Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Audio

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Pros

  • Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition has a beautiful finish and is filled to the brim with options
  • 5 years of warranty on the Uniti Atom Headphone Edition
  • Good remote courtesy of Naim that illuminates whilst using it
  • The Focal Stellia is a piece of art on its own, not only the price, (Ouch…) but definitely due to build quality and sound quality

Cons

  • The Naim Atom Headphone Edition has a price tag of 3299 euros which is quite an investment, but…You definitely get something for that!
  • Due to users being close the the AMP, a touch screen would’ve been a nice addition
  • It’s still a shame that there are no speaker inputs on it, thankfully there is a pre-amp input also designed for a power amplifier which in turn can be hooked up to a set of speakers
  • The Focal Stellia’s cable isn’t very long, thankfully the XLR doesn’t lack the length
Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition Review

Introduction

The Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition is a neat looking and logical iteration of the Uniti Atom that I’ve reviewed before. The Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition doesn’t have any normal connections for a speaker, but multiple inputs for headphones are available. In this review I will be using the Uniti Atom Headphone Edition together with a Focal Stellia.

Interested in other Naim product reviews? I am that lucky that I was able to review a whole bunch of them. Click on the name of the product to go to the review: Naim NAP 250 DRNaim Uniti NovaNAIM Mu-So Qb 2nd GenerationNAIM Mu-So 2nd Generation , Naim Uniti Atom  or the Naim Uniti Core.

Specifications

Let’s start off with the specs!

Dimensions and Weight
95 mm x 245 mm x 265 mm (H x W x D)
7 kg

Connectivity
Network: Ethernet (10/100Mbps)
WiFi (802.11 b/g/n/ac with internal antenna)
Multiroom: Sync up to five Naim Streaming products and control via the Naim App.

Audio Inputs
Digital: 2x Optical S/PDIF up to 96kHz, Coaxial RCA (up to 24bit/192kHz, DoP 64Fs)
Analogue: 1 x Stereo RCA pair
USB: 2x USB 2.0 (Type A connector)
Streaming: Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast Built-in, UPnPTM, Spotify® Connect, TIDAL, Roon Ready, Bluetooth, Internet Radio, Qobuz

Audio Outputs
Balanced XLR Preamp output
RCA Preamp output

Headphone Outputs
4.4mm Pentaconn (balanced) 4 pin XLR (balanced) 6.35mm (¼ inch) jack (unbalanced)
1.5W RMS per channel into 16ohms
Suitable for headphones from 16ohms and upwards

Specifications
Supplied with: Document pack, cleaning cloth, remote, AAA batteries and power lead.

Power
Power Consumption Typical use: 17W
Network Standby mode: No-network Standby mode: Auto Standby time User selectable: adjustable from off up to 2 hour

Mains Supply
115V, 230V; 50 or 60Hz

Unboxing

Some time ago,I’ve had the chance to review the normal Naim Uniti Atom. Which is designed for speakers. The Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition is aimed for…You guessed it, headphones. Let’s unpack the Atom HE.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Like we are accustomed to with Naim, the Uniti Atom series is provided with the same remote control. One that illuminates, but we’ll come back to that.

Naim also supplies a manual with the Uniti Atom Headphone Edition, a dust cloth and 2 plugs. One UK plug, and one EU plug. This of course differs wherever you purchase it.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

The sides of the Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition has an aluminium grill finish.
The top side is equipped with brushed steel like you can see in the image, together with the huge dial. And it seems to compliment the look of the sides exactly as intended. Personally I find it a piece of art. Even if you’re on your own at home, it’s an eye-catcher.

And I would say the same about the finish on the other side.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

The bottom of the Atom isn’t very exciting.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

But here IS the exciting part, the back, looking at all the connections.

The connections are as follows: Ordered from left to right:
– Connection to the mains
– Network connection (The Uniti Atom HE itself also has WiFi and Bluetooth)
– USB connection for your music on a HDD/SSD
– (Top right) 3 digital inputs one being a tulip plug
– XLR Balanced Headphones input
– Preamp outputs through a 3 pin-XLR as a tulip plug with a ground switch (floating or default),
– (Bottom right) input for a record player (which also sounds beautiful).

