Which floorstanders & headphones for Uniti Nova?

I bought my NAP140 and NAC62 along with KEF Reference 104/2 back in 1990, so it’s time for a change.

I’m fairly decided on the Nova - then I can plug in a 1TB SSD and play the CD’s I’ve ripped in FLAC to it. And at last I’ll have a remote to control the volume - bliss!!
I have a Marantz CD6007 that I use occasionally that I’ll plug in to the Nova.

Realistically I need floorstanding speakers as my dog may well knock over something on a stand.
So which speakers do I get? and which headphones?

99% of the time I listen to classical music - with solo piano being a favourite.
I live in a semi-detached house so listening loud is just not an option - quality sound at low volume is vital.
If I want to listen loud - I have to use headphones.

The Focal Kanta No2 would seem a natural choice, but are there others to consider?
(there are some good bundle deals for the Nova/Kanta 2 too)
I’m guessing that the Naim NAC A5 speaker cable would be best?

I know the advice is to have a listen in a dealer demo room, but my lounge is acoustically awful and my listening area ‘unusual’ so what I hear in a dealership isn’t what I’ll hear at home.
See links to photos-

Room layout-
[imgur.com] Imgur: The magic of the Internet

Photo of listening area
[imgur.com] Imgur: The magic of the Internet
[imgur.com] Imgur: The magic of the Internet

I’ve had Sennheiser HD580 for many, many years (the forerunner of the HD600)
I’ve been very happy with the HD580 but they must be more than 20yrs old now.
What do you think will suit the Nova and my classical music preference?

What do you guys think?


Having recently build a pair of Troels Gravesen speakers, and having read a few other success stories on this forum, I would consider those if you don’t mind being a bit adventurous.

There’s someone in the UK seemingly making them to order. Search Arke Audio.

Otherwise, assuming you don’t have many (female) vocals in your music, Sonus Faber works really well. (Mainly based of experience with Sonetto V, not many other models). Or for a more alround speaker consider Revel.

A friend has Audiovector R3 Arrette with a Nova, they sound stunning, I was recently there listening to Vikingur Olafsson, they sound excellent. The Arrette maybe overbudget, the Avant-garde model is closer. They are compact and to my ears room friendly. Good WAF as well!


It’s a difficult one as we all have different rooms, acoustics and preferences, I use B &W CM8 Series 2 floorstanders, which siut the Nova well but that’s in my room and to my ears! Headphone wise I use Focal Celestee’s but again to my ears they are superb. A lot of dealers will allow home trials based on how you describe your room acoustics, that might be the best way to go!

Welcome to the forum!

I used to have the HD660s and upgraded to the Focal Clear MG. For piano this should give an excellent result. It was also a chalk and cheese upgrade in terms of SQ.

But like @Nickd I also have a set of the Celestee and it is indeed an excellent headphone.

Depends if you like open or closed back.

For reference I am using them on an Atom HE which does have a better headphone amp that the Nova but you should get similarly excellent results.

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Another vote for the B &W CM8 Series 2 - I have these with a Star rather than a Nova, and they sound very good. They are also unusually narrow physically, which may help.

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I wouldn’t go too bonkers with speakers for a Nova. I have PMC twenty.21i with mine. They are stand mounts of course, so you may care to look at the 23i, which is effectively the floor standing version.

All these speakers are not cheap, so make sure you try them at home for a while to make sure you are happy with your choice.


I have the PMC 23i,s with my Star and it sounds sublime. So I suppose a Nova should be better with them. They have a good bass so the lower piano notes should come over well.
But have a demo of several at home as others as said .


WOW! thanks guys I wasn’t expecting such an enthusiastic response - much appreciated.
I was sort of expecting (and hoping tbh) folk to say that the Kanta No2 is a perfect match for the Nova and job done! but not a mention…

Love the idea of customizable d-i-y speakers - maybe if i was 30 yrs younger :slight_smile:

Ah - Vikingur Olafsson! An amazing artist I have all his cd’s.
Sadly I don’t see it on the list of brands stocked by local dealers, but I can ask.

