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Naim Uniti Atom Review (Streamer & Amp)

Rate this streamer:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 264 69.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 88 23.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 16 4.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 10 2.6%

  • Total voters
    378

Engine

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No argument here. It’s your money and your preference, so a perfectly valid choice. As long as you are satisfied, that’s all that matters.

Edit: What speakers do you use with the Uniti Atom? 25W is quite limiting.
Lol, its not 25w. Look toroidal trafo:
Its oversized, havent problem with any speaker.
 

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Garrincha

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Lol, its not 25w. Look toroidal trafo:
Its oversized, havent problem with any speaker.
Correct, it´s not 25W, the specs say 40W at 8 Ohm, but it clipped already at 36W. Still, not a lot of power to drive demanding speakers.
 

Trell

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Correct, it´s not 25W, the specs say 40W at 8 Ohm, but it clipped already at 36W. Still, not a lot of power to drive demanding speakers.
Indeed, and the volume difference between 25W and 36W is less than 2 dB. Barely noticeable.
 

Doodski

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Look toroidal trafo:
- Its oversized, havent problem with any speaker.
It takes a combination of the entire power supply make-up to make for a tight supply and even if it was tight as can be could the amp circuitry handle that. Probably a hard no on that for this kind of expense. Stiff supplies and the matching amp design is expensive.
 

al2002

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Noted. 40 W nominal into 8 Ohms it is. Still on the low side.
 
D

Deleted member 50321

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No argument here. It’s your money and your preference, so a perfectly valid choice. As long as you are satisfied, that’s all that matters.

Edit: What speakers do you use with the Uniti Atom? 25W is quite limiting.
Not sure where you got the 25 watts from.
Anyway, I use focal 826. They're on as I write and it all sounds good to me, whatever wattage the Atom actually produces.
Streaming SECTOR progressive at the moment and loving it. (Yes I know it's Russian).
 

DSJR

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Not sure where you got the 25 watts from.
Anyway, I use focal 826. They're on as I write and it all sounds good to me, whatever wattage the Atom actually produces.
Streaming SECTOR progressive at the moment and loving it. (Yes I know it's Russian).
I've been around this darned brand since 1975 and have experienced first hand the various 'attitudes' certain high-ups exhibited when things went well and also when things didn't (best bury these in history as founder JV's no longer with us and the company has moved on). Specifications were sketchy but were done by a couple of UK reviewers, one of which was well on his way to becoming a high end reviewer-guru for a while in the 90's with a numerical results 'system' as bad in some ways as the SINAD chart can be here if all other things are ignored. Even in the 80's, the circuits used were 'adequate' rather than state of the art and very highly tweaked to fit in with the company ethos of adding extra boxes and so on, each upgrade then being roughly a certain price (£500 in the early 90's but rather higher now ;) ).

The thing is, the enthusiasts who buy this brand's separates products are steeped in subjectivity with the retro vibe not far behind, so PLEASE forgive us if our general stance tends to be against this aspect rather than exploring hard consistent *and repeatable* facts first here. This streaming unit is part of a separate line from their traditional products. Had this model been around a grand retail, the general view may be a little kinder.

I'm really pleased you're getting great results at home and that the power available is ok for you. Not so long ago, I'd have overheated the thing in my desire for higher sound volumes :facepalm: but today I don't need to and actually find high levels uncomfortable now (what's happened to me? :eek:) and my vintage 45WPC US made 'prosumer' power amp is entirely suitable in real terms, although I use a sibling offering double the power day-to-day 'because I can...'

I think the main issue is Naim's pricing with annual price increases regardless, supposedly in line with inflation and which in the past helped residuals on their healthy used market. Not sure their streaming units hold value as well, but I'm sure the market will find a way in financial terms.

Most posters here don't have the attachment or 'pre-conditioning' to this brand that oldies like me have and so come to a model like this with no pre-conceptions apart from the price asked new. The tests and attitudes here will be amongst the hardest of all as there's no pre-conception or fond memories of past tribal glories.
 
