Uniti Atom Headphone Edition Balanced Input

That is a plastic cover on the rear 4 pin balanced XLR, my balanced headphone cable won’t fit. Used a lot of force.

I can’t find any images of the unit looking any other way or see anything about different 4pin XLR connectors, before I stick a screwdriver in there could someone enlighten me please.

Go carefully! You should have a circular 4 socket ‘female’ output on your Atom HE and your 4 pin ‘male’ connecter should fit firmly in the socket, but don’t damage the pins. It is an output to drive headphones (not an input). Some time since I unboxed mine, but I don’t remember a cover. (Out of focus picture of my headphone connector)

Thanks for replying. I have ordered another 4pin connector, just to see if that will fit, not attached to a cable. That will rule out a defect with the headphone cable XLR or it’s pins.

Can’t see why it would take this amount of force if they are all standardized.

When fitting I turn my Atom round so I can see the socket and ensure the connector goes in level at 90 degrees to the body.

Something doesn’t seem right, I use the balanced connection at the rear of the Atom HE, no issues with making the connection, no force required. Using Focal Utopia headphones.

Focal Clear MG and ZMF here - the connectors should fit firmly, but not need force.

All looks simple enough. The amount of force I need is enough to move the unit when I am holding onto it’s side for dear life.

Is this a third party quality headphone cable? Or supplied with your headphones? I assume that the tolerances are the same? I just align the pins then push firmly ensuring the pins are engaged. Perhaps a different headphone cable is required.

It is an aftermarket cable for my AKG 701 and Beyerdynamic 9900, went on a buying spree on Ali Express. Got some cheap back up cables and a couple of more expensive ones.

The pins feel like they went in, the music stopped on the front headphones (Thought I broke the Unit) but I unplugged it and it started playing, so I clearly I tripped the thing, if the front jack stops playing when the rear connector is used that is.

Buy something with neutrik plugs. Are you in the UK? Ask designacable to make up a lead.

Yep. Think I may have too.

By the way, the XLR plug will not auto select the headphone out. You need to do that using the button in the front left.

Also in head-fi I thought you were talking about plastic on the connector itself. Please don’t take a screwdriver to the Naim unit. Shocked that someone sells an XLR cable that is not within the basic specs to fit the socket.

It’s hard to tell from your picture but your XLR plug looks like one of the pins may be slightly out of alignment (bottom left) which may be making it more difficult to plug into the XLR socket on the HE. I’d certainly try a different plug as you suggest to rule this out.



More importantly, why is the balanced socket on the back of the unit, when the others are on the front?

Probably no room on the front and it’s close to the balanced output circuitry at the back. There is a 4.4mm balanced socket on the front in addition to the standard 6.35mm stereo socket.

I assumed it was about space. Its j7st something you’d not choose to do, hence a compromise. But as a user of neutric 4 pin headphones, it would put me off buying.

All my balanced 'phones are 4.4mm Pentacon so not an issue here if i was tempted by an HE, but yes, it’s a bit more awkward for XLR users if you need to plug and unplug regularly. For a permanent headphone setup, it’s probably no hassle.

I agree, in the picture the pins look very slightly out of alignment to me. That will no doubt be why you are having difficulty plugging in. Don’t force it, get a new plug on there.


70% of everything I’ve bought from Ali Express has fallen into the defective or dangerous category. And returning always costs similar or more than the item cost (which I’m sure the sellers count on). It took me about 10 purchases before I learned my lesson.

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I use it as a permanent headphone set up and it’s no hassle, actually prefer the connection to the rear.