All-In-One (NAD C-658) vs NODE N130 with Separate DAC and Headphone Amp

Right now I have a NODE N130, upgraded with a linear power supply, and a SMSL M400 DAC. THE M400 doesn’t have a headphone plug, so I’m looking at a headphone amp, such as a Singxer SA-1. But, I’m wondering…how would all that sound compared to a NAD C658? Anyone make that switch?

The reason I’m asking, it that there is a convenience factor in having everything in 1 box. Right now I have to use my iPad to control the NODE, and a remote to control the volume on the DAC. Adding a headphone amp is another system.

I haven’t read rave reviews about the NAD, but it has DIRAC, which might help in my large room full of windows and hard surfaces.

I might add that I have 2 powered B&O speakers, and 2 powered subs.


I own a Node and have not auditioned the C-658. Anything that can improve your room acoustics is a plus, I think the upgrade to dirac (and a few room treatments) would be HUGE.

Agree with Kota, DIRAC would probably have a big impact, in addition to being an all-in-one, as well as having two sub outputs. Because of your circumstance and needs, I would consider the C658 to be an upgrade from the Node.

I don’t mind trying DIRAC.  Some NAD C-658 owners report they like it and some don’t.  Comments on the C-658 seem mixed.  Is the streamer the same as the NODE?  Is my SMSL M400 better than the DAC in it?  I don’t know the answers.