Reviews

Review: Volumio Integro Audio Amplifier – Cutting-Edge Sound Innovation, Versatile Connectivity

Review: Volumio Integro Audio Amplifier - Cutting-edge sound innovation, versatile connectivity - Embark on a sonic journey with the Volumio Integro, blending technical innovation and versatility to redefine the audio amplifier experience.

Introduction:

Volumio, a distinguished software manufacturer from Florence, has transcended its roots as a software creator for transforming mini PCs and Raspberry PIs into network players. With a notable presence in the audio industry, Volumio has expanded its repertoire to include hardware offerings. Among these is the Volumio Integro, a compact streaming amplifier that encapsulates the essence of Italian craftsmanship. This review explores Integro’s sonic prowess and features, shedding light on its evolution from software-centric origins to a comprehensive audio solution that seamlessly marries hardware and software.

Unveiling the Volumio Integro: At the crossroads of innovation and tradition, the Volumio Integro is a testament to meticulous engineering and a commitment to quality sound. Boasting a Made in Italy tag, these miniature devices are birthed in the artistic city of Florence, showcasing a marriage between thoughtful hardware design and sophisticated software that has gained prominence across a user base that spans half a million installations. This review ventures into the nuances of the Volumio Integro, dissecting its sonic identity, comparing it to industry peers, and delving into the intricate marriage of hardware and software that defines this compact streaming amplifier.

About Volumio: Volumio is a pioneering force in audio technology, initially making its mark as a software manufacturer. Based in Florence, Italy, the company has achieved global recognition for its Volumio OS. This transformative software turns modest hardware configurations, such as mini PCs and Raspberry PIs, into sophisticated network players. Building on its software success, Volumio has expanded its portfolio to include meticulously crafted hardware solutions, with the Volumio Integro serving as a testament to the brand’s commitment to delivering audio excellence. With a distinct blend of Italian craftsmanship, innovative engineering, and an active community, Volumio has become a driving force in the evolution of DIY audio solutions and continues to shape the landscape of digital hi-fi experiences.

Technical Specifications

Power:2x50W RMS with 8 Ohm load, 2x70W RMS with 4 Ohm load
Audio playback:Bit-Perfect up to 192 kHz 24 bit, DSD128 via DoP
Analogue input:1x Stereo RCA
Digital inputs:SPDIF Coaxial and Optical
Subwoofer output:1 x RCA
Headphone output: high quality (jack 6.3mm)
Video output:HDMI
USB:1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
LAN:Gigabit 10/100/1000Mb
Wireless:Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2X2 MIMO with RSDB
Bluetooth:5.0 APT-X, APT-X LL
UPNP/DLNA:Renderer with Open Home support
Services:Airplay via Shairport Sync, Spotify & Spotify Connect, TIDAL & TIDAL Connect, QOBUZ
Available plugins:Youtube, Squeezelite, Radio Paradise, Podcasts, Pandora, Fusion DSP, Roon Bridge, Soundcloud, Mixcloud
CPU:Amlogic S905D3, Quad Core 1.9 GHz
RAM: 2 GB DDR4
Internal storage:16 GB EMMC
Power supply:24 V CC, 8A
Accessories:PSU AC 100-240 V CA, 8 AMP

Out-of-the-Box Experience:

The initial encounter with the Volumio Integro unfolds as a journey of sonic exploration. While the first listening session may not immediately captivate, subtle alchemy occurs within the components during the initial hours of operation. This unique characteristic adds a layer of intrigue, prompting users to revisit the device with a discerning ear. The out-of-the-box experience, thus, becomes a dynamic process, with the amplifier gradually revealing its true sonic identity over time.

As the Integro settles into its operational rhythm, a charming and musical sound emerges, defying expectations associated with its compact form factor. This evolution in sound quality showcases the nuanced interplay of components and highlights the amplifier’s capacity to adapt and refine its performance. The out-of-the-box experience, therefore, extends beyond the initial impression, unfolding into a dynamic and evolving journey of sonic discovery that rewards patience and attentive listening.

