NaimUniti Review Newark DE
December 21, 2009 By Lauren Dragan
The NaimUniti combines all your stereo favorites in to one unifying package.
It’s a fact: Music reaches everyone a little differently. While we’re all impacted on some level, for a true audiophile, the effect is profound. It’s more than an amusement; it’s an addiction. An addiction that leads us on a lifelong search for the perfect substitute for time-travel to attend that ultimate landmark performance, any time, on-demand in your home.
As coffee-table-sized symphony orchestras are a few years off, the true stereo enthusiast is faced with the daunting task of finding a way to play cherished recordings old and new in the highest quality possible. For many of us (and we know who we are) this can mean switching from vinyl to iPod to CD and back again as fast as our whims can carry us.
Conventionally speaking, this has been a difficult world to break into. Many high-end, integrated amplifiers can be a daunting financial investment, and they often don’t support the varied inputs an audio-fiend would prefer. That is, until Naim came up with the aptly named and partially eponymous NaimUniti.
It lives up to that name, tying together every loose cable end one can think. A true audio hub, the Uniti combines an integrated amplifier with a CD player, FM radio, wireless streaming capabilities from both internet and local network sources (through WiFi or Ethernet jack) and enough analog and digital inputs to set an audiophile’s heart to racing. Included in the Uniti inputs are the usual suspects (3 RCA ins, a DIN with power to support Naim's Stageline phono pre-amp, RS232, 2 optical, 2 coax and a 3.5-mm jack) as well as some surprises like the optional n-Link iPod adaptor and a front mounted USB-in.
Naim claims 50 watts per channel into 8-ohm speakers and 90 WPC into 6 ohms with a claimed frequency response of 20Hz-50kHz. The speaker terminals are made for banana plugs, though it comes with adapters if you want to hook up via bare wire. You can also output via RCAs to an external amp and/or subwoofer. There's also a 3.5-mm headphone jack.
The best news is that Naim turned to their acclaimed NAIT 5i and CD 5i lines to create the Uniti’s amplifier and CD playing system. This provides the Uniti user with a distinctly high-end experience filled with many quality details, such as the swing-out CD tray which provides a suspension system for the CD transport. Or the digital display that allows for easy toggling through sources, either with the illuminated front control panel or included remote. Unlike many user interfaces, this one is actually rather intuitive. Internet radio stations are impressively organized and searchable via genre, name or even country and city of broadcast origin.
And because it’s so much fun to share, it’s easy enough to use UPnP to connect to your PC (or Mac, provided you download an interface like the free XBMC) that you can invite friends to bring their laptop ...