The Primare NP5 Chromecast misconception

Last week I bought an NP5 streamer, due mainly to the positive reports of other forum members. Thank you all.
I’ve been considering buying one for a couple of months, but was put off by the fact Qobuz is only available via chromecast. Surely streaming wireless to a phone or tablet, then onto the streamer using chromecast won’t sound very good.

However, people are saying qobuz does sound very good; people are saying the NP5 improves the sound quality of Naim legacy streamers.

So, after 4 days I’m amazed how good it sounds steaming qobuz into my Ndac, and that’s with the low quality power supply it’s supplied with.

I’m also amazed to discover, chromecasting qobuz doesn’t go through the router, mobile/tablet then onto the streamer. It streams from the router direct to the NP5,

So, it’s basically Qobuz connect. I open the Qobuz app, select what I want to play, select the NP5 streamer, and it streams direct to the steamer.

Strange thing is, there is no mention of how chromecast actually works in any of the promo videos or reviews. The uninformed (like myself) would think it offered very poor sound quality. But it doesn’t. :grinning:


I recently bought one of these. The Chromecast does downsample the 192k files. There is an update due shortly to integrate Qobuz into the app

Run mine into both a Qutest and a Rega Dac and its fine. App is a bit confusing- with replacing rather than deleting whats in the queue

Waiting to see what the updates bring

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The NP5 is a streamer, just as an ND5XS, NDX or 272 are streamers. It has no Dac, so outputs direct to your streamer’s DAC, bypassing the streamer part. The reviews indicate that it’s good but not as good as a more expensive solution. The compatibility with Google Home is what gives it the Chromecast capability. Incidentally, I once tried the original Chromecast audio dongle with my then 272 and it sounded absolutely dreadful. You expect the Primare to be better as it’s a more sophisticated device, but don’t expect it to sold a good as something like a current ND5XS2 or NDX2, or indeed the NSC222.

I was more questioning the idea that the NP5 improves the sound quality of the legacy Naim streamers. For sure it improves the functionality.

I have an NP5 attached by a relatively cheap Chord Clearway coax to my NDX. I bought the NP5 and Chord cable off fleabay for less than half new price.

I’ve added an MCRU power supply to the NP5. Streaming UPnP through by the NP5 (the only like for like comparison I can make), it sounds cleaner than the bare NDX but perhaps not as rhythmic.

It’s very good with Qobuz and will suffice for 12 months until I can justify an NSS333 or end of line NDX2.

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I suspect you’ve missed the whole point of my post/thread.

When you used the chromecast dongle with the 272, the stream went from the router to a mobile/tablet then onto the dongle, this is what I thought would happen when chromecasting to NP5. However, this is not what happens, the stream from qobuz goes into the router, then onto the NP5 via Ethernet cable or WiFi.

I’m pretty sure somebody posted that the NP5 used with the 272 brings about an improvement in sound quality.

I wonder if you used the digital or analog output of the Chromecast? Using SPDIF out I think it sounds fine. Sure other solutions might better it, but dreadful? The Analog out is indeed not great, but that won’t be an issue with the NP5, or any other device with it built-in.

It’s not something that really bothers me personally, but then again I don’t listen to multi-track orchestral pieces. I know several software products, including the often used Roon & Hi-Fi Cast, solve it by sending it as a single stream. Perhaps Qobuz does this as well?

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I think you’re mistaken here. The Chromecast protocol has always worked as you’re experiencing it now. It has never streamed through the control device, be that a phone, tablet or otherwise but rather exactly straight into the streaming device that’s hardwired to your system. The phone / tablet is used to only control the stream.


That’s what I’ve always thought. The stream goes from the internet to the dongle, not via the phone. I used the digital output and it still sounded dreadful. Doubtless the NP5 is much better, and if you want Qobuz on a legacy streamer it’s a neat solution. With my 272 I used Bubble on my NAS, which is even better because it’s free.

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Thanks for the clarification.

The title of the thread Chromecast Misconception indicates I don’t really know how it works. :grinning:

However, it is possible to stream qobuz to the NP5 via a mobile, I’ve done it. Initially before I connected the NP5 to the internet correctly and once when I confused matters by streaming two streams from qobus simultaneously. And it does sound awful.

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I know you like to see things written clearly and precisely.

This is googles description.

Chromecast built-in is a technology that lets you stream your favorite entertainment and apps from your phone, tablet or laptop right to your TV or speakers.

That to me indicates, the stream is coming from a phone. Which I now know it doesn’t.

But, I’ve recently turned 65, so I have an excuse. :innocent:

Some miss out to change the default low quality setting in the chromecast to high quality. Huge difference between those settings.


I tried chromecast audio digital out and was disappointed to say the least. Others say that Google messed up the firmware along the way so broke what was very cheap and before whatever they changed very good sq. that is some uy yeards back before np5 and then second generation Naim streamer.

I’ve used the dongles it until about 2 years ago when I traded in my 1st gen Qb’s for 2nd gen. Since I’ve used the built-in. To me it’s always sounded great.

I do know there was an issue with some client implementations, including Google Chrome itself. So perhaps that’s it?

I’ve mostly used it with Tidal & Radio Paradise.

I’m a fan of the NP5 - works nicely into my Hugo mk1. Bought both second hand for a total about half the price of a used ND5 XS2.

I use both Chromecast to stream from Qobuz, and BubbleUPnP to stream my local files from a UPnP server, plus also occasionally use Bubble’s Qobuz integration avoiding Chromecast. I couldn’t tell much/any difference, both sound excellent.

According to Primare, it’s based on the same streaming technology in their full size streamers. I don’t know if that means basically the same streaming board in a fairly basic plastic case.

The thing I don’t like about the setup is the faff. Mostly the fault of the Hugo that I have to switch on, select the input and tweak the output volume every time.

So I took my SX3 speakers along to a Naim dealer to put it up against a ND5 XS2, both through their NAIT XS3. They sounded very different, the NP5/Hugo 1 was better and more enjoyable to my ears. I liked the ND5 XS2, and with a 2K SL DIN lead the gap closed, but there was still a gap. I’d even be willing to trade a bit of SQ for the convenience of the Naim streamer, but it would be a SQ trade.

I did not try ND5 XS2 into my Hugo, there seemed little point as I wouldn’t achieve an improvement in convenience. My personal view is that the DAC makes more difference than the streamer, I’d be willing to believe the Hugo is a better DAC than the ND5 XS2. But any detrimental effect of the NP5 wasn’t enough to pull the setup down. I’d like to believe the ND5 is a good streamer, and my listening to date bears that out.

Whilst I decide between a used ND5 XS2 or NDX2, or some crafty NSC222 based scheme, the NP5 is feeding my Hugo with some lovely bits, all in the right order!


I have an ifi something ps on the NP5. I run the Hugo off its batteries 8)

Amazing sound from the pairing.

Just checked, the PS is an iFi iPower X

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Just leave the Hugo powered up if you don’t want to keep resetting it.

Aye, I know I could do that, but at least on the Mojo that’s likely to mess with battery life.

It isn’t all that much of a faff, and definitely in the class of problems that aren’t real problems :slight_smile:

Was considering adding a Chord TT2 to my NP5 and ditching the NDX altogether.

Not quite as neat as an all-in-one streamer but I can imagine it would sound pretty good; and offer future flexibility.

Added an Ifi ipower X as you suggested.

Moved the switch local to the streamer that was previously local to the router, plus added a LPS that I found in my garage to the switch.

Sounding very good. I’m very happy with how it plays music, the only other thing I may look at is the cable between the streamer and Ndac.

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