Which format in hd

Beautiful fight at the time of purchase if you choose between wav, aif and flac. In your opinion which sounds better with naim?

For me with my equipment, WAV sounds better. But transcoded FLAC (transcoded means FLAC is concerted to WAV as it plays by the NAS) that sounds the same as it is WAV.

aif for me, a little bit better vs wav, for me.

I use a Linn KDS - immune to file format. Most Linn users run FLAC. I tried having Minimserver transcode to WAV - no difference. The Linn has enough internal processing horsepower to be file neutral

WAV. When offered only FLAC I convert FLAC to WAV using dBpoweramp Music Converter. I usually hear the difference and prefer WAV, if I hear a difference, each time.

The old and new Naim streamers are quite different, so you should not assume that there is just one answer applies to all of them.



  • 1 for me use the same method as @Mike-B FLAC is better on Meta data and I have found WAV is better at music works for me
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A minor point & apologise for my misleading post:
I have only WAV (& DSD), I don’t transcode from FLAC.
My point was that you can buy & store as FLAC & play those albums as WAV.

I have never found any issue with WAV & metadata. (except when I buy WAV from Qobuz)

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Metadata on WAV depends which uPnP you use. Asset handles it flawlessly.

When I had my my NDX, 282/250DR, ATC SMC11 system I tended to prefer WAV over FLAC. When I started ripping CDs I used FLAC so still have about 35% of my files in FLAC and 65% in WAV. (Thanks Foobar for the stats!)

Like many, I decided to set Asset to decode FLAC to WAV so everything was presented as WAV to the NDX. For some reason, about a year ago I allowed Asset to send the FLAC ‘as is’ and allow the NDX to do the decoding. I found I actually preferred it this way! So, go figure! Maybe system changes changed my opinion or maybe my hearing just changed, who knows.

Depends where you purchase from but with Qobuz at least you can download in different formats and quality several times.

Personally not seen much difference between WAV/FLAC/ALAC on a Nova but FLAC/ALAC metadata is usually better from Qobuz, can’t comment on other sites.

Exact. If I buy from Qobuz in wav I have the Metadata always missing and a slaughter on the disk I buy

The metadata can easily be retrieved, its just that its a PITA.
If I do use Qobuz I buy a FLAC & convert it, 2 minutes & its done

The really annoying thing is when I complain they reply telling me WAV does not have metadata !!! Strange that, Qobuz WAV was OK a while back & all the other vendors seem to be able to get it right.

Well strictly speaking UPnP doesn’t send a file type, it sends a media type… and LPCM as used in most WAV files sounds better on many Naim products, although the difference with the new streamers is less.
However I use Roon Core with my new generation Naim streamer and that unifies the media and converts to LPCM to then send via RAAT (Roon’s proprietry media transfer network protocol). This way FLAC, ALAC, WAF, AIF all become the same for the streamer… this also has the wonderful benefit that with like for like masters local media or remote media whatever the lossless encoding sounds the same… to me this is a major maturity with the latest streamers, especially using something like a Roon Core. It allows me to enjoy my recordings without having to worry how they are encoded, where they are stored or what the meta data is etc… I think things are now a little more grown up in the streaming world now with Naim, and it’s nice to have left those shackles and irritations behind with my new Naim streamer.


No difference between the two uncompressed formats.

Given a choice I tend to go for AIFF, as it’s a native format with Apple Macs, which I use.

Funny you mention this. I bought a Linn Klimax DS/1 renew last week and have been having a play. My findings to date:

Not a lot of difference running Minimserver on my Synology NAS vs Audiolinux/NUC, but a will give a subtle nod to the AL/NUC. Could I pick it blind? Good question.
Not a lot of difference running flac vs WAV, but a will give a subtle nod to WAV. Could I pick it blind? Good question.
Upscaling DOES make a positive difference, for the first time IME.
Sound Optimisation makes the biggest difference, with v2 via the Linn cloud taking the honours at the moment …but I have much to learn Sensei!

Nice bit of kit.


Improved WAV with convolution resampled on MinimServer has a more engaging and detailed sound compared to flac into my Naim nova. Not a great difference but a little upgrade.

What on Earth is that supposed to mean… sorry it’s random words thrown together. Convolution is the mathematical term in combining two functions to produce a third… in DSP you can convolve an image with a filter function to sharpen the image, with PCM you can convolve a number series or sample stream with a filter kernel my multiplying them together so as to act as a tone control to cut bass etc … so with respect that expression means nothing…

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Simon I have been reading a few forum posts regarding Tidal dropping out. You seem to know what you are talking about, although it bamboozles me as all I know what to do is plug and play! I have an NDX which has started dropping out over the last couple of months.

If I upgrade to an NDX2 do you believe this would stop happening?

I am asking you as I know what a dealer would say. Do you recommend any dealers who are very experienced with streaming? Maybe private message me?

Thank you.

Yes, I am confident it will stop happening assuming your broadband is not very low speed and/or over utilised. But please don’t take my word for it… home demo an NDX2 from your dealer and experience no dropouts for yourself… most dealers will know the basics for streaming. My dealer is based in east Suffolk.

Thank you Simon. I live over 90 minutes from the closest dealer and don’t want to wast their time if I end up not purchasing.

I am a technophobe so appreciate help!!

Regards Jon