British brand Naim Audio set the hifi-as-design-statement ball rolling four years ago, with its elegant Mu-so all-in-one machines. Its latest range is called Uniti, and I have been playing with the baby of the family, called Atom. In terms of sound quality it’s a step up from the Mu-so in that it doesn’t have built-in speakers, so you are in the world of cables and separate speakers.
Even if the Atom’s weight – a reassuringly whopping 7kg – is considerable, it is a deceptively slight device, at just 9.5cm x 24.5cm x 26.5cm. Nothing slight about its musical punch, though, thanks to 40-watt A/B class amps taken from more expensive Naim systems. But the three things that will make you love the Atom are its adaptability (it’s a streaming device with USB port, but you can also feed a CD player and some record decks into it), its beautiful 12.7cm full‑colour display, and its big bow to analogue in the ship’s-wheel-style top-mounted volume control, as also seen in the Mu-so range.
The Uniti Atom offers real hifi with a minimum of geekery. Just don’t insult it by stinting on the speakers or connecting up your old Goodmans from Uni.