Naim Uniti Atom HE and Nucleus connectivity

Roon Core Machine

I currently am using my MSI laptop i7 64gb 1tb ssd connected to my router and then to my Naim Uniti Atom HE (UAHE) all via Ethernet. I use a TP link router. My Naim UAHE has a usb A style input port on the back in which I have a hard drive with my music files on. Currently I control Roon from my iPhone and leave the computer alone. I only playback music in one room on my powered dynaudio monitors.
My question is could I use the nucleus and either my external ssd drive and use the second usb a connect via usb a-a to my naim? I understand I still have to connect to my router. I am just wondering if it would be a better sound than my computer and more similar to the external connected ssd to the naim. The Roon software is better than naim software. The naim also has coaxial and optical input however I don’t see that output on the nucleus and I really don’t want to change the naim.
If an internal drive is necessary I can make that happen. Biggest question is can the Roon connect directly to the naim?

Networking Gear & Setup Details

TP link archer ax20 Ethernet cat 7 from the Msi & 8 to the naim. If nucleus is purchased cat 8 will be connected

Connected Audio Devices

no other device connected

Number of Tracks in Library

13000 tracks plus

Description of Issue

Question only on direct connection

Simple answer is NO

The Headphone edition doesn’t have a USB Type B input (PC - the square printer type one) connection, the USB port is a Type A designed for a hard drive.

It was one of the downers for me when I considered buying one.

To use with a Nucleus would mean connecting the Nucleus to the Router via Ethernet and connecting the Naim in the same way

What were you going to use it for @Mike_O_Neill ?
Apologies if I’m missing the point or being dim…

I listen pretty much 95% headphones, just bit via a sound bar.

I was looking at it to replace my RPi and old Audiolab M-DAC as a dedicated headphone amp (and streamer) . My CXN is a V1 hence not Roon Ready so only really used with JRiver.

The USB bit I thought of was going NUC -.> DAC .

Finally if it ain’t broke prevailed , I just the core to NUC/ROCK and I am still

Core → Ethernet → RPi → DAC

Ah OK. I have the original Atom connected on the network.
It’s in the front room and I’m not allowed to sit with my leaky headphones on and listen there :expressionless:

I have a pi>dac>headphone amp in my office. Just bought a bluesound node I saw going cheap to experiment replacing the pi and dac.

The Atom HE also has WiFi, so a hard-wired Ethernet connection is not mandatory.

Same difference the OP was suggesting USB which clearly isn’t on

It’s a shame, that Naim hasn’t include an USB DAC and so you must use the included services (which can be broken sometimes). Also connecting an external HDD doesn’t make really sense, because it’s very limited.
On the other side (I’m using the Atom HE only for headphones) it’s running very well with Roon and also the headphone amp it’s a really good one.

It’sa full Roon Ready system so I don’t see why you need the usb in from Rock.

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I agree completely. There’s no need for a USB input for Roon.

The Atom HE is fully Roon-Ready and is fully-detectable by Roon on a wired/wireless network.

Yep it’s an amp first and foremost not a DAC on its own and Naim have always favoured Spdif over USB. Only the DAC v1 has ever supported USB.

This is the argument from Naim.
But (and the Uniti Atom HE costs now over 3k €), when you decide not to use Roon in the future and also Naim doesn’t supports the unit anymore, then you’ll have a problem.
With an integrated USB Dac the Atom HE will more future orientated.

No you won’t have a problem.

You just buy this great of kit, and stream to your heart’s content:

With USB you’ll have much more options (bandwidth) than with SPDIF.
I’m wondering, that it’s not possible to criticise a product from Naim…

I wouldn’t say it was criticism, just commentary on Naim design decisions. They only had two USB attached DAC products and they were explicitly DACs. I think their belief is that network attachment is better so they go with that.
As to support I have a 2012 unitiqute and it still gets software updates, latest sept 2021 for Tidal.

There’s a recent thread where someone says Roon isn’t as good as Foobar - comparing one path for music playback with another isn’t terribly useful - just the performance within those chosen design

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It’s the same with Linn. Just don’t bother! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Oh. I forgot. I just remembered that Naim knows exactly what it needs to do in the digital domain.

Damn, I have to remind myself several times a day that these companies make decisions for supposedly good reasons…? :wink:

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