DAC for Naim Nait 5si

This was one of the very best integrated amplifiers within its price range and possesses award-winning sound quality. You can easily overlook its lack of features and just enjoy the music been presented by the Naim Nait 5si but in this day and age, where so many listeners have started listening to high-res audio files and/or streaming music from platforms such as Apple Music, Tidal, Spotify, etc., having a built-in DAC is almost a must.

The Naim Nait 5si doesn’t fully cater to digital music listeners, heck, it doesn’t even have a phono stage for turntable users. With the emergence of higher sound quality music streaming platforms where you have access to millions of high-resolution music and songs. Having a DAC is considered a minimum these days and there are so many to choose from. The D/A converters are getting better and cheaper where the flagship models trickle down their technology to the lower end models thus improving the sound quality and these models perform better than their predecessors.

Whether to go for high-end or entry-level DAC is entirely up to you but we need to work on your DAC requirements first. This is to allow you to better decide on which digital-to-analog converter to go for. One thing for sure, we shouldn’t be too stingy when it comes to getting a DAC partner for the amazing Naim Nait 5si. This integrated amplifier certainly deserves a DAC which could match its engaging music delivery. Nait 5si is incredibly agile and has superb music timing, the musical energy it brings to the table just simply makes us feel like dancing. It is also well-balanced and can be really refined when the music calls for it.

You may want to match a DAC to the Naim Nait 5si which would complement its sonic traits or cover some of its weaknesses such as a slight lack of transparency. This is where you need to start working on your DAC requirements and while we prepare a list of the best matching DACs to go for. We will be showing some of the usual DAC requirements and you might want to look through them. Treating this as a checklist will be a good idea though and a few of them deserves some serious considerations.

Your DAC Requirements

Naim Nait 5si has plenty of sonic strengths and a few limitations, the DAC you are getting can either complement these strengths or cover its weaknesses. The type of sonic traits you want from a D/A converter to alter the sonic characteristics of the Nait 5si amplifier can be considered as requirements and we suggest writing them down. You might want to rank them accordingly to their importance and do note that there is no way to really change the sound signatures of the Naim Nait 5si by too much with just the DAC alone. The other requirement will be the price points of the digital-to-analog converters and this will require you to work on your budget first. You should only invest an amount you are comfortable with and have some headroom, just in case you need to increase your budget a little for a DAC which you really want.

Since the Naim Nait 5si is an integrated amplifier driving your stereo speakers, it would be more than likely to stay in one place for a long time. And so you wouldn’t really need a portable DAC but unless you want to keep it after use or you are facing space constraints, then a D/A converter with high portability will be a great idea. If you are starting to listen to high-res audio files, you might want to get a DAC that could decode them all and also potential higher resolution music files in the future. There are DACs with built-in high-quality headphone amplifiers and could drive demanding headphones, if this is what you need, you might want to add this as a requirement. We highly suggest adding in more DAC requirements of your own as it will help you with your decision and when you are confident with what you want, please check out the best DACs to pair with the Naim Nait 5si below.

Best DACs to pair with Naim Nait 5si

Rega DAC-R is a high-quality DAC and has the sonic traits to complement the Naim Nait 5si integrated amplifier. It is an enthusiastic performer and will help to add a bit more excitement into the music presentation, giving us a more engaging music listening experience. The Rega DAC-R supports up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution and has the insights to dig out plenty of details, providing us with a highly detailed music presentation. The rhythmic driven D/A converter is well-organized and can handle complex music passages with ease. It is a pity the Rega DAC-R doesn’t decode DSD.

More Details at Amazon – Rega DAC-R 32bit/192kHz Wolfson Digital to Analogue Converter

If you require a DAC which could decode DSD audio files then the Topping E50 is an ideal choice to go for. This DAC could support up to 32-bit/768kHz sample rates and uses a high-quality chip ES9068AS. The Topping E50 has a relaxing music presentation and will help to tone down the energy of the Naim Nait 5si by a little. This is good for listeners who just want to enjoy listening to their music in a more laid-back fashion. The full-bodied bass reproduction of the E50 DAC helps to slightly solidify the low frequencies of the Nait 5si amp. It has a modest price tag and will be worth your time to check it out.

More Information at Amazon – Topping E50 ES9068AS DAC (Blue)

The Audiolab M-DAC+ is a high-end D/A converter with award-winning sonic performance and will be a worthy match to your Naim Nait 5si. It uses an ES9018 Sabre Reference 32-bit DAC supporting up to 32-bit/384kHz sampling rate and decodes up to DSD256. The music handling and organization skill are superb, able to deliver sophisticated music passage with precision and amazing stereo separation. Audiolab M-DAC+ is capable of delivering to us a holographic musical performance. The Naim Nait 5si does bring its own enthusiasm and energy into the overall sound reproduction.

More Info at Amazon – Audiolab M-DAC+ Multi-Purpose Audio DAC

For listeners who need a high-quality portable DAC, the Chord Mojo is an excellent choice and will pair well with the Naim Nait 5si integrated amplifier. It is compact and you can easily keep it after use. Chord Mojo also comes with a built-in headphone amplifier and will be ideal for listeners who use premium headphones. This D/A converter is rhythmically driven as well and could match the energy of the Naim Nait 5si, delivering a detailed and lively musical performance. With the Chord Mojo as the DAC, your music presentations would never sound sterile or dry.

More Information at Amazon – Chord Mojo DAC

Schiit Audio Gungnir is another incredible sounding DAC and is certainly worth your time to check it out. It is a DAC that could project a large and spacious soundstage, filling the space with rich musical details. The data retrieval of the Schiit Audio Gungnir is remarkable and will complement the Naim Nait 5si really well. It is able to retrieve subtle nuances and micro details of the music, producing them out with clarity, and doesn’t sound clinical as well. The Naim Nait 5si energetic performance and dynamics handling will work well with the Schiit Audio Gungnir DAC too.

More Details at Amazon – Schiit Audio Gungnir Balanced Digital Analog Convertor

Musical Fidelity M6SR is definitely one of the best DACs to go with the Naim Nait 5si, especially after the upgrade. This award-winning DAC can now upsample up to 32-bit/768kHz and decodes up to DSD 256 natively. It even comes with a high-quality headphone amplifier and could drive up to 600 Ohms headphones. The Musical Fidelity M6SR is able to project a 3-dimensional sound quality with an expansive soundstage. Musical details and subtle nuances are been produced with clarity which complements the Naim Nait 5si well. M6SR simply produces beautiful sound and the Nait 5si helps to add some punch to it.

To Conclude

The DACs listed here are worthy of your time to hear them out and you can pick a few of them for audition based on your requirements. It will be great if you could audition these D/A converters in your own listening room together with the Naim Nait 5si and your own HiFi gears. If you are unable to and need to audition the DAC at a showroom then do at least bring along your Nait 5si integrated amplifier. The whole idea is to get the most accurate auditioning result possible.

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