Uniti Star sounding thin and fatiguing

Somebody else has posted a similar thread in the not distant past but their complaint was that their new Uniti Star sounding thin and fatiguing. I have had mine for about six months now and to start with I was delighted - listening through lockdown the sound was just getting better and better. Added a turntable recently and was also really happy about how good it sounded. However in the last week or so it has started to sound thin, not enjoyable to listen to - really sound like a veil has come down over the speakers and it is just hurting my ears. I am really not sure what has happened - it is the same with all sources - I first noticed it streaming through Qobuz but it the same with the CD player and turntable. I don’t know what has changed (I don’t think it is my ears). I have disconnected everything and cleaned the plugs, put it all back together and it still sounds the same. I even tried my old MS speakers with no improvement so I am assuming it is the Uniti Star.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to what is going on and what can be done to get it back to sounding the way it sounded? At the moment I barely want to turn it - my ears are still ringing from playing some vinyl through it earlier.
Thank you in advance everyone - I really hope someone can help me get it back to the great sound I was enjoying a few weeks ago

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Time to relax some cables.

Has there been a firmware update?

Whatever has happened it sounds quite drastic so I’d be considering a fault to be honest. Is there a dealer involved who you can liaise with? A simple swap with another unit will answer many questions and stop you trying some of the voodoo that no doubt you’ll be bombarded with here.



If It sounds like the sound has changed then I’d take it in to a dealer and have them test it on some different speakers to check if the unit is faulty…

I think I will probably swap it out with my old Arcam and see if there is a difference. The Star is sounding shrill whereas I would have previously said it sounded slightly warm and very engaging. I think a trip back to Sevenoaks might be on the cards. Thanks for your input

Have you performed a full factory reset (which is different to unplugging)? Would suggest you do that first.

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I would second Clare’s recommendation of a full factory reset. Sometimes after a firmware update this can be necessary if the sound goes obviously a bit “off” (I guess to reset the DSP?).

If the factory reset don’t work, it may sound a bit esotheric for some but it might be a change on the main electricity as those hifi device seem to be quit sensitive to electrical pollution. I had this kind of issue with my star : some days the sound was, like you describe it, thin and fatiguing but it was temporary and quit random. I was able to greatly reduce those “bad times for the sound” by using a new electrical câble for the star and a ifi purifier on the Multiple socket.

Hi Clare and Richard
Thanks for the suggestion - overnight I came up with the idea of a factory reset and tried it this morning but haven’t got round to listening yet as the kids (actually they are adults now) are still in bed! I followed the Support page instructions for the reset but just to make sure I got it right, when I turned the unit back on it still had the 3.7.1 firmware and all the favourites still there - did I do it right? I was expecting to lose the favourites and possibly the latest firmware - but it did ask me if I wanted to register my product.
Tomtool - I was wondering about electrical pollution but I thought Naim products didn’t like to be plugged into filters etc. so have left it plugged directly into the mains. Let’s hope the reset works.
Many thanks all

Doesn’t sound like it reset as it will clear all your favourites in the Naim app, reset it’s name etc. It runs through the first setup procedure again if done correctly.

It may well be you and your perception of sound.

My first Naim system included some small stand mount speakers, they could produce good levels of bass for their size and what I thought of as a very detailed and exciting sound. These are the characteristics that drew me to buy the system. Over time and with the broader range of music listening that streaming has brought me I began to realise that detailed and exciting can be fatiguing, especially at higher volume levels and particularly with some kinds of music which I suspect are mixed to help to create this ‘feel’. I realised that whilst I still enjoyed the lively presentation it could have been better balanced.

I have since changed all of the components in my system and I especially chose the loudspeakers with this in mind. I had both sets of loudspeakers for a while and a friend came over to listen, we tried both and he asked me “why did you change, the little ones sound better!” I think it was the same issue playing out, the initial drama draws you in, but it isn’t necessarily what you want in the long term.

