Atom HE Subwoofer connection

Hi community,
I´m using my Atom HE with two AE1 from Acoustic Energy. These are active speakers and I´m pretty happy with the sound. The setting is used for music but it´s also connected to the TV to replace the built-in TV speaker. Only thing I´m missing a bit is in the subwoofer area. So I was planning to add something like a SVS SB3000 or a Dynaudio Sub 6. But when I was reading in different sites one popped up where somebody said it´s not possible to add a sub to the HE without having an additional amp component. Since I´m not an experienced user of HIFI equipment I want to ask you here what you could recommend and if there are technical hurdels to connect a sub.
Thank you!
Best, Stefan

See recommendation here

And here

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Thanks…I saw those two posts unfortunately they are closed and when I understand correct they use a pre-a,p or something similar to connect the sub? I really don´t have a clue about the different ways to connect devices to an amp and I don´t want to damage the Atom.

The atom he is the preamp, it has 2 sets of preamp output sockets; balanced via xlr, and unbalanced via rca phono.

Both threads say the same thing; first is with a kef kc62, second with a dynaudio sub 6.

Atom he via xlr > subwoofer > power amp
i.e., you connect the power amp to the output of the subwoofer, and the subwoofer to the output of the atom.

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Thank You! So anyway I would need an power Amp? I cannot connect the sub to the chinch (?) output directly? Even if the Speakers and sub are all active devices?

Your speakers are the power amp.
Connect the atom to the sub, and the sub to the speakers.

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Ok…so It´s like a chain? And the signal passes via XLR through the sub and reaches finally the speakers? Thank you so much for your patience and explanations. :slight_smile:

In thing @afgverhart Richard uses it with a Dynaudio sub indeed in a chain Atom HE — Sub — loudspeakers. Not sure if he has active loudspeakers or a power amp currently.

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To all I know, you can connect power+speakers (or: active speakers) and a sub to the 2 different outputs from the HE.
Most subs don’t have outputs, so - except for a high-line connection from a power amp, which your active speakers won’t offer - it’s the only way for many subs to connect them here.
Seems e.g. Dynaudio added „extra stuff“ here, which a) allows to connect sub+(active) speakers to pres with a single output and b) the DSP in the sub 6 also controls the signal the speakers (what you obviously don’t have in parallel connection). The Sub 6 seems to be very versatile here, with both balanced and unbalanced inputs and outputs.

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It’s advised not to use both simultaneously.

I think Claire stated at some point this is not an issue at all. I use them both simultaneously without any (sound) limitations.

In my case I tried all options:

  1. From Atom HE XLR to sub and then sub to power amp. In my case the dsp in the sub was the limitation. Integration between sub and speakers was perfect, but sound quality was slightly less good, especially noticeable with voices sounding a little less open.

  2. From Atom HE XLR to power amplifier
    And simultaneously RCA to XLR into the sub. Sounded great and without any issues.

  3. Last week I changed to active speakers so now it’s Atom HE XLR into speakers directly and RCA to XLR to the sub. This sounds even better, mainly to the power amplifiers built in to (and optimised for) the main speakers.

I LOVE the Atom HE because it is so good sounding and very versatile. It is the best audio product I have ever owned*. Full stop.


*) and I have owned Marantz, Denon, Aragon, AVM, Classé, Esoteric, Chord and many more. All top of the range and they did not make music as the Naim Atom HE does.


True, this was my setup for some time. Since then things have changed. See my post before this one.

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Hi Stefan, I now run a similar setup as you describe without any issues. See my previous posts in this thread. Happy to answer more questions, might you have them. The Dynaudio is an excellent sub by the way.


Thank you sooo much! I will see if I get hands on a Dynaudio device. From what I read in the reviews it seems to be a really versatile and precise piece of hardware.
Right now we are living in a small apartment but we are currently planing a new house for the family (if market is not getting worse) and there the living room will be quite large (34square meters) and in let´s say approx half of it will be the TV and music area. Not sure if the small AE1 will be sufficient for that.

I would first settle in the new house, test drive your setup in the new living and then decide what you need. Could be the bass response in the new room is different (it’s not only about the room size) so I would first wait for that.

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I will wait and see if I can get the sub 6 for a good price somewhere :slight_smile: Thanks!

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Did you ever test the Dynaudio 18S? Why did you decide to go with the sub 6?

I think they are technically the same, only the firmware supports different speakers. As I had the Dynaudio Contour S 3.4 LE, which were supported by the firmware of the Sub 6, I went for that one. And then ending up not using that DSP setting for the above mentioned reason. :upside_down_face: The 18S is probably cheaper, so you could indeed go for that one then instead.

Do make sure you do not need a high level connection as that is not an option on both of these subs. Many RELs and MJKs do have such a connection, but not these Dynaudio subs.


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Ok the link in my question wasn´t allowed, so now I try it with an image. Is this the type of cable that you are using?