D

Deleted member 50321

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I've been around this darned brand since 1975 and have experienced first hand the various 'attitudes' certain high-ups exhibited when things went well and also when things didn't (best bury these in history as founder JV's no longer with us and the company has moved on). Specifications were sketchy but were done by a couple of UK reviewers, one of which was well on his way to becoming a high end reviewer-guru for a while in the 90's with a numerical results 'system' as bad in some ways as the SINAD chart can be here if all other things are ignored. Even in the 80's, the circuits used were 'adequate' rather than state of the art and very highly tweaked to fit in with the company ethos of adding extra boxes and so on, each upgrade then being roughly a certain price (£500 in the early 90's but rather higher now ;) ).

The thing is, the enthusiasts who buy this brand's separates products are steeped in subjectivity with the retro vibe not far behind, so PLEASE forgive us if our general stance tends to be against this aspect rather than exploring hard consistent *and repeatable* facts first here. This streaming unit is part of a separate line from their traditional products. Had this model been around a grand retail, the general view may be a little kinder.

I'm really pleased you're getting great results at home and that the power available is ok for you. Not so long ago, I'd have overheated the thing in my desire for higher sound volumes :facepalm: but today I don't need to and actually find high levels uncomfortable now (what's happened to me? :eek:) and my vintage 45WPC US made 'prosumer' power amp is entirely suitable in real terms, although I use a sibling offering double the power day-to-day 'because I can...'

I think the main issue is Naim's pricing with annual price increases regardless, supposedly in line with inflation and which in the past helped residuals on their healthy used market. Not sure their streaming units hold value as well, but I'm sure the market will find a way in financial terms.

Most posters here don't have the attachment or 'pre-conditioning' to this brand that oldies like me have and so come to a model like this with no pre-conceptions apart from the price asked new. The tests and attitudes here will be amongst the hardest of all as there's no pre-conception or fond memories of past tribal glories.
Thanks for that.
I had no preconceptions whatsoever when I bought this item. I'd heard some B&O and some B&W and even bought a B&W formation speaker and a set of B&O earphones but then heard this and liked it.
I must admit I thought it was expensive too at £2699 BUT I found one mint at £1425 and bought that.
I have never heard any Naim gear other than a Muso 2nd Generation which I also happen to think sounds pretty amazing for what it is.
The chances of me disappearing down the Naim rabbit hole are absolutely nil.
But. I REALLY like what I have and no graphs are ever going to change that.
As for the Focals I figured they were probably engineered with the Atom in mind so couldn't go far wrong with them. Also, I lived in France for a while and I have to say that their quality ethos is pretty damn good. Yes, they can get all Artisanal in their Ateliers but they're very quality oriented.
 

Haskil

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Not sure where you got the 25 watts from.
Anyway, I use focal 826. They're on as I write and it all sounds good to me, whatever wattage the Atom actually produces.
Streaming SECTOR progressive at the moment and loving it. (Yes I know it's Russian).
No one said this device didn't sound good on ASR. Nobody. What is shown by the measurements is that for its selling price and its positioning on the market, this all-in-one NAIM offers modest performances which fortunately are all below the threshold of audibility.

The problem this raises is that this device suffers from a design that is not worthy of the performance it could achieve for the same price, in addition to the fact that it could easily do triple the power still for the same price, which would make it more universal in its marriage with speakers...
What is interesting in your remarks: from the outset, you oppose measurements/listenings as an audiophile doxa proclaims, almost systematically implying or affirming outright that good measured performances are a sign of deficient musicality...

I listen to a lot of music, it's even my job, because I'm a music critic, and I've also been passionate about high fidelity since my adolescence at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s. I therefore attach great importance to listening and I have noticed for a long time that good designs, good measurements lead to transparent and excellent electronics. The loudspeakers which have long remained more pragmatic and intuitive than really scientific in their development have made fantastic progress since there are computer means for calculations and measurements. And today, a loudspeaker whose measurements with a Klippel bench are excellent and homogeneous sounds very good to listen to... Some overpriced equipment only justifies its cost for reasons that have nothing to do with its real intrinsic quality.