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

I’ll say the exact same thing that I’ve said in my review of the Naim Uniti Atom, what a beautiful thing they have created. It emanates class. And that’s with it turned off. Time to change that.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

The remote control is easily synced by holding the home button for 3 seconds.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

As a reviewer I’ve had the opportunity to use a lot of different remote controls. This one is by far the best remote control I’ve used. The remote control is clear to use, fits like a glove and illuminates during use, cool huh! Even better, the middle lights up with the Uniti Atom H’s volume.
And the next special feature. Raising the remote control will illuminate the dial on the Atom Headphone Edition.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Let’s configure the Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition, you can also do this in the app courtesy of Naim.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

The Naim Uniti Atom HE will auto update to its newest version during installation.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

During installation you’re able to change the name of the Naim Uniti Atom HE. Nothing crazy, in this case I will name it Uniti.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

This little box beams with possibilities. Roon ready, Airplay 2 and Chromecast. Chromecast can be used through the Chrome browser – or any device with YouTube – to play sound on the Atom HE.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

The Naim HE has a usb-port on the back where you could hook up an external hard drive. The HE can act as a UPnP server. Which in turn can be utilized by Roon or the Naim itself.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Once configured, it’s time to see what the Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition scores in the department of appearance. I can be quite brief. What a beauty of a machine.
On the bottom left you can find the logo of Naim, which illuminates during use, USB port, and the headphone inputs (4,4-mm Pentaconn-port and the 6,3mm jack port). On the right side there are four buttons that can start the Atom, play/pause music, favorite and switch inputs. For instance you could use the Naim app to look for radio stations (Online is also possible) and favorite them for ease of access. By simply pushing in the button a few times you can start your favorites easily!

Higher up we can see one huge dial for the volume levels. Whilst turning the dial, it lights up, and even when you’re close with your hand it will illuminate.

And the cherry on top is the color display showing off everything. I’ll get back to you on that later on!

Once fully installed, you can see the following appear on the homescreen:
– Playing now
– Spotify
– Radio
– USB
– Input (various digital inputs are shown)
– Favorites (Radio stations that are under favorites/presets that can be accessed quickly)
– Bluetooth
– Settings

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Settings I will elaborate on in the chapter software, they are quickly as follows:
– Language
– Network settings
– Bluetooth
– Factory settings
– Info

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Of course I won’t be using the Focal Stellia on its own, I will be combining this Focal flagship together with the Utopia, for good reason. Once again, what a beaut. The Focal Stellia was delivered in a leather finish box, which contains the hardcase with the Stellia. Furthermore, there’s a separate box with two different cables. The 6.3mm jack and the XLR-cable.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

It’s still a sight to behold whenever the Atom HE lights up when your hand gets close. Including the display changing to give info about what you’re listening to.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

It is important to note that you have to push the button on the top left if you want to use headphones. Only then will the amplifier emit sound. If you don’t press it, the sound will traverse to the pre amp output.
Because…On the Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition you also can hook up a power amplifier like the NAP 250. And as it happens to be, I’ve used this in a different review combined with the Naim Uniti HE. Which I will get to in another review.
Expanding your system with a power amplifier will ensure a worthy sound system with capabilities to upgrade later on.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

And here we are with a Tidal playlist. And per usual, I’m listening to Above & Beyond.
My my…What a spectacular sound…

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

I remain unchanged in my opinion that the Naim Uniti Atom HE looks incredibly cool. In this case I also use Tidal connect to play music on the Atom HE. The images/art of the covers are displayed neatly on the Atom. Only con about the Focal Stellia is that the standard 6.3 mm cable isn’t very lengthy. The XLR cable is thankfully. So I’ve started using that one.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Software

In my previous review of the Naim Uniti Atom I zoomed in on the capabilities of the Naim Uniti series. Since the Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition looks a lot like the Atom, I’m using images from my previous review to clearly illustrate all the options. And options galore!

