NEW! Uniti Atom Headphone Edition – and streaming pre-amp!

I’ll definitely experiment. I cannot find a manual online but one thing I was hoping for was the ability to set one of the outputs as fixed. In the Naim app with the Nova (at least as far as I can remember) you could select an output as fixed or variable. Not sure if the Atom HE is the same.

As I’ve thought about this more I am wondering if there may be some advantage to having the NDX2/XPSDR and Atom HE separate, where the NDX2 is the streamer out via SPDIF to the Atom HE’s DAC or using the Atom HE as the streamer and out to the NDX2. Seems it may be the ideal way to test the fidelity of having a streamer and DAC separate.

I have a tube preamp so I am also curious to see how the Atom HE stands up as a solid state streaming pre direct into the M900u versus routing it through the tube preamp. Unfortunately although the dealer was only 90 miles from me, and serviced by the same local UPS terminal, the Atom was picked up yesterday and sat there all night and now won’t deliver until Monday so there goes my weekend plans.

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With the NDX2 you can set it generally to fixed or variable volume, not each output separately. And the variable volume uses the 32 bit digital volume control that is not state of the art and only really there for Apple compliance. The Atom HE has the more sophisticated volume like the other Unitis, I suppose. I don’t know about separate output settings

As for having the NDX2/XPS and Atom HE separate, you would only use the pre and headphone amp of the Atom HE. Not sure that this is the best allocation of resources. Though it might make for an interesting experiment

Yes this is a total experiment. I have no illusions that the Atom HE is going to make me want to downsize and sell off my NDX2/XPSDR. However since they got back in stock at a retailer with a 60 day return policy I thought it would be a fun little exercise to work through some comparisons and see how it works in my system without any commitment. I have owned both the original Atom and the Nova as well as a SN3 so I’m interested in how Naim’s tech and fidelity continues to improve in the Uniti line.

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I am very happy that I switched from the Atom to the Atom HE as I used the Atom as a pre/dac/streamer only.

My system now looks like this: Atom HE > RCA-XLR cable > Dynaudio Sub 6 > XLR-XLR cable > Purifi EVAL1 power amp > AudioQuest Castle Rock cable > Dynaudio Contour S 3.4 LE

Plus an AKG K702 for headphone listening.

The Atom sounded already superb as a preamp, but the Atom HE (out of the box) already sounds more refined and open. Also the bass performance has improved I think.

I do need more time to evaluate, but I am for sure not disappointed!

Edit: the RCA-XLR cable will be replaced by a XLR-XLR one soon.

BR,
Richard

Some pictures for those who like that :yum:

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Nice, enjoy!

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Thanks. I am enjoying it right now. As a preamp the Atom HE sounds (much) better than the regular Atom. The sound is cleaner in a way and I now realise that the Atom was actually less neutral sounding than I thought. Don’t get me wrong, the Atom sounded very good, but a bit ‘heavy and dark’ compared to the Atom HE. I am listening to a playlist with all kinds of songs and everything sounds good! That is quite an accomplishment. At this moment Marcus Miller plays ‘Cousin John’ and it sounds more vibrant and alive compared to my old Atom.

I did change the cabling a bit compared to earlier today: XLR-XLR from Atom HE to pweramp and RCA-XLR from Atom HE to subwoofer. Works perfectly.

BR,
Richard

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Is using both pre outs supported, I mean, in a safe manner? I was told it could lead to overloading the pre in another thread.

I think I read something similar, but can’t think of a technical reason why it would not work. Like with multiple headphones connected, which is possible but wasn’t recommended for sound quality reasons.

Maybe someone from Naim can comment on this?

Well you could be drawing more power than what the unit was maybe designed to deliver?

I’d also welcome Naim’s advice here.

Glad to hear that you are enjoying it. Thanks for the feedback on your experience.

It was @CrystalGipsy saying that you couldn’t use it with a sub. Maybe they can elaborate on where the info came from.

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It was more of safety recommendation more than anything just doing it without knowing first could lead to expensive dsmage. If it’s designed with it being in mind it’s likely fine. Not sure the Atom HE has though but would be good to get official line. The kit I have that has both XLR balanced and line outs does not recommend to have both outputting at same time but it can. One think to note is there can be up to a 6db difference from XLR compared to lineout, so you really need to get an SPL to set the level of it correctly on the sub. Just plugging it in and doing it manually isn’t the best.

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This is a good point. I’d be thinking that the best setup for a sub with HE is via high level input from the loudspeaker terminals. This is how my active bass section works. It also means that the sound signature is taken from the power amp potentially improving integration

But watch out with this! I recently read a story about someone with a Roksan Blak trying to connect a REL subwoofer through high level. (I think he connected Earth to both left and right speaker terminals). He destroyed the Roksan beyond repair. Both manuals of the Roksan and REL did not mention anything about such risk.

I suppose there are a few ways to wire your system wrong and do some damage. Mine is a fairly simple setup. Just two wires linked from speaker terminals into the + and - high level input terminals on the plate amp. Although i admit the rel is not quite as simple. I used to have one setup that way. I just looked at the dynaudio sub 6. It doesn’t look to have a high level? Is that right?

That is correct, I have now connected the stereo RCA output of the Atom HE to the stereo XLR input of the Sub 6. Sounds excellent and I do not experience any issues so far.

My wife needed two seconds this morning to hear how much better the HE sounds in our system compared to the ‘old’ Atom. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Thank you for your advice. The Subwoofer is powered, so I can set the volume separately. I am planning to do new REW measurements soon and apply Equaliser Presets in the sub to compensate for room modes.

The funny thing is that room modes seem to be less of an issue with the Atom HE compared to the Atom. Measurements have to validate this hypothesis.

BR,
Richard

@Naim.Marketing , could you maybe tell us whether both pre outs can be used simultaneously?
Is it safe to do it?
Would there be sound degradation and if so, which kind?

Thanks!

It’s a public holiday here Igro. I will try to find out when Naim are back tomorrow.

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From my tests so far I do not hear any sound degradation. Curious to hear the feedback from Naim.

Guys i already asked Clare this question on May 11:

And she confirmed that it’s fine:

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