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 Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan 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."