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Naim Audio NAC-N 172XS

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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.

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Naim Audio NAC-N 172XS front

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Full Description

The NAC-N 172 XS defines a creative point at which two worlds collide – the traditional world of separate pre and power amplifiers, and the new world of network streaming.

For a start, the NAC-N 172 XS is a very high performance and inherently musical preamplifier. It combines a mix of analogue and digital audio inputs, a digitally-controlled analogue volume control, and analogue outputs to connect to a power amplifier. And it offers even more besides, because along with its conventional inputs it includes a front panel USB audio interface for iPad, iPod and iPhone input, and a wired or wireless network connection to access internet radio stations, stream from UPnP music servers and streaming millions of songs with Spotify Connect.

echnology & Craft

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 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.


    High quality preamplifier including digitally controlled analogue volume control
    UPnP-enabled to allow streaming of audio files at up to 24bit/192kHz resolution from Naim hard disk servers, network-attached storage (NAS) devices or any home computer
    Supports a broad range of music formats: WAV, FLAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF, AAC, Windows Media-formatted files, Ogg Vorbis and MP3
    Six 24bit/192kHz-capable digital inputs (S/PDIF) to support optimum connection to external sources
    Spotify Connect built-in to stream millions of songs from the world’s most popular streaming service
    Optional DAB+/DAB/FM radio module
    vTuner 5* full-service internet radio
    Multiroom & Party Mode compatible
    iOS and Android Naim app for intuitive control




Naim Audio NAC-N 172 XS Product Manual


Naim Audio Pre-Amplifier Reference Manual


Naim Audio Connection Guide (2015 Version)


Naim Audio Streamer/Spotify Supplement


Naim Audio Streamer/MultiRoom Supplement


Naim Audio NAC-N 172 XS Brochure



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Audio Inputs
Analogue Input

 1 x 5-pin DIN, 1 x RCA pair, 1 x front panel 3.5mm jack (combined optical)

Input Sensitivity


Input Impedance


Other Inputs

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)


Ethernet (RJ45) or Wi-Fi


1 front panel socket

Audio Outputs
Audio Outputs

1 x variable (4-pin DIN, 1 x RCA pair), 1 x fixed (1 x RCA pair)

Line Outputs Fixed (level)

1 x RCA pair

Line Outputs Variable (level)

775mV RMS

Output Impedance

<47Ω (variable outputs), <600Ω (fixed output)

Load Impedance

10kΩ (min.)

Other Outputs

Headphones Outputs: Stereo (front panel 3.5mm jack)

Frequency Response

5Hz - 40kHz



Signal-to-Noise Ratio




Remote Control

Infra Red (RC5)

Remote Input

1 x rear panel 3.5mm jack (RC5 modulated and unmodulated)


1 x USB Type Mini-B

Remote Output

1 x rear panel 3.5mm jack (RC5 modulated and unmodulated)


Ethernet (Cat5), Wi-Fi

CD Formats

Audio CD (Red Book, CD and CD-R)

Audio Formats

WAV (up to 32bit/192kHz) 
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) 
M4a (CBR and VBR up to 320kbit/s)
MP3 (CBR and VBR up to 320kbit/s)
Playlists (M3U, PLS)

Internet Radio Provider

vTuner 5* full service

Internet Radio formats

Windows Media-formatted content, MP3, ACC, Ogg Vorbis streams and MMS

DAB Tuning Range

Band III and L Band

FM Tuning Range

87.5 - 108MHz

User Control
Front Panel

Volume control, logo touch-sensitive mute function and nine button matrix


Remote handset included and optional Naim app for iOS and Android.

Supply Voltage

100V, 115V, 230V; 50 or 60Hz


Hi-Line, Power-Line, any power amplifier

Dimensions (HxWxD)

70 x 432 x 301 mm


5.65 kg

Supplied with

NaimUniti Remote Control


Brushed and black anodised


Black powder coated