Design and Build:

The Volumio Integro’s aesthetic allure is embodied in its gray anodized aluminum housing, a visual testament to Italian craftsmanship. Shared across Volumio’s product line, this housing exudes a minimalist yet sophisticated appeal, seamlessly blending into diverse audio setups. The black acrylic front further enhances the device’s modern and sleek appearance. Despite its compact form, the design cleverly conceals a switching power supply, ensuring practicality and minimizing potential electrosmog concerns.

This aluminum jacket, utilized across Volumio’s portfolio, imparts a consistent visual identity and contributes to cost efficiency. The limited space within the housing is meticulously used, accommodating a motherboard carrying audio modules, interfaces, and power amplifiers. The streaming board sits atop, featuring a robust mini-computer with a quad-core ARM processor at 1.9GHz. This harmonious integration showcases a commitment to both form and function.

The device’s rear panel hosts a range of connectivity options, from Gigabit LAN and USB ports to digital and analog inputs, including a mono subwoofer output. While the HDMI connection may initially raise expectations for TV sound input, it is an output for displaying the user interface on a monitor or TV. This aspect could be considered a missed opportunity. Nevertheless, the thoughtful inclusion of various inputs, including CD drive support via USB3, ensures versatility in handling diverse audio sources.

Beyond aesthetics, Integro’s compact design is strategically crafted, allowing it to fit into any audio setup discreetly. The device’s visual appeal extends beyond its outward appearance to embody the thoughtful inclusion of features and connectivity options, ultimately contributing to a holistic audio experience.

Internal Architecture:

Beneath the sleek exterior of the Volumio Integro lies a sophisticated internal architecture that harmonizes cutting-edge technology with a commitment to audio excellence. The heart is a meticulously designed motherboard that accommodates audio modules, interfaces, and power amplifiers. This integration is not merely functional; it exemplifies a marriage of form and function, optimizing the limited space within the compact aluminum housing.

One notable departure from conventional designs is the absence of a separate digital-to-analog converter (DAC) chip. Instead, the Integro embraces the concept of a power DAC, where the D/A converters and power amplifiers function as one entity. Infineon chips, operating in a double mono configuration to minimize distortion, represent the powerhouse behind this direct digital principle. The synchronous connection to the streaming board through the I²S bus, a rarity in streamers, ensures low-jitter performance, elevating the device’s sonic capabilities.

For high-fidelity headphones and subwoofers, classic DAC chips, followed by a robust amplifier chipset from Texas Instruments, come into play. The power amplifier, only attuned to digital signals, incorporates an analog-to-digital converter (A/D) for translating signals from the analog input into high-resolution digital data. This nuanced integration showcases Volumio’s commitment to technological innovation, ensuring a seamless transition between digital and analog domains.

The Integro’s ultra-compact design may appear deceptive, but it houses a formidable quad-core ARM processor clocked at 1.9GHz, embedded in the streaming board. The choice of Infineon chips and the utilization of I²S bus technology underscore a dedication to achieving sonic purity and minimizing signal degradation. The device’s intelligent architecture reflects engineering prowess and thoughtful consideration of every component’s role in delivering a high-fidelity audio experience.

Software and User Interface:

At the core of Volumio Integro’s user experience lies a robust and finely-tuned software ecosystem, seamlessly blending functionality with user-friendly design. The device comes pre-installed with the Volumio software, showcasing a premium version that automatically grants users a lifetime license, including all future updates. This approach ensures continuous improvement and eliminates subscription-related concerns, a notable aspect for audiophiles seeking long-term value.

The user interface, accessible through various channels such as HDMI, browser, or Volumio’s dedicated app, presents a multifaceted and customizable experience. Users can navigate through the smooth and responsive interface, adjusting settings and fine-tuning the design with different themes to suit their preferences. This flexibility extends beyond the visual aesthetics, offering a comprehensive platform for tailoring the audio experience to individual tastes.

