Atom HE and SN3

New year, new upgrade!
I’ve decided to move on my Node 2i and upgrade to a new streamer/Dac. I want a screen as my system is in a prominent position so that rules out the ND5XS2. would love the NDX2 but its way out of my budget. At first i was set on the Auralic Altair G1 but i’ve read a lot of great reviews on the Atom HE and may take the plunge. Plan is to connect via RCA direct to the SN3. Has anyone done this and if so, what were the results?
Not much of a headphone user at present but that may change over time.

I would probably go for the ND5XS2 in that situation to be honest. But the Atom HE is good so it would work for you.

I think you would be better off without the screen though. And the ND5 XS2 and the SN3 match, so aesthetically visually make more sense.

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Thanks David. Dealer is saying it will take (many) months to get the ND5XS2 but could have an Atom in a few weeks …

The pairing really doesn’t make sense. The Atom HE is a streaming preamp, optimised for headphone use. You don’t need a preamp and you don’t use headphones. The HE does not have a line out, so you’d be using a post volume control pre out. It’s simply the wrong product for you.

The natural partner for the SN3 is the NDX2. Why not stay with what you have and save up? I have an NDX2 but the screen is always off, other than for a few seconds when play is pressed. Why is a screen so important? If an NDX2 really is impossible, the ND5XS2 is the next best. With either of the NDs you can enable system automation and control the SN3 using the Naim app.

Another alternative, if you really want the HE, is to sell the SN3 and get a NAP200. In that scenario nothing would be wasted.

Get the HE and use the SN whilst you save up the difference to swap it out for a pre loved NAP250 DR.

The HE/NAP combination is very good, meets your requirements and avoids duplication.


Unless the TT is your primary source.

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I have run Atom HE into Supernait 3 recently, using rca into sn’s av- input and av switch enabled. Using the powersection in sn only. Works very nice indeed.

Have purchased a s/h 250dr, looking forward to try it with he.
Currently using a Melco as source with a cheap dac, many options to choose from, go for the one you prefer, within your budget.



Have you thought about keeping the Node and using its digital out into another DAC? I recently borrowed an Atom HE and wasn’t that taken with it. Like you i ran its RCA into a Nait XS but i use headphones a lot too. It brought a little harshness to my system that i wasn’t keen on and ultimately i bought Chords Hugo2go combo that i borrowed at the same time. That sound may be more refined with an SN3 but as always you should try and get demos at home.

Thanks for all the input folks. very informative and helpful. i’ve decided to just order the ND5XS2. seems to make most sense especially as i would like to go multiroom at some stage. i know i won’t be disappointed


I’m in a similar situation - wanted an NDX2 to go with my SN3, but couldnt get approval at home, looked at an HE - nice piece of kit but i use an LP12 a fair bit and didn’t make sense to send that signal digital domain. Looked at HE through AV connection - but really summarised that my I use of Roon largely wasted the nice screen and volume knob of the HE anyway.

Couldn’t get an ND5 XS2 new, so dropped on a used model - which arrived today. Looking forward to setting up with my SN3


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