Streaming MP3s by way of Naim Audio’s Uniti Atom could be like sipping jug wine from Baccarat stemware, however be at liberty—Naim isn’t about to guage you. The British producer of top-shelf audio gear has constructed assist for nearly each music supply you may assume into its superb Uniti Atom all-in-one music streamer.
“Multi function” is an applicable designation, as a result of the Atom homes a high-end Burr-Brown DAC, a 40-watt Class AB amplifier, a UPnP server, and networking infrastructure (wired ethernet in addition to 802.11ac) inside its extruded aluminum enclosure. It could stream music from a community server, pull music from an connected USB storage gadget (through entrance and rear ports), obtain music from Bluetooth sources resembling smartphones and tablets (with assist for aptX HD), and connect with web radio stations, Spotify, and Tidal Hello-Fi.
Naim doesn’t play platform favorites, both: There’s a built-in Chromecast and assist for Apple AirPlay, too. The Atom may function as a node in a multi-room audio system, streaming music to different Naim parts, such because the delectable Muso wireless speaker. The Atom will also be paired with Naim’s Uniti Core, a tough disk enclosure and server with an built-in CD ripper.
Album artwork—and rather more
The Atom is provided with a stunning 5-inch show on its entrance panel that exhibits album artwork whereas music is streaming. Method the gadget and a proximity sensor will momentarily change the show to point out a smaller picture together with the title of the present monitor, the artist’s title, the album title, and the monitor’s elapsed time. When music will not be enjoying, the house display screen exhibits the Atom’s sources, which you’ll choose utilizing the included distant management (alas, the show will not be a touchscreen). The Atom is Roon Prepared, so when you’re operating a Roon server in your community, it can mechanically uncover the participant so you may feast on that software program’s wealthy metadata.
Naim’s engineers might have bundled a standard IR distant with the Atom and referred to as it a day. They as a substitute constructed a tool with a low-power-consumption ZigBee radio for two-way communication and to get rid of the necessity for line of sight. Its 21 buttons are backlit (lighting up if you choose it up), so you should utilize it in a darkened room. A hoop of LEDs circling the D pad signifies the present quantity stage, matching the show on the outsized quantity dial that dominates the highest of the participant itself.
The distant doesn’t present sufficient vary to manage the Atom from afar, however you’d wish to use it along side the front-panel show more often than not anyway. When you may’t be in entrance of the gadget, Naim has a wonderful Android and iOS app (suggestion: Queue up a protracted playlist, so that you don’t must repeatedly unlock your gadget to play the subsequent monitor).
Broad codec assist
The Atom can decode high-resolution FLAC recordsdata (as much as 24-bit decision and 384kHz sampling charge), after all, but it surely goes additional to additionally assist DSD64 and DSD128 recordsdata. It could additionally decode the WAV (as much as 32-bit/384kHz), Apple Lossless (as much as 24-bit/384kHz), OGG and WMA (as much as 16-bit/48kHz), and MP3 and AAC (as much as 16-bit/48kHz, 320kb/sec) codecs. There’s only one file format left to be desired: MQA. The presence of two optical Toslink inputs (supporting digital streams as much as 24-bit/96kHz) and one coaxial digital intput (supporting as much as 24-bit/192kHz streams) permits the Atom to perform as an outboard DAC, too.
I examined the Atom with a set of the beforehand reviewed Q Acoustics’ Concept 20 bookshelf speakers through QED XT40 speaker cables, but it surely’s additionally geared up with a pre-amp output when you crave extra bass response than your stereo audio system present on their very own. And when you discover the onboard amplifier wanting, you should utilize the pre-amp output to harness the Atom to one thing extra highly effective. I didn’t discover that in any respect essential to fill my 247-square-foot house theater with sound, although the presence of an onboard RIAA pre-amp for connecting a turntable would have been a welcome addition. There’s an onboard headphone amp and a three.5mm connection for personal listening periods.
The Atom sounds each bit as fantastic as you’d hope a $three,000 audio streamer would, rendering the screaming horns on Joe Jackson’s “Rant and Rave,” from his high-energy Blaze of Glory album, with impeccable authority and readability. Shifting gears a bit, I subsequent performed Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” from her Luck of the Draw launch. Drummer Tony Braunagel opens this monitor by slapping his brushes on the snare drum after which hanging a cymbal with them, and you may virtually hear every bristle make contact. I’d ripped these tracks from CD, encoded them in FLAC, and saved them on a WD MyCloud Mirror NAS field operating Plex Media Server.
In case you desire the comfort of a streaming service resembling Tidal or Spotify, it’s finest to launch these apps and stream on to the Atom. When you’ve began a playlist, you should utilize the distant to maneuver forwards and backwards alongside the queue, pause music, and management the quantity. However you may’t choose playlists utilizing the distant or the Naim app. Each companies will show related album artwork, and the proximity sensor will perform the identical because it does with tracks performed from a server or different digital supply. The Atom sounded nice even with the comparatively low-resolution (320kbps) streams that include a paid Spotify subscription. Tidal streams in FLAC, after all, however the Atom can’t decode the MQA streams that service gives.
From England, with love
Naim doesn’t simply design the Uniti Atom within the U.Ok., the field can also be made there. That manufacturing resolution—not simply the invoice of high-end supplies—certainly accounts for a great chunk of the Atom’s substantial price ticket. What higher manner to make sure high quality management?
If this streamer suits your price range, you’ll discover the expertise definitely worth the worth.