I’m thinking of buying either the NDX2 (most likely) or ND5 XS2 and I’m thinking about how often these technologies are likely to be replaced. I think both are about three year old designs? Whereas amplifiers etc can still be working well after 20 years or more I guess the same can’t be said for streaming. What are your thoughts on expected useful life of these products and how quickly are they likely to become out of date or replaced by better technology?
I’m using an ND5 XS which was released around 2013 I think. I can’t see a reason why it won’t still be working in 5-10 years.
Streamers should work well for many years. The main issue with the older platform was that it didn’t give much room for the emergence and development of online streaming services, hence the ability to add services via firmware are limited. The new platform used in the NDX2 and ND5xs2 has much greater capacity to add new services and features via firmware. However, bear in mind that even the original platform still works just fine as originally conceived; for streaming local network stored content and also for streaming services such as Spotify. They also still work brilliantly as DACs so extra services and functionality can be added easily that way.
If the march of technology concerns you, then consider the situation with CD players. No, they don’t stream the latest services (or even at all). However, they still do what they were designed to do, and do it very well. I still use my Naim CD3 and that’s getting on for 30 years old. It still does just what it was designed to do and still sounds wonderful. I’d imagine a similar situation with Naim streamers, except the fact that they’re firmware upgradeable and also DACs makes them more flexible and also more further-proof.
You should be able to stream your own wavs and flacs for a very long time. People are still using nds, ndx, hdx etc. It’s likely to outlive tidal, qobuz and Spotify, who can say whether they will still be around in 10, 20, 30 years?
Streaming in its current form will continue to be around for many years to come, I have been streaming since the late 90s and I got my first CD player in the late 80s… both of those seem a long time ago.
UPnP streaming started around 2006/2007 and has been going from strength to strength since.
The area that might evolve more is cloud streaming, especially with authentication signalling techniques … but that can either be software upgraded on the streamer or use one of the various media proxies that out there… some even free such as BubbleUPnP.
A CDP as said above will continue to do what it has always done, but increasingly you may need to download media, and create your own CD’s using a computer and CD writer if you dokey rely on the CDP.
I think the player products may start to outlive the format itself in some respects.
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