Speed of USB connection on ND5XS2 for locally stored music playback

Hi all,

Does anyone know the speed of the USB port on the ND5XS2. Is it usb 2 or usb 3?

The reason why I am asking is that I’m trying to optimise the connection of a music library that I have ripped onto a ssd. I’m currently ripping cd’s on a Mac mini, with an apple superdrive and using XLD to rip them to AIFF. Then I’m using Audirvana to send them to the ND5XS2 over my local network via UPnP.

I did a A B test and compared this method against the same tracks on a usb flash drive plugged straight into the ND5XS2 and found that to be a couple of percent better in sound quality. I guess by avoiding my local network, router, etc etc it makes a little bit of a difference.

I tihnk a 1tb flash drive will suite me fine.

Any advice here on this topic would be welcomed. And I cant afford a naim core, as I’ve just bought a hicap dr so im skint! lol.

Thanks in advance.

I think it’s 3.1.
Though it doesn’t matter, does it? The transfer rate of usb 2 is higher than needed to read music files.
Enable server mode rather than use the usb input.

In terms of which is better SQ, then you will get a whole list of answers. Some have found it better via a NAS drive, others (like me) found no difference. No doubt some will be in your camp, so I suspect it’s one of those things that really depends on local variations, or our ears may be deceiving us

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Can I ask why server mode as apposed to usb input, just curious as to the difference, thanks.

USB mode, you need to navigate through the folders and files.
Server mode, uses the metadata so you can browse by artist /album etc.


Hi robert. The reason I wanted to know was so that I could save money buy buying the correct usb flash drive. USB 2 is cheaper than usb 3. So if it’s 3, I’ll get a 3. Thanks for the info anyway :+1:

Thanks for the reply. And yes, it’s down to a lot of factors and our ears. As I mentioned before, I could hear a difference between the Mac mini with audirvana and direct usb into the streamer. I guess with the flash drive I can either plug it into the streamer or plug it into my router and try the nas way and compare. I’m getting 1gb hyper optic installed in a few weeks so I’ll buy a nice new router to go with it and compare the 2 then. :+1:

Ah! That may be the deciding factor then. I’ve gone to the trouble to rip in AIFF rather than WAV for the metadata. So is there no cover art or band, album, song booklet info when you go in via usb? Bit rubbish that if not.

If you use the Server input/Local Music to view the contents of your USB drive you should see the Rovi booklet, which is sourced from an online database, as well as metadata stored with the music files. In fact the music will not play unless you have a network connection, so the idea that you are “avoiding my local network, router, etc” is strictly not quite true.

I’m surprised you can still buy usb2.0 devices! I couldn’t find an ssd that was usb2.

The recommended drive is a Samsung t7 ssd. These are usb3.2.

Yea they are cheap as chips! Thanks for the recommendation. To be fair, I was thinking of flash drives, not ssd drives. But looking at that Samsung. It’s the only wad to go for such little money! Thanks

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Used to be USB3 jacks were blue on the inside while USB2 jacks were black. I think they stopped that with the advent of USB3.1 and 3.2, though(?) Either way, Naim gear won’t have 3.1 or 3.2 connectors, I strongly suspect they are USB2.

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