• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

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

Haskil

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 29, 2019
Messages
114
Likes
150
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.
With all my respect in return, I took the time to respond to a specific statement: that of a participant - Moteur - who confuses low price and poor quality and claims that for 500 euros you cannot have a quality amplifier - the specific point about the Naim having passed into the background -, but just an old trick with rinsed capacitors.
And I answered him by showing him that he didn't really know what he was talking about.
With all due respect, your answer falls short. Because what you say is a matter heard from the beginning.
 

Haskil

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 29, 2019
Messages
114
Likes
150
LOL, this made me smile and cheer up this warm day, thank you fany mate!
Does it brighten up your day? I am very happy about it and am hardly surprised, locked in that you are in certainties and patterns of thought which are more a matter of folkloric audiophile beliefs than of the objective analysis of the performance of devices... and therefore of their transparency to the signal they transmit and amplify.
 

Engine

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2022
Messages
16
Likes
19
Is there a difference in measurements between voltage 100-120V and 220V? Theoretically it could be?
 

Doodski

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
16,343
Likes
15,994
Location
Canada
Is there a difference in measurements between voltage 100-120V and 220V? Theoretically it could be?
No, there will not be a difference. Theoretically there is no chance.
 

aristidis540

New Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2022
Messages
1
Likes
0
I own the amp naim xs and it's the best amp i've ever owned,and I've had quite a few(NAD,YAMAHA,DENSEN,ROKSAN,MARANTZ). I'd really like to see a review of the XS (1-2-3-anyone)
I am curious about the result.....
thank you for your work..
 
Last edited:

antihipstamine

New Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2022
Messages
3
Likes
3
This has been an endlessly fascinating thread/post, especially as I bought an original Uniti back in 2010 and was offered a Uniti Star this summer for a ridiculously cheap price, and both devices sound great to me, but clearly I could do better. I’m nowhere near Seattle, otherwise my Uniti Star would be offered up for a review.
 

antihipstamine

New Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2022
Messages
3
Likes
3
Most of the gear is shipped to Amir and he will pay return shipping. Biggest challenge is back log so it can take 2 or more months.
Fair, thanks for POI. There must be someone closer than Northern Europe :) That said, I must read up on replicating the methodology!
 

GXAlan

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
1,596
Likes
2,425
Fair, thanks for POI. There must be someone closer than Northern Europe :) That said, I must read up on replicating the methodology!

Ah. Yes, it only makes sense to ship items to Seattle if it’s final destination is on the United States somewhere. :)
 

Galliardist

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
741
Likes
893
Location
Sydney. NSW, Australia
No, there will not be a difference. Theoretically there is no chance.
The question deserves more than a brief dismissive answer.

There is clearly one artifact, the 120Hz spike in the amplifier FFT measurement, that is not going to occur in a European 50Hz model, and is enough to make people think about power supply differences causing other results.

I can't find any examples of a 50Hz model being measured, though I didn't look that hard. And like you I don't expect much else to change, particularly the DAC results.

Still, the question requires a fuller answer to demonstrate this, if only to stop people in 50Hz countries from getting the idea that measurements here are not applicable to them.
 

JazzPipo

New Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2023
Messages
1
Likes
0
How much would the sound and spec’s improve when I would add an class D purifi or ncore amp using the pre-amp out?
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2022
Messages
5
Likes
6
I doubt anyone could answer that question who hasn't actually done just that. Myself, I find the Atom to be a very good sounding device - the best I have owned. However I recently upgraded my speakers to the recently released B&W 702 S3, and while I am very happy with the sound I wonder about the relatively low power Atom dealing with speakers that can deliver base frequencies the way these can. Consequently I am auditioning the speakers with a Moon 330A class a/b amp tomorrow, thinking that the 330A would be driven from the pre-amp out for now. However, I am also thinking of changing the Atom for an Atom Headphone Edition as I also own Stealth headphones which while they do work on the Atom, just not as well as on my Topping A90. (I really like the Naim streaming platform, so there are not too many options.)
 

HarmonicTHD

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
1,668
Likes
2,032
How much would the sound and spec’s improve when I would add a class D purifi or ncore amp using the pre-amp out?
By none and it would be a waste of money IMHO. Feeding a ca 90dB SINAD signal to a ca 110dB plus SINAD power amp will not improve anything it just stays as bad or worse. Get a recommended SOTA DAC with over 110dB SINAD for little money and stop worrying about any bad sound from your electronics and put the money in speakers instead. But of course the Naim is already at a level where it reaches / exceeded the threshold of audibility anyhow.

