New Naim Atom Headphone edition

Very excited about this badboy.

Naims new headphone preamp with Roon etc all built in, balanced or line preouts and 4 types of headphone out. New Preamp, headphone stage and PSUs with trickle down tech from the Statement range.


Same as an Atom…

Yes just heard that to. One thing I never liked was the headphone out of my Atom, so could swap to this and choose a better Poweramp section for main system or just bite the bullet to have it in the second system as that’s where I listen to cans more and have actives.

Seems like it might be underpowered for high-end headphones. They should publish more complete specs.

Not sure why you say that it’s been designed to work with high-end. Not all high end have ridiculous impedance but I am sure it will be just just fine. Focals are likely it’s perfect partner with it being the sister company and they have extensively tested with the top range of Focals. Interesting review of it already

The Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition looks like a very nice product with little, if any, serious competition. With the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge now turning into the Brooklyn Bridge II with too many features for my taste (do you really an under powered Roon Core built in?) and with other fine DAC/headphone amps requiring a separate Roon endpoint and still others adding a power amp section, the Atom fills a very unique niche in the streaming audio world.

I also agree with Simon that the Atom appears to have plenty of power to drive even the most demanding headphones.

Headphone Outputs
4.4mm Pentaconn (balanced) 4 pin XLR (balanced) 6.35mm (¼ inch) jack (unbalanced)
1.5W RMS per channel into 16ohms
Suitable for headphones from 16ohms and upwards

And the two balanced headphone outputs (the 4-pin XLR is on the rear panel) are a nice bonus. There does need to be more detailed specifications on the DAC and preamp sections but I’m sure that many of the upcoming reviews will flesh all this out.

On the whole it looks like Naim might have a winner!

Edit: I forgot to mention that the Atom HE does NOT support MQA, which is either a plus or minus depending on one’s MQA preference.

The DAC is exactly the same as in the regular Atom being a
Burr and Brown it’s all Naim ever use as they have customised their systems to it to get the most and it uses the same Analog Devices Sharc Processor for it’s DSP. It can handle up to DSD256 and PCM 384/24 although all DSD is converted to PCM before it’s passed on to the DSP section and then DAC like all Naim devices. As for the Pre they say on the forum that it’s improved over the regular Atom but not in what way other than more trickle down tech from the Statement range. But it does have an upgraded psu as well.

Should we assume it halves for each doubling in impedance? So for a 200 ohm Audeze LCD-4, it would output approx. 100 milliwatts, which is not close to enough. Most high-end headphone amps, publish specs at more impedances.

I’m not surprised that the Utopia works well because although it has a relatively high impedance (100 ohm), it also has a high sensitivity.

1 Like

Just 1 observation: why on earth would you put the XLR connector of a headphone amplifier on the back? :roll_eyes:

My Benchmark DAC3 HGC, which has plenty of power and can drive even high impedance headphones to very loud volumes, is rated at 1.25W into 30 ohms so the Atom appears to be on par with the Benchmark.

And below are the specifications for the Oppo HA-1 headphone amp, which is also able to drive high impedance headphones to very loud volumes.

Because it’s ugly?


I don’t see it as ugly (but I suppose that’s subjective). What’s not subjective, is that it’s inconvenient to plug / unplug headphones from the back…

You might note that Benchmark and Oppo specs you are referencing are far more complete than what Naim has published so far. That was my criticism of the Atom. It might scale the same as the Benchmark or it might not. We won’t know until a 3rd party publishes measurements, but I’m personally always suspicious of audio companies that publish incomplete specs.

They have tested with cans up to to 600ohms according to their main dev guy who I trust and had no issues with it at all.

1 Like

I agree that the published specifications are a bit incomplete and once more full reviews are published the missing information will be available. Plus the reviews will give us a better feel for the real world performance of the amp.

Nonetheless I wouldn’t be to suspicious of Naim since they are one of the more respected audio companies.

I guess I was a bit disappointed because I’m interested in this device and it is hard to evaluate with the current specs they have shared. But I take your point about Naim as a company, which is of course part of the reason I’m interested.


I have complete faith in this being just right. Naims amp specs have always been conservative wattage wise compared to many out there but they seem to do well driving most speakers in practice. I imagine the Hifiman Susvara will give it trouble but then that gives most things trouble.

1 Like

With all due respect, faith doesn’t cut it at these prices. But hopefully I can demo it at some point.

Already owning the standard Atom I have something to go on already albeit from speaker use and it’s a superb piece of kit and I have no doubt this will be. I always said their headphone stage was lacking which is why I went a different route for Headphone listening. Now I feel I wont have to and get the same Naim PRAT I love from speaker usage.


It’s a pity that the hdmi is missing in the headphone edition. I would love to use it with the tv and headphones.