Uniti Atom WI-FI and sound quality


I had Uniti Atom for a while. I use it mostly with Spotify and Tidal accounts via WI-FI network. And sometimes I use external HDD to play FLAC files from my own music library.

A week ago I connected Uniti Atom through WIRED network cable.

And WOW, I was really surprised how the quality changed. The sound became more controlled, detailed and really engaging. Before it was muddy, slow, and I thought it is because my room acoustics. And I can assure you, it is not placebo. I tried some blind tests with my friend, and difference is easy to feel.

Is it normal, that WI-FI network produces worse quality on these devices? I understand that it is not a top level of Naim products. There are devices with isolated circuits, like Nd555 and other Naim separates, which I assume should produce wonderful sound quality for both Wi-Fi and in wired connections.

Also, I understand, that signal path is digital, and in theory there shouldn’t be any sound quality changes in transmitting it. But maybe the changes occur because WI-FI signal module/antenna somehow affects DAC and other Unity circuits. I live in apartment, and there are plenty of WI-FI networks around. My Uniti Atom shows 25 WI-FI networks visible in my room. So maybe it is also somehow related.

Some time ago I’ve read in archived forums, that some people experienced random quality changes in Uniti Atom. I think it could also be related with WI-FI network, because I’ve also noticed random changes in sound quality when used Wi-FI and now – the problem gone away.

Did anybody else notice quality differences compared WI-FI and WIRED network connections for Uniti Atom? And also, why NAIM do not warn about these possible quality differences. I think it should be very important factor for users. For example, I would connect my Uniti to WIRED connection first day I bought it, If I knew that quality is worse through WI-FI.

Very good point. I have an Atom and I wired it about a month or so afterwards instead of WiFi.
I emailed Naim asking if there was a difference. The answer was yes. But marginally.
I think it’s made a big difference. Personally I prefer all wired connections on most devices and use WiFi as little as possible. :+1:t3:

Interesting. Has anyone else felt the difference between wi-fi and wire?

So I assume we should never use WI-FI as transferring path for audio signal. But the problem is, if network cable is disconnected, WI-FI module turns on itself. There is no way to disconnect WI-FI manually.

So if network cable is unplugged, WI-FI module is always working, damaging sound quality. So, for example, if I use USB stick connected to Uniti Atom as a source, and wired network cable is disconnected, audio quality also differs. I did a lot of listening tests, and I can assure it is true. But at the moment I plug wired network cable to Uniti, sound quality comes back.

In my case, I’m very glad that I have ability to connect wired cable to Uniti. But what about the situation if there would not be possible to connect wired cable to Unity?

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