Headphone amp for Uniti Star?

So there is a big problem with the Atom HE when you listen to your headphones a lot. It spoils you.

I have an Atom HE in my office space and a Unit Star in the lounge. But now when I am downstairs listening to cans I kind of wish they were connected to my Atom HE.

Aside from another Atom HE, is there a headphone amplifier I can connect to the pre-amp output of my Star that would upgrade the Star’s headphone experience enough to satisfy someone who has grown accustomed to the Atom HE?

Most of my listening on headphones is done on the HE. And I am happy with the Star’s performance over speakers, so this would be for the times I do plug in headphones in the lounge.

That is before considering the cost of investment in another HE + power amp.

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Unfortunately, though you can use the pre-out to a headphone amp on the Star and Nova you can’t disable the speakers, so it would only work if you are prepared to add a headphone amp and unplug the speakers when using the headphones.

It’s probably easier just to carry up the HE when you want to use it.


Ah dang it, you are right!

Somehow my mind was thinking to mute the Star as I do when I run my turntable multiroom to the Atom HE. But that would, of course, mute the whole thing. Duhr.

So it is either lugging the HE or getting another one :man_shrugging:

In our lounge I have my Nova. There is also an Apple TV, so I run a spare Heed headphone amp and DAC form the optical output (using a splitter) on the TV using the Roon ATV app. It works nicely as the Heed amp is quite a bit more grunts for driving the H800’s, though you have to have the TV on to use Roon with ATV.

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I also have and Apple TV attached to the Star. Is the Roon app official for ATV yet? I vaguely remember it being not.

Yes, it’s in the ATV App Store, and very cheap, so nice to fiddle with. You have to active the extension in Roon after you install the app.

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A fixed-level Tape Out is not a completely obsolete feature. It is a shame they are vanishing from new designs.

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If you go for another Atom HE you might consider adding a power amp to it so that it can replace the Star. It’s a shame there’s no matching Naim power amp but there are plenty of options out there. The only thing you would lose is the Star CD ripper.

Another possibility if you keep the Star would be a portable player. For less than the price of an Atom you could get something very good indeed. Just be sure to choose something that matches whatever headphones you use.
Some of these would be able to use the Star as a UPnP server if you use it as a music store.

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Cheers man! I got it and it’s a pretty nice app.

Yeah this is something I am considering. But waiting for the experiments in the other thread to bear fruit.

Currently the NAP 250 DR looks like an option. But that would kick the whole package into the ballpark of an NDX2 with SN3. So the question would be which solution will give the best result.

I’m not to perturbed about losing the CD ripper at this stage.

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So tonight, after having an optical cable delivered, I carted the Atom HE downstairs and plugged turntable and TV directly into it.

My mind is literally still blown at the difference over the headphones. Both the TV input as well as the turntable. Roon I already knew, of course.

So it looks like another Atom HE will be on the way, with the intention to replace the Star at some point.

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I have the Star. I bought an iFi Signature headphone amp this week to improve my cell phone/laptop listening experience through my Master & Dynamic MW65 headphones. I also thought I would be able to use the amp through my Star but have pretty much figured out, that won’t really work. This thread is very helpful. I could unplug the speakers but that seems unpractical. Any other options would be appreciated. Thank you.

My solution was to get another Atom HE. Don’t think there really any solution involving the Star other than using the Star’s headphone amp.


I think that is a great solution and will keep my out for one that is used. Not sure how often they become available.

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Just to temper expectations they are hard to find new at the moment. So it’s going to be a long while before they hit the second hand market. Unless you are extremely lucky.

Going to take me a while to scrounge up the funds…lol

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Whispering something like “it’s so worth it!!!”


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