Naim NSC222 a true Roon DSD128 device?

Naim claim this is DSD128 compatible, and a Roon endpoint, sounds wonderful?

However, the USB socket is not for input, as far as I gather. So the only way that Roon would work would be via the SPDIF input, and therefore there will be no metadata, and nothing for the device to display. The Naim specification sheet states that the input will handle DSD64.

Clever play with numbers? The DAC is only PCM and is not a true DSD device, thoughts please? It would be great if it was a true DSD128 DAC and the display contained all the Metadata information, alas not, at least that is what I see?

Naim claims that the NS C222 is ‘Roon ready’.

Roon Ready (

You focus on the USB (external storage only) and the SPDIF inputs (max. 24/192 PCM and DSD64 DoP) only. The Naim also is a streamer with an Ethernet connection also and can function as a Roon endpoint. It can also do UPnP. Maybe that’s your missing link?

Roon via ETHERNET - Support - Roon Labs Community

What I see in their documentation seems correct.
Why do you think it is a ‘clever play with numbers’?. Naim is, in my experience, a thrustworthy company. If they would be ‘dishonest’ about any of this they would be keelhauled all over this forum.

NSC 222 | Naim Audio

User_Guide_NSC_222_web_7.pdf (

You might want to have a read of this post on the Naim forum which is by Steve Sells, Naim’s technical director, who is the main man responsible for their recent designs.

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My Naim forum name is djh1697, as sells himself says in his response that have coded DSD to PCM conversation. If you look at the specification for the input for DSD it is via SP/DIF not Ethernet nor USB.

The SP/DIF input only supports single rate DSD.
From the Naim website under “Product Specification”
NSC 222 | Naim Audio
2 x Optical TOSLINK (up to 24bit/96kHz)
1 x coaxial RCA (up to 24bit/192kHz, DoP 64Fs)
1 x coaxial BNC (up to 24bit 192kHz, DoP 64Fs)

The Ethernet socket does not appear to support DSD.

Would a true Roon endpoint not use the Metadata to display album information?

Yes, the philosophy from Naim is, that they are not supporting DSD native.
Also with my Naim Uniti Atom HE, I’ll let Roon upsample to the highest PCM rate. DSD sources I’ll let resampled (after longer comparing) in Roon to PCM.

You’ll see in the specifications, that DSD64 and DSD128 are supported through LAN.
But again: Naim will resample DSD to PCM and in my ears, it’s better to let Roon this resampling…

“You’ll see in the specifications, that DSD64 and DSD128 are supported through LAN.”

When my local dealer has a 222 for demo, I’ll take my Roon NUC, my own switch and cables to see if it works, if it sounds better than my 202, Stageline (for LP’s), and my March DAC USB DSD256 then I might well do an upgrade. However, I wasn’t aware that DSD would work over Ethernet since it is packets of data, and not a stream.

The reason for taking my NUC is my dealer is no fan of Roon, yet. The dealer will not let me connect to their network either. I am not sure how to set my NUC as a WiFi hotspot, but should be able to work that out. Could be a long afternoon, maybe something for the summer when I have more free time.

I am very curious how your impressions of the 222 will be … :blush:
Have fun during the demo.

The device will be Roon Ready no USB needed as it’s supported over the network. It’s a streaming Preamp above all other things. Naim devices all support DSD as a format but there chain also include an analogue devices chip that they use to convert DSD and oversample PCM to 768 or 705.6 before hitting the DAC as that’s what they believe works best for their DAC systems. They have been using tthe same DACs for donkeys years and know what works best for them. All Naim Uniti, classic and statement devices all work the same way although the DAC chips go up in spec and tend to have discreet output stages in the top models.

Good news, after speaking to my dealer, his HiFi dem rooms are all on separate networks, so my NUC will not be an issue with regards to viruses etc. I do run a regular virus checker.

I’d be more worried about getting infected by the dealers network if I were you. Get your NUC scanned after the demo, before plugging it back into your home network.

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The streaming and DAC part of NSC 222 is the same with ND5 XS2. All Naim sources from nDAC to NSC 222 use their DSP to convert DSD to PCM before feeding DAC chip but to my era converting DSD to PCM using Roon or HQPlayer before sending to Naim source sounds much better.
Roon Ready means streamer accept Roon’s RAAT through network, PCM and DSD are all supported by RAAT.