Planned obsolescence

I have just received an email from Naim about software updates that will ‘make it easier to find, manage and enjoy your favourite music, radio stations and playlists on your system’. My NDX, bought less than 4 years ago is not included! I am infuriated by Naim’s policy of only looking after customers with almost brand new equipment, obviously trying to get us to spend thousands to avoid going backwards. My previous complaint on this platform was that Qobuz was not made available on the NDX - apparently for technical reasons. The ‘get arounds’ with Mcconnect or chromecast audio drop out with hi res and are unusable. So why don’t they make it possible to stream from a phone into USB input on the NDX? it only works for iTunes which is of no interest. I recently bought a Topping E30 DAC for a secondary system for just over £100. No problem using USB to wire my Qobuz direct from phone. No problem with hi res. Sound is surprisingly good despite the massive price differential to the NDX.


I’d think that of all the companies that could be accused of planned obsolescence Naim is at the back of the queue.

The technology used in the NDX (and 272) isn’t capable of supporting newer services. That’s all there is to it. Accusing Naim of underhand tactics for not inventing something ahead of time is a bit off.


No doubt, but app upgrades should not worsen the experience for those of us with legacy products. That’s what has happened here.

I have to agree with Household Naim. The NDX came out in 2012 and was then state of the art. However technology in computers tv’s HiFi and any other sector you care to name has moved on since then and naim have responded positively to that. Their crystal ball I’m afraid is as cloudy as all of ours. Perhaps ssemajskj should think a bit more before going into full rant mode!

You get a cable for your phone to the RCA input into the NDX.

1 Like

I have NDX & 5.17 & apart from the new, useless (for NDX) & for the moment non-removable ‘Favourites’, the app works fine & I don’t understand what has ‘worsened’.

1 Like

It worsens it because the first position in the inputs list page is now a favourites button that doesn’t do anything useful on the old streamers and it displaces another icon to the second page of inputs. You can’t disable or move the favourites button. It’s just there reminding you that you have an old product and it’s in the way.

In beta testing several of us pointed this out and the feedback went to the developers, so we wait in hope for the next release.

But otherwise you should use the latest app as it has some bug fixes.




Yes, it does. I do it with a Uniti2. You use a 3.5 headphone to RCA, and a lightening to 3.5 adapter if needed.

I wouldnt say Topping use a new architecture. But probably a a new LSI-chip with that functionality. Most LSI-chips today seem to be delta-sigma which went mainstream 25+ years ago.

But I agree that Naim gives customers a far to short write-off time on some expensive streaming products. Let us hope this was just a newcomer-mistake in software-driven products.It takes time and much love to build bug-free libraries and then realise what you need to separate out so you can bring the main function with you when the environment changes, or backport to older environments! And I trust Naim has learnt that lesson.


The reality is that this obsolescence is not planned. Naim are unlikely to have sight of where this tech us really going, and plan to make it obsolete.
What I think you want, is a route to turn your NDX into something that can keep up. That can’t be based on software. But what Naim could offer is an upgrade path based on changing out the internals. Albeit this may me marginal when it come to the economics.
Otherwise you end up with a loft full of boxes you can’t use.

When I got my Uniti Nova a couple of years ago, I quickly realised that it was, in its basic form, a computer. A computer which is beautifully made and which is dedicated to hifi, but still a computer.

Like any other computer, in time advances in technology will render it obsolete, or at least, incapable of performing more up to date functions and will need replacing periodically if you wish to keep up.

And there’s the rub! Your older units will continue to function as intended, and will continue to be supported by Naim in terms of service and repair. But, if you absolutely, positively have to have the very latest greatest gizmo, then yes, replace it you must!


Sorry, my bad. It will work from an older iMac though using digital output through the 3.5mm headphone / optical output.

Adding new features to a streamer is much more than just an app upgrade. It requires the streamer firmware to be changed as well. In the case of support for new services, the old streamers would have required significant hardware changes too, as well as approved licenses from a number of third parties.
As digital hardware goes, the old Naim streamers had a pretty long lifespan, well over a decade. You can only carry on developing digital devices for so long before you have to start again from scratch.

1 Like

Are Naim turning into Apple in some areas? Having said that, Apple blatantly do this, its a Tim Cook policy, the hardware remains very very usable over a long period of time, like the 2011 iMac i write this on, only their obsolescence comes from OS SW.

I use a SonoreUPnP Bridge along with Roon with my NDS. It gives me Tidal and Qobuz as well as a great user interface. Far better and easier than messing about with all the other possible solutions imho.


All true but it doesn’t address the point that for some of us, the user experience has worsened.

1 Like

I think its probably more of a pill too swallow for users of these devices because of how much they cost.

Personally I think high fi companies should provide these devices sure, but really they should focus on quality dacs with USB input it gives users a choice between the risk of a very expensive brick but a few years of decent use (assumig it works!) and a longer term proposition using their own streamer, which should of course be a computer of some kind to mitigate some of this obsolescence.

One thing I really believe in is hifi companies should avoid the server side of things unless they are going to make it genuinely powerful.

The reply to you, upthread, by davidhendon explains it very well.

I know where my music is. Why do I now need a Favourites icon to find it? Have Naim moved it? No, it’s still where I left it.

What a silly feature. Still, no harm I suppose. I must look up how to disable it on my iPad, since I won’t be using it.

My requirement of audio hardware is that it plays music superbly and can access all the forms of files I store my music in, at all the locations where I store it. To me, future proof means a long, reliable, consistent service life and ease of repair. Emergent technology? What’s that exactly?

1 Like

You can connect a USB to S/PDIF dongle to an iOS device using the Apple Lightning to USB Camera adapter cable and then connect this over coax/optical to the NDX as well. That should be good up to 24/96 anyway.

1 Like