Software

If you don’t want to use the app at all, you can. Just the remote will suffice, however Naim has quite a good app that can also be used with other Naim products.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

The app requests you to use the remote and link it. After that you can select the machine through the app, which needs a bit of configuration.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

A personal favorite of mine is me being able to use my iPhone 12 easily. Within seconds I was able to configure the AirPlay-speaker settings, connecting it to my WiFi network as well.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Swiftly I configured the amp, following it up with selecting what room I’m in and I’m good to go!

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

Opening the app the rooms are shown. You can set it up with ‘multiroom’ for example, it syncs multiple speakers and amps together. This enables you to play music throughout the entire house at the same time. During the installation the app also checks the current firmware. You can also install this through the app which will take a while.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

You can also individually name your presets if you so wish to do so, or leave them to the standard presets.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

I’ve mentioned once before in this review that the Naim Uniti Atom brings loads of options. Chromecast can also be configured by the app. Following it up with Google Home to configure the Naim speaker/amp as a Chromecast.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

After installing everything you’ll end up in the ‘homescreen’. After selecting the amp, of course.
The standard presets are as follows:
– Favorites
– Servers (Provided you have multiple UPnP-servers in your network.
– Internetradio
– USB
– Tidal
– Qobuz
– Spotify
– Chromecast Built-in
– Bluetooth
– Analog 1
– Digital 1
– Digital 2
– Digital 3
– HDMI

In the middle you can switch between;
– Presets
– Albums
– Artists
– Radio
– Playlist

All the way at the bottom under presets/favorites you can find your saved radio stations. These can be edited, added and configured in the way you want it to be.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

And obviously you can configure the amp to your heart’s content. The following settings are able to be edited by the app:
– Stand-by
– Order of inputs (Good to have if you frequently use a certain input, like digital 1 or analog 1, put them first in the order for ease of access.)
– Styles (colors of the app)
– Select Input
—- Favorites
—- AirPlay
—- Analog 1
——— Inputs activated
——— Input Name
——— Edit Input (0 = standard)
——— Lip Sync (0 = standard)
——— Input Sensitivity Hifi (2,5V)
——— AV standard volume (out)
—- Bluetooth
——— Input activated
——— Open link
——— Input Name
—- Digital 1
——— Input activated
——— Input name
——— Edit Input (0 = standard)
——— Lip Sync (0 = standard)
—- Digital 2
——— Input activated
——— Input Name
——— Edit Input (0 = standard)
——— Lip Sync (0 = standard)
—- Digital 3
——— Input activated
——— Input name
——— Edit Input (0 = standard)
——— Lip Sync (0 = standard)
—- Chromecast Built-in
——— Version
——— IP-address
——— Timezone
——— Apps that work with Chromecast
——— Data about the personal use of Chromecast and crash reports being sent to Google
—- Qobuz
——— Input activated
——— Place Qobuz-favorites on the homescreen (Yes/no)
——— Quality (Hi-Res – 24- Bit / 192 kHz)
——— Login to Qobuz
——— Open Qobuz-app
—- Internetradio
——— Input name
——— vTuner MAC-adress
—- Spotify
——— Input activated
——— Spotify-bitrate (extreme)
—- TIDAL
——— Input activated
——— Place Tidal-favorites on the homescreen
——— Quality (HiFi)
——— Log in/out
——— open TIDAL-app
—- Servers
——— Input activated
——— Input name
—- USB
——— Input name
– Edit Audio
—- Maximum Volume (85 standard setting)
—- Speaker balance (0 standard = center)
—- Max. Volume headphones (100)
– Register your product
– Look for updates
– Other settings
—- Room name (Uniti Atom)
—- Timezone (Europe/Amsterdam)
—- Network settings (Wireless/LAN)
——— DHCP (On/off)
——— Other IP info
—- Time until automatic stand-by (20 minutes)
—- Server Mode (On/off) (Is used for the UPnP server)
—- Display
——— Turn off during playing
—- Remote control
——— Motion detection
—- Amazon Store (UK)
—- Stay connected
—- Volume editing
——— Slider
——— Buttons on the screen
—- Tap for options
—- Share user info
—- Delete cache cover art
—- Rebuild music database
—- Reset app
– Concerning
—- IP-adress & other info
– Help

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

When it comes to streaming there’s a lot that the Naim Uniti series (Like the Atom) supports;
Chromecast Built-In, Qobuz, Apple Airplay, TIDAL, Spotify® Connect, Bluetooth (AptX HD), Internet Radio™, UPnP™ (hi-res streaming). And besides, the device is Roon Ready as well.

