Naim always had their work cut out following up the highly successful Uniti range. In this months blog we take a look at the all new Uniti Atom which is the replacement to the highly successful Unitiqute. So how have they done? In short…they’ve knocked it out of the park! Welcome to the reign of the new Naim Uniti Atom....
‘All in one’ box music systems are popular these days in the world of Hi-Fi with multiple manufacturers offering up their creations in a myriad of forms, generally throwing some form of streaming and possibly radio in with an amplifier so you only have to add speakers. There are a lot of very good ones too, so it takes something quite special to stand out amongst them and the Uniti Atom does just that…and then some. With two even bigger and more powerful Uniti units the Star and Nova on the way soon as well, it’s a very exciting time! But before we get carried away let’s have a look at what the Atom is and what it does.
Let’s start off with the aesthetics, the word ‘beautiful’ is not a term that you would generally ascribe to amplifiers but Naim have certainly bucked the trend here, especially compared to their more conservative ‘classic’ range. The first thing that hits you is the large 5” LCD glass display which brightly shows off the album artwork of the music you are currently playing as well as the very cleanly laid out and very easily navigable menu system. The screen even wakes up to show you the metadata of the track you are listening to as you approach it due to proximity sensors. This sits in a stunning brushed aluminium case with finned aluminium heat sinks on either side. The Naim logo is proudly lit up on the base and four lit up buttons on the front allow for some basic control when you don’t have the remote or your mobile device on you. The design of the Atom is perfectly finished off with Naim’s signature volume control, which will be very familiar to anyone who has played with a Naim Mu-so or Mu-so QB and adds yet another touch of class to proceedings.
So, what does it do? The answer to that is…a lot! There are many ways to play your music through the Atom. Firstly you can wirelessly play your own music collection from a NAS drive, Naim Uniti core, or other UPnP device, it has both Spotify and Tidal streaming services integrated as well as ways of playing other services such as Qobuz via the in-built Chromecast Audio. Internet radio and Bluetooth are included of course, as well as Airplay for Apple users. As far as physical inputs go you will find one analogue phono input, ready for an external CD player or turntable via a phono stage. Digital inputs consisting of two optical, one coax and a USB also feature. There is then of course an Ethernet input and owners have the option of having a HDMI input included to connect a TV too. Finally a pre-amplifier analogue output is also if you wish to upgrade the Atom with an external power amplifier.
The Atoms amplifier is a brand new 40 watt A/B class affair, with technology taken from the Naim’s Nait series of amplifiers. They have included the biggest power supply they possibly could to give the amplifier its best chance as well as top of the range circuitry and premium Burr Brown DAC's. The streaming and Wi-Fi hardware is also brand new to ensure the best possible connectivity and sound quality. You have three options on how to control the Atom; a few buttons on the front give you basic control while the included bi-directional smart remote is a lovely touch. Finally the most convenient way to control the system is by Naim’s newly updated app, which is one of the most user friendly and stable control apps around.
We’ve tried the Atom through all sorts of loudspeakers that we have here in the store, from entry level stand mounts like the Dali Zensor 1’s right up to big floorstanders. The results were surprising, especially when we as an experiment linked the Atom up to a pair of Bowers and Wilkins 804 D3 which by all rights should be out of its league, yet the Atom drove them beautifully even in a big room, defying its size and power!
One combination that we all love is with the Spendor A4 small floorstanders which we set up in our demonstration room. Over a few days we threw all sorts of music at it from electronic to rock to classical and we all struggled to leave the room! The Atom may look small but it certainly doesn’t sound it. It surprises with its incredible depth of sound, it has this ability to seemingly fill the room with music and gets you feeling involved with your favourite tracks in brand new ways. This combined with the warmth and musicality of the Spendor A4 makes for a gorgeous listening experience. This is we think the Atoms greatest asset, as well as being amazing in its looks and functionality its sound quality will give a lot of normal stereo amps a run for their money never mind other all in one boxes.
This really is one of the most cutting edge products around and it really needs to be experienced in person to see why we are so excited to have it in our store. Please get in touch to organise a demonstration, just be warned when you see and hear the Atom we guarantee you will love it!