What’s so bad about Naim Speakers?

I know they have their fans - but seemingly not that many…they’re a bit “marmite” shall we say!

So tongue in cheek - what’s so bad about Naim Speakers??

…this is for the fans to tell us what we are all missing - and for those that have tried and failed to love them to share why.

That they don’t make them any more is a pretty big downside.


That’s why this is a non controversial topic for the official forum!

Lots still out there though…

I’ve auditioned some of the lower end models and just didn’t get along with the sound, though never tried SL’s. And for the money they go for, it’s hard to get past the ‘eighties are knocking’ looks as well, even if I was ok with the sound and price. But even if I had liked the sound of the SBL’s I auditioned for my last speaker purchase (I need speakers close to the wall) I’m pretty sure my wife would have balked at what look like essentially big black cat scratchers in the living room.


But the cat would love them, which surely is a big plus for a happy home life.


Our Staffie rescue would love to kill a cat so we don’t have one. Makes for a much happier home life. :slight_smile:

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I’ve never heard the DBLs - but they look more like a Hide for watching amorous ducks from than a speaker!

Them and the SBL have to be amongst the most marmite speakers ever. It strikes me that If you love them - there really is nothing else quite like them - unless people that have had them have found joy elsewhere?

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I’m very new to Naim speakers, SL2s, had them running both passive and active after previously owning Focal Micro Utopia. They’re built well enough, look good and sound OK, not a lot to criticise really; I think you would have to pay a lot more money to beat them, certainly in active mode


There’s nothing bad about them if you like the sound they produce, I’ve had SBLs, Ovators, Arivas and now Allaes. As I haven’t heard all of the speakers of other makes I can’t comment on how they compare, but as with all speakers you have to try them for yourself with your ears, system and room.


Back in the early 2000s My local Naim dealer demonstrated a whole range of Naim Audio speakers. So many: Credo, Intro, Allae, Ariva - could have been more. Didn’t like the sound of any of them so he sold me my Piegas and I am still using them. Hard to say what was wrong with the Naim speakers, I guess when it’s right you just know.

My dealer has a pair of Ovators 400’s sitting in the studio, but can’t bring himself to sell them…he is concerned he won’t find another pair.


Speakers are the component which will have the most impact on the tonal balance of your system and Naim speakers are just the same as every other brand. They will work for you and work in your environment or they won’t. That said I’ve only ever been convinced by Naim speakers when they were driven actively, although my listening is limited.



A few years back I was looking to upgrade from my then b&w 683. I tried all sorts, rega, linn, b&w plus a few others on the end of my nait xs2. Then my dealer wheeled in the ovator s400 and I bought them pretty much on the spot. In the dealers room and my own room at the time they were simply fantastic, live sounding, fun, completely toe tapping. No other speaker had ever made me think that music could sound so live. Upgrades down the line to a 272 and 200dr brought further big increases in performance and I would have likely owned this system until something broke down. Then I moved house and the ovators never quite gelled with the room. As you may see from my post I’ve just bought a pair of ATC SCM40a which better them in every way in my current room, im still very sad to see the ovators go though, lovely loudspeaker and one I wish everyone could experience as I did. For the money they go for now they are a total steal if you have the room to make them work, build quality and engineering are top notch.


The Naim SL2 is the most unique speaker I’ve heard so far. If you believe you’ve heard a fast speaker and never heard a Naim speaker you’re in for a surprise.

The setup is easy after you do it once and I like that the speaker is assembled.

As I didn’t have a solid wall behind them and I didn’t even plant them on a granite/quartz plinth I wasn’t able to hear them at their best.

In terms of looks, I still prefer the DBL and SBL eighties styling.

I wasn’t a fan of the grilles mind you.


My SBLs look fine in my living room and I don’t think there’s anything 80s retro about the styling. They’re certainly easier on [my] eye than the Dalek lookalikes at the top of the Focal range.


I’ve had a pair of Naim Credo speakers for many years and both my wife and I are satisfied with the sound that comes out of them and they don’t look too hideous .
They appear to be well constructed and hopefully will see us out !


I’ve had a large variety of speakers over the years (and still have too many). In chronological order the journey has been quite interesting:
Advent 3002 driven by 32.5/HC/250
Linn Kan Mk1
Dayton Wright LCM-1 driven by 32.5/HC/250 then by a pair of 135s
KEF Reference Model 2
Magnaplanar MGIIa
Linn Isobariks (the big briks) driven passively intially then actively by 52/52PS/Naxo3-6/HC/6x 135s then on a whim, bought a pair of SBL’s . Even passively the SBLs were so much faster than the briks and actively with a NAXO2-4/HC/4x 135 were probably the pairing that lasted the longest. The SBLs had very high WAF approval simply because they were smaller than the briks, sounded better in the room and placed near the wall, less obtrusive.
The SBLs have since been driven by a 252/SC/Naxo/HC/2x 300s and only recently replaced by NBLs driven actively by 3x NAP300. In my room and setup they just work, and work well.
Other great sounding speakers, but arguably not as good and the active SBL or NBL setup have been the legendary PMC LCM-1s, Neat Elite SX for floor standers and for bookshelf speakers the Linn Sara, little Totem Mites, Neat Petite IIIs and Visionik 352 MkIIs. Each speaker has their set of strengths and weaknesses and room dependence. It is really a personal journey, I have found that in my listening environment, the closest to the live music experience has come using the Naim SBL and NBL speakers.
That said, I am sure there are “better” speakers out there, but for overall build quality, cabinet finish and sound when appropriately sited and matched to the rest of the audio system, I have found the Naim and Neat speakers to be second to none. That said, wouldn’t mind taking the Kudos 606 or 707 out for a spin at some time in the future.


It seems your query is for the detractors rather than the fans. :smiley:

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I have a pair of N-Sats, cant seem to let them go…


Not at all! …it’s just interesting to hear what people love about them - and so I’m left wondering why Naim don’t make them any more. I know the answer is probably Focal, but I’m not sensing that Focal Speakers are anything like what Naim used to conjure up.

Commercials also clearly played a part - so I guess if the speakers sold well, they’d still be around.