Naim – NAC-N 172 XS

NAC-N 172 XS

The best of both worlds

The NAC-N 172 XS defines a point at which worlds collide – the traditional world of separate pre and power amplifiers, and the new world of network streaming. It’s a conventional preamplifier, perfectly at home in a Naim separates environment where, partnered by a Naim NAP 155 XS power amplifier perhaps, it can reproduce music from CD or vinyl in a way that stirs the soul and quickens the pulse. But the NAC-N 172 XS also opens the door onto the new sphere of high resolution audio, internet radio and streamed music. It’s a sphere that has just the same soul stirring potential as conventional audio sources, but that’s effectively limitless in scope and content.

Liberation in control

The NAC-N 172 XS can be controlled via the front panel buttons and digitally controlled analogue volume knob, the standard remote control handset or the n-Stream app for iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Using the n-Stream app is a uniquely liberating experience, allowing not just easy control of music playback, but the possibility to explore a music collection and find new music from the expanded music information feature delivered by Rovi. Full system automation means a Naim CD player can also be controlled directly from the app.


  • High quality preamplifier including digitally controlled analogue volume control
  • UPnP™-enabled to stream audio files from any UPnP enabled server such as UnitiServe or a NAS at up to 32bit/192kHz resolution
  • vTuner 5* full service internet radio
  • Optional FM/DAB module variant available
  • Streams/plays WAV, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, AAC, WMA, Ogg Vorbis and MP3 files
  • Full Naim Multiroom functionality including Party Mode
  • Gapless playback available on all lossless file formats
  • Front-panel USB port for replay of MP3 player/iPod and USB-stored audio
  • Digital USB connection from iPod/iPhone for ultimate quality and iPod control
  • Multiple intuitive control interfaces: front panel, remote control handset and n-Stream control app
  • Full system automation, wired remote in and wired remote out
  • USB mini-b connector for software upgrades
  • Linear power supply with 230VA transformer with separate windings for digital and analogue sections
  • High quality Burr-Brown PCM1793 DAC
  • Ground selector switch for optimum performance with many sources and power amps
  • Five 24bit/192kHz-capable S/PDIF digital inputs (2 x coaxial RCA, 2 x TOSlink, 1 x front panel mini-TOSlink)
  • 3 analogue inputs (1 DIN, 1 RCA pair, 1 x 3.5mm front-panel socket)
  • 1 line output
  • DIN and RCA preamplifier analogue outputs
  • Front-panel 3.5mm headphone connector
  • OLED display for high contrast and easy visibility
  • Ethernet and Wi-Fi network connectivity


Technical Details

As the first Naim streaming preamplifier, the NAC-N 172 XS introduces numerous innovative techniques for signal processing and isolation to ensure that each audio signal or stream is output with maximum fidelity. It employs a Burr Brown digital to analogue converter chip that offers the same performance as the one fitted to the digital benchmark Naim NDX network player, and it benefits from all the filtering and signal management techniques that have brought Naim to the forefront of digital music in the home.

NAC-N 172 XS component selection is entirely optimised for sound quality and the XS style case construction helps minimise microphony by providing a rigid, non-resonant foundation for the electronics. Like every Naim product, fastidious attention to power supply noise and regulation, PCB layout and earthing topology, is a fundamental element of NAC-N 172 XS performance.

The result of all this extraordinary technology is extraordinary music reproduction that lives, breathes and satisfies. Integrate a NAC-N 172 XS in an existing audio system, or build a new pre/power amplifier system around it, and the world of high resolution audio, UPnP™ streaming, and the vast resource of internet radio can connect seamlessly with your existing world of CD and vinyl.


Input Impedance: 30kΩ

Input Sensitivity: 200mV

Analogue Inputs: 1 x 5-pin DIN, 1 x RCA pair, 1 x 3.5mm front

Digital Inputs: 5 x S/PDIF (2 x coaxial RCA, 2 x optical TOSlink, 1 x 3.5mm front panel mini-TOSlink)

Sample rates maximum: 192kHz (coaxial), 96kHz (optical)

UPnP: Ethernet (RJ45) or Wi-Fi

USB/iPod: 1 front-panel socket


Analogue Outputs (variable level): 1 x 4-pin DIN, 1 x RCA pair

Analogue Outputs (fixed level): 1 x RCA pair

Output Level: 1Vrms

Frequency Response: 5Hz to 40kHz

thd+n: 0.015%

Signal To Noise Ratio (S/N ratio): 90dB

Crosstalk: 80dB

Output Impedance: <47Ω (variable outputs), <600Ω (fixed output)

Minimum Load Impedance: 10kΩ

Headphone outputs: Stereo (front panel 3.5mm jack)


Other: Hi-Line, Power-Line, any power amplifier


Infra Red: Via front panel logo (RC5)

Remote Input: 3.5mm panel jack on rear (RC5)

Remote Output: 3.5mm panel jack on rear (RC5)

USB: Updates only (rear panel USB mini-B)

Network: Ethernet (Cat5), Wi-Fi


Audio Formats Supported: WAV and AIFF (up to 32bit/192kHz) FLAC (up to 24bit/192kHz) ALAC (up to
24bit/96kHz) WMA (up to 16bit/48kHz) must be WMA 9.2 Ogg Vorbis (up to
16bit/48kHz) MP3, M4a (up to 320kbit/s), Playlists (M3U, PLS) iRadio Service
Provider vTuner 5* full service Int

Multiroom: WAV, FLAC and AIFF (up to 24bit/48kHz), ALAC (up to 16bit/44.1kHz), AAC and MP4 (up to
16bit/44.1kHz), MP3


Front Panel: Volume control, logo mute and buttons

Handheld: Remote handset included and optional n-Stream app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch available
from the App store.


Mains Supply: 100V, 115V or 230V, 50/60Hz

Power Consumption (maximum): 35VA


Certifications: vTuner Premium

Licenses: MP3, AAC, DAB


Dimensions: 70 x 432 x 301mm (H x W x D)

Weight: 5.65kg

Shipping Dimensions: 180 x 490 x 580mm (H x W x D)

Shipping Weight: 7.5kg

Front finish: Brushed and black anodised

Case finish: Black powder coated


Tuning Range: FM 87.5 – 108MHz, DAB Band III and L Band

iRadio Service Provider: vTuner 5* full service

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