Nova v Atom

When combined with KEF LS50 meta will I see a difference in sound quality between the Nova and Atom? I’ve got the chance to buy the Nova at a great price but am wondering if I’ll see a benefit or is it overkill? Thank you

The KEF LS50 meta is a really great speaker, but slightly demanding as a load, as it dips to just over 3 Ohms for s significant part of the frequency range. Also, it is not especially sensitive (but not bad either). Like most amps, the Atom (and I expect the Nova) drops in power output capability in the lower base region. For all that, unless you are listening in a very large room and at very high volume, I doubt if you would be able to hear a difference. (The Nova has about 3 dB more power than the Atom). However, if the Nova is being offered “at a great price”, then why not go for it?


Thank you, I still find myself so undecided. I do suffer with overthinking and will probably overthink myself out of actually buying anything🙁


I have had an atom which I replaced with a Nova and I thought the improvement was fairly substantial. That was with Naim nSat speakers not your speakers though

The difference is not just down to watts / output I don’t think but I have never made any effort to compare their specifications


Thanks Tim I appreciate the reply

You’ll definitely hear an uplift, whether it’s worth the price difference is up to you. Ideally if you could borrow one from a dealer would be the way to go

1 Like

As Tim says…the Nova is a substantial improvement. You will not be disappointed. Was the start of a slippery slope for me though :grimacing:


Hollow makes a good point though - one that I should have made - and that is that nobody but you can decide if it’s worth the ££. Which is a bit tricky if you can’t hear in advance


I have a Nova with LS50s. I kept the Nova having upgraded my main system and bought the LS50s to go with it. Its a nice combo. In my original demos I felt there was a substantial difference between Atom and Nova hence I bought it!


I’ve heard the LS50 metas with the Atom and thought they sounded great BUT I wondered if they would not benefit from the extra grunt. If they sound better with the Nova it’s a win even though aesthetically they leave a lot to be desired in my eyes.

I like the form factor of the Atom over the Nova….

Where my Atom is I tend not too listen too loud ergo the Atom is fine for me.

Be interesting to hear how the new Nova sounds



Can I ask what speakers you use please?

ATC11’s which worked much better than neat iota alphas I had.

Some suggest ATC are power hungry but the Atom drives mine perfectly.

Plenty of deals around on the Atom. I paid c £1300 for mine… maybe start with an Atom and at the right price should be easy to move on if you want more power in the future.


I’ve always fancied ATC and demoed the SCM7 which didn’t hit the spot for me. Maybe the 11’s would be better and easier to drive. Love the minimalist look BTW

Thanks, have a read of the “show us your ATC’s” thread. Consensus is the 7’s everywhere are tad harder to drive than the 11’s.

I’ve had Nova with Neat Iota Alphas and Atom with ATCSCM 11’s the latter worked much better for me hence home demo if you can.

I have some active 40’s too and have fast become an ATC fan boy!


1 Like

Thanks I’ll take a look.

I have both the Atom and Nova.
Whilst I cannot comment on the combination with the LS50’s, I’m sure you will hear differences. Which one you prefer is down to taste. The Nova to me has a weightier sound but has some mid bass ‘thump’ which can be a little distracting. The Atom to me has a more lucid mid range, the highs are about the same for both.


Might I ask what speakers you have for both please? Thanks

I have both the Atom and the Nova and have used both driving Focal Aria & Chora floor standers. I’m not sure if is a ‘night and day’ difference to be honest, but there is certainly more bottom end with the Nova. I actually had to adjust my sub as a result. Highs very similar. Noticeably more grunt.

If I was choosing between the two and the price differential wasn’t too bad, I would go with the Nova every day of the week. I think you will have more flexibility (speaker wise) into the future.

1 Like

I have a Nova paired with the LS50 Meta. I can’t comment on any other combos as this is the only Naim setup I’ve owned, but I was in your shoes, debating my options endlessly.

I had some major space and aesthetic constraints I needed to navigate, so no speaker larger than the LS50 would fit and I needed the integrated to be a maximum of 13 inches in depth. Both Nova and Atom were in the running.

I’m very pleased with the sound. I find that the LS50s really begin to open up at 40+ on the Nova’s volume dial. At 60, they start to sing. Honestly, I can’t imagine feeding the LS50s with less power. I feel as though they would sound a bit…restrained?

Note: I also have a KC62 subwoofer, but with a new puppy in the house, I’ve gone about 6 months now with the KC62 boxed up. I’ve been really impressed with how well the LS50s stand on their own (though a well positioned/tuned subwoofer absolutely elevates the LS50 sound).

1 Like