And whoever tells you this consults serious test benches and listens to a lot of material... I compared the DAC part of a Topping DX3 Pro 2 with several recent and older very high-end DACs: when there is has a difference, it is so tenuous and unstable in its auditory "reality" that it is impossible to tell them apart... except once on a pair of 105 dB horn speakers, the Topping was the only one that didn't breathe...
 

Haskil

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for $500 you can buy a used, low-end amplifier with dried out electrolytes, ready for a complete expensive refresh. Or even worse, a new plastic amplifer (eg Marantz entry level). Pairing it with serious and probably demanding $20k speakers is pure exhibitionism, those amps deserve proper speakers too (plastic ones from the nearby supermarket).
For 500 euros? Sum which, by the way, was just given to indicate that we could find a good and cheap amp:
- https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/powe...tereo-class-d-ncore-2x125w-4-ohm-p-12756.html
- https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/powe...tereo-class-d-ncore-2x250w-4-ohm-p-14278.html
Plus a DAC:
- https://www.audiophonics.fr/fr/dac-...usb-32bit768khz-dsd512-xmos-noir-p-14486.html
- https://www.audiophonics.fr/fr/dac-...xu208-32bit-768khz-dsd512-argent-p-16712.html

With headphone amplifier
- https://www.audiophonics.fr/fr/dac-...ac-xmos-32bit-768khz-dsd512-noir-p-15685.html

And if you use a computer to listen to music and you take a fixed output DAC, you can reduce the price by 40 euros:
- https://www.audiophonics.fr/fr/dac-...d-256-xmos-u208-es9038q2m-argent-p-14687.html

We are between 530 and 630 euros for an exemplary and irreproachable quality... Much better than this Naim...
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 50321

Guest
No one said this device didn't sound good on ASR. Nobody. What is shown by the measurements is that for its selling price and its positioning on the market, this all-in-one NAIM offers modest performances which fortunately are all below the threshold of audibility.

The problem this raises is that this device suffers from a design that is not worthy of the performance it could achieve for the same price, in addition to the fact that it could easily do triple the power still for the same price, which would make it more universal in its marriage with speakers...
What is interesting in your remarks: from the outset, you oppose measurements/listenings as an audiophile doxa proclaims, almost systematically implying or affirming outright that good measured performances are a sign of deficient musicality...

I listen to a lot of music, it's even my job, because I'm a music critic, and I've also been passionate about high fidelity since my adolescence at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s. I therefore attach great importance to listening and I have noticed for a long time that good designs, good measurements lead to transparent and excellent electronics. The loudspeakers which have long remained more pragmatic and intuitive than really scientific in their development have made fantastic progress since there are computer means for calculations and measurements. And today, a loudspeaker whose measurements with a Klippel bench are excellent and homogeneous sounds very good to listen to... Some overpriced equipment only justifies its cost for reasons that have nothing to do with its real intrinsic quality.

And whoever tells you this consults serious test benches and listens to a lot of material... I compared the DAC part of a Topping DX3 Pro 2 with several recent and older very high-end DACs: when there is has a difference, it is so tenuous and unstable in its auditory "reality" that it is impossible to tell them apart... except once on a pair of 105 dB horn speakers, the Topping was the only one that didn't breathe...
This is now getting pointless.
What I actually meant was the final judge ment instrument is the listeners ears. If the listener then likes it and they feel like buying it then go for it.
Just imagine if everything in life was evaluated using graphs etc. The world would be a sad place.
Of course there's a need to measure performance but then personal preference usually takes over.
Just a quick example. I'm not even going to explain it at all but just consider clothes.
 

DSJR

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For 500 euros? Sum which, by the way, was just given to indicate that we could find a good and cheap amp:
- https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/powe...tereo-class-d-ncore-2x125w-4-ohm-p-12756.html
- https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/powe...tereo-class-d-ncore-2x250w-4-ohm-p-14278.html
Plus a DAC:
- https://www.audiophonics.fr/fr/dac-...usb-32bit768khz-dsd512-xmos-noir-p-14486.html
- https://www.audiophonics.fr/fr/dac-...xu208-32bit-768khz-dsd512-argent-p-16712.html

With headphone amplifier
- https://www.audiophonics.fr/fr/dac-...ac-xmos-32bit-768khz-dsd512-noir-p-15685.html

