Naim has unveiled its long-awaited high-end hard disk player, the £4,500 HDX. The significance of this new technology from the UK’s most revered marque is not to be underestimated – some market pundits are predicting the gradual withdrawal of Naim’s traditional high-end CD players.

A new dawn

Naim’s HDX is described as an ‘audiophile hard disk player’ ­– the company is keen to differentiate the product from ordinary music servers. Certainly it has all the high-end credentials; the player offers bit-for-bit ripping from CD, using a ‘secure’ rip system, which means player will take at least two passes at every disc to eliminate errors.

It comes with two built-in 400GB drives; one for the music, a second ‘mirror’ drive for back-up and automatically copies the main drive to the mirror each day. 400GB allows up to 600 discs to be stored at CD-quality, with the option of adding extra USB or NAS (network attached storage) devices. Naim has tested its database with up to 20,000 CDs without complaint.

The HDX is also compatible with downloaded music files, including non-DRM 24-bit/96kHz and 24-bit/88kHz downloads. It can also be connected to a network, play music from shared drives on a network, look up album data and even obtain cover art, through the AMG database.