Using an NDX2 with an external SSD

Hi everyone,

total Naim beginner here, so thanks to all the authors of posts that have helped me make up my mind and start my journey with the SN3. Mine should be arriving here in 3 weeks :smile:

My very old DAC doesn’t work with all files so I’ve been looking at various options and I have also read in a review that my Node 2i might not agree with the SN3. So it might make much more sense to buy a Naim streamer and get rid of boxes and potential incompatibilities (technical or sonic).

But (apologies in advance :rofl:) I don’t like streaming all that much, and much prefer to read FLACs from an external SSD drive. Reviews of/threads about the NDX2 explain that it’s no server, though. Does that mean it’s not possible to plug a hard drive and access my files from the Naim app?

Do I systematically need a separate server (increasing box count, cables, price, complexity, hassle …) or can the NDX2 simply be used (via the Naim app, not Roon) just like the Node 2i?

Thanks a lot for your help,

You can connect an external drive and the ndx2 can play from that drive.

What makes you think your blusound mode is not compatible?

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Ooh, thank you so much @robert_h! Most kind of you. I will read that eagerly.

I read a review (so many reviews in fact) in which the author was having problems with his Node 2i. It might be an isolated case, mind you!! But even though, 2 boxes from the same manufacturer appeal to me far more than 3 or 4 from different ones :wink:


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There’s no reason why your Node 2i shouldn’t work with the Supernait. An NDX2 should certainly sound quite a lot better. Even the cheaper ND5XS2 shoud be an improvement.
You will find that Naim streamers don’t have the same wide range of features as the Node. The only streaming services they support natively are Qobuz, Tidal and Spotify, (although you can access many others via Airplay and Chromecast) and they don’t support voice control. That may not matter to you, and connecting a USB drive and controlling play via the Naim app is simple. It lacks the convenience of a NAS, which you can access over your network if you need to add music, edit metadata etc. To do this with a USB drive, you will need to remove it and attach it to a computer.

Hi @ChrisSU,

thanks for your message. You’re right, a NAS might be the more clever way to go. I’m happy to be able to simply “plug and play” the SSD for sheer simplicity, but the longer term goal will probably be a NAS.


The Nas ( if picked correctly) will allow use of Minimserver or Asset. That will make the experience a whole lot better.

Hi @PascalDS I use a USB drive in my ND5 XS2 with all my Flac/MP3’s etc copied on from my Mac. I just use a simple sync script when the files on my Mac change, then have the simplicity of not needing a NAS drive, or any maintenance of that NAS drive and associated software. That way I can concentrate on the Music and not the hardware. The instructions given earlier show you the basics of using a USB drive, but then on the Naim App you can turn server mode on, and it will read that USB drive with all its metadata allowing you all the familiarity of artist/album searching.

Thank you @Thegreatroberto. I’ll look into both of these!

Ah, thanks @GadgetMan.

I would much rather not use a NAS, if at all possible. My problem today is that the disk has to use a Windows formatting to work on the Node 2i. But I use a Mac. So adding new files is a convoluted process involving a borrowed laptop. A real pain in the wotzit.

But if I can reformat my disk to a Mac format, copy back all the files and just use that on the NDX2 using the app in server mode, that sounds like more fun!

As you say, I’m here for the music, not the tech complications.


A key aspect of what option meets your needs best is how metadata is handled and presented to you when you search and playback files.
If your library is mostly FLAC based then connecting it directly to a NAIM ND streamer over USB will work reasonably well. If you want more comprehensive metadata or your library is a mix of formats other than FLAC you may well be better of using a NAS connected over Ethernet and running a UPnP Server application, Minim and Asset being the most common.
You can wire that drive in anywhere that is convenient within your home, it doesn’t need to be in close proximity to your HiFi system.

Look at a Synology 218+ . Amazon do these. You will need at least 1 HDD. So allow for say a 2Tb. Yes, that will set you back £350. But the Synology allows you to add loots if apps ( some Nas drives are not good at doing this).

If you use exFAT you shouldn’t have a compatibility issue. It’s mainly NTFS partitions/drives that you can’t write to from a Mac OS computer although you can mount and read from them.


Fully agree, you can format and read exFAT drives on your Mac. For syncing, you can use the “rsync” command to sync across from your Music files to the USB Drive. If you need help with a script, let me know

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I know my Naim ND can read FLAC from a USB data stick but it doesn’t find anything on my 2TB drive. The contents of that are the backup of my Naim Core in WAV, a pc can play directly from it, not with much in the way of metadata but it will play. Maybe if it was in FLAC?
We were promised transcoding to FLAC would be in a firmware update some time later for data ripped to WAV by the Core but that seems to have been forgotten. I for one am still waiting.

Since the OP is Mac-based, another option would be a Mac Mini. Second-hand Minis are plentiful & good value.

My NAC 272 sounds noticeably better when fed by a 2017 headless Mac Mini than by a Synology 118 (although I haven’t tried other Synology models).

As an example, I use an early 2009 MacMini that I’d retired from computing use. Perfectly good for feeding my nDAC and you can pick these up for about £100 (or less).

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The issue you are having is that the metadata associated with your WAV rips is stored in a Naim database on your Naim Core so whilst you can backup the actual audio data the metadata that your Core creates when it rips CD’s is not transferable.
If you convert or backup to FLAC format the metadata is embedded in the audio file itself within the FLAC container and as a result is transferable and accessible from other players and databases that may manage those files when moved.

Good call on the Mac Mini option, I repurposed a redundant Mac Mini Server which is a 2012 model. I replaced the pair of internal Apple SSD’s (250GB) with a pair of Samsung EVO 2TB SSD’s to give me a total of 4TB storage as required.
I have that Mac Mini setup as my main music store and Roon server but you could as easily setup a UPnP server on it and run it in the same way.

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Hi @Mr.M

Metadata doesn’t factor in too much for me. So long as I can search for an album or an artist, that’s plenty for me. Bitrates and the likes won’t be something I use. And, yes, all ripped from my CDs or downloaded from Qobuz in FLAC.

Thanks a lot for your input.

Unfortunately, the Node refused to play the disk in exFAT. I hard to reformat it to a purely Windows format … ugh :wink: