Starlight of an amplifier
The Nova name fits perfectly for this explosive, elegant amplifier. That’s packed with easy-to-use features.
Extreme building quality combined with amazing sound, and the user experience is almost unparalleled.
The display should have been OLED to slide even more into one with the product. The power is on the wrong side of 100 watts (but who cares).
There are few products that trigger the must-have feel just by looking at them. The Unim series of Naim does, and none of them as much as the amplifier Naim Uniti Nova.
The product has a seamless exterior, all the way down to the smallest detail. With the exception of the color, this is the furthest you come from a “black box”. The high resolution screen is very nice, covered in glossy glass that goes with the rest of the amplifier (although we wish OLED free of charge for this price range). It is rare to say that the cooling fins are gorgeous, but the way they go in one with the rest of the product on here means that we do not get any other word for them.
See Naim’s presentation video of the Uniti series above.
Then it was the weight then. For such a touchy, compact product like Nova, it’s impossible to weigh anything. However, the solid aluminum cabinet, combined with a really well-designed 770VA ring core tetrafoil, transmits weight to solid 13 kilos. 13 kilos of delicious hi-fi.
Input and equipment
When I tested Uniti Atom little brother over a year ago, I was impressed by the size of the power supply. Because Atom only measures just over half the width of Nova, the power supply covers over a third of the space inside, and is a lot of the reason for Atom’s respectable power reserves. Even though the power is only given to 2 x 40 watts. Well, should you take Nova’s power supply and push it into Atom, you would not be able to accommodate anything else. It covers almost half the inside of Nova, and is necessary to take full advantage of each of the 2 x 80 watts Nova has to do with.
Of connections, Nova has the most. As two analog RCA inputs, two coaxial and two optical digital inputs. And the jacket does not have HDMI connector too, for connecting TV through audio return (supports only PCM). Two high-resolution USB inputs play music from hard drive or memory stick, with up to 24-bit / 384 kHz resolution of audio files – or DSD files up to 5.6 MHz.
And to ensure optimum music resolution, Nova is equipped with a SHARC digital processor, making 2.7 billion calculations per second with 40-bit floating point resolution, providing many more digital values than the “fixed point” . Together with 16x oversampling, this will minimize jitter and eliminate any annoying frequencies that may cause the analog filter in the digital converter to undesirably high operating temperature. This divides it with little brother Atom, and the jitter measurements should be as low as possible. The DAC chip is also upgraded from Atoms Burr-Brown 1791A to 1792A.
In order to truly be called an all-in-one amplifier, Nova has built-in power, and this is something Naim has been the best in class since the first Uniti products in 2009 . Nova can be connected with cable or wireless Wi-Fi, and the antennas are hidden inside, instead of ugly protrusions rising from the back. You can play music files from the network hard drive, and both Chromecast, Bluetooth and AirPlay are in place. Soon there will also be support for AirPlay 2, which provides multi-room features. Nova has 5 minutes buffer memory, which allows for an extremely good error correction, but also that the music continues to play up to five minutes if you lose the internet connection.
Power services provide support for both Spotify and Tidal , and Uniti Nova can be managed directly from the Roon program on PC, Mac or mobile.
In terms of Naim and ease of use, this is the highest priority. The app is very intuitive, and here you can enter the music services you use. Tidal, Internet radio and more. Spotify is provided with the Connect function, which means that you choose Nova as the sound source in Spotify’s own app. You can also use approximately the apps you want to control the amplifier thanks to built-in Chromecast and AirPlay. I also like the included remote control very well. It is raw and communicates with Bluetooth so you do not have to point it to the amplifier. The HDMI output is also easy to connect to a TV with audio output, you only select in the TV’s menu that the audio is to be transmitted through HDMI ARC.
When I heard the Uniti Atom more than a year ago, I was greatly impressed by the sound quality. It had a large sound base in the tones, with the instruments placed in a large room. The only obvious lack of Atom is crude power.
Now, I honestly did not expect very brutal powers from Nova either, with an effect on the crazy side of 100 watts. But there I should eat in my prejudices. For connected to the big Focal Kanta No.2 , the sound image with such airiness combined with sharp precision and bass dimming, is believed to be heard of a much larger amplifier.
