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

Great comparison. Thank you very much!
Not being as much into DAC’s, preAmps, Amps, loudspeakers (forbidden at home) as most users in this forum, I think the ease with which one can plug in and immediately start listening music with the HE makes me think I haven’t made a mistake :O)).


I do not use my atom he that much, my primary listening is most of the time on speakers in the living room, and rarely use the headphone experience.

What I felt is that the atom is very musical and engaging, great bass. As an all in one is a solid product, lacks resolution and that is what makes me not use it that much.

The user experience is pretty good, the atom has good provided software, is very stable and has a fast streaming platform, and the screen and volume control is something I really love on the unit, I hate it does not provide some kind of coaxial or optical digital out.

Regarding the ifi Pro IDSD, for me the ifi sounds a lot better, a computer or a streamer is needed to make it sing, an SOtM sMS-200 Ultra or an Eversolo DMP-A6 will go great with the ifi, even a zen stream, in the end will cost more than the atom and also a less beautiful solution on a desk or living room.


When I was demoing headphones, two of them were Focal; the Elear and the Clear.

Ended up getting the Elear as much preferred their presentation.

The bonus at the time was finding out afterwards that they were the cheaper of the two.

Been very happy with these. But did change the cable to a CustomCans one and, now to a Cxnnected cable, which I do prefer.



Picking up with a small update on a previous topic of comparisons between the Atom HE and the NSC222.
Was comparing some phono stages and got the Atom HE involved to see its performance with an external phono stage using the HE line in. The 222 sounded better to me when connected to an external good quality phono stage (in this case the NVC TT) so to me the analogue to digital conversion in the HE (or its overall implementation) is not able to maintain the same sound quality as the 222 to my ears.

However, since I had them next to each other both connected to the Nait 50 I did another comparison for streaming sound quality and once again, when connected to the Nait 50 (i.e. an integrated just like I compared them previously both with the Supernait 3) the 222 and HE sound essentially the same for any real life listening. I am struggling to hear confidently any real differences. Directly to a power amp the 222 takes the edge but once again this test confirms for me my previous findings and shows the enormous value that the Atom HE offers for streaming.


What level of difference did you experience here?

Hi, hope ok to include the link to my other post so I don’t repeat myself, here: (hope I’ve done it correctly : )

(Phono stages - Nait 50 vs NSC222 vs external - #6 by garcon)


Thank you! Was an interesting read.


Thanks for testing and confirming!

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Have you compared the headphone out? There was talk that the 222 was supposed to be better but I’m guessing it’s minimal. And it’s also missing the 4.4mm socket for better grounding. I find the 4.4mm improves soundstage over single ended even thought it’s not true balanced. So just wondering if any of this makes any difference?

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I only use headphones quite occasionally (and they are not anything high end) so not a lot of experience but did try compare at the beginning. I do agree that if there is any difference it’s very minimal IMHO. I may be thought the 222 sounded a bit more energetic but I could not really match the dB level and I found a small loudness difference at the same volume level between them which I could adjust through the speakers but not through the headphones. Regardless, they sound very very similar (essentially the same), same character. Personally, I wouldn’t be able to choose one over the other except for connectivity.


I’ve compared the headphone stages of both. For the amount of headphone listening I do, they do sound very similar & because I can live without the pentacon & xlr inputs, the Atom HE is being moved on.

As a point of interest, ‘someone’ @ Naim said that the headphone stage was originally planned for a 500 series component which was never finalised. Also, that it will improve the headphone stage in the 222 using the NPX 300 which I’m getting around to listening to, at some point soon… :pray:


When I was chatting wait a Naim rep they did indicate the 552 would have a headphone socket - we’ll have to see if it is delivered with new or old classic! Either way a handy feature.


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Update - Two years later and I still have my HE. It’s not in my main system anymore. I use it in the bedroom with Focal Utopia headphones. I began to like it A LOT better when I borrowed a Shunyata Sigma v2 power cable from my main system. (yeah, I know. It costs almost as much as the Uniti Atom.)


Thanks for sharing. I didn’t know this was a thing.

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You’re a lunatic! I’m allowed to say that because I once bought some Super Lumina speaker cable that retails at almost exactly the combined cost of the power amp and speakers they were connecting.
There was method in my madness, but still……

Uniti devices benefit greatly from a Power Chord upgrade. I used a Vovox excelsus power chord on my Uniti Atom. It was a huge step forward. It’s fast, neutral and creates a black background. I highly recommend it. It costs 1/10th of the Shunyata Sigma V.2.


Thanks, but it’s not too much of an inconvenience to borrow a cable from my main system when I want to listen to the HE.

Got a Shunyata Venom powering mine. Not in the league of your cable but also pretty happy with the result :smile:

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I must have randomly picked your advice a while back since that’s the power cable I’m using too. Must have chose it based on it being a little expensive but not crazy priced. I do find it gives more bass presence and a more liquid sound. It a little hard to really know what’s going on with the changes because the amount of time it takes to swap with the stock cable. Even if it doesn’t actually make a difference, the end result I’m getting with the Naim HE and my Caldera are incredible.

Maybe at the next CanJam I can bring the cable to the Focal booth with all the Naim HE setups and see if they’d let me listen side by side with the stock cable. Really only way to tell. But then it’s meet conditions, so probably a waste of time.


Interesting Choice over a powerline, did you try both?