Connect iPhone via USB for Tidal - UNITI

I have the Uniti Nova and I‘m trying to connect my iPhone via USB. Somehow it doesn‘t work. Naim cannot find it…
I looked into the support on the Naim page. It says you can connect via USB, for example, to listen to folders that you‘ve placed somewhere. But nowhere it is written that you can connect your iPhone via USB to listen to music like Tidal etc.
Do I understand this right?? I cannot connect my iPhone via USB and use any streaming platforms or files that I‘ve downloaded on my phone from Tidal???

I know, but Bluetooth and Airplay are just different ways. I want to connect my iPhone via cable. Would need any internet for that. But I cannot believe that it doesn‘t work. This is written in no review! Written is everywhere something like „connect via USB“! Yeah, you can connect your iPhone via USB, cause there‘s an USB in. But you cannot listen to your music. What’s the point of this?? Would be ridiculous. Or am I just to dumb to get it work?

You can connect a Mac via USB and listen to Tidal.
What’s the big difference if you connect an iPhone?

Why are you not using the integrated Tidal and Naim app on the Nova, why connect your phone it’s likely to be inferior quality to the inbuilt streamer. In this modern world why do you need to connect an iPhone to it to stream anything when the device itself can do it all.

Why can‘t a 5000€ “all-in-one“ amp, that advertises with „USB for iPhone, iPad etc.“ play music from iPhone via USB - in a modern world?

Because the modern world doesn’t need it to any more. Times move on and why would you want to play from music from your phone when you have a perfectly amazing all in one system all ready that supports Tidal natively.

Dude… cables still exist in a modern world. That’s why Naim placed a USB input on their streamer.
There must be a good reason why I placed my question here. Or do you thing I‘m really spending my time with this here because of pure boredom?

I do agree with Greglwi, i find it very disapointing the no show of this feature on a supposedly high quality ampli like my uniti star

It is available on most of the basic ampli of the market and very useful when you want to reduce the wave expostion (wifi…) in your home, my ampli is plug through network cable and i always used this feature on every ampli…

If you have no network but want to use the naim with high quality the bluetooth is not enough quality,

I asked to naim if they would work on this feature in the coming roadmap, the reply is NO
Very disappointing’!

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Using Tidal natively on a Naim streamer sends the signal directly from your router to the streamer, over a wired connection if you have one. The Naim app is just there for control. So there will be less wireless network traffic than there would be if you use the Tidal app on your phone, even if the signal then goes to the streamer via USB.

That’s right. I still have the problem that my WLAN at home is pretty bad and I cannot get it better, even if I would spend more money on it. On these days, when the connection is so bad, I would love to just connect my iPhone to the Naim (USB) so that I can listen to music. It‘s too bad that it doesn’t work, as Geronimo said above, every middleclass amp does it…

The reply of Naim support is cheap and mean they cannot afford to pay the right for accessing the apple usb protocol :
« Thank you for your email - unfortunately it’s not possible to play music via phones USB. We do not have the needed rights to facilitate this. »

But they ask us to pay an unfordable price for naim amp.


Naim had this functionality in the old streamers, and have clearly decided not to continue it. I guess they felt that AirPlay, Chromecast, Roon, UPnP and Bluetooth provide sufficient connectivity based on customer demand, as the direct USB wired connection was not used by most people.

Hi Jmtennapel,

i am sorry but you are mistaking, With most of the amp on the market you can stream you qobuz/tidal in HIRES directly through usb, so it goes from 4G to USB, yamaha, marrantz… and many other brands offer this feature as a basic feature,

i cannot believe none of the review spotted that fact,

If feel like if I bought a Maserati without GPS because Maserati would not pay the fee to google or other provider…

You are not eliminating WiFi by doing this. You are just using WiFi from router to phone instead of from router to streamer, and then adding an additional avoidable USB connection with the potential for further sound quality degadation. That makes no sense to me.

ChrisSU, you are mistaken ,
You can store Qobuz/tidal HIRES music locally on your phone and play it with high quality directly through usb when your amp allows it,

This use case is not handle by naim amp

jmtennapel, money is not for free in my world

I wont sell it the same price I bought it two weeks ago.

It is not because you like to much Naim brand that complaining is not authorized.

If you were french, you would know that complaining can change a lot of thing!

Hi All,
I finally manage to stream locally without wifi network
I bought an old apple TV on ebay, third generation (A1469), which is able to stream digitally through optical toslink into the Naim Uniti Star.

So it works like this [Iphone airplay] -> [AppleTV toslink] -> [NaimUnitistar optical In]

Streaming with Airplay is CD quality maximum sound quality.

I will give you my feedback on the Uniti Star once I manage to get internet at home!

This is certainly one way to do it… but with the new Uniti platform you could equally do Airplay directly from your iPhone to your Star:

[iPhone AirPlay] -> [NaimUnitiStar AirPlay In]

And, seeing what was previously written, you might wish to know that it was a change in Apple licensing that removed the capability to play locally stored music from your iPhone over USB in the new generation (Star) vs the previous generation (Qute, SuperUniti): this functionality is no longer supported in licensed endpoints in the “same old way”… it wasn’t a lack of Naim paying fees as you suggested earlier in the thread.

The core difference is that the USB input is for a memory key, hard disk, or equivalent (ie not for a computer outputting digital music as a data steam). Previously, Apple allowed this mode, and your iPod or iPhone essentially looked like a memory key to the Naim. Now Apple don’t support this type of connectivity, and your iPhone doesn’t “look like” a USB key any longer, so the Star doesn’t see it… in the same way it wouldn’t see your laptop or whatever.

Apple prefer licensees to implement AirPlay instead; Naim implemented AirPlay instead. You only need an intranet (not an external connection to the internet) to make this work.

What you get instead is also powerful: if you have your own CDs ripped to FLAC or WAV, you can put them on a memory key and insert into the Star’s USB input… you can then enable the Star as a UPnP server, and it will serve these files either to itself or to any other UPnP client on your home intranet.

It’s true that this isn’t useful for playing Tidal or Spotify files downloaded to your iPhone (you’d use AirPlay for that), but it’s pretty cool and eliminates the need for having another computer or NAS on your home network to act as a UPnP server.

Good luck with your Star. If you do try AirPlay direct to the Star (using any home wifi router to create a local area network even without an internet connection) instead of going first to the AppleTV (using your iDevice as a wifi hotspot) then to the Star via TOSLink, let us know how you get on and whether you like the sound (and screen visuals!) any better.

Regards alan

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