Supernait 1 vs Nait XS2

I have the opportunity to purchase either a Supernait 1 or a Nait XS-2, for approximately the same cost.
The digital input of the SN is appealing.
May I ask whether anyone has experience of both and would express a preference?
Realistically I’m not going to be able to audition before buying.
Any thoughts appreciated!

Hi, I demoed them back to back with an Audiolab 8200cd (that was the source I owned at the time). Listened to the XS2, then the XS2 with a flatcap (a nice lift in performance) , then the SN1, it was a significant improvement. The music had more energy, more body, more boogie. More everything. Great amp.

I used the DAC in the SN1 when I had to get my Audiolab 8200cd repaired, the DAC was dull compared to the Audiolab (I used the Audiolab as a DAC). I never used the SN1 with a Hicap, some here have said the Hicap improved the DAC.


Adding the Hicap DR to the SN1 is one of the biggest upgrades in the Naim universe. It indeed also improves the Dac - not sure its because the Dac gets powered differently, or that the Preamp stage improves.

Oh and the Nait XS2 is also lovely. The main difference is the power. The SN1 likes to work, so if you pair the SN1 or the XS2 with easy loudspeakers the difference may not be that big or you might even prefer the XS2. However, when you pair them with difficult loudspeakers or low efficiency, the SN1 gets in its comfort zone and excels.


Thank you both, that’s hugely helpful.

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Do you mean XS-2 ,or XS2?

You mention both.

If the price is similar to the sn1, it must be 2nd gen xs rather than facelift gen 1 xs.
That’s naim’s fault for confusing names.


Judging from the photo it’s an XS 2

My first Naim amp was an original XS and my second a SN1. To my ears the SN was a big improvement on the XS, a significantly more solid and mature sound. But, and it’s a big but, I always used the SN with a HiCap, subsequently upgraded to DR, and I don’t think I’d have bought it without the HC. Also I rarely used the internal DAC as by the time I got my SN I already had the much superior nDAC.

As a straight amp I’d be looking to add a HC and external DAC/ streamer at some point, but as the first step along that road it merits consideration. Oh, and if not already done it probably needs a service soon.


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Thank you. Apparently it was serviced a few years ago, so at least that’s one “tick”!
I would be relying on the internal DAC and it seems people don’t think overly highly of it.
I wonder how it compares with the DAC in a Superuniti? I used to have one of these, and was mighty impressed by its DAC, when I used it with an external transport.

Maybe not the greatest but it’s essentially a freebie and an OK one at that.

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I think the only sure way of telling the difference is to look at the back. There will be the name xs2. You may be able to tell from the front with the xs -2 having the plain black finish. The later xs2 has the shinier ‘grained’ finish.
Edit: The xs-2 has the smaller socket on the front panel. The xs2 has the full size headphone jack.

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