Posted on Mon, 23 Jul, 2018
Posted by Bob

Naim Uniti range, compared, reviewed and rated. We test Naim’s superb Atom, Star and Nova all-in-one players.

Naim: one of the great names in British Hi-Fi and one associated with uncompromising audio fidelity and great product design. Sitting alongside such timeless designs as the legendary nap250 is Naim’s beautifully conceived range of all-in-one music players, the Naim Uniti range.

We decided to line up all three offerings in the Uniti range, the Atom, Star and Nova, and see for ourselves if Naim has managed to pack in their years of Hi-Fi separates knowledge into these thoroughly modern all-in-one solutions.

Naim Uniti Range

Recently redesigned from the ground up, with substantial investment from Hi-Fi giants Naim, the Uniti range is a four-model strong lineup. The Naim Uniti range starts with the Uniti Core, which is a combined CD Ripper and music storage unit, designed for use with a connected music player.

It’s the next three models in the range which are of most interest to us today, as they represent Naim’s all-in-one music player options. Combining a streaming music player alongside high quality, built-in amplification, the Naim Uniti range is the ideal choice for those looking for the audio quality of traditional Hi-Fi separates, but in a compact, convenient package.

It’s worth noting that the Naim Uniti series will also connect and work faultlessly with Naim’s Mu-So range of streaming speakers, and via ROON, can be configured as part of a multi-room audio setup. It’s a proposition which is highly appealing, especially when the Mu-So range sounds as good as it does!

For our listening tests, we connected via the truly superb ROON music player app, running from an Apple iPad. Connecting to the Naim Uniti players was easy and hassle free and made for a superb experience. The loudspeakers used for the review were Focal’s delightful Canta 2 floor-standers.

Uniti Atom

Naim Uniti Atom

The Uniti Atom was first up for listening; a wonderfully compact unit, the Uniti Atom streaming player offers 40W per channel of Naim’s high-quality Class A/B amplification. An attractive full-colour screen displays the album artwork and makes for a tactile and pleasurable experience.

First up is The Cure’s, Pictures of You; the opening chimes display great stereo imaging and a pleasingly wide soundstage. It’s immediately clear that the classic Naim traits of Pace, Rhythm and timing have been distilled into the Atom, with the delivery and presentation being lively and entertaining.

Heading over to the ROON app once again, it’s time for a modern jazz classic in the form of Miles Davis’ Freddie Freeloader. Once again the trademark Naim qualities of detail and precision are present and correct. Stereo imaging is great with lovely detail from the ride cymbal which helps push the track along nicely.

From Jazz to modern dance music, the Uniti Atom handles it all with Aplomb; Vitalic’s Poison Lips is cued up, and shows that the Uniti Atom can really boogie. The complex, multi-layer arrangement is presented with accuracy and detail, along with a wide and deep bandwidth. Kick drums slam with real weight, whilst the fast-paced rhythmic elements are delivered in a lively and energetic manner

Naim Uniti Star

Naim Uniti Star

It’s time to climb up the Uniti range ladder, and sample the Naim Uniti Star; the Uniti Star almost doubles the power available (7o watts per channel) and adds a built-in CD drive. This could be a valuable option for those wishing to play their existing CD collection without needing to first rip everything to the Uniti Core or another storage solution.

After a brief interlude to swap over to the Uniti Star, we continue with Vitalic again; whilst the Atom sounded good, the presentation with the Star is noticeably more refined and smoother. The soundstage seems somehow even wider than before and there’s a sonic depth to the presentation which wasn’t there with the Atom. This is seriously good sounding Hi-Fi!

Cueing up The Cure again, that same advancement in refinement is obvious. The top end is notably smoother yet doesn’t sacrifice any of the detail; quite the opposite in fact! That enhancement in detail and depth of presentation is really obvious when listening to the Miles Davis track…

The added detail and more rounded presentation offered by the Naim Unit Star really shows up when listening to Freddie Freeloader. It’s a more confident and together presentation and one which would comfortably shame a lot of conventional Hi-Fi separates.

Naim Uniti Nova

Naim Uniti Nova

It’s now time to wheel out the flagship of the Naim Uniti range the Uniti Nova. The Naim Uniti Nova was designed with one goal in mind, and that was to deliver a true Audiophile experience in a single box unit. Judging from where this reviewer is sitting, Naim has achieved exactly that.

Listening once again to Miles Davis, it’s clear that the presentation offered by the Uniti Nova is more confident, more refined and more detailed than even the Uniti Star. The top end is a little smoother, the low end just a little more confident, everything just that little bit better again. There’s no doubt that this is *proper* Audiophile Hi-Fi, from an all-in-one box. It’s deeply impressive.

Switching over to Vitalic’s Poison Lips again,  there’s depth, power, pace and warmth in abundance; in conjunction with those wonderful Focal Canta 2 loudspeakers, this track really cranks! It’s certainly the best this reviewer has ever heard this particular track sound, with such life and excitement to the presentation, it’s difficult to stay seated!

Rounding off the day’s listening tests with The Cure’s Pictures of You, the opening chimes are simply divine and heavenly in presentation. There’s a superb cohesion to every element of the track, with depth, body, power, and warmth in abundance. It’s an incredibly enjoyable experience, and one this reviewer would have been more than happy to enjoy every day.

With the Naim Uniti range, Naim really does seem to have achieved a remarkable feat: true audiophile Hi-Fi separates performance, in an elegantly designed, attractive, one-box solution. From the compact Uniti Atom, through to the mighty Uniti Star, you’re assured of exceptional audio performance and convenience with the Naim Uniti range of all-in-one players.

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