Sound quality on naim atom

Hi I have ad a atom for sometime now but never really been happy with it. It seems to have no grunt just wondering if any one as the same issue. I’m using elipson planet l speakers along with a 12inch dali sub. Is any one having the same issue is this a speaker thing
Thank you in advance for any help. Was also looking at the naim nova but bit of a jump in price

Always a matter of taste, but I’d go and look at a speaker upgrade … I have the Atom combined with a pair of Sonus Faber Minima Amator II and the combo absolutely rocks. Granted, it’s setup in a relatively small room (2m x 4m) but I adore the match … Nothing lackluster about it :slight_smile:


I’d suggest some different speakers, possibly some more conventional ones.


Atom can sound amazing.

An Atom with Royd Sorcerer absolutely rocks(!) in MY small room. I have heard an Atom/Epos ES11 in a large room sounded brilliant.

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Hello Leejack,
I’m not familiar with your speakers but certainly my Atom can really rock, with plenty of grunt and that’s in a very large room, around 30’ x 18’.
I’m using Kudos X3 speakers.

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Felt the same when I had an Atom. Nova fixed it for me. That’s with ProAc Tab 10, though others have had less luck with that combination - maybe room dependent.

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I use mine with Neat Iotas in a small bedroom I use as an office. Whilst not the last word in detail and sound staging, it is after all at the bottom Naim’s hierarchy, I certainly wouldn’t describe it as lacking grunt. But as it’s only 40 wpc it does benefit from a sympathetic choice of loudspeaker and that’s where I’d look to improve your setup.


PS Apologies to @Blythe, this was meant as a reply to @Leejak.


You said you were using a subwoofer and also that it had no grunt. Is the subwoofer setup correctly?

The sub has it’s own power amp so the Atom isn’t driving that at all, just supplying a signal. Also, where have you taken the signal from? Pre outs or speaker leads? And if the latter, which end, amp or speakers?

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I used an Atom for around 2 years with large 3 way speakers that were an easy load, and was totally satisfied. Looking at your speakers, I’d say they are the issue. There’s only so much you can expect from such a small speaker. I imagine everything falls apart when you turn the volume up, and they have no presence at low volumes??

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Atom with ATC 11’s user, sounds lovely to my ears.

I previously had the Nova with Neat Iota and that worked less well then my Atom / ATC 11’s.

Obvious the Nova would be better than the Atom so my conclusion is those little ATC speakers are bloomin good! That said I do prefer the form of the Atom over the Nova which has the “2 boxes stuck together” look.

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I’ve got an Atom with Spendor A2 speakers and it sounds great; very clear, and great image. I usually increase the volume a bit if I want to play something heavy, and the Atom is always happy to deliver the goods…


The fact that folks mention that they don’t lack grunt when paired with easy-to-drive speakers is pretty much the definition of lacking grunt. :slight_smile:

It needs very sensible pairing due to the low power. You either need easier speakers or a bigger amp, IMO, no way around it.

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Plenty of useful info missing here, room size and shape, speaker cables used, was the Atom bought to add to those speakers (already owned).
I use mine with Focal 300 Series in wall speakers, have used with PMC DB1i as well.
It’s a 40 watt amp after all, limitations exist but as others have pointed out, perhaps audition some other speakers, KEF, ATC, PMC, ELAC, Dali, there’s no shortage of choice of speakers that will likely pair more favourably.
I’ve no experience of the Elipson but they appear to be more aimed at surround AV use?

I use mine, as many do, with an additional power amp. In my case a s/h olive 250. Speakers are SBLs.

Maybe you could borrow something similar from your dealer and try with your speakers? It might help to show you what more power delivers, and if that fixes what you feel is missing. Easy to connect up and try.

My gut feeling is as others have suggested though; try different speakers, with and without the sub maybe. Bearing in mind it is the entry level box I am always impressed by the Atom. It can definitely deliver fast, clean and exciting music. Proper bit of kit.


PS After countless years I am never quite sure what ‘grunt’ is! Volume? Bass heft?

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