One distinctive feature is the inclusion of a DSP (Digital Signal Processor), enabling advanced audio processing capabilities. Users can explore and apply equalization settings, adjusting the sound profile to suit their preferences or room acoustics. The integration of DSP allows for a personalized touch, showcasing Volumio’s commitment to providing users with control over their audio environment.

While the HDMI connection serves as an output for displaying the user interface on a TV or monitor, the device’s operating interface remains consistent, whether accessed through HDMI, web interface, or the dedicated Volumio app. This harmonization ensures a cohesive user experience, irrespective of the chosen interaction method.

Volumio’s commitment to openness is evident in the device’s compatibility with DLNA/UPnP, network shares, and many streaming services. Users can effortlessly integrate the Integro into their existing audio setups through NAS servers or network shares, reflecting a platform that caters to the diverse preferences of digital hi-fi enthusiasts.

Additionally, the support for plugins adds a layer of versatility. Users can enhance the device’s functionality with various plugins, expanding its capabilities and adapting to evolving user needs. This commitment to customization and openness distinguishes Volumio, making Integro a dynamic and adaptable component in the ever-evolving landscape of digital audio solutions.

Advanced Features and Openness:

The Volumio Integro encapsulates advanced features and exemplifies a philosophy of openness, allowing users to tailor their audio experiences with unprecedented flexibility. The device’s compatibility with multi-room setups is at the forefront of this versatility, offering the ability to form groups with other Volumio devices or achieve the same result via Chromecast integration. Remarkably, the Integro can integrate seamlessly with existing Sonos devices, showcasing interoperability beyond conventional boundaries.

The platform’s adaptability extends further with its support for many music services, including the audiophile-focused Highresaudio.com. This extensive compatibility broadens the horizon of audio sources, enabling users to curate their listening experience with diverse content.

Plugins emerge as an integral part of the Volumio architecture, allowing users to enhance functionality effortlessly. With a few clicks, users can integrate additional features, such as a parametric or graphic equalizer, reminiscent of the open-source ethos associated with platforms like the Squeezebox universe. Notably, Volumio achieves this stability without necessitating extensive user support, offering a user-friendly and reliable environment for audiophiles to explore and customize.

The device’s DIY heritage is evident in its compatibility with various peripherals, ranging from USB memory sticks and mobile hard drives to CD drives. This adaptability reflects Volumio’s commitment to providing users multiple avenues to access and enjoy their preferred audio sources.

An intriguing feature is the inclusion of a powerful Digital Signal Processor (DSP), allowing users to fine-tune their sound. The HouseCurve app, exclusive to iPhones, transforms the smartphone into a calibration microphone reminiscent of Sonos TruePlay. Users can tailor the frequency curve to match their room acoustics by leveraging test tones and the DSP. This level of customization, while niche, exemplifies Volumio’s dedication to providing advanced features for users seeking the utmost precision in their audio setups.

Moreover, Volumio’s openness extends to its software architecture, welcoming users to explore and adapt the platform to their desires. The system supports network shares, allowing users to seamlessly integrate their meticulously organized NAS servers. Additionally, the device is certified for Roon, offering compatibility with the acclaimed music management and playback software.

The Volumio Integro is a testament to the marriage of advanced features and an open ecosystem. Its adaptability, support for plugins, and compatibility with various services and sources position it as a dynamic and customizable solution for audiophiles and digital hi-fi enthusiasts seeking an immersive and tailored audio experience.

Connections and Setting Up:

The Volumio Integro’s versatility extends to its comprehensive connections, offering users a diverse set of options to integrate the device into their audio setups seamlessly. The rear panel of the Integro serves as a hub for connectivity, ensuring compatibility with various audio sources and peripherals.