I know that this is seen as heresy on this forum, but sophisticated EQ does help in this respect, it allows you a degree of tuning of your system sound. I currently use a non-Naim DAC with Naim amplification for this purpose and I propose to explore the world of Dirac soon such is the strength of my appreciation of what even simple EQ. implemented in DSP. can do to bring the tonal balance back.

Similarly, the impact of room acoustics are much under played here, moving your loudspeaker positions and listening position can affect the sound heard by the listener. The software app. REW (which is free to use) includes a room simulator, no need for microphones etc. which allows you to model your room and to see/predict how changes to your loudspeaker and listening position can change the tonal balance of your system. It is free to use and well worth a try. It certainly helped me to understand the issues that I have in my room and helped me to explore the likely impact that simple changes can make.


I think you’re right : it is probably better not to add any kind of filtering since naim gear at this price point should’t need any, but i also think this applies only to a clean and stable electrical environnement on which few can rely on.

I have managed to do a full factory reset - everything went back to how it was originally and I had to re-enter everything from wifi to passwords for Qobuz. ~Everything then sounded great and I thought Problem Solved!
However after listening all morning it is beginning to sound shrill again and is beginning to make my ears ache.
I don’t understand why I have this problem now - I really don’t think it is my perception or having got used to the sound - only last week I was marvelling at how good it sounded but really isn’t now. If it had sounded like this when I auditioned I wouldn’t have parted with my money.
Can it really be dirty mains? I haven’t noticed over it the last six months and never with my old arcam unit, (not that that was sophisticated by the Uniti’s standard) so why all of a sudden now?
Any suggestions anyone? Thanks

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It could well be something new and not so nice on the mains somewhere.

I had a similar experience a few years back. The new forum has just been given its re-boot and I was having to deal with everybody signing up again, so i moved my laptop into the music room so i could listen to some music while verifying the applications. Later in the day, the battery on my MacBook was running down so I had to plug in to the mains, however, the mains adaptor lead couldn’t quite reach so I dug out an old mains extension lead and used that too. Not long after I noticed that the sound had gone a bit off and the top end was scratchy and fuzzy, to the point where I thought i may have damaged something like the stylus, or the tracking force or bias was off. Turned out it was the extension lead to my laptop computer that was the cause. Removing it and everything returned to normal. The mains is everything when it comes to how your hifi system turns those discs, or files into music and when it gets noisy or dirty for whatever reason, you’ll definitely hear it through a high performance system such as your Naim.


Thank you Richard, this well may be the problem I am experiencing. After reading your post I wandered round the house and disconnected a few things that may well be on the same circuit causing a problem, including a wireline internet adapter that was plugged in but not really doing anything.
Well it may be a placebo effect but it does sound better and not so irritating and shrill now.
This does leave me with a bit of an issue though. I do have a houseful of gadgets and electrical devices and grown up kids that come home and use hair dryers, straighteners, curlers and even more wifi gadgets. I know it is not recommended to plug any Naim items into filters etc. but would anything improve the sound or at least not cause it to go “off” again? I know it might be heresy to mention this here but would something like the Audiolab mains conditioner improve things? Not silly money.
Sorry for such an essay but I am finding everyones input here very useful - thanks


Could be worth asking a local electrician to quote re fitting a dedicated mains spur - that can be a cheaper and more effective solution than ‘audiophile’ products that may strangle the sound.


I wholeheartedly agree with Clare here. A mains spur is a good investment and provides a firm foundation for the system, and often costs less than a single poncy wire that achieves very little.


Fair comment - might be a possibility when I have the room redecorated but SWMBO might take some convincing otherwise!
I am just listening to so much more music than I ever did since I got my turntable- maybe I am just getting more critical as well.

Those ethernet over mains devices are horrible and absolutely they will have a deleterious effect on performance. I’m not surprised if removing it has improved things.

I would avoid conditioners if you can - they can clean things up but also they can make things sound a bit flat and unexciting too.

A dedicated mains spur with dedicated CU would be my choice here.


Can you bring your Star to a friend with speakers, or to the dealer. You will know then if the Star is faulty or if it’s your mains.