Naim Nova, open-hearted reflections

About a year after the purchase of my Uniti Nova, I ask myself a question that to many may seem useless if not silly.

The Nova project is entirely new or is it a device that encloses the circuitry of 2 devices (amplifier, dac and streamer) already produced by Naim in a single cabinet.

I was told that it has the circuitry of the Super Nait 2 or 3 and a separate DAC similar to nd5xs2 and that the price difference would consist solely of the savings deriving from the use of a single cabinet.
All this, together with the charm of the brand, would have convinced me even more to buy the Nova .

Others argue that it is a completely new device, which has different sonic characteristics, I don’t know if it is better or worse from the separate combination, and which does not have the DNA of the classic series so appreciated and praised throughout the audiophile community. Faced with this kind of considerations, the doubt arises that the Nova is an overestimated device in terms of price.

For example, I wonder why, unlike other Naim devices, the Nova does not suffer from idiosyncrasy with cables from other brands, and that it is not strictly necessary to leave it on 24 hours a day? I only need a couple of hours of ignition to have a good sound.

In addition, some Naim enthusiasts have confirmed to me that plugging the Power line cable into the Nova would bring little improvement over connecting the same cable with separate high-end equipment.

In short, everyone says everything and the opposite of everything.

I state that for me this is the first approach with Naim; I really like the device, it sounds good, powerful, dynamic and rhythmic even with my favorite genres (jazz and classical music) and I wouldn’t change it at the moment.

I believe that Naim wanted to create a device commercially oriented to music lovers who do not want complications, versatile, well-sounding and in practice definitive for a certain range of users not interested in the most extreme issues of HIFI and therefore not very expandable in terms of upgrading. .

I leave the relevant considerations to you.

Thank you all.


The Nova preceded the ND5 XS2 by a couple of years. It’s completely different to the SuperUniti which was the equivalent top level all in one before the Nova. And the SN3 also came along much later.

I think some people who hold you Nova was cobbled together from earlier designs don’t know what they are talking about. I should ignore them.




It’s probably fair to say that all Naim components have similarities in their design. In the case of the Nova it’s impossible to say that it’s X and Y in a single box. It will take design elements from other existing items and items that followed will similarly take elements.

One thing you’ll notice on the forum is a desire to categorise and rank everything, so there’s obviously a desire to say that the Nova is a combination of whatever. The most important thing is that it does what you want and that you enjoy listening to it.

Regarding leaving it turned on, the same benefits accrue to all Naim products but it’s probably fair to say that as you climb the tree the impact is more discernible. The Nova has a nice standby setting that powers down most of it but still leaves it ready to go.

It’s a nice box, so enjoy it and don’t get caught up in unnecessary comparisons.



You have summed it up nicely

It would be foolish not to pretend there is a commonality of parts , but the Nova is unlike any Naim product I have ever had (and I am now in my thirtieth year of continuous ownership) , it’s rather like finding a Defender and a Jaguar have common parts

As for the Powerline, it is very good and takes it up to the level of performance I was after .


How and why is the Nova different from the rest of the Naim production?
Are you talking about the sonic footprint, the power, the circuit or whatever?
I’d like you to elaborate on your opinion on sonic performance and how it differs from for example, a supernait or a separate Dac.
Thank you very much

I would try not to overcomplicate it, I believe the drive shaft for a Land Rover Defender and a Jaguar were once one and the same , but obviously two completely differing types of car .

The Nova is what is , I think it has the same output as a SN3 - but certainly differs in audio presentation to the SN3 .

I think it’s very good value for money but obviously circuits etc will be different from model to model.

This is very allegro moderato indeed! I have a slight preference for allegro con brio though :slight_smile:

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I prefer baguette avec brie, but to each his own ofcourse :baguette_bread: :cheese:

tu es un paysan :wink:


He is a farmer? :joy:
I must be one then too, as I like baguette et fromages, but more Camembert vs Brie.


J’aime le morbier :grinning:


Pate et cornichons pour moi SVP


You’ve got to love the Nova and its ability to deliver great sound in its simple form… what a cracker !


Yep heard the Nova many times with a variety of speakers. Just brilliant!


I tried a Nova at home last year. A very disappointing experience, maybe I was expecting too much. It’s alright, but brilliant isn’t a word I’d use.

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I’d say I have to agree there. I borrowed my friends Nova and A/B tested against the Atom a few months back. Although I heard all the differences it had to offer, the the jump in quality wasn’t as great as I expected. This is what pointed me in the direction of the separates.

A NaimUniti Nova may have the output of a SN3 (does it, I haven’t checked) but it would unrealistic to expect it to be a SN3 + ND5XS2 under the hood. That is not how it is designed. The Uniti series is to separates what the old music centres were to separates.

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The Nova is very good, I just added a Powerline which has improved performance significantly , but as you say it isn’t a SN3 and ND5XS2 .

For one reason the ND5XS2 was released after the Nova .

French Opus 21 shop review:

Who is the Naim Uniti Nova for?

Audiophiles looking for the Holy Grail of musical truth will go their way, Naim didn’t want to work for them.

You are looking for an easy-going “all-in-one”, to install in your living room under your television (the Naim is equipped with an hdmi socket which will recover the sound of your TV), the music you like it but you don’t you’re not a big purist (or a sick gent) then the Naim Uniti Nova is for you. You usually listen to variety, pop music, rock, jazz or blues, the Naim Uniti Nova is calibrated to bring you maximum pleasure. The only small constraint is to choose speakers that are slightly introverted and wise in order to compensate for their “stiff, too straight in their boots” effect. It will allow you to discover and enjoy all streaming music sites (Tidal, Spotify, Qobuz …) and will display the covers of the albums listened to on its screen with the most beautiful effect.

The notes :

  • Manufacturing: 18/20*
  • Features: 18/20*
  • Image: 15/20*
  • Stamps: 11/20*
  • Dynamic: 12/20*
  • Transparency: 12/20*
  • Quality / Price: 14/20*
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