The "best" remote/controller is an app for the iOS called n-Stream. It provides a great interface for the 'Qute. Full control of the 'Qute as well as almost Remote iTunes-like control of the music library.
FWIW, in the US, when you complete the on-line registration with Naim, they send you a coupon for a free copy of n-Stream. (Not sure if this is a limited-time offer.)
Only other high-end sub-$5K offering with this type of "file-streaming" and high-quality DAC in one-box is the Linn piece and it is about twice the price. For the functionality, the 'Qute is a pretty amazing deal.
I own one. I love the flexibility and the quality. I have it paired with the Naim music server (UnitiServe) and Harbeth C7es3's. The n-stream app is great. An n-stream version for the ipad is to be released very soon. Internet Radio on this unit is very good. It can be wireless or wired.
I am also very impressed with the sound quality of both the amplifier and the DAC and digital/out connection.
The streamer/Internet radio section is a delight to use with the iPhone app.
I agree with what's been said. I've heard it a few times using analog inputs, digital inputs, and as a DAC and tuner. Performed admirably every way and every time.
Some people have had issues getting the streaming right. They've mainly been iTunes users. It won't stream Apple codec files, so be careful if that's what you plan on using. I suspect the ones who've had issues didn't consult with their dealer to get things right, and just posted questions on a few forums.
Make sure you pair it up with the right speakers. Naim's 30 watts are conservatively rated, but it's not going to drive Maggies in a large room to loud levels.
I haven't heard Harbeths connected to one, but that combo should be fantastic. A lot of Naim guys like the combo. I just wish my Naim dealer would demo it with more than the Naim N-Sat. They're s fun and engaging speaker, but they're too wall of sound and 2 dimentional for me. I've tried to warm up to them, but I lose interest after about an hour or so every time.
Just to add -
Had I not had my Bryston B60 integrated and Apple TV as music server, I'd definitely buy one.
I hope I'm not hijacking the the thread since the OP asked about the head amp but I haven't seen much (outside the Naim forum) about the Uniti from actual owners here.
For the owners out there, would you be satisfied if the Uniti was what you used in your main system? Or maybe their are owners out there that are using in their main system?
I'm consider the Nait XS/Naim DAC combo or the Uniti for my main system. Thanks for any input.
I actually have the PS Audio Perfect Wave DAC with bridge in my main system, so I'm pretty familiar with the technology. The n-stream controller looks nice and seems to solve that problem nicely. I have an older pair of Paradigm mini monitors I can use if needed, but primarily would be using my AKG headphones if I got one. I could probably find a cheaper alternative, but the versatility and Naim brand are very attractive. Too bad I don't have a dealer within 400 miles.
I don't have a Uniti or UnitiQute. I guess the answer to if it's a primary system or secondary system piece would best be answered by saying it depends on the person's budget. The Uniti is a Nait 5i, CD5i, and the other stuff in one box. My dealer and I couldn't tell the difference between the Nait 5i/CD5i combo and Uniti playing the same CD in the same room with the same speakers. There's a difference with the UnitiQute, as the power section is scaled back a bit, but it's not a huge difference. Tone Audio actually liked the UnitiQute better, not accounting for the price difference. I don't agree, but I guess it's possible.
The Nait XS and DAC should definitely sound better, as I like both pieces better individually. Haven't heard that combo directly against the Uniti though.
What's used as a primary system comes down to budget IMO. If you can afford the XS/DAC and don't need the extras and one box solution, that may very well be the better fit. They're different components, so it's not like comparing the 5i stuff with the Uniti.
Kbarkamian, thanks for the reply. Great info, especially the fact that the Uniti seemed as good as the 5 series combo.
I need to confirm it but I believe the Uniti also has an active pre which would distinguish it a bit from the Nait 5i which has a passive pre. I've always preferred active over passive with pres, at least within my budget.
I will be moving up from low end NAD gear so I'm hoping the Uniti will be enough of an upgrade but I have a feeling if I try the Nait XS/DAC combo I'll be in trouble.
It is my main system in a decent sized room. I had the Uniti and traded it in when the Qute was released. Same speakers used on both. There may be a little difference in presentation due to reduced wpc 50 vs 30 but the Harbeth's are 6ohm so I get about 45wpc from the Qute. If I ever did anything, I would get a more powerful amp as an upgrade as it's possible to switch off the amp section of the Qute. I don't really need the power as I don't listen at high levels. I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed. If your in the USA, email me as I know of a dealer that has a MINT Qute second hand for a good price.
I am using the UnitiQute with Harbeth P3's in an office set up and the match is great.
For Christmas I moved the system into the family room so my wife could stream xmas music. The room is fairly big (22x26) and the combo had no problem filling the space with sound.
My only problem now is getting the damn thing back in my office - my wife has fallen in love with it
The Uniti and UnitiQute could be the best thought out audio products in a very, very long time. And they sound exceptional.
If you're moving up from the NAD 320BEE you mentioned in the other thread, you'll definitely hear a difference. The 320BEE is a great integrated for the money. I owned one for 2-3 years and had no complaints. But it ain't no Naim!
Again, Uniti vs XS/DAC will depend on budget and functional needs. Another plus for the DAC is that it'll take an iPod digital signal. They Uniti won't. The UnitiQute does. I've heard Naim will update the Uniti's oops input, but that was a while ago and still no word on it.
You can't go wrong either way IMO. But if you're undecided, I'd say go XS and DAC, as you'll probably get the upgrade itch sooner. Getting the better one will cost more up front, but it'll usually save even more down the road. Just the way it's been for me and countless others.
Amazing product. Hook up a iPod or iPad, a simple turntable like the Rega P1 and their entry level phono, and you have a nice system for your kids or a den. I have heard this with the shoe box Harbeths and Verity Finns. I loved both.
Careful. If you end up with one of these you just may start thinking about replacing that "perfect" dac with a Naim NDX! Once you hear what Naim does with streaming and digital you will be hooked. Superb equipment, superb company.
Your post is one that is on the Naim site a ton. The only thing about getting an nDac and XS instead of a Uniti is the fact that you don't get streaming.
The Uniti is great but it just flat out isn't as good as the XS, nDac combo. If you want cd replay also and your budget is just high enough for the Uniti then that should be that. Get it and listen to your hearts content.
It all depends on what your "main" system is and has been and what you normally spend on hifi. If you are coming from multi thousand dollar preamps and power amps with esoteric cd drives and pricy floorstanding speakers then you may find the Uniti lacking. On the other hand if this a stretch to be thinking about the cost of the Uniti then by all means it can be the heart of a "main" system and do it absolutely beautifully!
There is no bad decision here. But know that it is YOUR decision. *s* good luck.