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Naim Uniti Atom All-In-One Audio System | Review

Naim Uniti Atom All-In-One Audio System | Review

“All in one, and one for all!” Wait, what? Ha! You’ve simply been launched to my new tagline for Naim Audio’s nifty mixed audio system, the Uniti Atom. It’s an all-in-one audio system, as in high-end meets way of life. As in “I want this thing, and so should everyone else.”

So let me clarify…

I’ve handled mixed audio methods earlier than. I suppose I’m a bit biased towards them, however for no good purpose. Audiophile purist snobbery maybe? Perhaps my points hearken again to my youth, when brick and mortar department shops like Montgomery Ward or J. C. Penney (keep in mind these?) provided up early variations on a budget from producers resembling Yorx, Sound Design, and others I’d relatively overlook. You might recall this stuff: a built-in tape deck, turntable, tuner, quantity management (with tone controls, no much less) and an amplifier, all packed into one field. If it was your fortunate day, they could have even thrown in a pair of ineffective audio system. I purchased one in every of these for my then-girlfriend (later spouse…) to take together with her to school. Handy for setting the dorm room temper, however in any other case not a lot to take a look at or take heed to. I feel my girlfriend’s model had a cardboard rear panel no much less.

However haven’t any worry, my audiophile pals! Issues have gotten exponentially higher in current occasions. Keep in mind the superior PS Audio Sprout 100 I reviewed lately? Yep, it’s an ideal instance of a contemporary all-in-one audio element. Compact and properly constructed, the Sprout has killer performance, nice construct high quality, a superb amp part, and all at a greater than truthful asking worth. I completely loved reviewing it, and I purchased the evaluation pattern for my son, who’s now out on his personal. My older daughter has the earlier era Sprout as properly. It’s an ideal answer for the discerning younger grownup music lover; one who sofa surfs and carries every part she owns behind her Subaru.

However what about us older Gen-X people who perhaps need the identical degree of built-in comfort in an much more versatile and refined field? One thing that screams “high-end” to our pals over wine, cheese, and dinner, however with out going full-on blue-meter McIntosh?

I feel I’ve received your reply.

What’s your Naim?

Should you’re nonetheless with me, I’ll remind you that the topic of my above suggestion and object of my present want is Naim Audio’s Uniti Atom mixture music server/DAC/preamp/amplifier.

The Uniti Atom is designed and hand-built by Naim Audio, situated in Salisbury, England. Naim is among the Grande Dame corporations of English audio package, and is particularly recognized for its amplification merchandise. Most well-heeled audiophiles are properly conscious of the Naim Nait, an built-in amp design that’s been round for many years in fixed revision. It exhibits up on almost everybody’s “best of” listing, yr after yr. You’ll be able to nonetheless purchase one at present in its most up-to-date iteration.

Naim merchandise are recognized for bullet-proof construct high quality, wonderful sonics, reliability, and good worth. I can guarantee you that you simply get all of those attributes, and extra, if you get your mitts on the Uniti Atom.

Who’s your daddy?

The idea of the Naim Uniti Atom is identical amplifier know-how that goes into the Naim Nait built-in amplifier, and that’s some nice heritage certainly. Now in its 5SI configuration, the Nait has been with us since 1983. Right now’s Nait 5SI places out 60 watts per channel, and like its forbears, is well-known for its tonal accuracy, exact rhythm and timing, and interesting soundstaging traits. That the Uniti Atom is a chip off the previous block is subsequently nice information, even when the Atom solely supplies 40 watts per aspect. Add in all the different nice options and flexibility, and I feel the Atom’s inventory goes up significantly.

Is he wealthy like me?

The one obvious draw back to Naim’s Uniti Atom combo gadget is it worth: $3295 right here within the States. That’s a good bit of cash to pay for what most people would merely categorize as a “lifestyle” piece of audio gear. However earlier than we turn into too fast to guage, let’s check out what the Uniti Atom truly has packed inside its compact, however fairly engaging chassis.

There’s loads of functionality right here. You get a very good Burr Brown-based DAC part, a preamp, and an amplifier, in addition to a complete software program interface that lets the Uniti Atom work as a full-fledged music streamer and server. It might interface to an exterior pc and arduous drive, pull information down from the cloud, and stream tunes from providers corresponding to Tidal and Spotify. There’s additionally an countless selection of streaming radio. To me, that’s what “lifestyle” audio is all about: streaming the media I would like once I need; such are the benefits to dwelling within the 21st century. If you wish to go old skool, you are able to do that too: there are analog inputs on your CD participant or turntable (simply remember that you simply’ll want an exterior phono stage).

