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Naim Uniti Atom Review (Streamer & Amp)

Rate this streamer:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 260 70.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 87 23.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 15 4.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 9 2.4%

  • Total voters
    371

Orak

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Aug 28, 2020
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No one has mentioned the resale value of Naim gear it holds its price better than most hifi your chinese dacs praised here will lose 50% of its value as soon as you unbox it The construction quality of Naim gear is first class no mention of the ZigBee protocol in the review its quite unique. Anyone who has owned a Naim amp knows it drives speakers better than the specs suggest. Disappointed to hear this review was removed from the Naim forum the administrator needs to man up .
 

sspfr

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Aurelic owned the market for streaming products at audio shows. I don't think most people even knew they were from China until they went to their own booth. I am pretty sure they have a much larger share of high-end streaming products than Naim.
Do you mean AURALiC? I don't think they make integrated all in ones. Streamers or streamers + DACs.
 

NHL99

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Apr 15, 2021
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Could be interesting to see how something like below would measure up, although shipment alone would be deterring.

Naim setup.png

See https://innovative.nyc/naim for the purpose of each unit.
 

Captain-X

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Naim / Hi-Fi Profit Margins.

Hi all, I have been lurking in this forum for a number of years and have always found it interesting, informative and most importantly a breath of fresh-air - someone is at last telling the truth about some 'sacred' hi-fi brand. I used to work part-time in for a one shop hi-fi retailer in the UK, mainly dealing with their accounts. I left some years ago and and so now feel that it is safe to pass on a few trade secrets.

As in any business, profit is king. Margin and not mark up is important. For example if an item from the company that this thread is related to had a product that retailed for £2350 GBP inc VAT the net cost to the retailer including all discounts would be around £1260 excluding VAT this would give the retailer, if the product was sold at the full retail price, a profit margin of around 37% (profit margin is different to mark-up and is far more accurate to calculate profit and loss). If a retailer was purchasing the item for demonstration a further discount would be given giving an approximate 50% profit margin that would allow for the item to be sold at a discount when is finally sold. I believe that a manufacturer who has a fixation with starting their product names with the letter 'K' and makes turntables operated a similar scheme, I had no dealings with them and was told this by a friend in the trade and believe this to be true.

Next time you see what appears to be a big discount on a demonstration piece of equipment it may not be as generous as it first appears!

Caveat - prices and profit margins change all the time, please treat the above as historical data and not gospel - thank you.

The reason that expensive cables are recommended is because the profit margin (not mark-up) was around 50 - 60% on most of them - a real cash cow.
 

Doodski

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Naim / Hi-Fi Profit Margins.

Hi all, I have been lurking in this forum for a number of years and have always found it interesting, informative and most importantly a breath of fresh-air - someone is at last telling the truth about some 'sacred' hi-fi brand. I used to work part-time in for a one shop hi-fi retailer in the UK, mainly dealing with their accounts. I left some years ago and and so now feel that it is safe to pass on a few trade secrets.

As in any business, profit is king. Margin and not mark up is important. For example if an item from the company that this thread is related to had a product that retailed for £2350 GBP inc VAT the net cost to the retailer including all discounts would be around £1260 excluding VAT this would give the retailer, if the product was sold at the full retail price, a profit margin of around 37% (profit margin is different to mark-up and is far more accurate to calculate profit and loss). If a retailer was purchasing the item for demonstration a further discount would be given giving an approximate 50% profit margin that would allow for the item to be sold at a discount when is finally sold. I believe that a manufacturer who has a fixation with starting their product names with the letter 'K' and makes turntables operated a similar scheme, I had no dealings with them and was told this by a friend in the trade and believe this to be true.

Next time you see what appears to be a big discount on a demonstration piece of equipment it may not be as generous as it first appears!

Caveat - prices and profit margins change all the time, please treat the above as historical data and not gospel - thank you.

The reason that expensive cables are recommended is because the profit margin (not mark-up) was around 50 - 60% on most of them - a real cash cow.
Those numbers sound about right. I retailed audio gear for 9 years and set the all time profit margins for the company in home audio at ~35-36% average profit margin. That is a very good average profit margin over a year's time frame. I had a loyal following of customers and without their support it would have never happened.
 

sspfr

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Overall. the Atom does not test well there either. Using safari‘s translator the closing comment is worth repeating:
”After seeing the measurement data, the friend who sent the test said: The ears have been offended!”
Depends what you select to quote : "However, due to the diversity of equipment functions, measurement is very difficult."
 

Robbo99999

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Whilst I broadly agree with what you are saying there are reviews of this unit on Darko and What*Hi-Fi that ramble on for several paragraphs about the sound quality.

Both so full of gems it was hard to pick the best:

''It’s as if Naim freed the Uniti Atom’s presentation from the usual audiophile airs and graces, from private school education and deportment to give it a weekend in Berghain followed by a few days at the test match.

