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Audio systems that will blow your mind

  Audio equipment is a very big business. Music collections are now vaster than ever before thanks to the advent of legal downloading along with smartphones and MP3 players to store...

http://www.africanbusinessreview.co.za/technology/1367/Audio-systems-that-will-blow-your-mind


Audio systems that will blow your mind

- Technology - Jun 12, 2012

 

Audio equipment is a very big business. Music collections are now vaster than ever before thanks to the advent of legal downloading along with smartphones and MP3 players to store thousands upon thousands of tracks on. Investing in a first class system and speakers is worthwhile for any music lover.

British audio company Naim Audio prides itself on being able to “resolutely avoid blindly following fashion”. In a world where many businesses pride themselves on being leaders in their industries this may sound odd, however Naim’s products sell themselves.

“The company does not look upon its equipment as mere products but rather as conduits through which individuals can connect with their music collections,” Naim says. “As such the components need to ‘step aside’ and allow the music freedom to communicate with the listener’s soul.

“Every piece of equipment Naim sells undergoes intensive and stringent testing to ensure that it meets all of the company’s criteria for safety, consistency, reliability, and, above all, class-leading performance that will convey all the music’s passion and emotional content.”

So what does Naim Audio have to offer?

Naim Audio’s UnitiSystem

The UnitiSystem represents a new approach to enjoying high fidelity music around the home. The wireless multi-room concept is based upon delivering high quality musical performance around the home along with simplicity of installation and ease of control. The system comprises four systems: the UnitiQute, SuperUniti, and NaimUniti 2 all-in-one audio players along with the UnitiServe music server. The UnitiServe acts as the hub of the UnitiSystem, storing the user’s music library which is then streamed to the installed audio players.

The only wiring required is the loudspeaker cables between the Uniti devices and their local loudspeakers, and one Ethernet cable for the entire system - to connect the UnitiServe to the home network wireless router. The result is a sleek home audio system to enjoy music as it is meant to be heard.

The all-in-one audio players can be used individually, with the addition of speakers, if a multi-room system is not desired.

All products are available to purchase from one of Naim’s premium independent retailers (represented in Cape Town, South Africa). The NaimUniti 2 will be available to purchase from June.

UnitiSystem Products

NaimUniti 2 all-in-one audio player

Price: R36,873

The NaimUniti 2 is the new and improved version of Naim Audio’s original, multi-award winning all-in-one system, the NaimUniti. It houses a CD player, DAB/FM tuner, internet radio, UPnP streaming, and iPod/iPhone/iPad dock in one sleek enclosure. Below is a summary of the key features:

High resolution UPnP Streaming

  • Stream files stored anywhere on the network including iTunes libraries from your PC/Mac through a wired or wireless connection over UPnP at up to 24bit/192kHz resolution
  • CD player
  • Naim’s custom designed swing draw CD mechanism and CD clamp puck get the best sound quality from your CDs.
  • Multi-format tuner (DAB/FM/Internet)
  • Access to tens of thousands of available internet radio stations via internet connection or DAB/FM stations.
  • USB for iPod / MP3 / memory stick
  • Apple authenticated for charging and playback of iPod. Can also playback audio stored on USB sticks and MP3 players.
  • 5 analogue and 5 digital inputs
  • Add a turntable or headphones, or connect digital sources such as set-top TV boxes, DVD players and games consoles.

Bespoke control app n-Stream

Enjoy browsing your music collection & building playlists via your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Access extended information such as biographies, discography and album reviews and to find out even more about your favourite artists.  

UnitiQute all-in-one audio player

Price: R18,809

Everything about the UnitiQute, is cute. It couldn’t have been given any other name. It’s compact, stylish, multi-source and a high performance all-in-one system. All you need are speakers!

Key Features:

  • UPnP-enabled for playback of network-stored audio/ internet broadcasts from PC, Mac or NAS drives
  • Multi-format radio (FM, DAB, Internet)
  • Front-panel USB for iPod/MP3 player and USB memory stick playback
  • Apple authenticated enabling digital output from iPod/iPhone for ultimate quality
  • iPod/iPhone control, charging and front-panel content display when connected to front-panel USB port via standard Apple connector

SuperUniti 2 all-in-one audio player

Price: R42,898

SuperUniti might well contain all the audio versatility you'll ever need, but audio versatility is nothing without musical ability, and that's where four decades of Naim Audio expertise comes in. Not only does the SuperUniti do everything, it does it all with brilliant clarity and heart-stopping emotion. Every musical source, from internet radio via analogue inputs through to digital streams, is played with genuine musical quality. Every drop of music is squeezed from every stream of data - whatever its provenance.

Key Features:

  • UPnP™ -enabled to stream audio files from any hard disk server, such as UnitiServe, HDX, network attached storage (NAS) or laptop/computer via a home network
  • Multi-format tuner for FM/DAB/Internet radio
  • vTuner 5* full service internet radio
  • Naim's Choice allowing access to higher quality iRadio streams selected by Naim
  • Front panel USB port for replay of MP3 player/iPod and USB-stored audio
  • Apple authenticated enabling digital output from iPod/iPhone for ultimate sound quality, charging and front panel content display, when connected to front panel USB
  • Multiple intuitive control interfaces: front panel, remote control handset and n-Stream app - enabled for system automation, useful for those wishing to use a CD player alongside SuperUniti
  • Naim custom-designed digitally operated analogue volume control for excellent sound quality and precise channel matching

UnitiServe Hard Disk Player/Server

Price: R27,664

The UnitiServe is a compact, slot-loading, CD ripping, hard disk music player and server.

Key features:

  • Slot-loading drive for ease of use
  • Two variants: UnitiServe or UnitiServe-SSD
  • UnitiServe - 2TB Hard Drive
  • UnitiServe-SSD - 16GB Single Level Cell (SLC) Enterprise Drive
  • Naim bit-for-bit secure CD ripping to either internal storage (UnitiServe only) or external network attached storage (NAS) drive (both UnitiServe and UnitiServe-SSD)
  • Save downloads or pre-ripped music to the hard drive for easy access to entire music library

Testament to how high the firm is regarded, it has enjoyed an exclusive partnership with Bentley Motors since 2008, with the launch of the Naim for Bentley Premium Audio System, which is available across all Bentley models. The system delivers an “as-live” audio experience. 

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