NAC N272 Replacement

I know this question has been discussed to death in this forum.
But… does anyone else believe that the replacement for the NAC N272 is actually going to be the Uniti Nova Headphone edition? I’ll have one if it is! (Assuming it sounds as good as I expect it to.)

No, i don’t think so.

My money is on it looking like an NDX 2 with a volume dial.

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Well I heard that………………… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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The little Atom HE is designed to be used as a stand alone unit. Hence the uniti design choice.

The 272 replacement will mostly be used with other Naim power amps and power supplies. It makes no sense to make it look like a uniti. In my opinion anyway.


I agree that 272 replacement is unlikely to look like part of the Uniti range. However, if you look at the common designs cues between the Statement and Uniti ranges and the volume control they both share with the Muso range, then I wonder if all of the Naim range will eventually be evolved somehow so that they share some design cues with the look of recent product releases. Personally, I think the Soltice power supply and phono pre could show the way Naim will be going with their case designs. Over the years Naim has a history of changing case designs, from original bolt down cases to Chome Bumper, to Olive and then to the current case design, with a mixed reception from customers. Hopefully, we will find out sooner rather than later what Naim have decided to do.

From the Atom HE thread, 8 days ago:

Hi everyone!

So I compare since yesterday afternoon the HE to 272 with 250.2 and Focal 1028be with NACA5, ethernet cable Wireworld Starlight 8 (better than wifi), Powerline, RCA-XLR Flashback cable for HE, DIN-XLR Naim cable for 272 and Qobuz Studio (Eric Bibb, Paul McCartney III, Robert Glasper, Oscar Peterson, Miles Davis, Youn Sun Nah, Rodrigo et Gabriela, Mogwai, A.A Williams, Tricky) and let the two warm up for several days (two weeks for HE) and controlled the phase sector, important for Naim!

I confirm the quality of the headphone output with the Focal Clear MG, of better quality than the 272 at all levels but now it is the preamp output that interests us…

I must point out that the differences in listening are not huge and that the HE defends itself well, but they are there… I will continue listening, if necessary I will comment again.

The FR is wider with the 272, the bass are better held and go down lower and I hear a slight bump in the low-bass that is not there with the 272, and even if the details and transparency, the voices are very good with the HE, the treble runs better and longer (especially with jazz), and there is more presence (vocal jazz) and texture (acoustic music, jazz) with the 272. The sound image is equivalent in width as in depth, although the readability of the notes is good on the HE, it is better on the 272, the space is better tiered.

The HE does not demerit and without comparison the HE is good but the system is, I think, of too high quality for the HE.

It’s a shame because I would have kept it for the headphone output (and is beautiful) and replace the 272 but I place in first the SQ of the preamp before the sq of the headphones…

To sum up, I think that it is above all a headphone amp that can be used as a preamp but it is not that primary function for the one that puts the SQ in priority.

I hope this debrief will be helpful but don’t take it literally and go listen the HE… :wink:


The 272 responded really well to the addition of an external PS and a 272.2 which didn’t support external PSs wouldn’t really be a “replacement”. Adding, say an XPS to a Nova style box would at least be a visual mismatch. So unless there’s new casework for PSs in the offing, I don’t see a Nova HE as a 272 replacement.


I agree that the 272 replacement won’t be part of the Uniti range due to benefitting from an external power supply as much of the Naim range does. Maybe I wasn’t very clear, what I was trying to say is that Naim is likely to use the design cues of the recently released products in new products when they are released. This I think implies that all new Naim equipment including the 272 replacement will have a case that has a sheen like a Statement, the Uniti range and Soltice electronic cases. But I could well be wrong here as it is just speculation.

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Putting the volume knobs on the top of every product could save Naim fans a lot of money on Fraim….

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