With Spotify, Tidal or anything else, you can look for a song, then select the Naim Uniti Atom – as speaker/output device – through the app.

The Naim app for mobile phones is stable and works without any problem. I haven’t had a single crash nor a single problem playing it through ‘external speakers’ on Spotify.
Playing as an external speaker can be done by opening Spotify on your phone and selecting the Atom as an external speaker.

The cool thing about it is that the Naim Uniti Atom displays an album cover on the screen immediately. Whether it’s a podcast or a Spotify song.

Music & Movies

Let’s use the Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition combined with the Focal Stellia to binge some movies/series and listen to music. And it hits the spot.

For years I’ve been listening to a massive collection music on headphones, speakers etc. And still…The Stellia manages to introduce you to new sounds and tunes that you normally wouldn’t pick up on with in-ears. The Naim Uniti Atom manages to play music with relative ease in my opinion. The Focal Stellia in turn transforms it to what it should sound like. If you know me, you know I like Sennheiser. I have a Sennheiser HDV820 (DAC/AMP) combined with a Sennheiser HD820. And still…Hand on my heart, I’d trade it all in for this set, without a doubt. The Stellia and Atom HE sound open and fresh. It feels like traveling for a long day to a warm country and finally being able to dive in a pool, that feeling of bliss and rest. This is exactly what the Atom and Stellia managed to do. The Stellia fits perfectly on your head as well. Of course I realize I’m talking about a set costing around 6k. But comparing it to the Sennheiser set, which has a slightly more competitive price, I’d choose the latter. I’d save up for it. And truth be told, eyecandy is an understatement. And to truly enjoy listening to music, you want to look at what’s making it possible too.

Later on I hooked up a record player, the Audio-Technica AT-LPW40WN with records from the 70’s and later. Frank Sinatra and Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd The Wall and Above & Beyond Acoustic II. Hearing them, you will understand what this duo can do.

One thing I definitely have to say after listening to music for hours, it would be nice to have a touchscreen on the display of the Atom HE. I was that close to the Atom HE that it would be comfortable for me to switch inputs easily. Of course, your phone with the app or the remote control is fine too, but I’d like to have the option. Although thinking about it, that would mean that the Atom’s display would be more prone to fingerprints. Which might be a turn-off.

Not only did I lay back with headphones and an old record. I also needed to test some high quality music. Tidal, Roon etc. are also supported by Naim. With a few playlists on Roon you’ll be astonished how much sounds a set like this can produce. And not just dB, but specifically the tunes and level of detail.

Avid movie/series lover that I am, it’s important to start a movie. playing Iron Man 3 or John Wick 3, the Focal Stellia and Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition will pull you into the movie. Such a great immersive experience. The deep tunes courtesy of the Stellia are felt.
And it can be called ironic, how easily the Atom HE works with the Focal Stellia.

The Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition is an amazing stereo amplifier, with all the features that you require. Playing Spotify or Tidal, the Naim Uniti Atom HE makes it look easy.

After using Tidal, Roon etc. it’s time for Spotify. And now, the playlist of 2021. The tracks I’ve listened to the most this year. And what a pleasure. I caught myself shuffling to the exact middle of the couch to precisely listen to the music as it should be experienced. Moments to be relished. I’ve said it before in my audio reviews. Are you familiar with the fact that music makes you move? Having a set like this with your favorite music is a form of happiness, slowly you start moving. Such bliss… 😀

The following song found below as a YouTube link is a recurring track that I listen to on every set of speakers, headphones, in-ears etc. Once again, I’m enjoying it to the fullest. The bass guitar is portrayed beautifully by the Stellia. Without a single hitch. The other instruments like the piano, and even his passport that he uses in this track, are crystal clear.

