Naim Uniti All In One Audio Player Review

$6500

4.5 Stars

Naim hits the jackpot with this everything-you-need-in-one-magic-box, an absolute charmer for those who want less fiddling around and more canny technology on board.

You know times are changing when the giants begin to change shape. Legendary hi-fi manufacturers are rewriting the ethos on which their companies have been established.

Take Naim for instance – perhaps the most individual and idiosyncratic of all the British companies, it took them years before RCA inputs began to appear on their components. Yes, they are the last bastion of the mighty DIN plug, a multi-pin affair with only one socket for both channels of audio. Not that there’s anything wrong with the DIN plug of course, but this dogged and almost stubborn company personality carried on for years until Naim’s first CD players burst onto the scene.

This heralded the inevitable introduction of RCAs on their products, and the eventual march into remote control and other modern-day nasties.

These days Naim are at the very forefront of the new media revolution with the HDX 800gb music server/ripping station, and here, with the Uniti combination amp/CD player/DA converter/tuner/iPod dock/music streamer.

It’s a long list of attributes and I was more than interested, particularly since my recently insatiable hunger for music streamed over network, but Naim has made a name (no pun intended) for itself with long research and development into its products. I figured it would be good, but how easy would the Uniti be in operation?

As it happened it was a no brainer, but first a quick look at what’s under the hood. The CD player section is based on the acclaimed CD5i while amplification is courtesy of the similarly praised Nait 5i. See where it’s heading? Both these components are very close in price to the RRP of the Uniti, so it’s a considerably value-laden product with all the extremely juicy technology on board.

It’s nothing without being easy to use however, so after cabling to the Sonus Faber Toy Towers it was time to find out.

Set up was simple using the Uniti’s clear green display screen, and I had found my wireless network SSID and keyed in my password in a matter of minutes.

FLAC files such as The Cinematic Orchestra’s Man With a Movie Camera and The Clash with London Calling sounded excellent via the Uniti; the lush- sounding Sonus Faber’s combined with the more analytical Naim to produce superb sound – especially considering the reasonable price of all components involved. It’s a true audiophile product, and the CD drive proved to be up to the excellent music streaming abilities with a rousing rendition of Miles Davis signature Kind Of Blue album; the detail here was excellent, and I was involved from the first bar of track 1.

So it’s a qualified two thumbs up for the Uniti, the outstanding sonic performance combined with Naim’s typical heavyweight construction and a raft of facilities makes it a standout product that should sell like proverbial hotcakes. GARY PEARCE

www.nadist.co.nz

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