Toslink Resolution on the Nova

Quick question. I am trying to use the toslink output from my macbook pro into the Nova. Im playing directly from the Qobuz app on the macbook. This works properly as long as the music is 24/96. When I try to play 24/192 it resets the output in the midi utility to 24/192 but the Nova gets no signal.
The specs on the Naim site show the toslink as 24/192 while the Stereophile review article shows it at 24/96.

  1. Which spec is correct?
  2. If it is 24/192(the mac midi setup app allows me to set it to 24/192) then what might I be doing wrong?

The specs for the Nova on the Naim website show Optical Toslink up to 24/96.

That’s sensible as it’s pretty much impossible to guarantee that 24/192 over Toslink will work reliably.

Richard is right. Unfortunately the Naim Nova main page says 24/192 under connectivity, but the specs section shows 24/96 which doesn’t help.

As with most things Toslink, it might just be that it’s capable of 24/192 with the right source, a fair wind and just the right cable/connectors, but due to the limitations of the Toslink standard, it’s just not possible to categorically state that it’s guaranteed to handle 24/192.

I agree though that the web front page seems to be in error as it contradicts the actual specification. I’ll flag it up to Naim.


I think it depends on the source and the end points, if both agree on 192/24 then you get 192/24, otherwise you get the sample rate which is the smaller of the two.

Might be a daft suggestion so apologies if it is! Why not just use Qobuz natively on the Nova? It sounds fantastic and is about 90% as good as files served from my Melco!

Using any other connection was a compromise sound wise.

You might need to check your Macs specification for the toslink output resolution as it has varied quite a bit between models and years, with more recent models having lower resolution outputs than earlier ones, oddly enough.

With the Nova you might consider the Audiophilleo + PurePower. @obsydian uses this route albeit with an Innuos Zenith. I use the same into an nDAC which to my ear is absolutely wonderful. The Audiophilleo will isolate the Mac nicely from the HiFi and provide picosecond levels on dither on the audio signal.

Of course the Qobuz on the Nova is worth trying.


Have to ask as to why your using a mac to play Qobuz in to the Nova when it has implementation inbuilt.

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The optical cable matters too, some (lots), just can’t pass the higher bit rate reliably.

Ones that work well in my experience and are not expensive. Price is not always a factor. See link. Their 1300 strands 24/192 cable works well if your sender and receiver can handle 24/192.

sysconcept dot ca

Yes Audiophilleo is like the Zenith - multifunctional.

The former isolates, reclocks and can work off battery power for playback.

I considered the Innuos Phoenix to reclock but on paper offers nothing over the Audiophilleo except the price tag.

Thx for all the responses. The Nova being 24/96 at least explains why I get nothing at 24/192. The reason I’m using the mac is because I have very bad room acoustics and so use ARC 3 In Audirvana to help correct things.
I tried to get that to work with upnp( it works fine over toslink and airplay) but no go with upnp.
I don’t think it is Audirvana’s problem as the Apple AU NBandequalizer plugin work fine over upnp.
They told me to ask the ARC people and ARC just threw up their hands.
So I am stuck with toslink and 24/96. That is really troubling in principle even if I can’t hear the difference between that and 24/192.
My macbook pro is of the proper vintage according to Apple page to handle 24/192 out of toslink.
I also tried hdmi from the mac to the Nova but neither box sees the connection. I wonder if its because the Nova is arc hdmi?
Anyone tried using a breakout box and stripping audio from hdmi on a mac and connecting tothe Nova?

The HDMI inputs on Naim streamers are HDMI ARC.
Regarding optical, there’s a small chance that a different cable would cope with 24/192, but my experience is that the real gains in hi-res come with 24 bit over 16, so I’m not convinced that chasing 192 over 96 is worthwhile.

So you are saying that the 192/24 streamed from a service (say Qubuz) is not better than 96/24? And there is no loss in SQ if 192/24 is converted down to 96/24.

I personally can’t hear the difference on my equipment between Qobuz 24/96 and 24/192 when played from the Qobuz app on my mac over upnp to the Nova( using their beta upnp implementaion).
I also cant tell the difference when played by Audirvana over upnp to the Nova.
That’s probably just my old ears or my equipment.
However on principle I want to be able to use 24/292 from Qobuz without downsampling. I want to do it from Audirvana using the ARC 3 plugin because I am listening in a 25’x25’x9’ room which has 2 walls of windows from floor to ceiling and it plays hell with acoustics according to REW.
Audirvana streams Qobuz at 24/192 over upnp to the Nova with no problem but the ARC plugin diesnt work over upnp in Audirvana. Toslink does work with Audirvana and ARC But as mentioned above that connection according to Some specs from Naim is limited to 24/96.
It seems I have 2 options

  1. Get a usb to spdif converter and run coaxial spdif at 24/192 to the Nova
  2. Get an hdmi audio breakout device and run hdmi out of the mac to the breakout device and coaxial spdif from that to the Nova
  3. Manually configure the filters needed in something like the NBandequalizer AU plugin from Apple which does work with Audirvana and upnp.

Seems like #1 is the most feasible given that I do like ARC software.

If the acoustics in your room is so terrible, then really your time would be better spent trying to fix that, rather than mithering over getting 192, which will not effect room acoustics one iota.

I can’t say I’ve methodically tested 24/96 vs. 24/192 to attempt a definitive analysis. Neither can I say that I have the inclination or patience to do so. What I would say it that the Qobuz 24 bit material sounds a little better than the 16 bit stuff, and that includes 24/96 and 24/44.1 material.
You might expect a revealing separates system to expose any such differences, and perhaps justify measures to access fikes in the highest resolution possible, but I’m not convinced it’s worth the effort on a Nova, if at all.

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I was not suggesting 192 had anything to do with acoustics. If I had a choice in the matter I would change the room, but in my better half’s view, absolutely nothing needs to be done to improve the room.

Chris, I mentioned above that I couldn’t hear the difference, but its the principle that counts. I just want to do what is technically possible. I am going to pursue both the usb to spdif converter and mess with manually creating filters In the NBandequalizer AU plugin using REW room analysis output.

you may also need to fiddle with the midi settings in the mac as well, not sure if the qobuz app can change it on the fly?