Multiroom with Optical Input

Hi fellow Naim users,

I own a NAC272 and a Superuniti. I would like to have the TV input to one of them and then use multiroom to broadcast the sound such that the TV audio comes out of both.

I can make multiroom work on streaming content from internet, NAS or USB, but not optical input, and not analogue input.

Is there a firmware upgrade that includes optical for both?

  • and given the Superuniti digitises even the analogue input, is there a firmware upgrade that can make the Superuniti master multiroom from analogue input also?

If no to both questions then do I look at an optical splitter and assume the 272 and Superuniti latency the same or do I go for some other WiFi audio networking solution to bridge and synchronise?

Or do I buy a NaimNet NNP01 and will that synch with my 272 or SU?

Hi, the 1st gen Naim streamers do not multiroom their optical or analogue inputs. The best way to achieve this (at a price) would be to get a current model, as these do multiroom all inputs, including analogue and optical.
I guess an NNP01 might work, but it’s ancient tech.

I guess an optical splitter might work, although there can be limitations to cable length which could cause problems.

It’s also worth noting that the SuperUniti does not digitise the analogue inputs, they stay analogue all the way through. The current Nova does indeed digitise them though.

Thanks ChrisSU,
I hear the newer Nova etc are loosing some of the Naim sound characteristics and obviously twice the price. So not good for me.

Is optical input streaming a hardware limitation or software? - maybe NAIM could release some of the SW on the Nova to their Superuniti fans :-).

I can get 20 meters of basic optical cable for less than £10 where I am so maybe go with that one for now.

Or perhaps I change the config in my room to remove the need for multiroom.

I have a large room containing both the lounge as main listening area but also a dining room. When at dining table you are perpendicular to the listening direction. So when at the dining table and watching TV you have to turn the volume up to hear it. My plan was to multiroom in the same room to have a secondary listening area at the dining room and have the flex for it to play the TV audio at low volume with speakers behind you.

Perhaps I just go with a switch instead of a splitter (IE drop multiroom and just do one or the other depending upon seating position) and maybe the TV can Bluetooth to the SU or 272.

Thanks Hungryhalibut, I developed this impression when in the past using the SU as a power amp for my front speakers on the front of my AVR. The AV Bypass in the SU wasn’t a bypass, it just fixed the volume. Further I realised that the volume control is digital. This led me to think everything must be digitised otherwise volume control didn’t work. Don’t know enough about the device architecture to be sure though. Thx for update.

Volume control is not digital, the 272 and Superuniti use the exact same one. It’s digitally controlled in that it gives you a numerical volume level on the display, but all Naim volume controls are analogue.

Perhaps you could put a Muso 2 under the TV and use it as a Soundbar. This will be able to use Naim multiroom to send the audio to another streamer such as your 272 or SU.

Thx for clarification - I feel better knowing this as digitising everything always seemed a bad idea.

Toslink may work, but it’s quite a loose standard and depending on the transmitter, socket, plug and cable, sometimes you are often limited to about 5 metres of cable. If you are lucky you may get considerably more, the only way to find out is to try it in your system.

Interesting, is the Muso 2 the cheapest optical multiroom master from naim?

Yes, but you need the Mk2 version as this digitises all inputs in order to multiroom them. It also has an HDMI ARC input which can work well for TV sound, although unfortunately there can be compatibility issues with some TVs.

The Muso QB2 is a cheaper option although the shape might look a bit out of place if you put it under a TV as a soundbar, and it has no HDMI ARC.

Thx ChrisSU really appreciate the feedback and ideas.

Presumably the multiroom is digital streaming so enabling the Superuniti or 272 DAC/pre to preserve their character of the sound also. Appreciate it is TV source but the TV could be driven by my blu ray player and passing through optical.

I will research the Muso mk ii and see what other outputs it has.

Don’t suppose you know how it performs as a processor and pre Vs 272 or SU for films or music as I could drop the 272 to fund the Muso and keep the NAP250 I use for the focal Arias on the front of the Muso 2 instead.

Could then switch between internal speakers for the kids and daily listening and then switch to the big focals for movie night and listening to music.

All the while keep the SU and a pair of D18s for dining listening running off multiroom for the TV and its own sources for music.

The Musos are all-in-one players with built in speakers, thus my suggestion that you could use one as a TV soundbar. They have no outputs, except for Multiroom which would send the stream to your 272 and SU.
I think your best option would be to get one on demo and see if it works for you. Most retailers will accept returns these days if you decide it’s not the right choice.

Thx ChrisSU,
Suppose I could run both and choose whether soundbar or stereo by selecting HDMI ARC or optical out in the TV settings. As all will be on network I could run all three Muso, 272 and SU on multiroom which would be cool but a little mental. And I would have to spend more to get there.

Think I understand the options now. Thx for very quick responses and ideas.

I do wish naim could upgrade streaming sw on the older boxes now I know what there is around.

One other option to get the new streaming platform into your life would be to trade in your 272 for an Atom HE and use that with your 250 on your TV system… net / net it might be cost equivalent to the MuSo2 idea, but I have zero knowledge of trade in values where you are.

To allay your fears, many (including myself) enjoy the Nova and Atom and are generally not noticing any detrimental consequences of digitizing the analog input. Many are running turntables to good effect. One consequence of this is a (claimed by Naim) further DSP improvement in the volume control design over the digitally-controlled analog volume circuit in your SuperUniti and 272. It’s not for everyone, but there are more reports of reluctance to the concept than outright dislike after a listening test, or comparison against even higher priced all-analog combos.

The AtomHE obviously has the highest quality headphones out among the Uniti line, but it is also claimed by Naim to have a much better preamp section than the regular Atom (and possibly better than the Nova, although this has never been clearly stated by Naim). It’s definitely the closest thing available at present for those seeking the updated 272, long anticipated and desired on this forum. It’s priced equal to the regular Atom, approximately half the cost of a Nova I believe.

While I absolutely understand these Unitis are not for everyone, many (most? almost all?) who upgraded from Qute to Atom or from SuperUniti to Nova have been very pleased.

Might be worth a listen, since it will certainly offer better sound and user convenience than adding in the MuSo2 and at similar (more or less) net cost

Best wishes, whichever way you go!

Thx Alan33,
Good point that a new unit of equivalent price would offer better sound than Muso with NAP upgrade and external speakers for same price.

That is why I hadn’t thought of the Muso rage till earlier.

Also had discounted the new uniti’s through price and suspected lesser sound performance than the current XPS/272/250 setup.

But as you say, maybe a new uniti plus NAP might give more function and with the NAP maybe no loss of sound performance and less boxes.

I have not Back to Back tested the AtomHE or Nova with 250 Vs the XPS/272/250

The XPS/272 trade in would get close to cost of new Nova and cover the AtomHE…

Had just heard that the new boxes were ‘more accuracy than PRAT’ and
so more clinical than warm and fun.

Price also put me off but now I have both XPS and 272 maybe it is close enough…

I’ve never been the biggest fan of the 272, but I think it’s safe to say that when powered by an XPS it’s in a different league altogether to any Uniti player. If you were thinking of swapping your SU for a 2nd gen Uniti that would make more sense to me.

Right thx ChrisSU

Does anyone know if the Muso 2 multiroom streams it’s hdmi audio?

Hi Everyone,
The thread so far has explained that Muso 2 will multiroom the optical input.

Just checking as I already got surprised when I bought the 272 and then found out I cannot multiroom.

Does the Muso 2 multiroom the HDMI input?