And if you use a computer to listen to music and you take a fixed output DAC, you can reduce the price by 40 euros:
- https://www.audiophonics.fr/fr/dac-...d-256-xmos-u208-es9038q2m-argent-p-14687.html

We are between 530 and 630 euros for an exemplary and irreproachable quality... Much better than this Naim...
With deepest respect sir, I feel you may be missing the point... Back in the 80's, I felt this way about B&O, although starting with the 2500 system (which evolved into other very long lasting products), they actually did good under the style and 'user=play' aspect. The Atom 'feels' nice to use - that rotating disc on top - and the finish is rather better in my opinion than the bluff matte-charcoal coloured castings they use further up their now exalted range.

If I had the pile of mismatched? boxes you list, could my wife or son use or even WANT to use them? NO! is the answer there I feel. Both of them love music but neither will go anywhere near my stereo's, even the upstairs one which is now based on a Sony La Scala system from the 90's (surprisingly good for a mere 'midi system' with each item linked together on a bus for ease of use). In the B&O's case (good used units are cheap in this company), just approaching the head unit opens the doors and illuminates the CD player within. use is a doddle and tech performance not bad at all I believe, the head unit having a variable line output to feed remote active speakers of all manner of makes including their own which work well if you're not a headbanger..

Like the Chord units tested here, Naim isn't and never was in the 'great value for money' stakes, at least new units dealer purchased. Bought new, locally there seems a number of fellas and occasionally couples, who couldn't afford Naim forty years back when starting out or raising a family. They're now retired with disposable income and a little box like this is just the job, however much it costs. As with B&O before them and now joined by Linn in the UK with lifestyle products, the 'performance' is taken for granted - and it's not *bad* as such. By UK dealer standards, it's actually par for the course I think you'll find.
 

Trell

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This is now getting pointless.

Obviously.

What I actually meant was the final judge ment instrument is the listeners ears. If the listener then likes it and they feel like buying it then go for it.

No one claims that you should not buy it if you like it, or don't, for that matter.

Just imagine if everything in life was evaluated using graphs etc. The world would be a sad place.

Thank you for your deep insight. I'm sure ASR members have never thought about this.

Of course there's a need to measure performance but then personal preference usually takes over.

Of course, and this is commonly said here on ASR.

Just a quick example. I'm not even going to explain it at all but just consider clothes.

This is dumb and even you know that.
 

Engine

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We are between 530 and 630 euros for an exemplary and irreproachable quality... Much better than this Naim...
LOL, this made me smile and cheer up this warm day, thank you fany mate!
 
D

Deleted member 50321

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Obviously.



No one claims that you should not buy it if you like it, or don't, for that matter.



Thank you for your deep insight. I'm sure ASR members have never thought about this.



Of course, and this is commonly said here on ASR.



This is dumb and even you know that.
Well I did wonder about this forum when I got the first vitriolic response. Now I know. It's absolutely as bad, but in a different way, as the Naim forum.
With a few noteworthy exceptions it seems to be peopled by folk with the same degree of fanaticism.
I wish you all the very best in your pursuit of the one true path towards your one true leader.
Yorkshireman signing off.
Grand lad. Ower and out.
 

Trell

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Well I did wonder about this forum when I got the first vitriolic response. Now I know. It's absolutely as bad, but in a different way, as the Naim forum.
With a few noteworthy exceptions it seems to be peopled by folk with the same degree of fanaticism.
I wish you all the very best in your pursuit of the one true path towards your one true leader.
Yorkshireman signing off.
Grand lad. Ower and out.

:rolleyes:
 

DavidEdwinAston

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This is now getting pointless.
What I actually meant was the final judge ment instrument is the listeners ears. If the listener then likes it and they feel like buying it then go for it.
Just imagine if everything in life was evaluated using graphs etc. The world would be a sad place.
Of course there's a need to measure performance but then personal preference usually takes over.
Just a quick example. I'm not even going to explain it at all but just consider clothes.
Well, we wear our clothes outside, in public. Do you drape your hifi round your neck when youre out and about in Barnsley or wherever?
 
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