I’d like to know what speakers would go well with a Naim Uniti Atom in a room that is 14 x 15 feet (or 4.2 x 4.5 metres) with high ceilings of 9 feet (or 2.7 metres). My budget is up to £2000 (around 2500 USD) but would prefer to keep it below £1500. I listen to a wide range of genres (classical, rock, metal, ambient, jazz, pop). From a design perspective, I have a strong preference for floorstanding but don’t want to get floorstanding unless they are right for the room.
I’ve been looking at Wharfedale Evo 4.4s and also KEF Q550s but have no idea if they are wildly inappropriate for the room size and/or the Atom.
There is not an easy answer to your question. The choice in that price range is very large. It rather comes to your preferences in sound properties i.e. dynamics, speed, imaging etc. Try to listen first before buying. And read some articles i e. Whathifi.com
I read you are thinking of floorstanders. Personally I would rather choose monitor speakers (2-way) in a small room. There surely are small cabinets with a good bass management. But overall, monitors sound faster and their imaging is better. Less problems with wall distance also.
I think Naim in general matches lots of speakers, I would think of Neat, B&W, Spendor, Dali, Kudos.
Just to add confusion of choice, I suggest ATC.
Personally I’d try to get a home demo of the neat iota alphas. One of the things I regret is that I did not bought them.
Exactly. You should present your ‘problem’ to a good Naim dealer and explain to them , what you are looking for.
I believe Neat Iotas were developed particularly for use with all-in-ones such as the Unitiqute, the Atom’s predecessor. There is definitely a Neat/Naim synergy. I run wall mounted Iotas with the Atom in my office and find this a very musical and enjoyable combination, but the room is even smaller than yours so Iota Alphas might be better for you. But, as always with speakers, if possible get a demonstration first.
You should consider one of the venerable BBC monitors, the LS3/5A, originally designed decades ago for use in high quality monitoring in BBC outside broadcast studios.
These used to be licensed to a number of companies for manufacture, and second hand variants of those possibly now quite old 'speakers can be found with dealers and a well-known auction site.
You can also buy modern versions (with improved crossovers) from manufacturers such as Falcon Acoustics, who are based just outside Oxford. Have a look at their website to see the range of veneers that they offer, prices, etc, and a list of their dealers.
These 'speakers are very compact (same dimensions as the original Linn Kans, if that helps), so are not floor standers, but stands designed for LS3/5As are still being made, and I’m sure that a good dealer will help there too.
I have just recently ordered - from TomTom Audio in St Albans - a pair of Falcon’s LS3/5As for use in a ‘second system’ in my bedroom. I’m looking forward very much to hearing them.
I think there is plenty of choice out there, even for small floorstanders in your price range. As suggested above there are plenty of reviews online (What HiFi has loads, but also well worth looking at The Ear and HiFi Plus). Fyne Audio always seem well rated, as do PMC and Kudos. In the end you’ll have to audition. Are you in the UK?
I have a Naim Atom as an office system, and use it as a Roon/Qobux endpoint. I have it connected to a pair of old Dynaudio Audience SE speakers and I think that’s a great match. The Audience are long out of production, but Dynaudio has comparable models now that probably sound even better. Anyway, Dynaudio may be something to consider.
My main system has a pair of REL R-328 subs that I plan to upgrade this year to S/510. I think I may repurpose one of the R-328 to the office system. That should work pretty well.
If you haven’t already I suggest using the forum’s search facility - just putting in “Atom” and “speakers” will find you several threads on the very subject, likely some with people having smaller rooms, and some larger, maybe some similar to yours.
Do bear in mind that speakers are a very personal choice, given that of all system components they have the greatest influence on the character of the sound you hear. Auditioning is the only way to decide, ideally in your own room, at least for confirmation before buying, but if at home not possible then ideally hearing in a room of similar dimensions - though it may still sound different due to other influences like furnishing. If they don’t have an Atom to demonstrate with take yours - no decent dealer would bat an eyelid, serious hifi enthusiast private sellers may also be accommodating upon request. The first time I did a comparison of a lot of speakers by auditioning them I was astounded at how different they all sounded, with 10 of the 13 I heard rejected in a few seconds as they were so bad to my ears, despite all having received very good reviews in hifi press, and with a cost equivalent to £2.5-3k in today’s money.
It is worth considering secondhand or ex-demo, as that gives you greater buying power, and speakers normally last for decades without deterioration.
It may be worth giving a small floorstander like the Spendor A2 a shot in that room. I’ve a room of similar dimensions and am using Harbeth P3s which work very well, after trying a couple of floorstanders that were just too big for the room. I was looking at the A2s for a bit more punch (and partner likes to play a bit louder!)