New Naim net­work play­ers hit the ground stream­ing

Australian HIFI - - CONTENTS -

The lat­est stream­ing com­po­nents from Naim have hit the shelves and have al­ready made an im­pact. While they are build­ing on the suc­cess of their pre­vi­ous stream­ing plat­form, these units are es­sen­tially com­pletely new prod­ucts, but fea­ture the clas­sic Naim styling of old.

Each unit shares the main stream­ing model and ac­cepts higher sam­pling rates than their pre­de­ces­sors: up to 32-bit 384kHz PCM, and DSD 128. Con­trol is through the Naim ap­pli­ca­tion (avail­able for iOS and An­droid phones and smart de­vices) but they are also Roon com­pat­i­ble. Tidal, Spo­tify Con­nect and Chrome­cast (up to 24-bit/192kHz) are built in, as is UPnP for your net­work stor­age de­vices, and aptX HD Blue­tooth and AirPlay are both on the menu.

In-store, on top of the au­dio per­for­mance, we have also no­ticed a dis­tinct im­prove­ment in the sta­bil­ity of net­work con­nec­tiv­ity.

Nd 555 (above): the flag­ship ND 555 ($25,500) re­quires also the 555 PSU ($13,250), and the per­for­mance re­flects what you would ex­pect from com­po­nents in this bracket. The dig­i­tal com­po­nents are com­pletely iso­lated in an in­ter­nal ‘fara­day cage’ from the power and ana­logue boards which are sus­pended with a brass sub-chas­sis for vi­bra­tion iso­la­tion. The twin PCM1704U-Ks are the high­est spec Burr-Brown chips avail­able.

Nd5 Xs 2: While the en­try-level ND5 XS 2 ($4,750) lacks the colour screen, it still achieves an ex­cep­tional level of qual­ity be­hind the brushed-alu­minium. This used the lower-spec Burr-Brown PCM1791A DAC but has the same stream­ing card as the other mod­els that use the low-volt­age dif­fer­en­tial sig­nalling (LVDS) to route the dig­i­tal au­dio sig­nal. The NDX 2 and ND5 XS 2 will be in store for demo soon, but all units are now avail­able to or­der.

NdX 2: The mid-range NDX 2 ($9,750) in­cor­po­rates many of the same fea­tures as the flag­ship ND 555, in­clud­ing the 5” colour screen that beau­ti­fully dis­plays cover art while play­ing. The Burr-Brown PCM1792A DAC han­dles the same high-qual­ity files. The in­ter­nal toroidal trans­former has sep­a­rate wind­ings for the ana­logue and dig­i­tal sec­tions, but the unit can be up­graded with an ex­ter­nal power sup­ply for even bet­ter son­ics.

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