TIDAL vs Qobuz using ND5 XS with Audioengine B-Fi workaround

I have an ND5 XS streamer and NAIT XS 2 amplifier bought secondhand.

As the ND5 XS is a legacy machine I accept that the higher bitrates from some streaming services are not available to it. The ND5 XS supports TIDAL (16-bit/44kHz) and Spotify (320kbps) natively.

I currently have a Hi-Fi subscription to TIDAL at £19.99pm. The equivalent service from Qobuz costs £12.49pm (billed annually). Seemingly, Qobuz pays artists 4 times that of TIDAL per stream.

I recently bought an Audioengine B–Fi for streaming from my iPad. It can also stream from TIDAL and Qubuz at lossless CD quality (16-bit/44kHz).

I should appreciate any help you can give me with the following:

  1. If I were to use the Audioengine B–Fi to stream Qubuz digitally via a toslink to my ND5 XS (using their app on my iPad), would this be equivalent to using TIDAL natively?
  2. Can I take it that connecting the Audioengine B-Fi to the NAIT XS 2 directly (analogue) would give significantly inferior sound to connecting it as in 1. above?
  3. Is the reason that the ND5 XS cannot connect to other streaming services natively a technical and/or commercial one?
  4. Should I stick with TIDAL?

Thank you.


Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions so promptly.

I shall do the comparison between digital and analogue once my amp is back from servicing.

In the meantime, I’ve tried MconnectHD on a UnitiQute 2 and it works a treat at 24-bit/48kHz.

Thank you again.

1 Like

Just trying MconnectHD (via iPad mini) on the NDS, with a Qobuz studio trial…Californian Soil - London Grammar…rather good…

Another thank you to jmtennapel !


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