Qobuz via Naim App vs the rest. .

I’ve had my Naim Nova for a couple of months now, and over the last few days I’ve been drawn to the marked superiority in Qobuz when streamed from it as opposed to via my Innuos ZM3/LPSU combo into the Nova.

Not only that but the Qobuz streams directly from the Nova also seem to pull ahead of FLAC files stored on my Innuos.

This is puzzling and pleasing in equal measure.

My Innuos holds thousands of CDs and I was really enjoying both the sound quality and the library integration I got from using Roon in Core mode on the ZM3 and the Nova as an end point.

However, I’ve only occasionally dabbled with Qobuz in the Naim app over Qobuz in Roon on the Innuos, thinking I was already getting the best combo of library integration and SQ using Roon.

Now I’m not sure at all. Qobuz from the Nova sounds superb across much of my listening choices.

How do I get the best out of my served files?

I tried the Unpnp route - accessing files on the Innuos from the Naim app, and that sounded very good, but the library & data management is poor compared to Roon. The connection method was ethernet and the screen display was enabled, which last time I experimented, it wasn’t. Presumably I used the coax from Innuos to Nova but I’ve completely forgotten how to test that connection.

Is there a better way to optimise served files from Innuos to Nova?

I have Atom and would say I hear little if any difference between them, Roon slightly ahead if I had to choose as it sound better for Tidal massively Qobuz hard to really say. I don’t have an Innuos though.

If you’re using a mini, even with the LPS, I would not be surprised to learn it falls short of Qobuz. The mini us incredibly versatile but you’d need a Zenith to start to come anywhere near Qobuz.

Thanks for various replies.

In short, what do people think is the best way in my current set up to play stored FLAC files (I have them on the Innuos ZM3 and also backed up on an external drive) in terms of maximising sound quality.

If I had a smaller stored library I’d have little reason not to just go with Qobuz but I have thousands of albums ripped to the Innuos and many more to go, so I’m keen to explore options for optimising stored file playback, Zenith and all others considered.

if you are listening to hi-res files from qobuz then it is likely that they will sound better than cd-rips. on my muso2 this is certainly the case - i find that i rarely play my cd-rips even if qobuz only has cd quality.

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That’s the first thing I would try. It’s a quick, easy test of the exact same material. You could also disconnect the Zen and try a different UPnP server or Roon Core over the network, but that would take a bit more effort.

It’s also important to ensure you’re comparing like with like, and not different masters, sample rates etc. Qobuz has a range of 16/44.1, 24/44.1, 24/96 and 24/192 material.

Are you saying that recordings streamed from Qobuz to your Naim Nova using the Naim app sound clearly better than the same recordings streamed from Qobuz to your Naim Nova using Roon (with your Innuous Zen Mini running Roon Core)?

Or have you not made this comparison?

(I would be interested in the result of such a comparison).

Hi JimDog,

No, not exactly that, more specifically that Qobuz generally and or nearly always sounds better than the equivalent stored FLAC files.

That’s the main difference, for me.

However, I have sensed that Qobuz is also “different” and perhaps better from the Nova than the Roon/Innuos method. That’s a closer call, though, and I haven’t compared those two as much as Naim Qobuz vs Innuos stored FLAC.

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Hi Chris,

Yes, I’m going to give the FLAC files a comparative listen via the Innuos into the Nova versus the Nova reading the files on a USB drive. Will report back accordingly.

When you suggest trying another upnp do you mean with another piece of equipment in place of the Innuos?


You can try running another UPnP server on a NAS or computer that you already own just for comparison. Asset have a free trial if you’re curious.

Thanks Chris, alas I am computer-less, and just use tablets and phones.

I have just had an hour or so comparing the FLAC files played from the USB drive into the front end slot of the Nova vs the same files served from the Innuos, and I can’t discern much, if any, difference.

Now going to try again with the upnp methods available to me: with the Naim app via ethernet from Innuos and then via the coax out of the Innuos.

If you want to try a upnp app there’s MConnectHD for iPad at a mere £6 ish.

Ah yes I’ve got the free “Lite version” of that, so I’ll see if that works.

So I had a play between three different ways of listening to my FLAC files:

  1. using Innuos as Roon Core and Nova as endpoint
  2. via McConnect upnp
  3. via Naim app upnp

A host of current and familiar tracks made up a mini playlist (Being Boring - Pet Shop Boys, Abrasive - Rudy De Anda, Ego Tripping - Ultramagnetic MCs, A Very Silent Way - Underworld, Exile - Taylor Swift) for a bit of “critical listening”.

Method 2&3 either a bit or a lot more preferable. For sound.
Usual caveats apply though in terms of UI, where Roon wins hands down.

So how do I get more from Roon?

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