Streamer to add into system

i have recently relocated my hifi , and no longer am using a PC as a streaming source. The Hi-fi is now in the lounge and have a Sonos Connect as a streaming source

Setup is a Dac-V1 into a SN2 (as pre) , NAP300DR driving B&W 2+1

I’m not happy with the Sonos - it sounds OK, not great, but is also unstable even though hard wired its losing connection. So I want to replace it.

In the Naim range the ND5 XS2 and the NDX2 are the obvious choices, wondering given I have the DAC-V1 woudl the XS2-DacV1 be better than just the XS2, and does having the V1 mean there is not much need to go to the NDX2 as using the XS2 as transport could work well?

Other options, a more budget friendly solution could be a Bluesound Node 2i into the V1.

How does the V1 Dac compare with both the XS2 and NDX2?
Ideally I would rather spend more on the DAC and have a good enough digital source which has a great UI, since I think that system will be more future proof, but NAIM do not seem to be going down the standalone DAC route.

Purely from aesthetics while shouldn’t matter do like the form factor of switching out the V1 for an XS2 or NDX2…would leave the V1 to use in my office as a headphone amp

Audition the ND5 & NDX2, your ears, choice & budget.
If covid restrictions don’t allow that, then NDX2 is very clearly the one I would go for when I was with a friend’s audition a few months ago.
You don’t need the vDAC

I’d say Sonos are better at connectivity than sound so if you have a problem there I’d want to know whether that was the hardware or the network before I invested any money elsewhere only to find the sound better but the connectivity the same.

its a pretty old Connect , and have other Sonos stuff working fine, its all hardwired so don’t “think” its the network

thanks I was afraid of this haha, while NDX2 is more in line with the 300DR I find it harder to spend that sum on something which is more likely to be outdated in 5y …covid is a pain reg listening though possible dealer would be open to a listening test
how big a difference did you notice from the XS2 to NDX2?

I doubt it’ll be outdated in 5y, updated yes. I still have my NDX & am not in a hurry to replace it, that is not until something else forces the move.

How big was diff between ND5xs2 & NDX2 ??
It was hard for me to be so objective as the person doing the audit was into metal/trash & was more interested in web streaming than local (NAS).
I’m more AOR, jazz & folk, however where I could determine I felt the NDX did everything better. I did manage to get him to listen to Hotel California 24/192 on both machines & overall really felt it more refined with a real 3D soundstage, more detailed full spectrum sound & generally did everything better.

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As someone who uses a Naim streamer into a separate DAC, I think the ND5XS2 could be a great option here. I would then consider changing the V1 for an NDAC, which should be a nice step up, with the option of PSU upgrades in future if you want. It would be a neat visual match with the ND5 too.
The NDX2 would be another good option, maybe adding a PSU, if you don’t stick with a separate DAC.
Then start saving for a proper preamp!!


thanks - i am toying with the idea of Roon while i ponder further options

just downloaded a trial so have Tidal --> Roon from the laptop USB into V1 . First impressions are so far not a bad interface, and sounds pretty good certainly better than the Sonos. Really was more than simple to get it setup.

might be switching the V1 for a nDac is a better use of the funds if i like this solution.

Sonos isn’t too hard to beat on sound quality, so this sounds like a good move.
Remember that the NDAC does not have a USB input like the V1, you would need to use SPDIF.

I like the idea of getting the XS2 and then switching the V1 for a nDac later that might run the NDX2 close

On preamp side I am more than happy with the SN2… not sure many have gone that path but it’s closer in performance to a 252 than you would think possible

Reason mentioning this is I did even contemplate a N272 as they are tempting right now and then could sell the SN2 and v1 but suspect I’d have ended up with something that’s not as good as I have now and tricky to upgrade

But, as @ChrisSU points out, the DAC V1 needs an USB input and the ND5XS2 has no USB output.

If you buy a ND5XS2, you can use its internal DAC or bypass it and use the ND5XS2’s SPDIF output to feed a DAC with SPDIF inputs like the Naim DAC.

In either case, you do not need the DAC V1 any longer.

Hi I had a connectivity problem when all my Sonos units were hardwired, the solution from Sonos was to have only 1 unit hardwired which solved the problem:

“Looking at the diagnostics, and your messages, I’d like to propose a small change to the setup.
Currently there are 3 devices wired to your router, and your NAS wired to the Bridge. For Sonosnet to run effectively, we would recommend having only a single device wired. In this case, I’d like you to unplug the Bridge completely - it seems superflous to the setup - and instead wire your NAS directly to the router.
I’d then like you to unwire the Play:1, so only your Connect is wired. This will provide the network for all of Sonos, and give your NAS a stronger connection. I think you will find this setup will solve your issues.”

Actually that’s not what I said, the V1 has an SPDIF in which could be used with an ND5.

Ooops, thanks for the rectification and sorry for the noise! Best, nbpf

I’m going the dark side atm and have a Hugo tt2 into the SN2 and the dac v1 is working a treat in my study just I don’t have a pair of headphones that really does it justice atm

The tt2 works nicely with the 300dr so maybe will ponder next a streamer to replace the laptop

One thing I’ve noticed already is the laptop sounds slightly different when plugged in to running on battery , it seems to sound better on battery power , its a very easy thing to test hence noticed it quickly

@dvshannow As someone who used Sonos front end for a period of time (into nDac), I would also recommend, if not done so already, reviewing what services you might have integrated to the Sonos today and how they might translate to a Naim/Airplay/Chromecast world.

You mentioned Roon earlier - that is ultimately where I landed - but I did a fair bit of due diligence on the various services I had integrated and how/if those would not only work on the new platform, but also how I would interact with them e.g. separate apps for Airplay vs integrated through Sonos.

Roon + Qobuz + Naim streaming platform > Sonos into anything. imho.

Agreed Roon + laptop clearly far better than the Sonos

I’m wondering now if it’s worth exploring using my pc to upsample to much higher resolution before sending to the DAC

Before I would have thought this would not pay dividends until looking into the Chord M scaler and `rob Watts explanations on how important transients are and how the brain can process these down to 4ms which requires far higher than redbook.

Has anyone tried a software based solution for upscaling instead of the M scaler , like hq player 4? I have a gpu so it sounds like a fun rabbit hole

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