Streaming comparisons

I have been looking for a streaming solution that includes Amazon HD on board, and also suits the 552/300 level of Naim kit. I have only come across the Node 2i and the Auralic streamers that have this. I’m aware that the solutions offered may not be the most elegant or effective technically, but they are here now and work. Streaming AZ HD is consistent and of high quality with the hires showing correctly as it should as indicated on the Qutest.
As I want multiroom synchronisation I tested the following and found:-

Node 2i needs a better dac,
Qutest lifts it by adding layers and clarity.

GoldNote ds 10
Altair G1
Both of these are about on a par. More of everything compared to the node plus qutest.

Vega G1. A lift again from the Altair . A good streamer and dac combined that for me suits the Naim sound well.

Aries G1 ( no dac) plus Qutest, like a veil lifted compared to the Node. Every thing better, more separation, more clarity, more layering. There is a downside, perhaps too much clarity, almost clinical. I had to apply a roll off filter to take that edge off.

Aries G1 plus Vega G1 working as a dac only. This gave what I can only describe as a fuller sound, but still with the same clarity and layering of individual sounds. The orchestra suddenly found its cohesion and started playing together in a perfect harmonic performance.
Very Naim like in its fullness and togetherness.

The control software is a major part of the usage and there is a wide variation. The Node 2i is far and away the app to beat. It’s ability to save playlists and combine them from various sources, plus the ability to save then to a preset, along with saving presets for radio feeds is the height of ease of use. Program a remote to those presets and then its just a matter of picking up the remote and pressing the preset number to start play.

The Auralic and the Gold note don’t have programmable presets, and the Goldnote has a clumsy menu system where you have to go through various layers to even select a radio feed. So Node, then Auralic, then GN in terms of convenience,

Final selection is Aries transport plus Vega dac for the main system, and the Altair for the study.
Naim have said they are working on integrating Amazon, and GoldNote have said they are putting kit forward to Amazon for testing. Until then the Auralic suits me and my final streaming solution will be decided when both Naim and GoldNote have Amazon on board, even if that takes some while.

I dread to think how much Amazon pay the artists, as they can’t even pay their own staff properly. Something’s got to give in this streaming world, where people want access to all the music imaginable, but don’t seem willing to pay for it.

1 Like

I try not to think about others commercial arrangements. Its too depressing.

Why start with Amazon?

Just get Qobuz.

Naim amps work best with Naim sources.


Completely agree.

Since early 2020 the world has been unimaginable for any independent musicians. Suddenly the live-first profit model is exposed for what it is. Exploitation

I have had Qobuz and prefer Amazon.

Indeed it is a personal choice to buy or rent from whom you prefer.

Are you able to say why?


Cost and availability of high res files primarily. Also the regular deletion of music on Quobuz along with the concern of their long term viability. It is a complex area and I have decide to go with what I think is a better long term prospect for my music library.

But, Bruss, I think you can share your music library between services using an app called Soundiiz, iirc.

I used this to duplicate my Tidal favourites and playlists to Qobuz when I moved across and it worked a treat and gives me a backup if one gets lost.

Both have hires, so how can Amazon do that better?

As regards price, are you so hard up that you are willing to miss out on an integrated Naim source and amp system(s) for the sake of a few squid a month?

There are many variations of streaming and work arounds.

Seems like tail wagging dog, esp with a 552.

I tried an Auralic Aries vs ND5XS2 digital out into nDAC/555DR in my all-Naim system and the Auralic was utterly sterile to me - clinical, to use the word you used above.

I can only look forward to Naim joining the modern streaming world with Amazon on board. :+1:

The one thing I like about Bezos is that he protects WaPo.

But he is a planet sized tax dodger.

1 Like

If I only bought from morally perfect, eco planet aware, socially supportive suppliers, or song writers, or performers, I’d have nothing.

I agree there is too much tax dodging and selfish acquisition for its own sake, but I hope for a government that will address those problems, not a subject for a hifi forum I believe?

I stated 2 facts about the bloke who founded Amazon.

I made no political point at all.

Those 2 facts are part of the reason I prefer to use Qobuz.

Sorry Jim it was a reply to the general direction this thread is going. I had hoped to report my experience with different streamers for those interested, not start a discussion on where the content comes from. I apologise for any offence caused.

No offence caused to me, Bruss.

Good luck with your search for the ideal streaming system.

1 Like

if you’ve decided to have the Altair in one of your systems at home, you can also consider the Vega G2.1 (DAC is on another level) instead of the Aries G1 + Vega G1?

Naim sounds even better this way too!

1 Like

Yes, I think that is the way I am heading but I would really like to try and stick with Naim if possible. I don’t want to spend any more until I have heard Naim with Amazon on board.

1 Like