7 Reasons To Upgrade Your Novafidelity X40

Since early 2015 the X40 network player has been a versatile cornerstone of high-end audio systems in many households across the country. The recent introduction of Novafidelity’s new X45 model has lead many users to consider upgrading, and in this SCV knowledge article we do a deeper dive into the additional functionality and specific benefits the X45 offers in comparison to its predecessor. Spoiler alert - it’s not just greener grass beyond that fence!

While the X40 features only a single ES9018K2M Sabre DAC Chip, X45 features ESS's dual model1. Separated channels with lower distortion

Whilst the original X40 features a single ESS ES9018K2M Sabre reference DAC chip to handle conversion duties for stereo output, the new X45 wields the power of a Dual ESS ES9018K2M chip. This allows independent conversion for both left and right channels, allowing for lower distortion, easier channel separation and overall improved digital as well as analogue audio performance.

2. Snappier interface and task processing

The X40’s XMOS DSP section has also received an upgrade for the X45 model, switching from a 32-bit MIPS processor up-to a 64-bit Dual Core ARM A9. This includes support for 8GB flash memory rather than 4, and also enables faster processing of user interface views and task processing on the fly.

The Novafidelity X45 features a large 7" TFT LCD display for easier navigation3. Larger screen display

With usability at the forefront of new design, Novafidelity’s X45 model features a 7” TFT LCD screen boasting 1024x600 of display pixels. Compared to the original 5” display included in the X40, this new feature offers easier visibility from a distance as well as better detail on digital objects such as menus and album artwork.

4. Support for major streaming services

The X45 brings support for a multitude of modern streaming platforms including Amazon Music HD,  MQA and HiRes Audio. The device is also fully enabled as Roon Ready for discoverable integration into any Roon home audio network.

Whilst X40 users had access to an on-board FM tuner, the X45 takes tuner integration to a new level with FM, DAB, DAB+ radio connectivity built-in. These features boast a considerably wider scope of channels as well as improved audio quality over DAB.

5. Even more storage space

To keep up with ever expanding music libraries – and the preference for higher-res audio resulting in larger files – the X45’s storage capacity doubles that of the X40, offering an amazing 8TB which even the most broadly eclectic listener may struggle to fill at pace.

6. Improved USB / AES connectivity

Whilst the X40 included two USB2 ports for hosting peripherals, X45 features updated USB3 ports for much faster data transfer speeds. It also boasts a dedicated USB Audio input enabling the X45 to be used as a dedicated USB DAC. The DAC input is built on a 16-core micro controller with advanced RISC architecture to provide ultimate performance.

Finally in the new USB compliment is a USB Audio output allowing the X45 to take the role of media server and streamer and acting as a source to any other USB DAC.

AES/EBU has also been expanded to include a digital in and out, building on the single AES output featured on the original X40.

7. Power control via separate components

X45 features a brand new 12v trigger port, this allows the power of the streamer to be controlled externally via another component in the chain, negating the need for multiple switching for powering up before listening.

Novafidelity's X45 streamer, featuring 7 key improvements over the original X40 model


The X45 is available now from authorised UK dealers. To get your hands on one or to arrange a live demonstration get in touch with our Consumer Audio sales team.

  • Posted on 18 June 2020 by Roy Brockington