Naim Uniti Nova on low listening levels

Hi there!
I usually only listen on low volume levels, somewhere between 35-50 dB. The human ear is less sensitive to bass on low volumes (that’s probably why there was that infamous loudness function back in the day on many hifi products) and some amplifiers are so neutral that they seem to lack some bass and fullness when you turn the volume down. The result is a thin sound with a lack of weight and warmth. You often have to turn the music up to get a realistic tonality and balance of the sound.

How’s the Naim Uniti Nova in this regard? Does anybody have a opinion on that?

I have Piega Classic 7.0 speakers, if that’s of interest. Will the Nova be a good match?

Thanks :sunglasses:

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I use a Nova in my office and don’t listen super loud. It seems fine to me. I only use small speakers but feel its balance is spot on. Very enjoyable listen.

I also have the Nova with Dyn S40s… Nova becomes to start sound best when the volume is around 40-50 mark in my case however low volumes still good depending on the recording. Low volume fullness also depends on the speakers as well, I guess. Some speakers sound thin at low volumes some don’t.

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@Tolomeo : Do you know how many dB that equals from your listening position?

I have tried a couple of high end amplifiers on my speakers. The speakers respond very differently on each amplifier. Some sounded far fuller, richer, with more bass and generally better sound over 50dB than under, like the Hegel H190. It sprouts with energy and a tremendous fast, controlled punchy bass when turned up. On very low listening levels I would rather listen to my bluetooth speakers from Marshall, because they produced more (not deeper or better) bass. While Electrocompaniet ECI 6 DX MKII sounded realistic, full and bass rich even at the lowest volumes, where you could barely hear the music.

So yeah, the speakers do play a role. But my experience is that the amplifier has a bigger impact.

Never measured but I estimate could be +/- 75db…

Could be… In my case, for the Nova I cannot call it full and bass rich at such low volumes but it’s not also thin, lifeless sounding either.

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+/-75 dB is somewhat loud, in my opinion. At least louder than what I’m usually have my stereo on at home.

I do have a feeling that the Nova might be a little light in the bass at lower volume - to my ears.

From your comments, I also feel like the Electrocompaniet might be the better choice for you if low volume fullness is a priority. I presume it’s the warmer, bolder sounding of the two. But you might also find the Nova better equipped and more convenient to operate. If you can home demo a Nova, I strongly suggest considering it.

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Perhaps you would prefer to use a DAC that has DSP/EQ settings for this?

For example, the RME ADI-2 DAC offers a feature called “adaptive loudness”, which provides user adjustable EQ curves that can be applied to different volume levels. Since the processing is all done in hardware during the D/A conversion, there is no loss of audio quality in the process.


Yes, the Nova does have a little bit better technology. Electrocompaniet has the most important things though, like streaming and an app. It only lacks HDMI ARC, but I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing. It’s actually nice to turn on the TV without having the music stopped automatically. I would be very interested in listening to the Nova, but there’s no shop around here. I have to order it…

That sounds like a really interesting product and idea. But then again, what’s the point of buying an all-in-one integrated streaming amplifier if I opt to use the RME? Do I have to buy an external streamer for this?

Yes it’s basically only a DAC, so you would use it together with other components like a dedicated streamer. If you’re mainly looking for an all-in-one device this might not be ideal…

If you have the option of trying out the Nova at home for a few days, that might be a good starting point to determine where to go. Maybe it will already provide you with enough low end for your usual listening volumes!

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