  1. Gigabit LAN and WiFi: The Integro features a Gigabit LAN port, providing a reliable wired connection for users who prefer a stable network setup. Alternatively, the device offers integrated dual-band WiFi, allowing for wireless connectivity. This flexibility caters to different networking preferences, ensuring seamless integration into diverse home audio environments.
  2. USB Ports: The inclusion of USB ports adds a layer of versatility. Users can connect memory sticks or mobile hard drives directly to the USB2 port, expanding the device’s storage capabilities or accessing additional audio content conveniently. The USB3 port accommodates CD drives, enabling users to play or rip CDs directly, demonstrating a thoughtful approach to handling physical media.
  3. Digital Inputs: The device provides classic digital inputs in optical and coaxial versions, allowing users to connect external audio sources easily. This enhances the Integro’s adaptability, enabling integration into various audio setups that may feature different digital output sources.
  4. Analog RCA Input: The Integro offers an analog RCA input for users who prefer analog sources. This input expands the device’s compatibility, allowing users to connect external analog devices such as turntables or cassette decks, showcasing a commitment to accommodating diverse audio preferences.
  5. Mono Subwoofer Output: Including a mono subwoofer output further enhances Integro’s flexibility, allowing users to integrate a subwoofer into their audio setup for enhanced bass performance. This feature caters to audiophiles who seek a more immersive and dynamic listening experience.
  6. MicroSD Slot: The device incorporates a MicroSD slot, enabling users to expand internal storage conveniently. This feature allows users to customize their storage space based on their needs and preferences.
  7. HDMI Output: While not an input for TV sound via ARC, the HDMI connection serves as an output for displaying the user interface on a TV or monitor. It enhances the user experience by providing a more extensive visual interface, contributing to a more interactive and intuitive setup.

Setting up the Volumio Integro is designed to be user-friendly, with the choice of connecting through a wired LAN, WiFi, or both. The device’s HDMI output facilitates a straightforward visual setup, allowing users to interact with the intuitive user interface on a larger screen.

In conclusion, the Volumio Integro’s extensive connections and user-friendly setup options reflects a commitment to versatility, catering to a broad spectrum of audio preferences and setups. The device’s thoughtful design ensures users can effortlessly integrate it into their existing audio environments while enjoying a rich and customizable audio experience.

Working Test of the Volumio Integro:

The operational prowess of the Volumio Integro unveils itself in a comprehensive working test, assessing its performance across various aspects of audio playback, connectivity, and user interface interaction.

  1. Audio Quality Assessment: Conducting an in-depth listening test reveals the Integro’s sonic character. The initial impressions, as mentioned in the review, may evolve as the device undergoes its initial hours of operation. Subsequent listening sessions allow users to appreciate the amplifier’s charming, musical sound that defies expectations from its compact form. The test encompasses various genres, from vocal-centric compositions to bass-intensive tracks, gauging the amplifier’s ability to handle different sonic demands.
  2. Speaker Compatibility Check: Integro’s efficiency is scrutinized by pairing it with various speakers, including low-efficiency and bass-intensive models. The aim is to assess how well the amplifier adapts to different speaker characteristics and whether it maintains its composure across various audio scenarios. This check provides insights into the amplifier’s versatility and its ability to deliver consistent performance regardless of the speaker’s specifications.
  3. Comparative Analysis with Competitors: A comparative listening test against competitors, such as the Sonos Amp and Denon DRA-800H, unveils Integro’s strengths and areas of distinction. Assessing its performance about power, tonal characteristics, and dynamic range provides a holistic understanding of where Integro stands among its peers.
  4. Connectivity and Source Testing: The device’s connectivity is tested by interfacing with different sources, including USB drives, CD drives, and various digital and analog inputs. Verifying seamless integration and reliable playback across these sources ensures that the Integro caters to a diverse range of audio preferences and setups.
  5. User Interface Interaction: Users engage with the device’s user interface through various channels, such as HDMI, web interface, and the dedicated Volumio app. The intuitive nature of the interface is evaluated, considering factors like responsiveness, ease of navigation, and the ability to customize settings. Users test the device’s compatibility with smartphones and tablets, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable user experience.
  6. DSP and Equalization Testing: The Digital Signal Processor (DSP) and equalization features are tested using the HouseCurve app. This involves calibrating the audio profile to the room’s acoustics, utilizing test tones and the DSP. The effectiveness of this feature in tailoring the sound to the user’s environment is a crucial aspect of the working test.
  7. Network and Streaming Performance: Integro’s performance in networked environments is evaluated by testing its connectivity with various streaming services, network shares, and external servers. This includes assessing its compatibility with different NAS configurations and ensuring a seamless streaming experience. Any latency issues, streaming interruptions, or compatibility concerns are scrutinized during this phase.
  8. Plug-in Functionality: The working test explores the functionality of plug-ins, examining their ease of installation, impact on audio performance, and additional features they bring to the platform. This aspect highlights the openness and extensibility of the Volumio ecosystem.

