How many Qobuz favorites do you have? It’s a known issue in the Naim app with many Qobuz favorites, at least on Android (don’t know about iOS). I already reported it. I have 2000 favs on Android and until the last app update the Naim app was unresponsive for many seconds (3-10 usually and sometimes up to 30) each time he app woke up (switching from another app or waking up from sleeping). This was improved by some general performance optimizations in the last app update, and though it should be generally usable now, it is still a bit laggy at times
Yeah it’s too laggy and makes the app take to long to connect as it’s authorising Qobuz which takes some time. I just turned off Qobuz as I use Roon and overall responsiveness of the Naim app improved and connects almost instantly I have 1713 albums favourited.
It was not just the connecting, but whatever you tried to do in the app was unresponsive for a while after waking up. As noted, is better now but not completely gone. The development team is aware. I also had logged out of Qobuz as I used the Naim app only occasionally for volume, but these days is ok-ish even when logged in (or at least better)
Over 7300 albums
But as said, I don’t have any plan to use the Naim app, was just trying it.
To be fair I checked this album on Apple Music and only a 1/4 is available there. But then there’s a playlist that has almost the whole thing. Spotify has 2/3 of the album but then has the fan made playlists as well. The other thing about the fan made playlists is if I’m looking for let’s say 80’s alternative remix tracks, I can find a dozen or so playlists. Qobuz will has a few, mostly bad, official albums is all. Qobuz also still has a lot of holes in its catalog compared to Spotify. At least for what I listen to.
So here is my review after having an Atom HE dropped off at home yesterday.
TLDR; It was for demo purposes but today I just bought it, I am that happy with it.
So to put my “review” into perspective this is why I was interested in the HE: I am extremely happy with the performance of my Star, but the location is not great for using it while I am working so I was looking for something that would equal or better the Star’s headphone abilities in my office.
This is not a review coming from someone with Naim separates, or someone with extremely expensive and/or demanding headphones. I have a Sennheiser HD660s and a Meze 99 Classics. I have also never owned another dedicated headphone amplifier so you are also out of luck if you hoped for a comparison there
As I wanted to demo the unit the dealer had already updated the firmware it and left on for a few hours before coming. But beyond that it was not run in at all.
As with all Uniti devices getting it running was super easy. Plug in the power cord and the ethernet cable and I was playing Roon instantly.
Even brand new the sound was more immediate and detailed than what I get from the Star. I was surprised that the Atom HE and the Star pretty much drove the Sennheisers to the same volume at the same volume setting, so I guess that says something about the type of headphones you can use with a Star.
The Star seems to have more base floor at this stage but the HE walks over it with clarity and tightness of the sound coming from the headphones.
I got my first taste of Naim multiroom and it just worked. Played vinyl on the Star at muted volume and multiroomed to the HE with excellent results.
Because I have a Windows computer the Mac Airplay or SPDIF options are not available to me but I do have a Focusrite Scarlet Solo microphone device which connects to USB and offers an analogue out which I connected to the analogue input on the HE with an Audioquest Golden Gate cable I had lying spare. The result? Well the best my computer has ever sounded.
I listened to the HE deep into the night and again put in some hours this morning, kinda knowing the whole time that the HE was not going back to the dealer.
This is an incredible device. No ways around that. Hits every mark it is aiming for with a bullseye. And the plethora of input options comes alive in a tech office setting.
I am looking forward to hearing just how far it will go with some more time running it in. Also have a Shunyata Venom HC cable on the way, so perhaps that adds even more. But quite honestly, if it stays as the level it is right now already I cannot be happier.
Thanks Naim, you really hit the spot here for us who spend more time listening to music on headphones than anything else!
So happy to read that. Keep listening; it’ll only get better as all the components come on song
Just for curiosity, what is the “official” length of time to run something like this in? Got two weeks stuck in my head from somewhere.
I had an early production unit that made great strides in just 48 hours continuous use (left the headphones playing internet radio overnight), and opened up further still in following days. I was so busy enjoying it by that stage that I no longer documented gains in terms of days!
Haha, kinda already at that stage here. But already a difference between first impressions and what it is doing now. Will certainly report back in a few days again and also after plugging in the better power cable.
Are you adding a Powerline?
A Shunyata Venom HC. Got one for my Star and it gave a decent boost. Being a listener at the shallow end of the Naim paddling pool the Powerline price felt a little out of balance with the cost of the hardware. No doubt it would have been even better but the price I got the Venom for it would have to be three times better at least.
Fair enough. Rather wary of mains solutions potentially strangling all the hard work our engineers have put in re power management, but if it works for you, go for it! I had no desire to try an upgrade on the Atom.
I did make the expensive experiment of trying a Powerline on my Nova - that didn’t go back
FWIW it was a dealer approved solution. They had really good experiences with it as well. So I tried it and it definitely improved things. Felt cleaner with better bass floor.
You mean like me phoning the dealer and going “Hey I want to “demo” an Atom HE” LOL
I’m debating over an Atom and wondered if using a pair of Grado SR325e with it would be overkill? Will the HE improve what I already consider a great sound from my IPhone?
The HE will take the sound from iPhone and make it sit in the corner for a week for being a “bad boy”.
There is just no comparison.
But always wise to get a demo from a dealer first.
Ha ha love that👍🏼
No denying that, its way behind them all. You start to notice this more after about 6 months and even now some new releases don’t show. Tidal for its foibles is way ahead for a wider set of music
The beautiful thing about the Naim
Is it’s scalable. Whilst the Grado are respectable, the Naim will and should work well with any future headphone upgrade.
And should be an upgrade on the iPhone! But always audition first.
Interesting. I got a Shunyata Venom NR V12 for my DAC V1 and it was a terrible match. Ended up on the power supply for my Sonore streamer where it works fine. But I guess even in the same line up the cables are somewhat different, and of course it would be device and room dependent. I do have their Venom USB cable which is great value and sound.