us.

Like you, we have a Muso QB and we stream to it seamlessly via Roon, all controlled from the ipad mini. What the QB does work with is apple Airplay. I suspect it is the apple Airplay software on our mac mini which somehow hooks the QB into the party and makes it just work. The mac mini is also a Roon endpoint.

All this Roon and airplay is fine & dandy but not if you restrict yourself in terms of music servers by having a Naim Uniti Core. That product’s functionality is too bespoke and restrictive. If you want flexibility for the future, I would recommend something like Innuos, Roon Nucleus, possibly Melco or one of the Audiostore Vortexbox range.

Hope this helps, if only a little.

Best regards, BF


I’ve done the same with a Chromecast Audio. But as auto input switching is not possible, native support for it, Tidal Connect or any other connectivity option would still be a great improvement.

But, I think if you’re talking about obsolescence, it having a SPDIF input doesn’t really address that, at least not to the extent wireless connectivity options do.

Re: Ariplay, as I’ve mentioned before, the biggest issue with Airplay is that it’s not available on/for non-Apple devices, that includes client side support.


Thanks for all your inputs and comment. I think there’s a consensus that obsolescence potentially presents a problem because of the pace of “digital” change. Given how much I enjoy my CDS3, and of course Xerxes and Nat 05, I’m going to leave my main system as it is but am going to add a budget DAC to facilitate evaluating new music on Tidal.

Thanks again.



And its not only CD that has essentially come and gone. SACD, DAT, DVD. Streaming will be a tough challenge going forward as a replacement. I suspect that it will catch on more in the future as its the younger computer crowd that is used to the internet and will not be attracted to vinyl the way the older generation was.

Using a unit no longer made, my CD555 CD player. remember them ?, supported by two DR power supplies can sound not too bad.
One day the question might be asked if you still stream your music? Life just evolves.


“The younger crowd” is attracted to vinyl as a fashion thing (or is that is retro-fashion?) - certainly from what I have heard from their talking about it, that is how one of my sons and his friends, likewise a niece’s husband and his friends clearly regard it. Ditto valve amps. Not a single mention of music or sound in any conversation I’ve overheard, but a lot about looks.

As for streaming, if you mean online that is a fundamentally different consideration because it doesn’t involve buying/ownership of the recording, and infers an inherent acceptance of transient availability, at least in relative terms. That of course is the norm for many also of the younger generation, where pop music in particular tends to music of transient interest, coupled with instant availability of the latest releases.

Streaming from your own music store, which is the equivalent to vinyl and CD, surely is heading towards maturity, though it does suffer from more decision factors than the physical medium approach.

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When I had my logitech sbt and it lost its support from logitech, I was really pi$$ed off.
I was only using it to play spotify, but without support from logitech it eventually stopped, rendering it semi useless.
I felt vulnerable that big tech companies can stop the music playing in your home, hence why I now only have a pocket change chrome cast audio player and won’t care too much if its rendered useless.

I wouldn’t say that, have a pootle over to the Juno web site and see all the LPs that are being made and bought for the under thirties.

Not sure they are being played on sophisticated LP12s, Rega10s etc but certainly LPs are being made and bought for the under thirties , probably played on Pro_jects with built in phono stages .

It’s how you look at it. It’s not just useless as it doesn’t have the latest connectivity anymore. I also have the first Muso and still use it with pleasure to listen to my music library. And if needed I could listen to streaming by just connecting my phone instead have it connect in device. Do I like the fact that it is not the same like with my ND555, certainly not but I can live with it…, not the end of the world.

And we also shouldn’t forget that it also happens in our mind. Just in the process of replacing my Canon 5D Mark 2 with a Canon R5…, the Mark 2 still can make great pictures, but I would love to embark on the enhanced capability of the R5…

Personally I think people tend to get a bit too hung up on this digital obsolescence thing. There really isn’t that much difference between the way bits are fed to a DAC from a CD player, or a streamer playing from local or cloud storage.
From a broader perspective, the people who suffer from obsolescence are the people who have to have the latest thing, and have to have it now! You can say that about a record player with a diamond stylus being better than one that uses a sharpened steel needle, just as much as you can say it about a streamer that supports Chromecast or Qobuz natively. The only thing that really becomes obsolete is the ability to access the latest flavour-of-the-month method of delivery.


@ChrisSU yeah fair point but hypothetically if Naim ceased doing firmware upgrades on my QB which meant it wouldn’t work with the latest version of Tidal what then?



If you have a Roon server and apple Airplay, then simply carry on with your existing QB. That’s our plan.