Stream Apple Music (Hi Res) into NC Streamer

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.

Many thanks in advance.

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 played around with this a while ago out of curiosity but found it very inconvenient:

There is also a photo of my setup two posts down from the above.

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Many thanks for the replies.

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.

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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.

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It seems a bit odd to buy a DAC you don’t really need just because it happens to have a digital output. There are USB to SPDIF converters around which would work without the extra redundant hardware.

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Hi @ChrisSU,

Good point, I’ve also looked at these devices and found this device “Mini XMOS XU208 USB Digital Interface Coaxial/Optical/HDMI/12S Audio Adapter DSD256 32Bit 384K”

Any thoughts on whether or not this would provide a suitable interface to trial Apple Music Hi Res stream from a USC C iDevice into NSC222.

That’s a similar device to the SMSL PO100 Pro we use with SuperUniti for Tidal Max. We need the Apple Camera adapter (as our old iPad is lightning connector).

Works well.

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Hi @IainO
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.

Absolutely, if our iPad had USB C we might have gone another direction.

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.

Any clues?

You will likely need to increase the volume on the iPad to max.


Yes. That was my experience too. Volume on the iPad needs to be at a100%.

Just curious: does your ipad have a lightning or usb-c connection and what type of cable did you use to connect it to the digital interface?

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@Orac You can also adjust the input trim on the NSC-222.

I had to increase the output of my TV and the input on the NSC-222.

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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.

My thanks again.

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Another option is to use a streamer that has native Apple Music and play through your Naim. Eversolo DMP A6 and HiFi Rose RS250 have this capability.

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Hi @simon
Thanks for the info. Does lead to the obvious question, when is Naim native integration coming?

When Apple decide it is so :unamused:

Apparently current Naim streamers are already prepared for hi-res lossless Airplay from devices, it’s just something Apple needs to implement at their end for Apple Music.

Hi @Alley_Cat
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.