Speakers for a Nova

Hi… I’m new to the forum although I have owned Naim kit for 20 years. I eventually decided it was time to upgrade my olive system. Bought when my son was born and now he has left home… I think that says it all !!

Having waited 3 months for my Nova to be delivered, 4 days in I am delighted with it. I’m now wondering about the speakers. Of course I know it depends on my preference, room conditions etc, but wondered if there is anyone out there who thought…‘Wow… these just work together’.

I currently have three options which I have owned for years… they are currently going through some Monitor GS20’s which sound great. I have some Wilson Benesch Arcs and also a pair of EPOS 22’s. When I listened to the Nova demo I heard them through Focal Kanta’s No.2 which were awesome in the demo room. Was wondering if anyone has experience of Nova and Kanta? Appreciate any thought or discussion on how to pair speakers with the Nova? Many thanks

Dynaudio pairs really well with naim, I would suggest a demo at home if possible, find a few brands your interested in and listen to them all before you buy. Are you looking for stand mount or towers?

Don’t rush and play with your current speaker options, determine which sounds best for you.

What did you have before Nova, and if anything what do you still have?

I’d suggest you enjoy and listen to the Nova for at least a few weeks to let it run it, and for your joy to subside slightly, and then after a month or so, start listening critically to see what it is you are missing, or getting too much of. It’s its a bit dull, then one set of suggestions will be forthcoming, and if too bright, another - too bassy leads one direction, not enough leads another. But the Nova will change character for a while, and your perceptions will as well.

This also has the advantage of moving things down the road a bit, when many places have re-opened and you can then have some dealer demos and even more critically, in-home demos for your final choices.

FWIW I love the looks of Focal speakers, but have never gelled with the sound from them, ditto B&W’s. I have Dynaudios, which are epic, but I tried a lot of things en route. But that is my ears, my preferences, and (sometimes) my room. YEMV (Your Ears/Experience May Vary)…


Thanks for the reply, I guess I’m not wedded to either… so its more about how it sounds. The Arcs I have are stand mounted and they are an acquired taste. I was toying with Sopra No1. but that was more curious than anything with them. My room isn’t huge roughly 25 sqm as its set up in my home office.

Hi Alley_Cat,

Yes I still have the Olive kit. Working out whether to mothball it or sell it. Not sure I’m ready to sell it but it I can’t see how I can use it in the house going forward. Heart and head I guess !!

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Hi xcentric,

Thanks, appreciate your view of the Focal’s. Common theme across all threads I’ve read on the forum is vast majority appear to love Dynaudios.

Its probably good advice to wait and let it bed in a bit. I guess my question was as much about I’m listening via 10+ year old speakers and technology does move on, so much as I can hear a stepped improvement from what I had I’m wondering if there is another step change by looking at and trying to match speakers more closely?

Whilst streaming kit and DACs have advanced, I’m less sure about much of the other electronics within hi-fi, and as for speakers then whilst minor improvements have been made (box design, crossover design and consistency, suspension units, magnets) I don’t think there’s such a radical shift in speaker technology or performance… Better (and more expensive) speakers will sound better than older cheaper ones, obviously! And with very decent kit that you now have, that will bring out the strengths and foibles of the speakers more clearly…

I think a while back a poll was conducted which showed B&W & Kudos as the most widely used.
I’m really happy with B&W at the end of a Star. (Which were much better to my ears than the equivalent Dynaudio)

Dynaudio is interestingly mentioned more than those, so I guess the owners are more focal? (no pun intended)

PMC and Neat I think are also popular on this forum.

While I have owned and liked Focal in the past I haven’t heard them with Naim. I’d also recommend checking out Revel.

I have Dynaudio speakers with my Nova and I’m generally very happy with them. To be honest I think my Nova deserves better, but cost and room placement issues are the deciding factor for me. The tonal characteristics of different speaker brands will affect your choice and so will your room, so like others have said you may want to wait a while and enjoy the selection you already have, giving plenty of hours on the clock to let it run in fully.

I would also recommend neutral-warm speakers like mid-range Dynaudio (Contour / Focus) or the Spendor A-series (which i personally own and think is a great combination with the Nova).

Yes I can recommend the Spendor A7, which goes very well with Unity Nova. I had a Focal Aria 926 before them, but Spendor is better for the class.

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Thanks everyone for their reply and advice. Have chosen to let the whole system bed in for a while then decide what to do. As a newbie, I don’t hear a lot of support for Naim and Focal combo, is that a fair assessment?

I have Focal 936 speakers and they are very good speakers, replaced by Linn Kelidhs a couple of years ago. They are very affordable.

Going up the range the Kantas and Sopra range are popular on here with quite a few owners!

Worth a demo.

Perhaps not in this thread, but I’ve seen enough supporters elsewhere. I’ve spent most of the pandemic keeping a long list of ‘my next bookshelf speaker upgrade’ (1K-2K budget range) since I got my Uniti Star a year ago… it opened up my modest Dynaudios enormously compared to my previous equally modest TEAC amplifier. I am a very happy listerner, but it did make me curious how much better it could get… Disadvantage of a long list: Once the dealers open again I’d have to audition 17 models, one Focal included.

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