Transport for nDAC - ND5 XS vs. Bluesound Node (2021)

Hi All,

I think this question has been asked in various ways over the years but I haven’t been able to find the thread, so here it goes…

I’ve been using a Bluesound Node 2i as a transport for my nDAC. Mostly streaming Tidal and local FLAC files (no Qobuz in Canada :frowning_face:). I enjoy it quite a bit, but I’ve been considering trying an ND5 XS as a transport. Any thoughts on this path? I’d love to try a ND5 XS2 but it’s outside the budget right now.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!



I’d keep what you have for now and wait for a ND5XS2. I know Qobuz has been promised in Canada for awhile and if it finally arrives you’ll be much happier with the ND5xs2. The new streaming board is fantastic IMHO.

Naim streamers make good digital transports, but I would think carefully before committing to such an old design as the 1st gen models. They were originally designed to stream from your local network, and had Tidal support shoehorned into them due to the rise in demand for web streaming services. They can work well with Tidal, but the small buffer can cause problems with internet streams. Also their WiFi performance is poor, so a wired connection is advisable.

These older boxes are still serviceable, but it remains to be seen how long Naim can sustain this if the availability if digital spares becomes difficult.

1 Like

Thanks for the response. I sincerely hope Qobuz does come to Canada, I’m not not convinced by MQA. I feel like it’s too cranked, like an oversaturated colour photograph.

1 Like

Thanks ChrisSU. WiFi performance is another concern I have and based on the location of my stack hardwiring isn’t an option.

There’s always the option to put a WiFi extender of some sort near the streamer and connect that to the streamer with a patch cable if necessary.


If WiFi performance is a concern I’d follow ChrisSU advice or it’s another reason for the ND5XS2. From personal experience it’s WiFi performance is first rate. Rarely have I had a drop. IIRC the new streaming board buffers the stream regardless so after 30 seconds or so the track is being served up from its internal memory.

I have a Google mesh network with a wifi node located about 2 meters from the streamer location and high speed fibre. The wifi speeds in the house are very good, and my stack location has a very good signal strenght, but I acknowledge the the ND5 XS is using older tech.

1 Like

We’ve recently moved from a gen1 streamer (272) to an NDX2. We still have a gen1 in the house, our SuperUniti.

We wouldn’t recommend a gen1 device now for various reasons. What they do is great but they won’t move on because of the hardware platform.

There’s already a large selection of FLAC based internet radio stations which gen1 devices can’t play.

We use AirPlay and Tidal connect a lot, can’t imagine being without those now. We have to use a RPI to get these onto our SU.

Also the sound quality from gen2 streaming board is much better than the older devices.

Save your money and get an ND5XS2 which will be far more future proof than an EOL gen1 streamer.

1 Like

Thanks Iain, I appreciate the insight. I’ve got and itch to scratch but I’m going to pass on the ND5 XS.

1 Like

The nDAC is excellent, it deserves a fantastic streamer :smile:

ND5XS2 do appear on the used market regularly here in UK. Perhaps less so in Canada :frowning_face:

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.