A good example is Wrap Your Arms Around Me by the Swedish mysterious electric producer The Knife. Heavy, delicious percussion in a big and airy soundscape, with Karin Dreijer Andersson’s ghostly voice in the middle of it all. This is fat! And where one would think that an 80-wat would not be able to keep the Focal speakers in the skin, it’s got steel control. It’s hammering and knocking without sharpening, on the contrary, the amplifier has a glow that matches the speakers very well.
Klipsch RF-7 III
Apropos banking and hamring, we still have Klipsch RF-7 III in the test room. Heavier speakers do not think I can be less than 100,000 kroner, at least not when talking sound and fun. But even if they have a sensitivity of 100 dB with one watt, it’s a bit of control. In particular, the bass can run uncontrollably, in addition, the treble horn begins to scream with incorrect amplifier.
It’s great to note that Naim Uniti Nova has something to do with it here too. For the wife of sexy crowns, look for a long time! Simon Says of Raphael Pharoahe Monch is a perfect example. Norwegian translated to “king command”, which is very striking. Because with Nova, the speakers go tight and pace the rhythms hard and brutally into the room. The treble, which I was a little nervous about before, though not soft and super-resolved (it is not in the nature of the speakers), is at least so comfortable and free of sharpness that you can safely swell the sound without having to hold your ears.
But most of all, Naim Uniti Nova thrives at a sound level a bit above average, but by no means deafening. Then you get a nice sense of physics, while turning off the timing of it all.
Together with Audiovector SR3 Arreté R aw Surface LE, the amplifier shows itself from its most musical. Singer / songwriter Savannah Conley from Nashville plays indie music, guitar-based music based on country, and the same old eye’s ballad features a large sound landscape built up with a horizon that extends far inward. Nova draws up the landscape with a sensitive hand, with a timing to look long after.
57,000 kroner is far from free, and twice as much as for the already very good Uniti Atom. Is Nova twice as good? It has at least double power. But, no, it’s going to be a lot to be twice as good as Atom. But Nova can drive harder speakers, and fill a larger room with sound. And yes, it sounds even better. More finely tuned, and even more of the fun, rhythmic. But, clearly, you have two rooms you want top quality in, so it would be more reasonable to buy two Atom.
What other amplifiers in this price range do Nova compete with? It is nearby to mention Hegel H360 , which now costs 43,000 kroner. A powerful plug, which also has everything you need in both resolution and musicality. And that leaves the budget for 12-year subscription to YouTube Music or Spotify, six years with Tidal with CD quality. It does not have the same streaming capability (but has both AirPlay and DLNA), and it wakes up does not delete the same feel-what compact dimensions and beautiful looks are.
The same goes for Auralic Polaris . Like Nova, it is small and compact with built-in flow. But it does not have the same weight, body and drive in the bass, and it’s more messy in everyday use. Naim Nova almost feels like it’s an extension of one’s self, so intuitive is it.
But then, it’s obvious to highlight the Gato Audio DIA-400S . Also this with compact dimensions, but with a total of 2 x 400 digital watt under the hood. In the muscular power it knocks the Nova, and it to 15,000 kroner less. But it has Bluetooth as the only power option, and while it’s very tasty, it’s not the appearance of technical wonders like Nova.
Nova is the largest integrated amplifier in the Naims Uniti series. It feeds music virtually regardless of source and service, and despite the effect of moderate 2 x 80 watts, it keeps beautiful control of the speakers, including the worst freezes. Even loudspeakers made for high sound pressure got run smoothly.
Beautiful sound, a great ease of use and an appearance that induces crush at first sight makes this a solemn candidate in the living room. If you want the lowest possible boxer in a super-compact format and have the money to pay for it, it’s hard to imagine a more comprehensive product.
Output power: 2 x 80 W (8 Ohm)
Inputs: 2 opt, 2 coax, 2 USB-A, SDXC, 2 RCA, 2 DIN, HDMI (ARC), DAB +
Network: Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Spotify, Tidal, AirPlay (2), Chromecast, DLNA, Roon
Outputs: Pre out (RCA and DIN)
Dimensions: 9.5 x 43.2 x 26.5 cm (H x W x D)
Weight: 13 kg