In summary, the working test of the Volumio Integro encompasses a thorough evaluation of its audio performance, connectivity, user interface, and additional features. This comprehensive approach ensures that users can confidently assess the device’s capabilities across various scenarios, leading to a nuanced understanding of its strengths and potential areas for improvement.

Usability and Functionality of the Volumio Integro:

The Volumio Integro excels in its audio performance, user-friendly design, and a rich set of functionalities that cater to both enthusiasts and casual users alike.

  1. Setup and Initial Configuration: The device’s out-of-the-box experience is seamless, with straightforward setup options. Users can choose between wired Gigabit LAN or dual-band WiFi for network connectivity. The HDMI output facilitates visual interaction, enhancing the setup process. The intuitive design ensures that even users with minimal technical expertise can have the system up and running quickly.
  2. User Interface and Controls: The device offers multiple avenues for interaction, including HDMI, a web interface, and the dedicated Volumio app. The user interface is smooth, responsive, and feature-rich. Users can customize the interface with different themes, tailoring the visual experience to their preferences. The consistency across various interaction methods ensures a cohesive and user-friendly environment.
  3. Connectivity and Peripheral Integration: Volumio Integro’s versatility is evident in its comprehensive connectivity options. Users can effortlessly connect USB drives, mobile hard drives, and CD drives. The inclusion of analog and digital inputs, as well as a subwoofer output, showcases the device’s adaptability to different audio sources and setups. The MicroSD slot allows for easy expansion of internal storage.
  4. DSP and Equalization Features: The device’s built-in Digital Signal Processor (DSP) provides advanced audio processing capabilities. The HouseCurve app, albeit limited to iPhones, transforms the smartphone into a calibration microphone, allowing users to fine-tune the frequency curve to match their room acoustics. This level of customization enhances the overall user experience for audiophiles seeking precise control over their sound.
  5. Network and Streaming Capabilities: Volumio Integro seamlessly integrates into networked environments, supporting DLNA/UPnP and offering compatibility with various streaming services. Users can access network shares and utilize the device’s search function to navigate extensive music libraries. The platform’s openness allows for adding plugins, expanding functionality, and adapting to evolving user needs.
  6. Multi-Room and Chromecast Integration: The device supports multi-room setups, enabling users to form groups with other Volumio devices. Additionally, its compatibility with Chromecast provides an alternative approach to achieving multi-room functionality. The flexibility to integrate existing Sonos devices as players showcases an openness to interoperability with other audio ecosystems.
  7. Plugin Functionality and Customization: Volumio’s commitment to openness is exemplified in its support for plugins. Users can enhance the device’s functionality with additional features such as equalizers or graphic interfaces. This flexibility allows users to tailor the device to their preferences without compromising stability.
  8. Compatibility with Roon: Volumio Integro’s certification for Roon adds another layer of functionality for users who prefer the acclaimed music management and playback software. This certification ensures seamless integration with Roon, enhancing the device’s appeal to users seeking a unified, high-quality audio experience.

The Volumio Integro’s usability and functionality shine through its intuitive design, versatile connectivity options, and advanced features. Whether for enthusiasts looking to fine-tune their audio setup or casual users seeking a hassle-free experience, the device strikes a balance that makes it accessible to a broad spectrum of users in the digital hi-fi community.

Technical Excellence and Unique Features of the Volumio Integro:

The Volumio Integro stands out in the realm of audio amplifiers through its technical excellence and unique features that elevate the listening experience.

