272 to Atom He

Currently have a 272 into active speakers, is an Atom HE a downgrade an upgrade or on a par with a 272?
Please don’t recommend a 222 as I’m not spending that much?

Equivalencies with this stuff are always hard because of all the variables at play but I always thought the 272 broadly equivalent with a ND5/202 but add a XPS2/555 to the 272 or HC/SC to the 202 and the game changes, similarly if you swap out the ND5 for NDX. The HE I’ve never heard but have always been curious to hear with a decent pair of actives.

TBH opinions are though always going to differ, you really need to listen for yourself.


Possibly the most difficult question of 2023…………

Well done :grinning:.



Hi @Kompressor1 ,

You have probably seen this post already here on the forum? NEW! Uniti Atom Headphone Edition – and streaming pre-amp! - #1108 by registlse

What I can add is that I am very happy with the Atom HE as a preamp. For the money you get an excellent preamp with the latest streaming technology, Roon ready and a fantastic form factor. Yes, it can bet bettered, I am sure, and I am also curious to try a 222 in my setup, but for the money it is unbeatable and it brought this great Naim sound signature into my setup.



The 272 is a greatly missed and liked piece of equipment, there was a great wailing and a gnashing of teeth when it was withdrawn .

Naim’s explanation was that whilst it was a great piece of kit it couldn’t keep up with demands of streaming technology .

The Atom HE can

The 272 was only missed because the 222 and 300 series had not been announced yet. It was badly outdated at the end of its life.

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Spot on, badly outdated , if you wanted an electronic pre-amp with DAC then a second hand one would be good, for my part I would go for the Atom HE

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But is the Atom HE as good a pre as the 272, which part from the digital side was analog too. I don’t think it’s fair to compare it to a 202/nd5x as a large cost of any component is in the case they come in rather than the bit inside.

I guess I’d still answer as I did above……as in it almost doesn’t matter.

Why? Well if the HE is ‘better’ than the 272, then you’re good to go, if not then you decide whether or not you ‘need’ the new streaming platform? If not, keep the 272, if yes then, within your expressed budgetary constraints, the HE appears to be your option.

And then there’s servicing into the future, changes in streaming protocols, etc., etc., etc.

As I said, a very tricky question :thinking:.


I still have the 272 and I don’t miss the HE! The sound of the 272 with the xpsdr suits me, I listen qobuz in hi-res via mconnect, it works very well… The rest is for me secondary!


It’s worth searching the forum. There were several posts from folk who had compared the 272 and Atom HE in the months following the release of the latter. As usual, people disagreed, but my entirely unbiased(!) summary would be that as a pure pre/streamer the 272 won. Of course, the Atom has other advantages: headphone use, latest streaming platform, but the 272 can be upgraded with a power supply.

I think changing now would be risky unless you’re a keen headphone user. I’d be inclined to stick with your 272 for a year or two until used 222s start appearing at reasonable prices.



Any reason you can’t find out for yourself by finding an obliging dealer who can do a comparative demo for you?

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If everyone had a responsive, knowledgeable, helpful dealer nearby, this forum would hardly need to exist.


My system was 272/200dr/Neat Petite anni’s
swapped out 272 to the Atom HE via Naim 2 phono to din into 200dr.

I preferred the 272 over the HE as a pre amp.
The headphone stage on HE is obviously in a different league (dur)

Sold 272
Selling HE
Bought 222. 222 pre is far superior to 272 & headphone is same as HE.

Hope that helps… :pray:


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