Partnered with the KEF LS50, the Naim can’t quite match the AURALiC on freshwater transparency or the Peachtree on macro-dynamic bombast but it one-inch punches micro-dynamics better than both. I’d also peg the Naim as the most midrange transparent of the three. On image specificity: AURALiC first, Naim second, Peachtree third.'' -
Darko



''Timing was a forte of the last generation of Naim’s all-in-ones, so we’re pleased to find none of it sacrificed this time around.

Return to Blinded By The Lights and that steady kick- and snare rhythm is so precise you could set your watch by it. It's juxtaposed by but simultaneously entwined with those off-kilter tremolo synth chops.

Meanwhile, accomplished dynamics act as midwife for the subtle inflections of Skinner’s vocal – there's a level of detailed expression here that rivals can easily miss, mistaking his nonchalantly casual delivery for pedestrian boredom.'' -
What*Hi-Fi
Ha, I know, that's just so ridiculous!
 

Triliza

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As an owner of an Atom, I have a few points: I don’t challenge any of Amir’s findings or measurements, but at the outset of the review he clearly dislikes the ‘sharp edges’ every time he moves it as he says. But… once you have it in place it doesn’t get moved at all by the user. The aesthetics of the device are surely one of the strong points; the wifi antenna is hidden, the blue tooth antenna is hidden, so well in fact that I believe there is a patent on this. Some of the comments talk about how this could be replaced with a PC connected to an outboard DAC, connected to something else… Each to their own of course, but I don’t want my living room looking like an electronics workshop. YVMV.

I wish the Atom had tested better, but I do get excellent results in use with mine. It is in use every day, for radio, streaming from Tidal or my NAS (a Uniti Core). It is very intuitive to use, and works reliably every time, every day. I like the integrated functionality, and it does everything I need just right. If Apple were into hi-fi this is what they would make (I probably need to run for cover about now :)). It is hooked up to B&W bookshelf speakers – CM1, and a B&W subwoofer. The speakers are only about 83db sensitivity, but in my medium sized room (about 14ft x 25ft) I get very good volume with no trouble, and that includes the transients. I listen to jazz and classical mostly, and at moderately high levels. It actually sounds very good indeed, and better than anything I have had in the past using more powerful amps.

Like everyone here, I am always looking for an upgrade, and I will no doubt replace my speakers in the coming months. (There are lots of good reviews of speakers right here for me to go on.) However, my user experience being somewhat counter to the test results leaves me wondering a little, just how much credence to place in testing; If I can’t actually hear the distortion or noise, but do hear good music, are the tests perhaps too onerous?
You have to keep in mind that many people like myself have a limited budget to afford for our audio endeavors. From that perspective, these unit for example, doesn't seem like a bargain, and people have post alternatives to this one that cost much less. If budget wasn't an issue, then again there are other products more expensive that perform better than this one.

So unless one needs a all-in-one unit or simply like that idea, the looks of it, the brand e.t.c, and can afford the price, a system consisting of a Raspberry, Aiyima a07 and one of the affordable dacs out there would perform as well and probably outperform it in terms of measurements, although sure you'd loose some functionality and the ease of use. Now if you'd be able to tell the difference in terms of distortion/noise, I don't know, it depends on the room, the speakers, who is doing the listening and so on, the only way to tell for sure would be a blind test.
 

Whiskey the Cat

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Jun 27, 2022
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You have to keep in mind that many people like myself have a limited budget to afford for our audio endeavors. From that perspective, these unit for example, doesn't seem like a bargain, and people have post alternatives to this one that cost much less. If budget wasn't an issue, then again there are other products more expensive that perform better than this one.

So unless one needs a all-in-one unit or simply like that idea, the looks of it, the brand e.t.c, and can afford the price, a system consisting of a Raspberry, Aiyima a07 and one of the affordable dacs out there would perform as well and probably outperform it in terms of measurements, although sure you'd loose some functionality and the ease of use. Now if you'd be able to tell the difference in terms of distortion/noise, I don't know, it depends on the room, the speakers, who is doing the listening and so on, the only way to tell for sure would be a blind test.

All good points. When I got the Atom it was my introduction to streaming, to see what I thought of it, how useful it would be, etc. I didn't want to have too much clutter, dealing with odd software, raspberry pies etc. etc. Now I find I very much like streaming, so my experiment was a success. Soon I will be considering what comes next... Might even get another Naim product. :rolleyes:
 

Garrincha

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As an owner of an Atom, I have a few points: I don’t challenge any of Amir’s findings or measurements, but at the outset of the review he clearly dislikes the ‘sharp edges’ every time he moves it as he says. But… once you have it in place it doesn’t get moved at all by the user. The aesthetics of the device are surely one of the strong points; the wifi antenna is hidden, the blue tooth antenna is hidden, so well in fact that I believe there is a patent on this. Some of the comments talk about how this could be replaced with a PC connected to an outboard DAC, connected to something else… Each to their own of course, but I don’t want my living room looking like an electronics workshop. YVMV.

