Timing suggested the Uniti range was due for a refresh, following the revamp of power supplies and power amps, but that’s exactly what new Uniti isn’t. It’s so much more than that: a complete reinvention of the network music systems range, not just for the second half of the ‘twenty-teens’, but quite possibly way beyond.
It’s seven years since the original NaimUniti was launched, creating its own market sector by being a product quite unlike anything else, offering not just a CD player/amplifier, but also full network audio streaming. Not surprisingly, the concept has been widely emulated and as the music playback landscape has changed with the arrival of music streaming services, manufacturers have found themselves running to catch up with the options available to buyers.
The result has been a formats arms-race, with some products offering one service and not others, almost forcing customers to pick the hardware they buy according to which streaming platform(s) it supports. And the move towards higher resolutions has also put pressure on manufacturers – after all, the original NaimUniti was only 48kHz/24bit capable, whereas now you can buy music in formats right up to double-DSD and even 384kHz/24bit.
This is why Naim has decided to get out of the ‘features race’ and completely re-invent Uniti, based on a new custom platform able to offer everything the market currently demands – and more – and also adapt easily to future trends, formats and services. Naim engineers and programmers have been working for several years to develop both the hardware and software of the new generation, and the company has made a substantial investment in the entire process.