Original Uniti 1 vs Atom

Hey all, hope you’re staying safe!

I was wondering if anyone has directly compared an Atom with an original Uniti 1 (one of the later models with updated streaming board)?

I’m led to believe that in terms of SQ, the upgrade to an Atom isn’t very significant and it’s more of a sideways step.

The amplifier in the original Uniti was based on the nait5, which has a great long standing reputation, whereas the atom is based a new amp made for the atom. Plus the Uniti has a bit more power - 50w v 40w.

(Putting aside high res quoboz and tidal masters which are not available to the Uniti)

Any experience of these two units side by side? I’d love to get some feedback on the sonic differences if possible.


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I’ve owned both and I’d have to say the Atom is better than the original Uniti, not that there’s anything wrong with the original.

Thanks for your response Pete. Is it convincingly better? Worth the upgrade cost for SQ alone?

To be honest I only replaced the Uniti so I could have a latest generation streamer. I use it as the master to stream to my 272 and gen 1 Muso.

Stavs, I have done exactly this comparison. I still own my Uniti1 with updated DAC board. I started looking for its replacement almost a year ago, spent time with an Atom and even a Star, in direct comparison.

I have to say, if one is happy with the Uniti, which I was and still am, I did not hear much difference in it myself. Certainly newer tech is always the dogs danglies, and things get tricky when doing comparisons like this.

The newer platforms of course bring easier ways to update, are shiny and new, maybe a bit more power, and offer moving into the future such things as Quobuz, etc. things that the techie types might fall all over themselves for.

For me, the new Uniti series actually lost a couple things that are important to me, the FM tuner module, and maybe a bit more analog connectivity which I do use often. Especially if comparing more or less the direct replacement Star for my Uniti1. So there was that. I also was not all over the moon with the wonderful volume knob, as I wouldn’t have used it, I do all from my iPad anyway. Also, the fancy display meant nothing to me either. I guess glitz and glamour do not go a long way with me! It all depends if those things are important to you!

Again, sound quality wise, to my ears, it was a wash, subtle at best. In the end, as I went about my comparisons, as well as thinking cost to upgrade, I decided to throw the Nait XS3 and ND5XS2 into the mix. This is where I believe things took on a better sonic improvement, and a definite step up, and I decided to do this as my Uniti1 upgrade. The funny thing is, I actually spent less money doing that than had I went for the Star! So that was a win for me. Yes, it is two boxes instead of one, but the upside is the Nait will last a lifetime, as I have no desire to go more up the ladder, been there, done that. But also, even though the ND5 will be around a good while, this gives me the option to just replace it, not the whole box as I would with Atom, Star etc. seems simpler to me.

Really, the older Uniti’s are really very good, and just because they have been replaced, does not take away from how good they do sound. Providing yours still works and fits the need? Mine has gone back to serving duty in my bedroom, while I listen to the Nait/ND5 almost every day.

I have gone on here really to say this, they all are really good pieces of gear, just depends if you have that so called upgrade itch or not, but if sound quality is the deciding factor only, I don’t think there is all that in it, IMO. I am sure there will be the cries of cloth ears etc. that is okay. Use your own ears, newer is not always better, maybe just different. Have fun and enjoy the path as you go forward! Sorry for my long blathering.

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Sorry, me again, a couple other quick points, I will say this about the newer Uniti series, Atom and Star, it does appear that their ability to stay connected and stream without the blips and disconnection are one very positive improvement over the older series. My network connection at times can be a bit suspect, and the newer series is just flat better. If you have solid connections, maybe this will not matter.

Also on power of Atom versus Uniti1, yeah, really no thing at all in it. It is a wash there, and I would even say that going from Uniti1 to the Star 70 wpc, unless one is marginal already with speakers you own, but still, not much in the extra power. Certainly the Uniti1 amp section is really good as expected.

Okay, over and out!

Frazeur, thanks so much for your insight! Very much appreciated!! Its useful to hear someone else say that the SQ improvement isn’t particularly significant.

I’m really starting to think that on my budget, the cheapest and most convincing improvement in SQ is the Superuniti.

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Obviously there are budget requirements etc., to consider as well. Just be able to purchase right, knowing that you are on an older platform and other than basic service, there really isn’t much support beyond that. The Superuniti is a nice piece, just think hard about your outlay and where you may want to go system wise in the future. No need to put out money now if changes will come later? Is there a current concern with the power amp portion being able to do what you want now, or? Just curious as to what your intentions may be moving forward?

In terms of considering the future, a legacy streamer like the superuniti would last me for decades as long as i can still access cd quality streaming from tidal. That’s all I would ever need. If tidal suddenly disappeared or the tidal integration with naim suddenly stopped working that would be my only cue to upgrade to a more up to date streamer.

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New striming platform on Atom is big improvement compare with old. Far easy for using, searching, conecting. For SQ I am not shure which is better, even new software update change SQ on Atom. For power - Atom is enough potent, just listen this video:

Conclusion: I will chose new platform in every combination.


I have a uniti cute 2 which I run with neat iota’s - sounds wonderful… albeit it needs some volume through it to sing and sounds less engaging at quieter volumes. Got the pair for sub £1k so very good value.



Hi @stavrose , you don’t explicitly mention a budget, so apologies if I exceed it. I have never owned a Uniti 1 but nearly did so. Shortly after the Uniti came out I went round to my local hifi shop to audition and, in all likelihood, buy one. After the auditioning the Uniti, I asked if they had an XS system I could listen to. Big mistake! I came out of the shop having placed an order for a Nait XS and CD5XS – the start of my Naim journey. I think the XS products are high points in the Naim range.

So… How about a ND5XS and Nait XS 2? That assumes a good second hand market where you live. It also assumes you really don’t want Qobuz, Roon etc or the other advantages of the new streaming platform. If you think you might like to try Qobuz and budget permits, you could go for an ND5XS2 instead, and/or save money with a late Nait XS 1 rather than version 2. I do own an Atom in my second system and great though it sounds with Neat Iotas, my old XS separates were significantly better.


Sounds nice, what are those speakers?

Thanks @PeakMan @Farthings-cat @Antsan @Engine - appreciate all of your input and thoughts!!

Ok, I made a decsion and I just pulled the trigger on a SuperUniti. I know its a side step in terms of technology but in terms of SQ, I think there is no bigger upgrade possible for the money. Fingers crossed it lives up to expectations because I’ve never heard one. Eeek!

I had a super uniti a few years back, kind of regret selling it. Lovely piece of kit. I had mine with NSats and it was very good but was getting little use ergo I sold it.

I do recall adding a powerline was worth while too!


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I’m sure it will. Have fun.


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