Uniti Star sounds ordinary- HELP

Hi folks, this is my first post and really need your advice/expertise
I have just purchased a Naim Unity Star driving a pair of Focal 926 floorstanders through Naim speaker cable
This was auditioned and I was happy enough to place an order
You can imagine my excitement waiting for the items to arrive, but after unpacking and setting the system up it is just disappointing, there is no emotion in the music and I feel so upset it has ruined my experience
Now to make things clear:

  1. The Naim Uniti Star is connected by WiFi and not Ethernet cable- Is this the problem?
  2. I am using Tidal and Quobuz as my music source but have also used a music cd
  3. Does using Chromecast for playing music play at a lower standard than hi fi
    I have a little understanding of streaming but as you can tell do not fully understand the way these things work
    Any help and advice would be really appreciated

With all the sources you mention you should get an extremely good experience.

Keep in mind that the Star, the cables and the speakers need to “run in”. This is normal. It will take some time to start sounding like the demo unit that is obviously very well run in.

This basically means that the components and cables will change slightly when it is used due to electronic effects. They will sound better and better until they reach their peak performance.

I’d wait a week or two before making a judgement.

It’s brand new, let everything settle and the speakers run in.

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Naim say allow 200 hours to run in. Though mine sounded great from new.

Yeah mine did too but I think it depends what you compare it to. I did an enormous upgrade from what I had to the Star so it sounded amazing. But I can imagine if someone wants to capture the exact sound of a run in system it can sound less than optimal.

Silly question, are the speakers in phase?


There are so many factors which will affect the sound you hear.

First of all, time. Time for a new system/component to settle in. This can take weeks. It applies to speakers and cables too.

Your room will have a major effect on what you hear. Size, shape, construction materials, floor covering, furnishings etc. Where did you demo your system? At home or at the dealers?

Speaker position. You will need to experiment with different positions and your sitting position in relation to your speakers. For most of us, compromises are necessary, but do the best you can with what you’ve got.

In your position though, I would just give it time. Enjoy it as it is, and enjoy it when you sit down one day and hear an improvement. Consider it a journey of discovery. The Uniti series punches well above its weight, and the Star will reward your patience.

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It should work just fine on wifi. Use the Naim app rather than Chromecast wherever possible.
New speakers especially need a good few hours to sound their best. Before I got my current PMC speakers I had a home loan from the dealer and liked the sound so much I ordered a pair. When they were delivered brand new out of the box they sounded nowhere near as good as the loan pair I had and the dealer said a good 100+ hours before they sounded their best. He wasn’t wrong.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and recommendations.
I am aware that the components require running in and also the room acoustics play a large role, the system was demonstrated at a hifi dealer so would have the room optimised for listening
I suppose I was very naive in thinking it would sound so much better than it does straight out of the box
I think my main question was regarding WiFi and chrome-cast, are they both able to stream master audio files or should I use Ethernet?
Thanks again it is so helpful having like minded people to talk to

I can stream Qobuz 24/192 just fine on Wi-Fi with my ND5 XS2 so I’d expect the Star to be just as capable

Never used Ethernet with my Star and all works well for me on Wi-fi including Hi Res streaming.


Hi, if you bought your system from a ‘proper’ HiFi dealer they should be able to help you, make sure it’s set up properly, or even suggest some alternatives if you’re not enjoying it.
There are quite a few factors that may be in play here, such as:

Room acoustics. Perhaps your dealers demo room just has better acoustics. I would say that the most important and difficult thing to get right in HiFi is matching the speakers to the room. If this doesn’t work, try some different speakers.

Speaker cables: if you’re not used to NACA5 it’s surprisingly easy to wire it out of phase. This will not sound good. Double check it, or just reverse the polarity at any one of the connections and see what happens.

Sources: as long as you’re using a lossless digital source I can’t see this being your problem. There may well be small differences between Chromecast, AirPlay and Native Tidal or Qobuz, but they should all sound pretty decent.

On my Star I certainly don’t notice a difference between WiFi vs Ethernet or Chromecast vs native streaming that makes me think one sounds bad.

But, if it’s easy enough, just wire it into Ethernet. And test the same song on both Chromecast and native streaming. You should instantly know if that is adding to your current frustration.

I use Ethernet with my Uniti Star and it sounds great with Credo speakers .
My wife remarked earlier today that she thought it sounded "better " after the latest update .

Hi folks
Thank you for all of the advice and suggestions
Just an update, I have left the system running as often as possible over the last week to run in and I think the sound quality has improved slightly
I have also purchased a pair of mains Ethernet adapters and will try them over the weekend to see if that improves things
I do think WiFi is my problem as when playing Tidal from the Naim app the gold emblem for master files is grey so I suspect this means it is not available as a master file- does anyone know if this is correct

I would be very surprised. These things are the work of the devil and can cause all kinds of noise and performance issues. Definitely not recommended.

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I agree with Richard here. Either run an Ethernet cable, or go for a decent Mesh wireless network.

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Another vote for Richard’s comment. Stay away from WiFi extenders.

I’m running my Star off a NetGear Orbi mesh WiFi system’s satellite and it works like a dream. It’s a relatively costly solution but it really works well. You don’t need the WiFi 6 version for your star, so you could get the cheaper version of the Orbi if you went this way.

Depending on your house layout it will also improve WiFi reach and speeds for other devices.

Naim streamers won’t play Tidal MQA master files, you get the CD quality version instead. That has nothing to do with your Wi-Fi

Wow that is a shock, I have paid for a subscription to Tidal just for the master file quality and can’t believe that Naim being a top hifi brand do not support it. Thank you for the info it is very much appreciated
Regarding the mains adaptor and the mesh WiFi I will try both and report back
I am with BT and their WiFi is excellent but they are sending me a free mesh disk to connect the Uniti Star by Ethernet cable
To be honest this is all very confusing, reviews say that Tidal masters and Qobuz are the best quality music files but when playing I have no idea what quality is being streamed and as you said no support for Tidal master ???
Perhaps I am getting a good enough WiFi signal and do not need to be using mesh or mains adapters
Welcome to the world of high end hifi. How I have missed this holy grail