This is the second version of Primare’s music streamer. The Primare NP5 is a streamer only, with no DAC. The fire at AKM’s factory in Japan forced Primare to find another supplier for the re-clocking chip. This new version is the result of that search.
Of course Primare uses its Prisma platform; the software that allows playback of your own files and from streaming services. This platform can be found in many of Primare’s products. The NP5 is the standalone streamer and offers the same streaming options as amplifiers and CD players with Prisma on board.
An unobtrusive square box
The NP5 is a simple-looking black box with rounded corners. Small LED indicators on top show whether the device is turned on, has network connection or is playing music. On the back is an input for the 5Volt plug from the included (switching) power adapter, an Ethernet port, a USB input jack, two digital outputs and a RS232 connection for connecting to older Primare devices. The USB port is for connecting a hard drive or USB flash drive with audio files, not for connection to a DAC. For connection to a DAC, you have two options: SPDIF or TOSLink.
Installation and operation
You install the Primare NP5 with the Google Home app. You can connect the NP5 either via WiFi or with an Ethernet cable. Primare recommends playing wired. You use the Primare Prisma app to access the NP5’s configuration options. There you can set, for example, after how much time the NP5 goes into standby when not playing music.
The most important option is whether you set the SPDIF and TOSLink output variable or fixed. If you are using an amplifier or DAC with which you control the volume, it is best to set the output fixed. With variable, you can control the volume in the Prism app.
In the Prisma app, you also choose which source to play music from. For streaming services such as Qobuz and Tidal, that service’s app is opened, so it must be installed on your phone or tablet. You don’t have to use the Prisma app to play Qobuz or Tidal, you can do that directly from their respective apps. The Prisma app is going to be important for these two streaming services though, but more on that later.
The NP5 does not have a remote control, everything is done through the Prisma app or the app you use to stream music to the NP5.