Posted on Thu, 06 Oct, 2016
Posted by Peter


While many of us have been familiar with the Naim Audio hi-fi range for years, Audio Affair was appointed Naim retailer shortly after the original Uniti range was released in 2009, so since we started as a hi-fi dealer, we’ve been fans of Naim’s all-in-one systems as much as we have been of their hi-fi separates models, and for good reason. While we do keep a formidable reference Naim system on demonstration (NAP 300 DR, NAC-N 272, XPS, HiCap, CDX2, all running KEF Blade or Reference 3 speakers), we’ve sold more Uniti systems than anything else in the Naim range – indeed more than any other “all-in-one” hi-fi system we sell, which speaks volumes for the huge following Naim has in the marketplace as a leading audio brand.

Of the many Uniti systems we’ve sold, you guys have partnered them with ProAc, KEF, Bowers and Wilkins, and a myryad of other speaker options and we’ve found the Uniti systems are incredibly unfussy about speaker matching and sound superb with a wide range of bookshelf and floorstanding speaker models, each with enough grip to deliver a hugely impressive sound from everything we’ve matched them with. So it was with was more than a little excitement that we discovered Naim has updated the Uniti range with four impressive new models.

Naim’s brand new Uniti range…

Naim Uniti Core, Atom, Star and Nova

New range summary

The new Uniti models are named with astronomical inspiration as Core, Atom, Star and Nova. The Naim Uniti Core is the new model CD ripper and music server. However this time around there isn’t a separate SSD (solid state drive model) – rather the Core can be supplied with standard hard drives or SSD drives, and the other three are the all-in-one hi-fi systems combining amplifier with sources.

The Naim Uniti Atom is the half-width system in the range and effectively replaces Uniti Qute 2 BT, the Naim Uniti Star is the mid-range model and effectively replaces Uniti 2 (in similarity to its predecessor is the only model in the three strong all-in-one range to feature CD replay on the unit – the expectation being with Atom and Nova that you’ll mainly be streaming and/or using Core to rip and store your CD collection) and Naim Uniti Nova is the flagship model, essentially replacing Super Uniti.

In this streamlined range there isn’t a direct replacement for Uniti Lite BT but it isn’t needed, the attractive price points Naim has managed to achieve for the new models pitch them perfectly as proper alternatives to a full separates hi-fi system that offer class leading high fidelity sound at each level. If you can’t wait we are accepting pre orders on each model now for a small deposit – give Richard a call on 0844 50 403 50 to reserve yours.

History of Naim Uniti range

Since its release in 2009, Naim has sold 33,000 units of Uniti, and of those some 25,000 (77% of sales) have been to new customers, meaning Uniti has introduced the Naim sound to a whole new range of listeners. Along with being early adopters of streaming technology, the success of the Uniti has spurred Naim on to develop the range and  maintain a leading position in the market offering a class leading product. Its a true all-in-one champion at its core taking the Naim disciplines of UPnP, CD playback and amplification and combining them into a single product.

Naim old Uniti range…

Naim Uniti old range

As you can see though, while the old range was fantastically designed and already a class leading all-in-one hi-fi system option, before we even get onto the sonic updates, the new range is a significant update in design, style and useability, with several immediately noticeable aesthetic updates. Firstly the casing finish is different and the green Naim logo has been replaced with the latest Naim style logo along an acrylic lower section (much like on the Mu-So and Mu-So Qb systems). In addition, the three all-in-one models Atom, Star and Nova each feature the top mounted volume control and a full colour front display rather than the original green based text display. We’ll get onto more of each of these below, but the improvements are far more skin deep…

Naim Uniti Star front and top

What have Naim improved with this new range?

The new models have been designed, conceived and build from the ground up and Naim has essentially deconstructed every design and technology of the prior models and challenged themselves to go further, especially in terms of sound quality. They still offer the true Naim signature sound we’ve come to love, its simply even better than before.

Engineering Excellence

They are based around a completely new, state-of-the-art streaming platform with an incredibly accurate digital brain (indeed its processor could count every second that has elapsed since the beginning of time!) to ensure bit perfect ripping and music serving technology. Along with a state-of-the-art 2.5 and 5 gig Wi-Fi support, premium burr-brown DACs and Class A/B amplification developed from the iconic NAIT integrated amplifier, these new models feature a whole host of technological advancements that ensure they’ll remain industry leaders for years to come.