1673989311223.png
 

Galliardist

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
741
Likes
893
Location
Sydney. NSW, Australia
How much would the sound and spec’s improve when I would add an class D purifi or ncore amp using the pre-amp out?
I doubt anyone could answer that question who hasn't actually done just that. Myself, I find the Atom to be a very good sounding device - the best I have owned. However I recently upgraded my speakers to the recently released B&W 702 S3, and while I am very happy with the sound I wonder about the relatively low power Atom dealing with speakers that can deliver base frequencies the way these can. Consequently I am auditioning the speakers with a Moon 330A class a/b amp tomorrow, thinking that the 330A would be driven from the pre-amp out for now. However, I am also thinking of changing the Atom for an Atom Headphone Edition as I also own Stealth headphones which while they do work on the Atom, just not as well as on my Topping A90. (I really like the Naim streaming platform, so there are not too many options.)
If you like the Naim streaming platform... well, it's not cheap. I still would suggest that keeping the interface is worth more than changing it for the measurement issues, and you probably aren't going to gain much from going up the Naim streamer or preamp range either. It's worth looking at some others if you can get at them somewhere. Nothing is more annoying than dud streaming/poor search.

The "beware" bit... make sure that any power amp you buy to use the Atom as a preamp, properly matches - i.e. gain and impedance matching. I've seen a few cases around the forums where people have bought hard-to-drive B&Ws (that sensitivity figure usually hides problems with low effective impedance in the bass), found their integrated amp isn't powerful enough, raced out and spent thousands on a power amp: only to still come out badly because of insufficient gain in the preamp stage. I'd be wanting to ask the supplier before buying, so that if it doesn't work you have some cover dealing with them.
 

welder911

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
20
Likes
0
I also use a naim superunit and it sounds good to my ears, but as a result of the reviews here, I am constantly looking for an error in the sound. I bought a purifi kit based on ASR reviews, but when compared to the naim super unit, the superunit definitely has a much warmer and airier sound.
 

NiagaraPete

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
1,876
Likes
1,511
Location
Canada
No one here knows what that means. It’s audiofoolery language.
 

Galliardist

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
741
Likes
893
Location
Sydney. NSW, Australia
I also use a naim superunit and it sounds good to my ears, but as a result of the reviews here, I am constantly looking for an error in the sound. I bought a purifi kit based on ASR reviews, but when compared to the naim super unit, the superunit definitely has a much warmer and airier sound.
As usual: if you did a proper level matched blind test, the likelihood is that the difference would disappear. That doesn't mean you have to start worrying about doing one or anything like that. In fact unless your amplifier is incapable of driving your current speakers properly, it's the last place to start looking for significantly better sound. Without knowing the rest of the system and how you compared it's hard to say anything more.

As it happens, most subjective reports talk of Naim having a "faster" sound, rather than "warmer and airier".

But what you should not do is allow yourself to worry about "errors" in the sound of your system after reading reviews, here or anywhere else. Your system is not going to read the review and suddenly sound worse: unless you let it by acting that way.

Were you unhappy with the sound before, anyway? If you are looking at upgrading, a power amp isn't going to yield great results unless your existing amp can't drive your speakers properly. Look at your room and speakers as the starting point.
 

GiBo61

Active Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
136
Likes
109
I also use a naim superunit and it sounds good to my ears, but as a result of the reviews here, I am constantly looking for an error in the sound. I bought a purifi kit based on ASR reviews, but when compared to the naim super unit, the superunit definitely has a much warmer and airier sound.
When I tested the Elac FS 247.4 Carina the vendor connected them to a Naim Uniti Atom and the sound was really good although it was definitely less exciting when he switched to different speakers. This somehow support what you are saying, that is not easy to discriminate by ear an amplifier with top level measurements (Purilfy) from one with more modest results (Naim Uniti Atom). My point is: it is justified to spend more than €3000 when you can get the same or better measurements (and sound quality) from a device that costs 3 or 4 times less (like the Yamaha R-N803D)?
 
Last edited:

welder911

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
20
Likes
0
The speaker in my system is a Monitor Audio SILVER 500 (6G), and my amp is a naim superunit. So I don't own an ATOM but at least the superunit might be better than the ATOM.

In my subjective listening, the PURIFI always had a cold, methylated resonance in the upper frequencies. But with naim superunit, the situation is the opposite and the music becomes much more enjoyable.

I think SINAD is not a perception of quality in listening to music. if it was, my purifi amp would be the first amp in my system right now.
 
Top Bottom