Naim Uniti Atom: sounds a million dollars, costs a mere £1,600 (plus the price of speakers)

Taking that Naim Mu-so wireless finery to the next level of quality and expense

The Naim Mu-so and Mu-so Qb have won Audio Product of the Year at the last two T3 Awards. They made it easy to get all your music played wirelessly, with support for Spotify Connect, UPnP, Airplay and even crappy old Bluetooth.

If you've bought one and are now thinking of going more audiophile with your audio files, maybe you might wanna consider the Uniti Atom or its bigger and even more rareified brothers, the Uniti Star and Uniti Nova.

• Or check out the best wireless speakers for under £1,000.

The Naim Uniti Atom costs (sharp intake of breath)£1,600. But that's not the end to your wallet's potential battering, because although Naim is marketing this as an all in one, that isn't quite true: you'll need to add some speakers.

And to do it justice, that probably means adding speakers that cost (buttocks clench) another grand or more.

And if you REALLY want to do this wireless marvel justice, you'll then need to add an audiophile grade music server such as this, Naim's Uniti Core.

The Core includes a CD ripper that samples your disks repeatedly until a WAV or Flac copy that's absolutely bit perfect is created. It costs (eyes start watering) £1,650 and holds "up to 16,000 CD-quality albums", er… once you've paid for an 8TB hard drive or SSD to go in it.

Well, in for a penny, in for four grand plus, we always say. Oh, it's also multi-room capable, so maybe you should buy two or three systems?

Once you hear the Atom in operation, it's easier to be swayed however, as the mix of very high build quality and excellent heat management wrings the best possible sound out of its 40-bit digital signal processor, Burr-Brown DAC and A/B Class amplifier.

We heard it this week at London's fashionable Ace Hotel, and thought it sounded fabulous. And we hadn't even had any of the complimentary prosecco.

While the audio improves on the Mu-so and Qb in every imaginable way, one thing that's consistent is the wireless connectivity and straightforward app control.

As well as future-proofing, over-the-air software updates, the app means you can easily summon music files from anywhere on your system, as well as your mobile devices, with Spotify, Tidal, AirPlay, UPnP and "HD Bluetooth" all supported.You can also plug a USB drive directly into the Atom.

More old-skool connections include co-axial and optical digital, analogue and HDMI, so you can use the ARC channel on your TV. The analogue and HDMI inputs and multi-room capability also mean you could, if you wished, play a turntable or concert movie into it, then play it throughout an entire network of Unitis and Mu-sos now littering your abode.

While the Atom is hardly as sexy as the more lifestylish Mu-sos, it is pretty attractive for an audiophile device, with the Mu-so's familiar and deeply satisfying rotary controller on top and a good quality LCD screen up front.

For the mix of easy operation, clever incorporation of all your digital music libraries, Spotify and Tidal streaming support and really superb sound quality, the Uniti Atom strikes us as, if not exactly an impulse-buy bargain, certainly worth its entry price for those who are really into their music but don't want to be shackled to CD and vinyl.

Naim Uniti Core, £1,650, out December

Naim Uniti Atom, £1,600,out November

Also available Naim Uniti Star (essentially the Atom with a CD player/ripper built in), from £2,999,out February 2017

Naim Uniti Nova (even higher-end, flagship model), from £3,800, out February 2017

Duncan has been writing about tech for almost 15 years and fitness ever since he became middle aged and realised he could no longer rely solely on his boyish good looks. He used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."
Pre-lockdown Duncan was widely regarded as the best-dressed man ever to work for T3 – admittedly not saying much. Post-lockdown he is looking forward to wearing clothes other than shorts and hoodies again very soon, assuming he can still fit into them. He currently writes about cycling, fitness tech that isn’t too heavy, and all things kitchen and home related.