After blasting out tunes from a variety of sources using the built-in amp and a pair of Monitor Audio GX50s, the Naim UnitiQute reveals itself to be a superlative performer no matter what you throw at it.
High-quality WAV and FLAC files really shine with their gorgeous, crisply-rendered detail and pleasing openness. Its sound is remarkably textured and subtle when the music calls for it, but it’s backed up with the punch and drive needed to get the adrenalin flowing. The cod reggae of Thievery Corporation’s Stargazer sounds fat and funky, with a stellar sense of rhythm, exceptional clarity and deep bass notes.
The Naim UnitiQute also manages to make a silk purse from the sow’s ear of low-bitrate MP3s, and despite revealing the limitations of internet radio stations all too easily the Naim makes the streams sound eminently enjoyable.
Run a CD player through the digital or analogue inputs and the sound is polished and, again, astonishingly detailed – the gentle shuffling percussion of Ryo Kawasaki’s Trinkets and Things is picked out with sublime clarity, plus the warmth and richness of the music simply oozes from the speakers.
We also piped a movie through UnitiQute and it copes well. There’s real muscle behind Thor’s thumping hammer blows, while dialogue cuts through cleanly and other effects are smoothly handled.
The Naim UnitiQute is a stunning all-in-one audio player, melding high-end construction with sound quality of the highest order. It’s a very versatile unit, bringing Wi-Fi network streaming, USB playback and web radio into one compact box, with a generous range of connections for your external gear. Yes, it’s hugely expensive and a CD player would have been nice, but if you care about getting the very best out of your digital music library then you might consider it a good investment.
Score in detail
Sound Quality 9