And now we fast forward to Christmas! (starts at around 57 seconds). The Stellia and Atom HE portray the voice of Andrea Bocelli like it should be. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. The backing instruments are fantastic as well. Not a single piece of distortion is heard. And that’s on the live version. Of course you could find it in FLAC as well.

The Atom is also easily recognised by Roon. Which makes it easy to stream music to the Uniti Atom.

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

And I’ve played a plethora of different sources such as Spotify (i.e. through. Airplay), Podcasts, radio stations and more through the Uniti Atom. The Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition is a small powerhouse with loads of options in my opinion.

Conclusion

The Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition, which is a mouthful to say out loud, is an incredible machine. Also something I thought about the standard Atom. The HE enhances this, especially combined with multiple Naim products like the Mu-so’s.

I did notice that if you listen to music through headphones such as the Focal Stellia, you’ll be seated quite close to the Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition.
The Naim would have benefited from a touchscreen in my opinion. Switching radio stations or through Tidal/Roon playlists there was a need to grab either my phone or the remote control which felt a little bit impractical.
But I can also understand why they didn’t add it. It’s a high-end product. And seeing it in the sunlight with loads of fingerprints…Well, that makes it look less high-end…

Having both the 4,4-mm Pentaconn-port and the 6,3mm jack port on the front allows for a mix mash of headphones. No need to just buy the Focal headset I’ve been raving about, don’t worry!
The XLR cable can be hooked up at the back, not a bother. Generally speaking, XLR cables are longer anyway, and to see a huge XLR input on the front isn’t a sight to behold.

A personal boon is the app, courtesy of Naim. It just works great. Just like in my previous review of Atom, the insane amount of options are great. To favoriting radio stations, playing your Roon playlist on the amp, it’s possible.. Having a widget available on iOS, is even better for. Adjusting the volume can be done swiftly.
The Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition has good and stable software that is easy to use. Illuminating remote control? Check, another plus. The finish is gorgeous as well on the Uniti Atom. The brushes steel on the top, dial, and not to forget the logo that lights up. Once again, a mantelpiece! 🙂

Not having the ability to directly hook up speakers to the Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition is obvious, you need the Naim Uniti Atom for that. A bonus is still having a preamp input. Which makes it easy to hook up a Naim NAP 250 combined with the sickest speakers you can find. And luck has it that I’ve had the opportunity to borrow the NAP 250. Review will follow soon of that!
Let’s say you buy the Naim Uniti Atom for a decent set of speakers. And later on you’re thinking of upgrading to the Focal Sopra 2. Well, there you are then with the Naim Uniti Atom in your hands, clueless. Because they’re not representative of the quality of speakers you just purchased. By having a power amplifier, it doesn’t matter which box you have. In that case, the Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition is incredibly suited to fix your problems.

The Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition does what it was made for, blasting music, from whatever source you have. And it does dat incredibly well. Having it combined with the Focal Stellia it was truly a pleasure to review. And my trusty old Sennheiser HD820 sounds lovely, normally pairing it with a HDV820. If I had to choose between the HD820 and the Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition my choice would go to the Naim Atom.

Just having the sheer amount of options such as Roon, Tidal, Spotify ready, Airplay 2 etc. and all its different inputs is amazing… Sadly, the USB not being the same one that PC’s use is a bit of a shame. But the HE doesn’t lack anything else when it comes to different sources.

Solo, the Uniti Atom Headphone Edition costing 3299 Euros is quite an investment. Which is a downside, but that investment will pay back… In pure pleasure.

The Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition receives 5 out of 5 stars. I truly am devastated that I have to return it. The HE on my desk is a sight that I will miss. The Stellia and HD820 get enhanced by it as well. Specifically the Stellia. This improves a workweek by a mile!
Maybe I need to kindly ask Naim if I can borrow the HE for a few years, maybe a durability test or something…Any excuse!

The Focal Stellia receives the same score, 5 out of 5 stars. Quality. Quality materials, quality sounds. My god, what an incredible sound! And what a combination!

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition

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