 Naim Uniti Atom engineering

Bit perfect streaming

Like before, there is a focus on high quality music streaming allowing you to access all of your music including internet radio stations, streaming services like Spotify, Tidal, GoogleCast for Audio (play music directly from a mobile or laptop, directly from enabled apps), AirPlay and Apple Music (stream from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch or from iTunes), and even explore artist discographies and biographies as you discover new music.

You can also play music via UPnP (stream stored music from a PC, Mac or network attached storage in high-resolution up to 32bit 384kHz or DSD128), and stream music from any other Bluetooth device. In short, you can pretty much stream anything to these systems, all with glorious Naim quality sound.

Naim Uniti features

New look design

Each new model is beautifully contained within a masterpiece of industrial design boasting extruded heatsinks for thermal stability and isolation and a new finish to the cabinets that looks even more impressive than the already stylish range it replaces. A new signature illuminated top mounted volume control features, along with a highly polished full colour LCD display providing rich imagery of your album artwork (the display even has a proximity sensor so it “wakes up” as you approach).

Naim Uniti Atom (from £1600)

Naim Uniti Atom front

New and improved Naim app

Topping it all off, the all-in-one models can be controlled via the included remote as well as via the all new Naim app (which controls both the all-in-one models and the Core), along with over the air updates that allow you to update your Uniti model at the touch of a button. Naim are even including a brand new mains cable (that will also soon be available separately) called Power Line Lite.

Naim Uniti Star (from £2999)

Naim Uniti Star front

Multi Room support

Like Naim’s Mu-So and Mu-So Qb models, these new Uniti models include full multi room support, allowing you to select and play to each network connected model from your device. This also allows you to play music (including analogue sources plugged into each model – like your turntable), in upto five multiple rooms at any one time in sync (what Naim call “party mode” or play different music in different rooms at the same time.

So in theory, you could play something different, or you could play vinyl in five rooms simultaneously – and nothing says party like vinyl! This is of course providing you have Naim’s Mu-So and Mu-So Qb speakers in the other rooms – or indeed further Uniti based music systems – although we’ve found many customers tend to invest in a single Uniti model for their main music system and have Mu-So’s and Mu-So Qb’s in the other rooms!

Naim Uniti Nova (from £3800)

Naim Uniti Nova front

It still includes analogue inputs!

Despite being a class-leading digital streaming system, there’s no need for vinyl lovers to worry. These systems have a solid analogue soul and analogue audio inputs have been retained, allowing you to connect your turntable (with separate phono stage) and enjoy Naim quality sound. In this example on the flagship Uniti Nova, Naim have included Naim have included 4 x analogue inputs (2 x RCA and 2 x DIN), 5 x optical and coaxial digital inputs, DAB/FM aeriel connection, a memory card slot, analogue outputs (so you can upgrade using an external power amplifier should you choose to in future), alongside USB, network, HDMI connections and Naim’s characteristic speaker outputs that will accept either standard 4mm banana plugs or the two pronged Naim plugs (two of which are included with each model). In contrast, the Star has 2 x analogue inputs and 1 x analogue output, and the Atom has 1 x analogue input, 1 x analogue output and 3 x digital inputs.

Naim Uniti Nova rear inputs

What else is in the box?

The all-in-one models (Atom, Star and Nova) include the following:
– Full documentation pack
– Remote control
– 4 x AAAA batteries
– Naim Power Line Lite mains cable
– 2 x Naim Speaker plugs

The Core hard disk player and server include:
– Full documentation pack
– 4 x HDD screws and 3 x SSD screws
– 1 x BNC to phono connector
– Naim Power Line Lite mains cable

When will these new models be available?

The timeline for each model being released is as follows…

Model RRP (inc VAT) Due date
Core £1650 November
Atom £1600 December
Atom (with HDMI) £1700 January
Star £2999 Early 2017
Star (tuner) £3150 Early 2017
Nova £3800 Early 2017
Nova (tuner) £3950 Early 2017

We’ll add each model onto permanent demonstration in our showroom as soon as they are released – watch this space. In the meantime, read more on the Naim Uniti section on our website and if you can’t wait, we are now accepting pre orders for a small deposit – call us on 0844 50 403 50 to secure your delivery slot and speak to Richard.

Also… to celebrate the launch of the new Uniti range, we’re giving away 1of6 Naim accessory
bundles (each containing an official Naim t-shirt, mug and USB stick). To enter, head over to
our Audio Affair Facebook page and click “WIN Free Stuff” on the left…

winblog