So the worth is there. I do know loads of audio nuts who would poo-poo the Uniti Atom however assume nothing of dropping an analogous quantity on a separate DAC, preamp, or amp. However then once more, I suppose that’s a part of the enjoyable of being an audio nut. The Uniti Atom is the logical answer for everybody else.

In my home

I might go into nice element about what the Naim Uniti Atom can (or can’t) do, however I gained’t. The complete record of capabilities is just some mouse clicks away. What I’ll do is inform you what position it has performed in my private enjoyment during the last couple of months.

First off, the Uniti Atom by no means made it into certainly one of my upstairs analysis rigs. It didn’t need to. I set it up in my front room, hooked up a pair of audio system, and that was it. Carried out. It’s a “lifestyle” merchandise, and that’s precisely how I utilized it. Streaming music was the order of the day for me, each from the included Tidal software (I’m a subscriber) and plenty of web radio.

The consumer interface was tremendous accessible and intuitive. I ended up utilizing the well-designed back-lit distant (one of many nicest ones I’ve encountered) for streaming radio stations, whereas I used my iPhone with the put in Naim app for controlling Tidal. Sure operations can be accessed from buttons on the entrance panel of the Uniti Atom, however why hassle? The one device-mounted management I actually did take pleasure in enjoying with was the large top-mounted quantity knob, which simply begs to be touched and spun. Quantity can simply be managed from each the distant and the iPhone app, however what enjoyable was that? LEDs encircling the knob lit up because it was rotated, simply including to the joys of the operation. This factor simply begged me to get my arse up off the sofa and have interaction instantly with the Uniti Atom.

Oh, have I discussed how engaging the Uniti Atom is to take a look at? To me, it seems extra like a bit of useful artwork than a boring stereo element. It’s trendy, streamlined, and really cool; virtually a dialog piece for the lounge. I really like its shiny black lucite entrance panel with its well-illuminated show, which exhibits off (amongst different issues…) supply standing, quantity, and high-resolution album artwork.

Does it sound good?

Thus far, we’ve decided that the Naim Uniti Atom is stylish, cool, and straightforward to make use of. It additionally does a whole lot of various things. However what you actually need to know is that if it truly performs at an honest sonic degree, proper?

Briefly, my reply is an unequivocal “yes”!

I initially had some trepidation concerning the Uniti Atom’s sonic prowess, as elements that promise an excessive amount of functionality in a single, small package deal typically appear to return up brief within the efficiency division. Not this man: the Uniti Atom is a scrappy little mite that packs an enormous sonic punch. The seemingly paltry 40 watts per channel I discussed earlier play quite a bit greater than the specs would recommend. It doesn’t matter what audio system I used, I used to be capable of fill my front room with massive, sultry, full-bodied sound. Even dynamic soundtracks, symphonies, and stadium rock all got here merrily to life at greater quantity settings.

I used the Uniti Atom with a plethora of audio system, together with the Sonus Faber Sonetto 2 (evaluation right here), Amphion Argon 3S (evaluate coming quickly), Fritz Audio system Carbon 7 SE (evaluation), and Omega Tremendous Alnico Screens. All of those audio system are bookshelf/stand-mount fashions ranging in approximate worth from $2300-$2600 per pair, making them comparable bedfellows to the Uniti Atom cost-wise. All of those audio system additionally carried out admirably when pushed by the Atom, whilst their impedances and efficiencies assorted significantly. I discovered the Uniti Atom did a superb job of letting the precise sonic traits of every speaker shine by way of whereas concurrently coaxing a few of the nicest sound I’ve heard from every. Not dangerous for a 40-watt powerhouse packed right into a field of unprecedented practical versatility…

Dealing in specifics

Of the audio system I used with the Uniti Atom, those I spent probably the most time listening by way of have been the Sonus Faber Sonetto 2 and the Amphion Argon 3s. Both means, the impression I acquired from the Uniti Atom was that it was all a few delicate mixture of finesse, energy, and get-up-and-go. Musical pacing was spot-on, as is perhaps anticipated from a British amp with a heftier-than-normal energy provide. Simply as importantly, I discovered that tonality was trustworthy and unembellished, very similar to that offered by my beloved ATC studio screens (additionally of British origin). I actually can’t think about anybody being offended by errors of addition with this field; it’s straight-up trustworthy and pleased with it!

