Naim Uniti Atom HE Review: The Ultimate Headphone Amp

Naim’s Uniti Atom community amplifier (8/10, WIRED Recommends) has grow to be one thing of an audiophile back-pocket system. The British model’s all-in-one streamer and amp presents incredible audio high quality match to energy just about any stereo audio system you may lay your palms on, alongside a truckload of connectivity choices, from HDMI eARC and analog connection to Chromecast, AirPlay 2, and extra. It’s simple to make use of and marvelous to listen to.

But what a few Uniti Atom aimed primarily at headphones, with a price ticket pushing $4,000? That’s a loopy concept, proper? So I believed till I fell head over heels for Naim’s Uniti Atom HE (as in Headphone Edition). As outlandish as the value could seem, for the right buyer—someone with very expensive headphone tastes who values candy simplicity as extremely as an evening of listening bliss—it’s a reasonably nice bundle.

Stylish Looks, Phenomenal Sound

Naim’s Uniti design model is iconic, and the corporate has modified little or no on the outside for its Headphone Edition mannequin. As with its siblings, the Atom HE sports activities an elegant, neo-industrial aesthetic, with brushed aluminum trim, blocky warmth sinks alongside the edges, and Naim’s signature jumbo quantity dial on high that lights up while you give it a spin.

The colourful front-side show welcomes you with vivid album covers while you play out of your favourite streaming providers. It’s additionally movement delicate, calling up the track identify and playback time while you method it (although, considerably frustratingly, it’s not a touchscreen). An extended, shiny distant presents the identical intuitive structure as the unique, with backlit buttons that gleam while you choose it up.

The solely actual seen change between the HE model and the 2017 Atom I commonly use to energy evaluation audio system is the HE’s twin headphone ports set beneath a lighted headphone button on the entrance. The button is used to swap between the headphone outputs and the system’s different principal use case, which is as a streaming preamp for powered audio system or an amplifier.

When it involves the sound, it’s maybe no shock that this system sounds actually, actually good. As I cycled via a number of high-end headphones, the Atom HE offered sparkling-clean playback with enormously spacious sound staging. Instruments completely gleam with clear definition, dynamics appear to develop into the ether, the noise flooring is all however nonexistent. The Unite Atom HE lets your music bounce across the open house like an echo in an enormous auditorium.

It didn’t harm that I received to audition the Uniti Atom HE with a pair of headphones from Naim’s sister model, Focal, referred to as the Utopia—they run a whopping $5,000 and print sound like one-way tickets to audio nirvana. This setup was nearly too fancy for even an skilled reviewer like me. I had a palpable diploma of underlying apprehension the entire time I had this automobile-priced system in my listening room. Then once more, possibly that’s what programs like this are for.

Photograph: Naim

The Uniti Atom elevated all of the wired headphones at my disposal, together with Sennheiser’s HD 660S2 (7/10, WIRED Recommends), Master and Dynamic’s MW65 (9/10, WIRED Recommends), the newest Beats headphones (7/10, WIRED Review), and all the pieces else I plugged in. All appeared to glow with newfound luminance, as if dusting off their drivers for a purer, extra concentrated sound.

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