Buying advice -atom or dreaming bigger?

Hi guys

Expect the older people in this room
might have been there before but would appreciate some advice from those who have been through then upgrade cycle as the family have grown up.

Space allocated (!) for a hifi is limited and I have to make do with ceiling speakers already installed which are pretty decent - bower and Wilkins CCM80

  1. so my initial thought was aim for an easy atom that’ll be easy for everyone to use.

  2. But then I thought perhaps this was short sited and an NDXS2 plus to begin with a nait s5i would be a better long term option?

The only thing that puts me off is that it’s
Look will be a little less… ahem… accepted and therefore not used as much and that I’ll have too many remotes lying around for the volume. I’m not that up for a Nova or a star. Too obviously expensive looking! Lol

Whacha think?

The Atom is a fantastic unit. I had one and then traded it in for a Nova. As I waited for the Nova I wondered if it was a mistake because I did love the Atom. It’s cool, easy to set up and use and sounds really great. Not as ballzy as the Nova which has lots more thump, but it’s surprising.

Bear in mind that if you go for an ND5XS2 and amplifier you shouldn’t stack them one on top of the other. They need to be side by side or on separate shelves. Also bear in mind that the ND5XS2 has no remote and must be controlled via a phone or tablet. The amp does of course have a remote that can control volume and input switching.

The Atom has a remote, but to choose tracks from your own collection or a streaming service still requires you to use the app.

If you are serious about enjoying music at home you really need to set the system up properly so you can enjoy it, ideally with speakers in front of you, an appropriate distance apart and with the tweeters at ear level. You are not a child who is allowed to do things by a controlling parent. Work it out with your partner or whoever so that you reach a position that works for you all.


If you’re serious about those in ceiling speakers being the end of the road then the Atom is a great choice if you want something from Naim to power them. Anything else would likely be wasted money for the situation since you won’t be getting any stereo imaging etc. The Atom will drive two of those speakers without breaking a sweat. Plus you get all your functionality in one small box that can sit on a small shelf.

Hi @Ameet Do you really have to use the ceiling speakers? I have an Atom in my office and have very little spare room, so I run it with small wall-mounted speakers. They’re Neat Iotas and are set up for wall mounting using simple brackets. It’s a really enjoyable and fun system.

Going a bit up market, ATC also offer wall- mounted versions of the speakers in their entry range, though I’d probably look for more than an Atom to drive them.


1 Like

Indeed. If the room styling is very much governed by a peculiar set of WAF rules, and she likes the Atom (enough), go for it. The Nova could perhaps unhinge the whole ceiling :blush:

1 Like

Guys this is some really useful info thank you! Especially about controls, stacking, personal experience with Atoms etc.

I’m aware that the ceiling speakers don’t befit an NDXS2 but in seems like a good investment piece for the future, when I can manage some decent speakers and an amp upgrade.

Loved the bit about a nova brining the ceiling down… so tempted to try that LOL

1 Like

FWIW I’ve just upgraded from a Qute 2 to an Atom in my dining room which has B&W ceiling speakers. The Atom is a big step up, and is enjoyable to listen to within the limitations of using ceiling speakers.

I wouldn’t go beyond Atom though unless you are going to get some proper speakers - the B&Ws are great for what they are, but with very limited bass extension and no soundstage.


1 Like

I would endorse the ND5XS but would look at a better integrated amp than the Nait 5si. I have had this amp and it’s good but an XS3 or Supernait 1, 2 or 3 would be a fair bit better.

The XS3 is the suggested integrated amp for the ND5XS2. Used Supernait 2 or 3 would be amazing.

Many forum users have settled with Supernait 3 with top sources including ND555 and NDX2 with 555DRPS, so that gives you an indication of how good the Supernait is.

I went from Nait 5si to 82 Hicap 250CB and it was a WOW improvement. Probably for less money than a Supernait. But do you want lots of boxes?

So many options and decisions.

Do you know what “the future” is? How long do you want to run a system that is bottle necked by the speakers (all the time knowing you are not hearing its full potential)? IMO nothing causes upgrade itch like that.

If it is not any time soon then just go for the Atom. The Uniti range are some really good all in one solutions.

If you get the other setup and upgrade the amp later to say SN3 you will just start itching for an NDX2 anyways.

The Atom is Naim’s best selling product as far as I know. If you want to upgrade in future, and looked after it well, you should have little trouble moving it.

If I’d been clever enough to run data cables AND speaker wires from my data cabinet to the lounge I’d be laughing now… (big doh! moment)

Think everyone here has put forward really useful points, thanks to you all.

Last question I assume everyone here rates a star better than an atom plus core due to the power. Wondering if separation of the cd balances it though?

Well…if you got the Atom and the Core you could decide a few months later to upgrade to the Nova! (Sorry. I’m sitting here getting just blown away by my Nova and playing with Apple Hi Res Masters) Lol. I don’t have any CDs anymore and I’m wondering if I want a Core for downloads.

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone here for their comments. I ended up getting a plain atom in the end on a cracking deal. I’m sure it will be brilliant for my purposes… for a long time.

Now just to decide what file format to rip my classical CDs for my synology ….:joy:


I’m sure You will be happy with the Atom, It’s a awesome all in one player :blush::+1:

Sitting her absolutely blown away by this atom’s sound :stuck_out_tongue:

Re: build quality, the unit sounds like it’s got a screw rolling around inside it and the power module seems a little mobile :frowning: may need to go back

A screw rolling around inside is definitely not right but a loose fitting power socket plate is by design

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.