I will start by saying that all Naim amps sound best in the context of the complete Naim ecosystem, so no power conditioning, din interconnects and NACA5 speaker cable, with the Naim supplied power cable or Naim Power Line and generally work best with ATC, Naim, Linn, Neat, Pro Ac, PMC, Totem, Epos, speakers, etc.
I’ll take it from the top:
5i (non italic) and 5i-2 (italic) you have these confused up top, there is no such thing as 5i-2 non italic. I lump them together because the sound is very similar. These, and the 5si, which I have no interest in hearing, are the only Naim amps to use a passive preamp section allied to a high gain power amp section. They have a fantastic following, but never did it for me. I found the sound somewhat tuneful but diffuse with a lack of control in the bass. Dynamics, while good, are curtailed. The 5i italic is just a wee smidge more defined, and the 5i non italic may sound a bit chunkier, but it is six of one and half a dozen of the other. The benefit of these as well as the handicap is that they cannot take any of the add on Naim power supplies, flatcap, hicap, etc. They also cannot be separated to use the preamp section and the amp section separately.
XS and XS-2, you may be confused here as well. These are exactly the same amp except the XS-2 has a brushed faceplate. Under the skin they are identical 60 watt amps. You may be thinking about the XS2 which is the current 70 watt integrated. But you didn’t ask about that one. These are, IMHO a much more accomplished amp, with better control and definition with perhaps a tad less tunefulness. An easy trade off to make. Overall these sound more mature, more composed and more grown up than the 5 series. In addition to being able to be split into amp and active preamp, and being able to use the Naim power supplies, which, in this instance, really do kick performance up a few notches, Aux 2 on these amps will power the Naim Stageline phono stage, so you don’t need to get a seperate power supply for it, or go outside of the Naim family for your phono requirements.
In discussing Naim components we always talk in terms of system building. If your sources are weak then the 5 series will be a much better match. They always sound pleasant and are not too revealing of source. Never surgical or spot lit.
If you have top rank sources, the CD5X or CD5XS would fall into this category, and speakers that are more demanding in terms of the control that is required than the XS may be for you. Good luck with the hunt.