Roon with ND5XS2

Anyone tried Roon with an ND5XS2?

SiS runs Roon with an NDX2 so should be the same as any Next Gen Naim Streamer.

yep i have! and with a Nova… and with a NDX2. What’s your question?

How did you set it up with the ND 5?
And did it sound better?
Because many people - e.g. JamesN - have said how much better it sounded, exp after he installed a Roon Core - if I recall correctly…whereas many others - e.g. Chrissu have said Roon didn’t make a great difference.

What do you mean? Once the ND5XS2 is on the LAN/wifi, its automatically discoverable by Roon. You just need to go into roon and enable it as an end point.

Roon hasnt made any quality difference. Its good. i run roon core on dedicated i7 Mac.

Roon is there to integrate your online stuff with your off line. it can do a lot more besides, like upsampling, downsamping and dsp for room correction as well as mqa unfolding.

To be honest, I have tried to reserve judgement on Roon as I’ve only used it with the NDX in my main system via Airplay or Chromecast, and that certainly doesn’t sound as good as UPnP, or Tidal from the Naim app. On my Atom, I can use the built-in Roon, which works very well, but I don’t really listen critically to it, as it’s a long way behind my main system.

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So how come room correction, upsampling, dowsampling and mqa unfolding don’t make any difference to the sound quality? I thought that’s what they were designed to do?

Roon is free for 14 days of you have a suitable endpoint.
I don’t think it does room correction though, at least not natively.
You can upload a DSP map from an REW software room analysis as I understand it.

They may well do for some people.

My point was that whether playing a FLAC file (hires or otherwise) off my NAS through Roon, or playing a QoBuz file (hires or otherwise) either through Roon or directly through the QoBuz or Naim app, I hear no discernible different in sound. They are all excellent.

Roon adds a lot to the party in simplicity, usability, integration and attractiveness but takes nothing away in SQ.

There is an excellent review of Roon and it’s alternatives in this month’s HiFi Choice magazine.

The DSP can, but as you say you need to have the analysis part done first to know what to change in the Roon DSP.

They do can but they are extra processes and can easily effects sq in both ways. Quality of MQA is a bit of a hot topic and not all are very good, like some hires are not. It’s all in ear of the beholder in the end. But Roon is no worse or better than UPnP in most cases and when not using DSP. But it does depend on good architecture to get the best out of it. Skimp and you’ll run into issues at some point. A decent to Roons spec machine ideally isolated from your audio kit to run the Roon software core .

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Hi, Roon is not neccessarily any better than UPnP, as underneath the covers it’s the same as far as media transfer.
You can adjust the Roon Core to set the sample word size as 24 bit as opposed to the default 32 bit with Naim… (it’s in the renderer settings)… I find there is a small improvement in the feel of the sound this way.
There are many benefits of Roon, and one is it acts as a media aggregator and proxy server. This means local and remote media become equivalent through Roon Core… for the same master there is NO difference in SQ… that is a big big plus over the first gen streamers where services like Tidal sounded inferior (to my ears) compared to local media… thank goodness no more using Roon Core and a new genereation streamer.

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Hi Simon That useful to know. I don’t understand what you mean by “thank goodness no more using Roon Core and a new genereation streamer”. Also do you think the streamer and DAC in the ND5XS2 would be as good or better than those in the 272?

I should have said “thank goodness no more [with respect to differeing SQ], when using Roon Core and a new generation streamer”.
As far as SQ performance, yes I expect the ND5XS2 to be superior, it has the latest Naim learning on decoupling and digital system design, and is specifically physically separated out to provide better EM decoupling between sections, a luxury one doesn’t have with the 272. The Naim designers when I did meet them seemed to be delighted with what they had managed to achieve with the ND5XS2, they had focussed on SQ over usability features.


Simon what would you think provides the best solution, a streamer, new platform, physically separated with an integrated pre/power amp, or a combined streamer/pre amp with separate power amp. Hypothetical but if 272 was upgraded with the new streaming platform would do you think ?

We can only guess, of course, until the updated 272 appears, if it ever does. For what it’s worth, to my ears NDX/SN2 sounded better than 272/250DR, so one might surmise that the same would be the case with NDX2 and 272-2.
My understanding of the new streamers is that Naim have learnt a lot about optimisation of the layout of internal components for isolation, and it’s possible that this cannot easily be applied to the more crowded 272 in a way that makes it perform at a suitable level. Perhaps that’s what Naim are working on now, who knows?


It’s hard to say… for out and out SQ I would always go separates. Physical separation and decoupling is part of Naim’s philosophy for best SQ…
However if a new version of the 272 appears with the new streaming architectures, the major benefit will most likely be robustness, digital decoupling and features such as you get with the new streamers over absolute SQ… which you would otherwise get with a seperate streamer and NAC.

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Thanks for the feedback Chris, interesting your findings re NDX/SN2.

Thanks Simon, I realise separates is the route for optimum sound quality I was just curious on the back of your comments re the ND5XS2 how with the new Naim streaming architecture a streamer/pre +amp would compare to streamer +amp/pre sound wise.

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