This may have been discussed before but I can’t find the answer using search.
There is a closed thread “Streaming Apple Music in Hi Res” and within that thread is a reply from @MortalWombatUK saying - “I think what @jmtennapel is saying is that it is a painful tangle of cables and other boxes to get hi-res Apple Music to play through your Naim.”
I cannot find/locate the input by @jmtennapel. In the absence of any progress by Naim (suspect it is actually Apple not playing nice with 3rd parties) to facilitate this I was going to try “the tangle of cables”
I do have a Qobuz subscription but was looking to try out the Apple Music offering especially as it appears to be improving as it incorporates other services eg the Apple Classical service.
Naim products do not support USB digital audio input, so you need an external DAC to convert the USB out from your iOS device to a digital connection that Naim does support, such as optical or digital coax. This external DAC is not being utilised as a DAC, but just as a means to transferring the digital signal into a connection supported by Naim.
So, your iOS device will be tethered to another box, which is itself tethered to your Naim.
A scour of the forums will point at external DACs such as the Topping devices which can do the connection conversion, for a modest price.
In my view, I would rather use AirPlay than have the iOS device tethered to the audio hardware. Your own setup may well be more suitable for the tethering. Still waiting for Apple to release an equivalent to Spotify/Tidal connect… likely will never happen.
I’ve read about the Topping as an external DAC and noted that it had on the whole good comments. Might just try that into the SPDIF input of the NSC222 to see how it goes. Will also just check to see if I can control iDevice connected to Topping from another iDevice at my sitting position to see if that facilitates any form of remote control.
Likewise, I’ve tried this approach when I signed up for an Apple Music trial, and it did sound very good on the high res stuff.
At the time, a friend had just bought a Topping DAC (forget the model number) as a low cost experiment with his old Technics amp (both replaced with a Marantz All In One, despite me trying to lure him to the Dark Side with an Atom!).
I borrowed the Topping for the duration of the AM trial, and despite the Topping performing beautifully when plugged into my Nait2, it was a kludge in practice due to the iPad permanently tethered to the DAC. I didn’t continue with Apple after their free trial, but if their service was natively integrated into a Naim streaming device / App, then I’d be in. Frustrating.
It would be great if Apple allowed their service to play nicely with other kit.
On my computer desk I use a Gustard U18 converter between my Mac mini and Atom HE. In my living room I mainly use an Apple TV box. Although it is limited to 24/48 it does sound reasonably good. Hopefully, Apple will up the bit rate available on Airplay 2 eventually.
Thank you for the info. I will look at the device you mention. Reason I looked at the Mini XMOS XU208 USB Digital Interface is that it can use a separate power supply via another cable thereby removing the need for the iDevice to power the unit or use the Apple camera adapter which adds to the cost. I don’t believe that Apple devices like powering external devices via their usb ports.
So device has arrived, separate Spdif cable also ordered and received. Great good to go.
Apple Music downloaded to iPad and appears to work with my system via Airplay. Did sound a little soft but it did produce sound.
Now to try via Spdif. Hmmmm - nothing being output. So I’m using Digital Input 2 on the NSC222, double checked it is enabled. USB to Spdif Box has blue pcm light lit, external supply assumed working as light has come on and goes out when power cable disconnected. Naim app says digital 2 selected and volume is at 18. Apple app has changed to HiFi DSD (seems strange would expect it to say PCM?) from Airplay speaker/tv. It has moving bars that indicate output is being generated. Volume on Apple app is at about 20-25. No sound from speakers.
I do have usb headphones and they do play output from Apple Music on the iPad.
Thanks everyone. Output volume of iPad to max and sound appears. Does seem a bit counter intuitive to my way of thinking but maybe that’s just me.
I’ll now spend a few days, or at least the remainder of the free trial seeing which I prefer, Apple or Qobuz.
@toscana My iPad has usb type c output so I’m using the Douk U2 Pro supplied usb a to usb standard b (square input socket) cable to connect to iPad. Obviously using a usb a to usb c adapter to change the usb a to usb c.
Yes agree Apple are in the driving seat. They seem to have a fairly close relationship with Sonos regarding integration of audio services. But as @simon mentions above some companies are beginning to find alternative mechanisms to integration of at least Apple Music. I suspect that recent changes to service delivery as a recent of EU DMA and the like may result in other alternative mechanisms. As you say Naim are waiting for Apple, I think it was @Stevesky who mentioned this. I do not know exactly what architecture Naim use within their streamers but perhaps they could take a similar route to those mentioned by @simon. I think it involves integration of the Android version of Apple Music.