NEWS: Naim's 400GB audiophile music player

This is Naim’s new HDX, launched today at the Munich High End Show and described as ‘the world’s first upgradable audiophile hard disk player.’

The £4500 unit, which will go into the shops in August, uses twin 400GB hard drives, one acting as a back-up for the other, and can be upgraded with the use of Naim’s XPS or PS555 external power supplies.

The HDX is said to deliver ‘the performance of a Naim audiophile CD player with the convenience of a good MP3 player’. It rips CDs at fuil .wav resolution – 16-bit 44.1kHz – and, via a combination of the right drives, no caching, reading the disc at least twice and taking into account errors, gives an accurate bit-for-bit rip of the disc.

The data is stored on one of the two 400GB drives, which is backed up overnight onto the second drive. The HDX can also work with external USB drives or Network Attached Storage devices, and has a database system tested for up to 20,000 CDs.

The Naim Extended Music Database system will find disc details and cover art, and allows searching via a number of parameters including title, artist, composer and so on.

In addition, the unit can store non-DRM downloads of 24-bit/88kHz and 24-bit 96kHz, with Naim’s own record label planning to join the ranks of sites offering such downloads later this year.

The HDX can also play music from a network or from an MP3 player connected to one of its USB sockets, and can also stream to up to six StreamNet devices on a network. It can be controlled via the front-panel touchscreen or the remote handset, or using a monitor or mouse.

It uses a toroidal transformer for the audio section, which is built to Naim’s usual high standards, and can double as a CD player thanks to the built-in drive.

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.