With the Sonus Faber Sonetto 2

I’ll admit readily that I spent probably the most time listening to the Uniti Atom by means of the Sonus Faber Sonetto 2 audio system. I simply liked this mix! Each hit my home on the similar time, they usually appeared like a pure match-up to attempt. I felt that these two elements may be completely suited to at least one one other, because the Naim amp could be thought-about a tad dry by some, whereas the Sonus Faber audio system struck me as a bit tonally dramatic. Consider the Uniti Atom because the expert English boy soprano with good pitch and no vibrato, whereas the Sonus Fabers put me extra in thoughts of the dramatic Italian operatic tenor. Listening to the boy soprano is a factor of cosmic marvel, nevertheless it takes the Italian tenor to actually interact the feelings and get the blood flowing.

Combining the management and pacing of the Naim Uniti Atom with the Sonetto 2’s crisp, hearty heat gave an unbeatable finish product that I simply couldn’t get sufficient of.

Streaming Lyle Mays’ self-titled first album as a pacesetter (Tidal, 44.1 kHz flac), I used to be impressed by the Naim/Sonus Faber duo’s capability to tug me into the musical occasion. Whether or not Mays was enjoying acoustic piano or synth, the complete physique of the instrument was on show. Bass was spectacular, each when it comes to extension and management. No, nothing was rattling within the room on the volumes I used to be utilizing, however the full impact was there, and in a most pleasant method. Even with the audio system arrange on the hutch with their rear panels not far more than eight or 9 inches from the entrance wall, I used to be listening to a nice sense of layering, with some sounds seemingly emanating from behind the wall. Lateral imaging was fairly particular as nicely, with sure sound cues locked between the audio system in particular places, but in addition meandering nicely past the outer edges of the cupboards in different situations.

With the Amphion Argon 3s

Upon receiving Amphion’s Argon 3s monitor audio system, I might inform instantly I used to be onto one thing type of particular. It didn’t take me lengthy, subsequently, to get these infants hooked as much as the Naim Uniti Atom. I’m glad I didn’t wait too lengthy to find how superior this combo might sound.

The Argon 3s audio system are pretty small, however they handle to sound so much bigger than they appear. This attribute took on actual which means with the Uniti Atom operating the present, as the mixture readily crammed my dwelling space with real looking and dynamic sound. Just like the Uniti Atom, I’ve discovered the Amphion audio system to be tonally pure and trustworthy. Nevertheless, they someway appear so as to add some actual pleasure to reproduced music that I can’t fairly put my finger on; I simply know that they fulfill me as few different audio system can. With the Uniti Atom, I obtained pinpoint imaging and actual extension at each frequency extremes. There’s a realism to the bass that absolutely belies the bodily measurement of those elements!

By way of the Amphion audio system, the Naim system had no worry of massive orchestral works performed at sensible volumes. For example, once I streamed the bracing first motion of Eduard Tubin’s Third Symphony carried out by Arvo Volmer and the Estonian Nationwide Symphony as recorded on the Alba label (Tidal, 44.1 kHz flac file), I used to be amazed by the sense of dynamic and scale the little system was placing out. For a second, I felt like I used to be there within the efficiency venue taking within the pleasures of a stay efficiency… Bravo!

A number of remaining ideas on the Naim Uniti Atom

When you can’t inform by now, I’m over the moon about Naim Audio’s Uniti Atom all-in-one audio field. It might take a good bit of coin to seize one, however the field presents massively versatile functionality from a streaming perspective whereas retaining first-rate DAC and amplification efficiency. I particularly respect that it makes use of handy Bluetooth know-how just for management and never for truly streaming media (in contrast to the aforementioned and much inexpensive PS Audio Sprout). Subsequently, streaming high quality, even a excessive decision, isn’t compromised in any method.

Would a hard-core audiophile sort need considered one of these as the idea of a principal system? In all probability not, because the gadget is simply too built-in. I can’t fault construct, seems, or audio playback high quality in any approach, however actual audio nuts need to tinker; they demand element flexibility. In that case, Naim nonetheless has such people coated with their separates choices.

The place the Uniti Atom really scores is within the residence of the music/audio fanatic who needs a flexible, handy, and stylish answer to streaming and playback of high quality audio information with the very best constancy utilizing a number of the greatest know-how out there immediately. It might even discover a particular place within the area that true audio nut shares together with his or her household and/or vital different.

Like I stated earlier than: “All in one, and one for all!” For many people, selecting the Naim Uniti Atom represents that uncommon audio no-brainer.

Naim Uniti Atom (web site): $3295

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