Why an HDX?

As I’m ripping CDs via a computer and external drive and contemplating a better way, I see 15 year old HDXs on the market and think “maybe that’s what I should be using…”

But then I pause, as they’re 1k+, and ask myself “why is this thing so expensive relative to a NAS server?”

Any insight as to why anyone would pay that kind of money for a product that’s currently duplicated today for about 400 bucks?

Hi, I had a similar enquiry about NAS v Uniti-core. I got some interesting feedback. Summarised to my mind as a NAS through a good DAC is probably just as good.

The HDX was a ripper, store, server and DAC all in one fancy Naim box with power supply upgrades options, touchscreen control etc. That’s why it cost a lot more than a NAS.

Well, they used to be close to $9000!

Convenience and quality. There’s a 2 TB HDX for sale right now on one of those “US Audio Marts” for $700. A steal, in my opinion.

I still have some warm feelings about the HDX which was in my system for quite some time. I’ve ripped my entire CD collection with it and converted to FLAC. For now, I should be a bit careful with recommending buying one. You must be aware that the HDX runs on some sort of Windows XP Embedded which is hugely outdated …

As such, it still has options/ functionality which e.g. the Core is lacking, such as converting FLAC to WAV on the fly and internet radio.

Ripping on a computer - so long as you are using good software such as dbpoweramp - and storing on a NAS, again with good software such as Asset or MinimServer, is perfectly fine. All you’ll get from an NDX is a large box to accommodate, backup headaches and a fear of imminent expiration.

wow! 9k? really??

In the UK they were about £5500 when they were discontinued.

The HDX was obsolete when it released, in terms of the pc hardware inside.

Today its worth the price of the Naim case and 15+ year old micro ATX motherboard with serial connector for DVD (seriously) and PC2 ram.

I would guess about a hundy would be good value. a grand, nope not on your nelly.

Though in fairness if ebay is anything to go by 500 would appear to be the average now, but even that is way to much. These are glorified computers people, don’t forget that.

Presumably they were also pretty darned good at playback though? Seems to me that if they rip, store, convert and playback with similar qiality to an NDX they might just be a great bargain…


The HDX was the right idea i.e. optimizing for audio quality. Unfortunately the tech choices are a bit dated today although they still look nice. I owned one for many years.

The generic computer devices (like a computer or a NAS) spread a lot of electronic noise, not a problem in an office but nothing you want near the hifi, so if you use one place it in some other room.

I have and fondly use my HDX nearly every day. While I do enjoy it, it is rather finicky.
I personally would not consider buying one unless it was new and with a warranty.

I, like some others, have had countless issues in getting it to find shared folders on Macs, so I broke down and bought a NUC to use as the music store.

My understanding is the HDX had a similar dac section as the n-Dac.

Does anyone have an opinion on the HDX’s dac vs the n-Dac, and also the original NDX.


I also have an nDAC and I don’t think it’s a good justification to get an HDX in 2024.
The nDAC allows inputs from multiple sources, where the HDX does not.
Plus, if the HDX needs to be repaired you will be up sh!!’s creek.
I wholeheartedly recommend the nDAC over the HDX.

I loved my HDX when I had one. It was my introduction into high end streaming from digital files. I thought it sounded great. Had to replace the hard drive with a SSD, Focal/Naim did the fix. Wish it were a better streamer or would have held on to it.

Thanks for the replies.

I would put the HDX on the same level as the NDX. The NDAC is a clear upgrade on either of them.