Son & Heir first streamer recomendations

Our son is coming home this weekend before going back to London later in the summer for his second year PhD, I hope it’s going to be a long time before he gets his hands on my system

currently using my old NAD CD521i and NAD C370 AMP into Spendor S6e’s at home (he uses a Sonus in his flat)

just thinking of streamer, so budget no more than ND5 XS2

also will be looking at NAD C658, Cambridge Azur, entry Blue sound Node so budget from £500 to ND5 XS2

collective thoughts and suggestions?

If he’s a student living in short term rented accommodation perhaps a one box solution would be better for him. Maybe an Atom/Star/Nova. With a Star he could rip his CDs and have no need of other boxes.

Can I be the first to say how about a ND5 XS2?

I looked at an Audiolab 6000N which was very good for £449 but decided to keep saving as I think I’ll want to end up with a Naim streamer.

thanks Chris - 3 bed flat his PhD is fully funded so bank of Mom & Dad is on furlough! and 3/4 years Min, hense I am thinking more long term and using current system

ND5XS2 it is, then! Just make sure he gets a well paid job so that he can fund the addiction himself in future.


He wants to lecture in Pure maths which is what his PhD is on, understood 2 words of his presentation - his name and page number! :smiley: :smiley:


Bluesound vault to store all cds, streaming, sounds great & fantastic app! Also can Bluetooth out to other speakers around the flat. Also add dac to improve if you feel the need but to my ears sounds great as is!

friend has recomended Innous Zen Mini Mk3 - any owners? that can give feedback?

Online streaming or his collection or both?

What about say an Innuos Zen Mini, which has 1TB drive and so can store up to about 1200 albums or more in flac, hasa CD ripper, and I gather can do Qobuz, Tidal, Spotify, internet radio and even can be a Roon endpoint if that floats his boat. From that feed direct to Chord Hugo DAC via optical or usb, which can feed any amp - including a power amp without needing a pre - and has a decent headphone amp (e.g for loud late night listening). It is also portable and can be used with, say, a phone as source if mobility ever wanted. Zen also has DNLA/UPnP output ever wanted. Cost of the pair (assuming new prices) ~£300 more than bare ND5XS2 without server.

Alternatively at £600 less but without headphone output or portability, and needing a pre- or integrated amp, Chord Qutest instead of Hugo.

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Bluesound Node2i (I have the power node) is a great device and the app and controls stand up well to Sonos.

If you really love him and are considering an ND5xs have a look at the Auralic Altair G1.


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Before I bought my nd5 xs2, I had a Cambridge cxnv2. Mainly to test whether tidal, qobuz etc was for me.
It does all or most of what the Naim does. Regular firmware updates. It is now Roon ready too. Their latest software via your phone is pretty good. It’s internet radio function is very good.
If I were buying/ paying for a streamer for my son , that’s where I’d spend the money.
Yes, the Naim is better. But not four times better.
£600 will get you one from Richer Sounds.


thanks @Sloop_John_B have spoken to dealer - looks interesting, could be a straight demo off between the two

Not an owner but have heard it many times at my dealer; very good VFM!

Whatever you go for, make sure he’s got insurance!

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I’m a big fan of the Zen Mini, but I don’t know how good the DAC is in the Mk3. It’s good in that it does pretty much everything - Ripping, downloads, serving, Roon, Qobuz, Tidal, iRadio. In the Naim world, you would need both a server and a streamer to do all that. It’s also a box that remains very useful as your system grows. You can add a DAC and connect it by USB or SPDIF, or add a streamer and use it as a UPnP server or Roon Core. So it never really becomes redundant. It would be interesting to see what sort of sound quality it can deliver as a standalone box.

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I have a cunning plan!!

Raspberry Pi as server and streamer.

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thanks for the replies - 3 on short list Innous Zin, Auraliac and ND5 XS2

will post update in due course

Talking it through with my son over the weekend looks like the Innous Zin Mini Mk3 is the round peg in a round whole - anyone got experience of the LPSU power supply - assume this offers the same as NAIM seperate PSU??

I’d keep it simple, a Uniti Atom and a NAS (Synology/QNAP) to store any CD rips or own music on and the rest comes from the Internet direct to the Atom, just add speakers and put your feet up. That will come in around £2k if you shop around.