  1. Power DAC Architecture: A distinctive feature of the Integro lies in its adoption of a power DAC architecture. A direct digital principle compensates for the absence of a separate digital-to-analog converter (DAC) chip where D/A converters and power amplifiers function as a unified entity. Infineon chips, operating in a double mono configuration, feed music data in PCM format to the power amplifiers, resulting in high-frequency pulse sequences. This innovative approach minimizes distortion and emphasizes a direct, unadulterated conversion from digital to analog signals.
  2. I²S Bus Technology: I²S bus technology in the streaming board showcases a commitment to sonic purity. The synchronous operation with its clock line minimizes jitter, ensuring a clean and precise transmission of music data. Although underutilized in many streamers, this technology distinguishes the Integro by providing a low-jitter option for audio signal transmission, contributing to enhanced audio performance.
  3. Versatile Connectivity: The Integro boasts an array of connectivity options, allowing users to integrate the amplifier seamlessly into diverse audio setups. The device accommodates various sources, from Gigabit LAN and dual-band WiFi for network connectivity to USB ports for memory sticks and CD drives. The inclusion of analog and digital inputs, as well as a mono subwoofer output, demonstrates versatility in handling various audio devices and configurations.
  4. Digital Signal Processor (DSP): The onboard DSP empowers users with advanced audio processing capabilities. The HouseCurve app, functioning as a calibration microphone, facilitates room-specific frequency curve adjustments. This feature goes beyond conventional equalization, allowing users to tailor the sound profile to match the acoustics of their listening environment, adding a layer of precision to the audio experience.
  5. Certification for Roon: Volumio Integro’s certification enhances its compatibility with the acclaimed music management and playback software. This certification ensures a seamless integration with Roon’s ecosystem, providing users with a high-quality and unified platform for managing and enjoying their music libraries.
  6. Openness and Plugin Support: Volumio’s commitment to transparency exemplifies its support for plugins. Users can enhance the device’s functionality with various plugins, from equalizers to additional streaming services. This openness invites customization, allowing users to tailor the amplifier to their preferences without compromising stability.
  7. Multi-Room and Chromecast Integration: The Integro supports multi-room setups, allowing users to create groups with other Volumio devices. Its compatibility with Chromecast provides an alternative approach to achieving multi-room functionality. Moreover, using existing Sonos devices as players showcases an openness to interoperability with other audio ecosystems.
  8. Analog and Digital Hybrid Inputs: Including analog RCA and digital inputs in optical and coaxial versions broadens compatibility with diverse audio sources. This hybrid approach allows users to connect modern and traditional audio devices seamlessly, showcasing an adaptability that caters to various user preferences.

In summary, Volumio Integro’s technical excellence is underscored by its power DAC architecture, utilization of I²S bus technology, and a feature-rich set that spans from advanced DSP capabilities to certification for Roon. These elements collectively contribute to an amplifier that meets high audiophile standards and introduces innovative approaches to audio processing and connectivity.

Comparison with Sonos Amp and Denon DRA-800H:

Pitting the Volumio Integro against both the Sonos Amp and the Denon DRA-800H provides a captivating exploration of contrasting audio profiles and design philosophies. In the faceoff with the Sonos Amp, the Integro may lack the sheer power and expansive physicality, but it counters with a surprising charm in musical delivery. The initial listening experience may highlight the Sonos Amp’s prowess, especially in low-efficiency speakers and bass-intensive genres, where it hits harder. However, the Integro excels in efficiency and vocal reproduction, creating an emotional depth with its midrange emphasis and authentic rendering of guitar strings and voices.

Transitioning to the comparison with the Denon DRA-800H, a visually mismatched pairing reveals intriguing sonic disparities. The Integro, though visually diminutive, compensates with committed bass work and a wide stereo base. However, the Denon outpaces in control, particularly in fundamental tones, presenting a fuller sound that can overshadow the Integro, especially in lean and dry recordings. Dynamically, the Denon appears more competent across the frequency spectrum, showcasing a more consistent performance.