The Focal Clear MG sound perfect.
Is the headphone amp significantly better in the Atom?
Another option I could consider is the Atom HE and plug it in to a Supernait. If that would make a significant improvement I’d consider that.

The Sonus PMC 23i and B&W options also seem fine speakers.

I think I’ll need to book some time with the 2 local dealers and have a listen.


They really are a great match. Very revealing, and the Nova drives them well. Adding a Powerline and some IsoAcoustics Gaia IIs, and moving some books and replacing a rug, solved a bit of upper frequency brightness that I initially noticed in my smallish listening room. I also took advantage of a bundle with the Nova, Kanta No. 2s and NAC A5 cable, but not before listening to several other speakers with the Nova, including some Dynaudios and ATCs. I actually loved the Kanta No. 3s, but they were too big for my room (well, my wife thought so, anyway! :grinning:)

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The Atom HE is a dedicated headphone amplifier. And the tech has been used again in the NSC222 (albeit integrated in a different and better overall architecture).

I used to have a Star and the headphone performance cannot be compared, the HE is that much better.

If headphones are an important part of your day I’d give it a demo.

The HE is also a standalone pre-amp so you’d get a better result plugging it into a suitable power amp instead of an integrated. I’ve got mine plugged into a NAP 250DR and that is pretty sweet.

Good to know that you’re impressed with the Kanta 2’s @maison00
I’ll put them on the shortlist - thanks.

Useful info - thanks @Kryptos - thanks.
I’m going to book a session at The Audiobarn in Harlow and do some comparisons, but I think the Atom HE with Focal Clear MG and Naim NAP 250DR sounds just the job!

I also note that they do stock the full range of Audiovector speakers so I can test them too and take their advice of what else I should consider.

Really appreciate the advice from this forum, it’s been very helpful - Thanks to all!

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Hi @Kryptos I spotted an ex-demo NAP 250DR for £3000 in as new condition, so I’ve bought that already.
An opportunity too good to miss!
Speaking to the rep at Hifonix (who is ex-Naim) he said a special cable would have to me made to connect to HE to the 250DR.
He’s going to speak to one of the engineers at Naim on tuesday to ascertain what sort of cable would be needed. - Something about balanced/unbalanced inputs - but said it can be done.
Can I ask where you got your cable?


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Awesome! I have no doubt you will enjoy the result all around. The headphone performance is really and upgrade and into the 250DR it should bury the Nova’s performance.

It’s basically a single XLR to double RCA. My dealer had one made by Chord. The 250DR has only an unbalanced input so using the RCA pre-amp outs on the HE is the way to go. Just make sure the message is clear, it has to have a single XLR on the amp side.

I believe Naim has released cables to do this as well with the introduction of the 222. However in don’t have more info about this. Perhaps someone else can suggest.

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By the way, it should be said that the HE is not on par with the 250DR. That is a serious power amp. The result you will get is going te be really awesome. But with that power amp you can also upgrade the source in future if you want to without any worries.

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I found it. Here is are the Naim solutions:

You’ll need cable 5 here. One made for NSC222 to NAP250DR. The Atom HE has the same connectors.

So what I said above is not entirely correct. The RCA puts on the HE is not the suggested. Here it is double XLR for HE into single XLR for 250DR. But as the amp is unbalanced I doubt that there would be a difference between the two options.

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Thanks @Kryptos - John at Hifonix just called and someone he knows at NAIM is going to make the right able for me :smiley: no charge either :smiley: They’ll ship the cable next thursday.

They also offered me the ATOM HE/Focal Clear MG bundle for £3198
So that and the NAP 250 will ship to me on tuesday :grin:
So I got the lot for £6197 rather than £8100
More to spend on the speakers!!


Awesome. Would be surprised if it does not blow you away. Enjoy!


Congrats, that’s an excellent set. The Focals pair so nicely with the Atom HE.


Could I recommend Spendor D7.2 I heard them during a demo yesterday along with Proac response d20. The spendors where in a different league but so they should be at the price. The soundstage and detail were very impressive.

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