Naim will be launching its brand-new Uniti range (very) soon. The revamping of this range, which includes hi-fi amplifiers featuring integrated CD players and audio streaming functions, has been quite thorough. With a new look and new functionalities, everything has been redesigned for the new servers and amplifiers: the Naim Uniti Core, the Naim Uniti Atom (expected in November), the Naim Uniti Star and the Naim Uniti Nova (announced for early 2017). There was a time when English high-end hi-fi rhymed with sensational sound, but less-than-perfect functionalities. Let it now be known that this era has come to an end. Naim has just redefined the standards of excellence for the industry.
The first innovation integrated into the brand’s new range of amplifiers is a large, LED-backlit LCD full-color screen displaying the different menus as well as album covers and information about each audio track as it is being played. Second surprise: a resurgence of some of the Naim mu-so and Naim mu-so Qb wireless speakers? trademark esthetic qualities, notably the rotary volume potentiometer borrowed from the legendary Naim Statement amplifier. This potentiometer features a Bluetooth antenna compatible with the apt-X codec.
The new Naim Uniti range: all online music services supported
But above all, the new Naim Uniti range handles all of the latest audio streaming protocols, thereby enabling access to the vast majority of online streaming platforms. With support for the Google Cast Audio, Apple AirPlay, Spotify Connect and DLNA protocols, absolutely any music streaming platform can be used, all while benefiting from optimum conditions in terms of quality and comfort. A wide variety of file formats will be handled, including 24 bits/384 kHz and 5.6 MHz DSD. The network software integrated into each Naim Uniti is the fruit of a 3-year-long collaboration between no less than 25 engineers. In addition to the SHARC ADSP 21489 processor, Naim has continued to put its trust in Texas Instrument Burr Brown DACs for its three new Naim Uniti amplifiers.
The Naim Uniti Core: the server
The first model of the new Uniti range, the Naim Uniti Core, is an audio server featuring an integrated CD player and an internal hard drive for copying and filing.
The Naim Uniti Atom: a streaming amplifier
The Naim Uniti Atom amplifier can deliver 2 x 40 Watts into 8 Ohms. A version equipped with an HDMI ARC connector will be made available in order to allow users to connect the device to an HD TV. With neither CD player nor hard drive, the Naim Uniti Atom can be used to digitize CDs once paired with a CD player and a USB hard drive.
The Naim Uniti Star: a streaming amplifier plus CD player and tuner
The Naim Uniti Star amplifier offers more powerful amplification (2 x 70 W) in addition to a CD player, an internal hard drive, an SD-card reader and HDMI-ARC connectivity. A version of the Naim Uniti Star featuring a DAB+ tuner for tuning in to DAB digital radio stations will also be made available.
The Naim Uniti Nova: the flagship model
The Naim Uniti Nova amplifier is the crown jewel of its range, with an amplification of 2 x 80 W into 8 Ohms. Although it doesn’t include a CD player, a USB model can be connected to fulfill this function.