The Denon’s larger form factor and robust power amplifiers make a bold visual statement, yet the Integro manages to impress with its compact design and sophisticated engineering. However, in fundamental tonal authority, the Denon edges ahead. Despite its visual allure, the Volumio Integro carves a unique niche, excelling in musical finesse and adaptability, making it a compelling choice for enthusiasts seeking an intelligently designed audio solution.

Conclusion:

In the crowded landscape of audio amplifiers, the Volumio Integro emerges as a compelling and unique offering, blending technical excellence with a rich set of features. Its power DAC architecture, leveraging Infineon chips in a double mono configuration, sets it apart by delivering a direct and distortion-free conversion from digital to analog signals. Integrating I²S bus technology showcases a commitment to sonic purity, ensuring a clean transmission of music data with minimal jitter. This technical prowess is complemented by versatile connectivity options, including analog and digital inputs, USB ports, and comprehensive network capabilities, making the Integro adaptable to many audio setups.

Beyond its technical achievements, the Integro excels in user-friendly design and functionality. The intuitive interface, whether accessed through HDMI, web interface, or the dedicated app, provides a seamless user experience. Unique features like the Digital Signal Processor (DSP) with room-specific calibration through the HouseCurve app offer users unprecedented control over their audio environment. Furthermore, the device’s openness, plugin support, and certification for Roon emphasize a commitment to customization and integration within diverse audio ecosystems. In conclusion, the Volumio Integro stands as a testament to innovation in audio amplification, catering to audiophiles and digital hi-fi enthusiasts seeking a harmonious blend of technical excellence and user-centric features in a compact and versatile package.

Reasons to Buy the Volumio Integro:

  1. Technical Innovation: The Volumio Integro distinguishes itself through its power DAC architecture and I²S bus technology, contributing to a direct, distortion-free audio conversion with minimal jitter. Audiophiles seeking technical innovation in their audio setup will find the Integro’s approach compelling.
  2. Versatile Connectivity: The amplifier’s extensive connectivity options, including analog and digital inputs, USB ports, and network capabilities, make it compatible with various audio sources and setups. Whether you have modern digital devices or traditional analog components, the Integro’s hybrid inputs offer adaptability.
  3. Customization and Openness: The device’s support for plugins and certification for Roon reflects a commitment to openness and customization. Users can tailor their audio experience with additional features, ensuring flexibility in meeting specific preferences and integration within diverse audio ecosystems.
  4. Digital Signal Processor (DSP): The built-in DSP and room-specific calibration through the HouseCurve app allow users to fine-tune the audio profile to match their acoustics. This level of precision is particularly appealing to those who prioritize optimizing their listening environment.
  5. Multi-Room and Chromecast Integration: Integro supports multi-room setups and Chromecast integration, offering users flexibility in expanding their audio setup. Additionally, its compatibility with existing Sonos devices as players showcases an openness to interoperability with other audio ecosystems.

Reasons Not to Buy the Volumio Integro:

  1. Budget Considerations: With its advanced features and technical excellence, the Volumio Integro comes at a price. If budget constraints are a primary concern and the extensive feature set is unnecessary, more cost-effective alternatives may be available.
  2. Simplicity Preference: For users who prefer a straightforward plug-and-play audio solution without delving into advanced features or customization, the Integro’s rich functionality may be perceived as overly complex. In such cases, simpler amplifiers with basic functionalities might be more suitable.
  3. HDMI Limitation: While offering a visual interface, the HDMI output primarily displays the user interface on a TV or monitor and does not function as an input for TV sound via ARC. Users expecting HDMI connectivity for input purposes may find this limitation restrictive.
  4. Size and Form Factor: While the compact design of the Integro is an advantage for some, users with a preference for larger amplifiers or those with specific aesthetic preferences might find the size and form factor less appealing.

In summary, deciding to buy or not buy the Volumio Integro depends on individual preferences, priorities, and budget considerations. For those seeking advanced features, technical innovation, and a customizable audio experience, the Integro is a compelling option. However, users with simpler audio needs, budget constraints, or specific size preferences may explore alternatives that better align with their requirements.

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