House of Stereo: Focal Aria Evo X No. 4, Naim Uniti Nova Power Edition and Scala Utopia EVO, Naim New Classic 300 Series

At the Florida International Audio Expo 2024, the Focal–Naim suite presented an opportunity to experience two stereo systems combining Focal speakers with Naim electronics in one of House of Stereo's numerous outstanding rooms at the show.

The Aria Evo X line, which debuted at CES 2024 last month, made its first appearance at an audio show here, also introducing a new Moss Green finish. The first system I experienced included the new Focal Aria Evo X N°4 speakers ($5998/pair), the largest towers in the series. These speakers have a rated response of 37Hz–30kHz, with bass extension down to 31 Hz at –6 dB. The drivers include dual 8" flax woofers. There's a 5" flax cone midrange with a tuned-mass damper surround. The tweeter is typical of Focal, it is an aluminum/magnesium alloy M-shaped inverted dome design.

Despite their substantial appearance, these speakers are surprisingly easy to drive, with an 8 ohm nominal impedance and a sensitivity of 92.5dB. With a 350W power rating, they can easily replicate the sound levels of live music. The Naim Uniti Nova Power Edition ($9999) powers the system with 150Wpc of class-D amplification, offering 70 more Wpc than the standard Uniti Nova. This all-in-one integrated amplifier/streamer supports AirPlay 2, Chromecast, and UPnP. It is Roon ready and incorporates Bluetooth AptX HD. In a demo setting, it stayed out of the way, allowing the speakers to shine.

In a nearby listening area, Focal displayed the Scala Utopia EVO speakers ($79,500/pair) in Eben Blanc (white ebony), a custom finish for the Focal Powered by Naim store—House of Stereo—in Jacksonville, Florida. The system was powered by Naim's New Classic 300 Series components including the NSS 333 streamer ($10,999), the NAC 332 pre-amplifier ($10,999), the NAP 350 monoblock power amplifier ($8499), and the NPX 300 power supply ($8999).

This setup had more space to operate. Intriguingly, to my ears, rather than merely working with or overcoming the room, the speakers seem to ignore it. The result sounded clear, dynamic, and tonally balanced, with a soundstage showcasing both depth and width. The speakers disappeared, leaving me with just the music.

Anton's picture

Blanc de Noir?

I'll drink to that.