Thursday, September 15, 2011

Naim ND5 XS streaming player

The ND5 XS fits into the line-up below the NDX, selling for around £1925 when it hits the shops next month, and is designed to complement the other models in Naim's slimline XS series.

It's also the first Naim network player able to handle 192kHz/24-bit content natively, and the company is rolling out an upgrade program for existing Uniti products and the NDX, enabling 192/24 on those products, and bringing the promise of AirPlay capability early in 2012.

As well as having both wired and wireless networking for the streaming of content from the internet, including internet radio, or from local network sources such as NAS drives or computers, the ND5 XS also has three digital inputs for external sources, and a front panel USB socket for memory devices or direct digital connection of iPods or iPhones.

As well as its 24-bit/192kHz capability, the ND5 XS can handle music in a wide range of formats, including WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, WMA, Ogg Vorbis and MP3 formats.

The ND5 XS uses digital buffering with fixed sampling rates for zero jitter, while the proprietary 16 times oversampling and digital filter uses SHARC 40-bit floating point digital signal processing. This feeds Burr Brown PCM1791A digital to analogue conversion, running at 768kHz.

There are seperate power supplies for the digital, analogue, DSP and clock sections of the player, with the large toroidal transformer having separate outputs for each section

Optical connection is used between the various sections of the player, seen left in a typical XS system here at the show, to ensure complete galvanic isolation.

Like the NDX, the new model can also be upgraded with the addition of the XPS or 555PS power supplies, or the Naim DAC, while a dedicated slimline power supply in a matching case, the XP5 XS is on the way next year.

Selling for around £1500, this is will be an entry-level version of the XPS.

And also in common with the NDX, the new model can be fitted with an optional radio tuner module, giving FM/DAB reception.

The ND5 XS can be controlled using the front-panel controls or the remote handset supplied, or using the free n-Stream app on iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.