Uniti Nova/Core - no Ethernet, WiFi only; worth it?

At the risk of asking a stupid question, I will soldier on anyway; I’m just about to buy a Unity Star and keep thinking I should be buying the Nova (and Core) instead. However, I have no direct Ethernet connection where the system will be situated and wondering if this is a pointless exercise, as it will all be connected by WiFi only. I will be continuing to use a pair of Neat Motive 2s from my previous Naim CD set up. So, am I making a mistake in buying the Star or should I forget the whole notion of the Nova/Core as, without Ethernet, it’s negligible at best? Thanks for being gentle with me!

Hi Ridrods, the Nova will work fine if you have a robust WiFi network. The Uniti Core has no WiFi capabilities and therefore only connected via a wired network. The Core however doesn’t need to be in the listening room and can be placed in any other room …

BTW: love the Neats!

The Core needs an Ethernet connection to retrieve metadata information when ripping a CD.

Thank you very much guys - much appreciated. So, in essence, if the Core is wired to my router, the Nova (connected only via WiFi emanating from the same router) will “see” this as a source and the Core can be selected via the Naim app to play via the Nova. This means that it’ll be squirrelled away in my study (with the router) and begs the question whether it’s worth paying for a piece of kit with all the Naim aesthetics if it’s not going to sit next to my streamer. I can feel a whole discussion regarding Core v other rippers coming on!

If you are happy to rip with your computer, a £400 nas will do exactly the same as a Core. In fact it would be far more flexible.


The wifi on the new Uniti series (Atom, Star, Nova) is not the limitation you fear from reading about the old (Qute, Super) days. Don’t let lack of convenient cabling be your deciding factor on how much to invest or which box to choose. I have no experience with the Star, but own both Atom and Nova and for sure the extra spend on the top model is evident in authority and control - much more of everything that makes the Atom a great purchase at its own price point (in much the same way Super was a commensurate step up in performance over Qute, for the larger price tag). From my perspective, if you can afford Nova, go for it and enjoy… but if you can afford Atom (or Star), buy in and enjoy that one. Leave everything behind after you choose and get home, both are a great listen and I bet the Star is too.

All that said, and all due respect to those who love theirs, I agree with HH that the Core is a spendy purchase for what it does… although again I’ve not listened. I use a (Synology) NAS for local streaming and Tidal HiFi for online content. Works and sounds great, for a (small) fraction of the cost of Core.

Plus, going with both Star and Core seems like doubling up on CD play and rip capability even if you do decide to pay for convenience and easy ripping as you get started… you don’t need two things to do this. And since Star rips stored on a small directly attached USB drive can also be served locally directly from the Star itself, you are doubling up on that function as well. (Note that Atom and Nova can do UPnP serving of rips done on your computer and directly attached via USB storage also, so you don’t even really need the NAS, certainly not from day one)

Bottom line: cost wise, Nova would be a better sounding and wiser investment than Star plus Core. Go listen, see how you feel, pick what you like, and enjoy!

Best wishes whichever way you jump

Regards alan

Thank you alan33 for your fulsome reply and thank you too hungrygalibut, much appreciated.

So, I have decided to go for the Nova but one final question; I have bought a Maxtor 2TB USB portable hard drive which I was intending to stick in the back of the Star to use as alan33 suggests. I have a Mac which obviously rips any inserted CD to iTunes (with all the losslessness that that entails). So, if I stick the hard drive into my Mac to rip my CDs for the purposes of then plugging it into the Nova, what software should I be using to ensure that my CDs are captured in the finest possible manner? I can’t see myself ripping every CD I own, probably just 200 of the ones that I’m likely to listen too (if I ever stop listening to Tidal/Qibuz that is!). So, as noted, I can see that the Core is overkill for its intended use. Thanks again - this is a very helpful community!

Hi, iTunes will rip your CDs into a lossless format, and it’s fine to keep using it if you’re happy with it. If you want to try an alternative, dBpoweramp is very good.

I use my MacBook Air with a Samsung USB CD/DVD drive to rip to iTunes and an external drive as Lossless ALAC files.

I bought my Nova late last year and use Roon to playback the files and sync with Tidal.

As iTunes is in play I can also sync to my 15 year old 80Gb iPod that lives in my car

Thanks Chris & Billy - there was I thinking that iTunes was the pariah of the audiophile world, I stand corrected! I think everything I imported over the years is as “AAC Encoder”, which I would guess cannot be “upgraded”. Hence, I’ll need to re-rip as “Apple Lossless Encoder” and then select these files and drag them to my new portable hard drive (which I would then stick in the USB at the back of the Nova). Then everything should play as well as it can in terms of SQ, providing Naim kit can cope with Apple Lossless - if someone tells me that in fact it can’t then I guess I should select “WAV Encoder” when re-ripping. Thanks.

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I use a Mac with xld for ripping and use the aiff format.

I would certainly want lossless rips, and although the earlier Naim streamers were, in many people’s view, better with WAV, I suspect you will find little difference on the Nova. If you’re curious, you can always make copies of a couple of albums and convert them to different formats, and see if you can hear a difference.

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