I wish the Atom had tested better, but I do get excellent results in use with mine. It is in use every day, for radio, streaming from Tidal or my NAS (a Uniti Core). It is very intuitive to use, and works reliably every time, every day. I like the integrated functionality, and it does everything I need just right. If Apple were into hi-fi this is what they would make (I probably need to run for cover about now :)). It is hooked up to B&W bookshelf speakers – CM1, and a B&W subwoofer. The speakers are only about 83db sensitivity, but in my medium sized room (about 14ft x 25ft) I get very good volume with no trouble, and that includes the transients. I listen to jazz and classical mostly, and at moderately high levels. It actually sounds very good indeed, and better than anything I have had in the past using more powerful amps.

Like everyone here, I am always looking for an upgrade, and I will no doubt replace my speakers in the coming months. (There are lots of good reviews of speakers right here for me to go on.) However, my user experience being somewhat counter to the test results leaves me wondering a little, just how much credence to place in testing; If I can’t actually hear the distortion or noise, but do hear good music, are the tests perhaps too onerous?
To make a car comparison, it´s a VW Golf pretending to be a Mercedes (E or S class). The Golf is reliable and almost never let´s you down, but if you receive the design, interior, space, power, driving experience etc. of a Golf, you wouldn´t be willing to pay Mercedes prices.
 

PeteL

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You have to keep in mind that many people like myself have a limited budget to afford for our audio endeavors. From that perspective, these unit for example, doesn't seem like a bargain, and people have post alternatives to this one that cost much less. If budget wasn't an issue, then again there are other products more expensive that perform better than this one.

So unless one needs a all-in-one unit or simply like that idea, the looks of it, the brand e.t.c, and can afford the price, a system consisting of a Raspberry, Aiyima a07 and one of the affordable dacs out there would perform as well and probably outperform it in terms of measurements, although sure you'd loose some functionality and the ease of use. Now if you'd be able to tell the difference in terms of distortion/noise, I don't know, it depends on the room, the speakers, who is doing the listening and so on, the only way to tell for sure would be a blind test.
Just to know, what alternative to this one (I mean all in one box preamp, streamer, DAC, Headphone amp and Speaker amp) cost much less? Not trying to be playing with your statement, honest question.
 

DWI

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Feb 19, 2021
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The tests are designed to cut out the wheat from the chaff. When a component does not even make it to CD quality in this day and age then there is something wrong. Nobody is claiming that the difference is night and day but we are claiming that is it subpar for what is expected from Naim and for the expense of purchasing this product.
It gets to CD quality measured at -1dB FS by the Chinese site.
 

DWI

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Just to know, what alternative to this one (I mean all in one box preamp, streamer, DAC, Headphone amp and Speaker amp) cost much less? Not trying to be playing with your statement, honest question.
In the UK I think the options are:
- NAD M10 £2,400
- Naim Uniti Atom £2,000
- Cambridge audio EVO75 £1,800
- Cambridge audio EVO150 £2,250
 

Triliza

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Just to know, what alternative to this one (I mean all in one box preamp, streamer, DAC, Headphone amp and Speaker amp) cost much less? Not trying to be playing with your statement, honest question.
To be honest myself I cannot recall exactly, the ones @DWI posted, some Yamahas was mentioned in this thread, AVRs as an alternative. If it was an overstatement, I apologize for the misinformation :)
 

Garrincha

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In the UK I think the options are:
- NAD M10 £2,400
- Naim Uniti Atom £2,000
- Cambridge audio EVO75 £1,800
- Cambridge audio EVO150 £2,250
There is also Quad Artera Solus Play for £1,700 and Audiolab 6000A Play for £800.
But many people have already an amp and also a computer, and just need a streaming device to get all these features, may it be via Apple AirpPlay, Raspberry or some of the well known streaming modules (Bluesound, Volumio, ifi Zen etc.).
 
Last edited:

DMill

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As an owner of an Atom, I have a few points: I don’t challenge any of Amir’s findings or measurements, but at the outset of the review he clearly dislikes the ‘sharp edges’ every time he moves it as he says. But… once you have it in place it doesn’t get moved at all by the user. The aesthetics of the device are surely one of the strong points; the wifi antenna is hidden, the blue tooth antenna is hidden, so well in fact that I believe there is a patent on this. Some of the comments talk about how this could be replaced with a PC connected to an outboard DAC, connected to something else… Each to their own of course, but I don’t want my living room looking like an electronics workshop. YVMV.
I usually look at Amir‘s thoughts on design regarding sharp edges, weight, and the distance of binding posts with a grain of salt. For most, we set it up once and maybe tweak once in awhile but it is not a major issue like it is for him. I can only imagine lugging gear around daily. My wife wanted to clean behind our entertainment center and knew I was in for 1/2 day of plugging and unplugging, moving heavy stuff, etc. :) I do find his commentary on design helpful though. Most don’t get to experience as many products as he has dealt with so I personally appreciate his opinion on interfaces and Ui. These are certainly selling points for all in one solutions like this.
 
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