Naim ND5 XS2 Review – Network Player

This functionality means that an ND5 XS2 can act as a fairly comprehensive media hub, handling everything from your Hi-Res content to quick bits of Bluetooth connectivity to give more oomph to something you’re looking at your phone

Written by AudioGuru Staff | Updated January 12, 2023
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Naim ND5 XS2 Review – Network Player

The entry-level model in the new line of Naim solo streamers is the Naim ND5 XS2. When it comes to Naim, “entry level” is a relative term. This clearly places the ND5 XS2 in a rather specialised category compared to the sources we have examined here. It’s also one of the times when we review the predecessor as well, allowing us to draw some useful parallels at the same time.

However, there are many more in-depth comparisons in this instance. In reality, I used an ND5 XS for virtually the whole time it was available. It was a turning point in streaming for me when it combined absolutely superb audio performance with an interface that could handle daily use as a workhorse when utilised with an external power source. Being able to imitate how certain brand-new streaming devices operate and behave even now is a testimonial to how reliable the fundamental platform was. As a result, its replacement faces a challenging task. There are many ways to create a streaming front end at this pricing point, and the competition is becoming more skillfully designed. Has anything changed since Naim was once considered one of the top options? Time to investigate.

Our Verdict


The Naim ND5 XS 2 may not be visually appealing, but it prioritises class-leading sound over decorative flourishes.


  • Detailed and insightful
  • Expressive and rhythmically on point
  • Lots of features and connections


  • No display screen

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    • UPnP-enabled to allow streaming of audio files at up to 32bit/384kHz resolution from Naim Audio hard disk servers, network-attached storage (NAS) devices or any home computer
    • Supports a broad range of music formats: WAV, FLAC, DSD, Apple Lossless, AIFF, AAC, Windows Media-formatted files, M4A and MP3. Gapless playback on all file formats
    • Two 24bit/192kHz capable digital inputs (S/PDIF) and two optical inputs to support optimum connection to external sources
    • Built-in Chromecast allows you to stream from hundreds of supported smartphone or tablet apps (192kHz)
    • Apple AirPlay – stream music from your iOS device or from iTunes and Apple Music
    • Spotify Connect built-in to stream millions of songs from the world’s most popular streaming service
    • Native support for Qobuz with true high-res streaming up to 24-bit/192kHz quality.
    • Native support for TIDAL streaming service with free 90 day trial of lossless HiFi tier
    • Front-panel USB port for replay of MP3 player and USB-stored audio (1.6A charge)

What’s in the box?

Power-Line Lite cable (UK denominations only), 5-pin DIN interconnect cable, BNC to RCA adaptor, Wi-Fi (x2) and Bluetooth antennae, cleaning cloth, quick start guide.

Price and Availability

Price and Availability

The Naim ND5 XS 2 Network Music Player is available for just under ₹245,000. You can get more detailed information about the ND5 XS 2 current price and availability by consulting us.



The Uniti products that have been released during the past 18 months share a streaming platform with the ND5 XS2. The most significant change made by this, Naim’s first completely new platform since their very first, was to consolidate all the functionality and features that had been introduced throughout time into a single board. The desire to rationalise has since been paired with the knowledge and criticism gained over the last ten years to further enhance performance.

It goes without saying that it is now time to address the issue at hand. The ND5 XS2 does more tasks than its predecessor, but from the outside, you wouldn’t know it. In actuality, it resembles the departing XP5 XS power supply more cosmetically. Apart from a standby button, it lacks a display and other controls. Additionally, there is no remote control, and this isn’t just a sly upgrade push as there isn’t an IR receiver to utilise an aftermarket model. The control app is necessary for the ND5 XS2 to operate.

Sound Quality

Sound Quality

At this pricing, the ND5 XS2 is up against very tough competition. Unlikely as it may seem, part of this originates from its stablemates. The ND5 XS needs to be good in order to just make sense in the context of the range, especially because the Uniti Star and Uniti Nova are one box systems that can compete with similarly priced standalone systems. Therefore, it may be for the best that it does deliver.

First, the XS2’s overall design symbolises the continual development process that Naim has been going through. It is instructive to contrast the new streamer with its predecessor. Over the years, I’ve mentioned its slightly “dark” tone in many reviews. It has a top end that is subtle and completely devoid of overemphasis in comparison to many items that have passed through. It’s one of the main reasons I adore it because it creates a product that is so simple to listen to for extended periods of time. However, it does imply that the premium shine that some products might provide is missing.

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Brand : Naim
Model : ND5 XS 2
Type : Network streamer
Dimensions WxHxD : 432 x 70 x 301mm
Weight : 6.6kg


Is Naim ND5 XS2 worth it?

Naim ND5 XS2 is a high-end music streaming device and DAC (digital-to-analog converter) that has received positive reviews for its sound quality and ease of use. It is also compatible with a wide range of streaming services and file formats. However, it is quite expensive, so it may not be the best choice for everyone. If you’re looking for a high-end streaming device, it’s a good idea to research and compare different options to find the one that best suits your needs and budget.

Is the Naim ND5 XS2 a CD player?

No, the Naim ND5 XS2 is not a CD player. It is a music streaming device and a DAC (digital-to-analog converter). The ND5 XS2 allows you to stream music from a variety of sources such as Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, Airplay, and UPnP servers, it also allows you to connect to your home network, and play files such as lossless audio formats like FLAC, WAV and ALAC. It also has the capability to connect to other devices such as a computer, phone or tablet and stream music wirelessly. It does not have the capability to play CDs.

Difference between a CD player and Network Player?

A CD player is a device that plays audio CDs, which are compact discs that contain digital audio recordings. They typically have a tray that you insert the CD into, and a laser reads the data on the disc to play the audio. Most CD players also include features such as the ability to skip tracks, repeat tracks, and play CDs in different modes (e.g. random, repeat one).

A network player, also known as a streaming player, is a device that allows you to play music from a variety of sources such as streaming services (e.g. Tidal, Spotify, Qobuz) or your home network storage. It allows you to connect to your home network, and play files such as lossless audio formats like FLAC, WAV and ALAC. It also has the capability to connect to other devices such as a computer, phone or tablet and stream music wirelessly.

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My experience with the ND5 XS 2 was wonderful. When left to my own devices, I play records more frequently than I listen to digital music, therefore it’s not my primary source. Though I thoroughly loved the experience, reviewing a streamer meant that vinyl took a backseat for several days of the week.

A Naim XS3 amplifier with this ND5 XS 2 streamer would be at the top of my short list to audition if I were looking for a new system that wasn’t prohibitively expensive. Add a pair of suitable loudspeakers and some high-quality wires, and your system will provide you with years of musical enjoyment.

AudioGuru Staff

AudioGuru Staff

AudioGuru is a platform where we review and recommend audio products. When it comes to purchasing decisions, our journalists combine independent research with extensive testing to save you time, energy, and money. We’ll help you get it right, whether it’s finding an amazing product or getting useful advice.

Share Your Personal Experience by Writing a Review.

    Great sound output I really Loved this amplifer

    By Ritik Naidu 
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    Overall Experience:

    Great sound, good looks, just a pity the price is high compared to Indian version.


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