If you like the convenience of streaming but aren’t impressed with the audio quality, then you’ll be pleased the people at Naim have designed the ultimate range of four high-end, all-in-one streaming devices. The most compact of which is the Naim Uniti Atom. This state-of-the-art streaming device allows for multiple inputs, built-in streaming services, and features a high-performance stereo amplifier. In this article, we take a deep dive into the Uniti Atom and what makes this device so special.
At a Glance (per speaker)
Power Output: 40W per channel @ 8 ohms
Audio Outputs: RCA, ⅛-inch headphone
Network: WiFi, Ethernet
Dimensions: 9.7” x 3.8” x 10.5”
Weight: 15.4 lbs
Inputs: 2 x optical, 1 x coaxial, 2 x USB, RCA, 1 x HDMI ARC (optional)
Streaming: Chromecast Built-In, Apple Airplay, TIDAL, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth (AptX HD), Internet Radio, UPnP (hi-res streaming), Roon Ready
Starting with design, the Uniti Atom has got to one of the best-engineered streaming amplifiers on the market. Naim didn’t just go for audio performance, they took the form and function of design to another level. The Uniti Atom features a brushed aluminum outer casing with a large 5” display on the front panel.
The front display is what really makes the Uniti Atom stand out. Where many manufacturers are going for small and sleek, Naim has designed the Uniti Atom with a large LCD display which you’re able to read from across the room. When a track is playing, the artist, title and album/single cover fills the entire screen. If you turn up the volume, the screen goes blank, only displaying the volume count between 0-100. Accessing menu items and settings are easy to access with everything displayed in detail on a 5” screen. In fact, the first thing you’ll love about the Uniti Atom is just how easy the system is to use. If you’re familiar with using a tablet or mobile phone, you’ll find the system layout works much the same.
When it comes to audio inputs, the Uniti Atom offers just about every option available. These include 2 x optical, 1 x coaxial, 2 x USB, and RCA. You can also get HDMI ARC as an optional extra. There are also RCA (pre) and ⅛-inch headphone outputs. The coaxial is great for connecting your CD player which then allows for the digital-to-analog conversion to be handled by the Uniti Atom. There is also the option of the Unity Star or Unity Nova which both have built-in CD players. I’ll cover more on these units in the conclusion of this article.
The Uniti Atom connects to your home internet network either via WiFi or Ethernet connection. Now, it has to be said, if you’re going to spend the money to buy a Uniti Atom, you absolutely must use the wired Ethernet connection. This will give you the highest quality audio when streaming audio from the internet.
With built-in Chromecast, streaming audio could not be easier with the Uniti Atom. You can play your favorite streaming services like TIDAL, Spotify Connect, Internet Radio, etc directly from the Uniti Atom without the need for an external device like a mobile phone or tablet. The Unity Atom is also Apple Airplay enabled for quick connection with Apple devices. Basically, every possible way for you to stream music is covered within the Uniti Atom. You can even go “old school” and connect your Bluetooth device and play music. Although, this would be the equivalent of putting cheap rims on a Ferrari.
There are three ways to control the Uniti Atom. On the unit itself, via the remote control or via the Naim app. Like the Uniti Atom, the remote control is a work of art. The volume behaves in much the same manner with LEDs which light up on a rotary style wheel as the volume increases or decreases. Using the remote you can play/pause, skip tracks, switch inputs, choose playlists/favorites, and access the Uniti Atom configurations. Everything shows up on the 5” display so you can see what you’re doing when making any adjustments.
The Naim app allows you to perform the same changes and adjustments as the remote as well as controlling the streaming services and setting up playlists or favorites on your Uniti Atom.
The Uniti Atom also features a built-in high-performance integrated amplifier delivering 40W per channel into 8 ohms. Perfect for powering most bookshelf and some floor standing speakers. If you’re looking for even more power, you can look at the Naim NAP 200 DR audio amplifier which delivers 80W per channel into 8 ohms.
If you’re looking for a pair of high-end speakers for your Uniti Atom, Naim recommends the Focal range. For the 40W amplifier, I would highly definitely go with a pair of Focal Aria 906 2-Way bass reflex bookshelf speakers.
More From The Naim Uniti Range
As mentioned, there are four products in the Uniti range which will also integrate with other Naim products. All the Uniti devices have the capability of communicating with one another which means you can build a multi-room entertainment system.
Naim Uniti Core
The Uniti Core is essentially the heart of a multi-room or multi-device Uniti system. The device rips (takes around two minutes for a whole CD) and stores CDs which you can then play back using one of the three Uniti players. Playback can be achieved wirelessly or via Ethernet connection. Essentially, the Uniti Core becomes a music server for your home. Load your entire CD or music collection on the Uniti Core and you have a home music jukebox with the ability to store up to 100,000 tracks.
Naim Uniti Star & Nova
The Uniti Star and Uniti Nova are essentially a combination of the Uniti Atom and Core. Both the Star and Nova have the ability to playback or rip and store CDs. In addition, these units have bigger power amplifiers so, if you have big speakers, the Star or Nova might be better options over the Atom.
The Uniti Star has a 2 x 70W channels into 8 ohms while the Uniti Nova has 2 x 80W channels into 8 ohms. Great for floor standing speakers.
There are a lot of these high-end streaming devices hitting the market right now but none have quite hit the mark as well as the Uniti Atom. The system is so simple to use with an awesome 5” display to see exactly what’s going on at all times. Having built-in Chromecast means the system works independently of external devices.
What’s really great about the Uniti range is the ability to build a multi-room home entertainment system. Use a Uniti Core as your main music server and then install Uniti Atoms in the rooms where you wish to have control.
If you’re serious about audio quality, like the convenience of streaming but have yet to find something digital to replace your vinyl, then the Uniti Atom is the answer to your streaming quality woes.