NAIM ND5 XS STREAMER
NAIM ND5 XS REVIEWS
The way the Naim ND5 XS makes music simply makes you feel good to be alive.
Naim introduces its ‘entry-level’ network audio player, but there is nothing ‘entry-level’, however, about its performance.
The sound of the Naim ND5 XS immediately makes one smile: the presentation is more than just hi-ﬁ , it is communication at its most intimate and telling.
Rather than analyse the sound, one’s instant reaction is to sit back, relax and simply enjoy the music.
The performance of the ND5 XS is not far short of sublime and easily justiﬁes its comparatively modest – in the scheme of things – price.
HI FI CHOICE
NAIM ND5 XS
Naim has always been associated with firsts. The first high-end CD player- the CDS. The first high-end hard disk music player – the HDX. The first high-end BMR speaker – the Ovator. The first performance-upgradable high-end audio streamer – the NDX. And now the NDX has its first offspring – the ND5 XS. The ND5 XS takes the DNA of the NDX and concentrates it in the slimline XS style package. With an ND5 XS you can stream audio from a UPnP™ server, discover internet radio, connect your iPod, iPhone, iPad or USB storage, and even listen to conventional digital audio sources. Simply connect the ND5 XS to your home network, plug it in to a spare amplifier input, and the new world of streamed audio is yours.
The ND5 XS is a condensed NDX, but while for the rest of the world that term might imply something missing, there’s no functionality cut from the ND5 XS. It incorporates exactly the same NDX digital and analogue audio hardware and signal path, and features the same connectivity. It offers the same variety of control interfaces too – front panel buttons, remote handset or iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch app. It also has the same complement of inputs, outputs and network capabilities. And it goes without saying that the ND5 XS can offer the same potential for extraordinary music from every one of its inputs and sources.
Streamed audio is a hi-fi revolution and the ND5 XS unlocks its potential. It provides easy access to all the audio delivery formats that have suddenly made music in the home exciting once again. Through its wired or wireless network connection the ND5 XS can play literally thousands of internet radio stations. The ND5 XS is also fully Apple Authenticated meaning it can play iPad, iPod or iPhone-stored music, digitally for optimised sound quality, via its front panel USB socket. And via the same socket, the ND5 XS can play audio files stored on USB memory sticks. The ND5 XS can play audio files, including iTunes libraries, stored on a computer or on network storage over UPnP™. It can play the full range of audio file and stream formats at up to 24bit/192kHz resolution: WAV, FLAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WMA, MP3, M4A, MMS, AAC, AIFF and Ogg Vorbis. The ND5 XS will also handle M3U and PLS playlists formats and it supports gapless playback. Finally, an optional FM/DAB tuner module that integrates seamlessly with the ND5 XS control interface means traditional radio is also not forgotten.
For more conventional external audio sources the ND5 XS provides three independently selectable digital inputs to enable S/PDIF audio from CD players, computers and other digital audio sources at up to 24 bit/192kHz resolution to be played. The three digital inputs offer a different connection socket option; optical TosLink, coaxial phono and coaxial BNC, to provide both versatility and optimised sound quality.
Choose to control
The ND5 XS is as versatile in use as it is in its applications. Its three user interfaces provide alternative methods of control – each one appropriate for different situations and personal preferences. It can be operated from its front panel buttons, from its remote control handset or by using the free Naim n-Stream iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch app. In each case, control is simple, intuitive and satisfying. System automation features also allowing the ND5 XS to integrate with the DAC or any connected Naim preamplifier or CD player, offering centralised control via the n-Stream app.
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