Do I need a Naim Uniti Core?

So go easy on me with this one please!
I have most of my CD collection ripped to my NAS as Apple lossless (ALAC). And I use the NAS to stream to my streamer.
But my local dealer has (sort of) convinced me about having a Core.
But what am I really getting for £2,000?
He tells me about near bit perfect FLAC files, and how the Core will rip disks that my PC/ITunes may not but…
Others must have been around this one, so I’d like to hear from you please.
Is the Core really a magic box, or just a CD drive/HD in a fancy box ( a nice box to be fair-but a £2,000 one)

No. Get a NAS. Much cheaper but not as convenient.

What you get for your £2,000 is bugger all. What your dealer gets is £800 profit.


As on the other similar thread, let your ears be your guide. If you can’t hear a difference between a NAS and the Core, stick with the NAS.

If you can hear a difference and you think it’s worthwhile, then you know the answer. For me music streamed from the Core sounded better than my NAS, so I bought one - it came down to the audition at the dealer.

Don’t forget that the Core, like a NAS box, arrives ‘disc-less’, so you’ll need to add in the cost of a hard drive should you go this route.

As @Gazza said on the other Core thread, with Qobuz streaming subscription being so cheap, maybe you don’t need any hardware and can rely on Qobuz?

ATB. George


Might be worth considering a Innuos Zen 3 mini or zen mk 3. These can act as a Roon core plus rip your CD’s and are less than the cost of the Core. I currently have the Zen mini and it does the job very well but want to demo the Zenith first before committing. Have fun listening.


You are getting a relatively new hardware with an outdated, poorely supported software that will lock you into a proprietary format if you decide to use it as a ripper.

No user guide, no internet radio, no support for internet streaming services and no way to select the tags that you want the Core to make available to streamers, by the way.

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If you want the best source, it’s a good option.


I think the Core is a very effective and high quality source, which is also very convenient to use. If you like to mess around with computers and spend your life sorting out network problems instead of listening to music then by all means choose a computer-based system or NAS instead…

I have seen all the arguments over months of reading the forum so I can predict what each of the regular members will say to the above, but if someone stole my Core in the night tonight, for sure I would order another one tomorrow morning.




I have considered the Core several times over the last five years, I’ve also listened to Melco and Innuous kit. I found the Core seductive in concept, but lacking in delivery.
In the end I went for an Audiostore server that had a better spec and functionality (e.g. Roon) at half the price, and it sounds better than my NAS.

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it changed my life… everything David mentioned above, faffing with the NAS, faffing with the network a constant faff. Got a Core. No more faff. Sounds great too. :grin:


If you see someone skulking around your front room in the early hours, wearing a Smiths T shirt and a shifty expression, just look the other way…


It’s perfect, so long as you don’t want to transcode, use your rips elsewhere, see the latest albums played or arrange your collection as you want. Less for more!


for sure HH, luckily, I don’t. But seriously, the number of helpful tips I got/needed from here using a NAS, great having such great support, but got the Core, had one issue, David soon fixed for me and it’s been a breeze ever since.


More than happy with mine
I bought a Nas …faffed about with it for ages trying to optimse it before deciding…I’m stupid and need simplicity
Bought a core
Job done …sit back and relax…
SO easy to edit meta data IF necessary
Great source


I think a lot depends on if you are comfortable with using a computer I struggled at times when I was using a NAS, wouldn’t have a clue on adding Asset,transcoding or anything like that so the Core suits me down to the ground.

The Core sits quietly and unobtrusively on the rack is so easy to use.


I thing I spent $700.00 for an over the top NAS with 2 4tb Red 5400 rpm drives. I followed the instructions that came with it. Once up and running I read some threads on the old forum asked a few questions of members questions. I downloaded a copy of dbpoweramp software to rip my CD’s and have been using it with streamer since. No big deal and a lot cheaper. Now if they were offering Cores a similar price when I bought my NAS a few years ago I might have jumped on board. Just did not want to spent the money and have been listening my music ever since.

No wrong answer. BTW, my NAS is one flight below my HiFi, out of sight, out of mind, just the four black boxes on my rack.

Good luck with your decision.

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Getting a bit perfect rip is a very basic function that is achievable by pretty much any ripper out there. FWIW on the very rare occasions when my Unitiserve has been unable to rip a CD, my go-to solution is to use iTunes, which has never failed yet.
My personal view of the Core is that it has a very limited functionality as a ripper/server, even compared to its predecessor. If my Unitiserve fails, I will be looking elsewhere for a replacement.
Regarding sound quality compared to a NAS, or one of the other audiophile music store/ripper/servers out there, all I would say is that you should only consider any of these more expensive branded boxes if you can get a home demo, and persuade yourself that it really does sound like a £2k upgrade.


Right, transcoding would clearly demonstrate that there is no reason to use the very limited, proprietary, non exportable database that Naim originally introduced with the US to manage metadata and that is still used in the Core. Thus, no support for transcoding on the Core!

Most of the people here pointed out all things related to the Core. The main problems are the tags are being left in an absolute mess And the imported images are not embedded in to the files!!! I just spent nearly two months to correct all the tags and images after exporting contents of HD to NAS!
The second factor is there is no shuffle feature BECAUSE OF THE MESSY TAGS! You will get all kind of excuses but that’s the real reason. My Olive 4HD managed to shuffle 30000 songs already in 2010 or thereabouts! My advice buy an Innuos and save yourself £1000 and the HD is included. Also, the App of Naim is absolute poor to say the least :see_no_evil:

The Core is a product that will look nice and work well enough for the tasks it’s designed for. Can you get more bang for your buck? Perhaps, I did a similar evaluation a few months back, tried out Core, got a loaner of a Innuos Zen, dabbled with a second hand Melco.

If I had to pick the one that sounded the best, probably the Melco, this topic has been discussed extensively here in past threads.

In my case I ended up repurposing things I already had, I used a Mac Mini and upgraded its internal SSD drives and set that up as a Roon server.

I also had a listen to a Melco Ethernet switch last week and that does a good job but costs about the same as a Core so not cheap by any means.

If I had any advice it would be to start and work your way up until you’re happy with what you’re hearing, I was able to just repurpose kit I already had and whilst that may not give me the absolute best audio, it’s pretty good, I have a decent LAN setup and then connect my streamer (ND5 XS 2) over Wi-Fi, I do it that way as it is simpler and I have no wired networking in the room the Hi-Fi is in at all so it would involve drilling holes and pulling cables and fixing sockets to skirting and on and on.

Long winded way of making a point but ultimately the answer here is no, you don’t need a Naim Core and you have many options as alternatives both cheaper/easier and expensive/complex relative to the Core.

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