In an ever-evolving landscape of technology, the WiiM Pro emerges as a compact yet mighty contender, promising to elevate your audio experience to new heights. This diminutive network player, crafted by the innovative electronics manufacturer WiiM, packs remarkable features and functionalities within its sleek and budget-friendly frame. As we embark on this journey to explore the WiiM Pro’s capabilities, we’ll uncover its potential to seamlessly integrate with your existing audio setup, transform your listening habits, and perhaps even challenge the notion that superior audio quality comes with a hefty price tag.
While the WiiM Pro may appear unassuming, its discreet design conceals a world of possibilities. From its compatibility with various streaming formats and services to its support for multiroom playback and voice assistants, this unassuming device aspires to be your gateway to a richer, more immersive audio experience. Join us as we delve into the intricacies of the WiiM Pro, examining its features, usability, sound quality, and more to determine whether it truly lives up to its promise as a budget-friendly audio powerhouse.
|Entrances||1x RCA, 1x optical|
|Audio outputs||1 x RCA, 1x optical, 1x coax|
|Wireless sources||Bluetooth 5.1, AirPlay 2|
|Integrated streaming services||Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Soundcloud; Napster, TuneIn|
|included supply||Power supply, RCA cable|
Packed with Features
The WiiM Pro boasts an impressive array of features despite its affordable price. Although constructed from plastic rather than aluminum, its compact design resembles the Mac Mini or Apple TV. Four touch-sensitive buttons are on the front for volume control, playback, and preset selection. The rear of the device is where it truly shines, offering two pairs of RCA sockets for line-in and line-out, SPDIF connections for digital audio, a USB-C port for power, and even an Ethernet socket—an unexpected bonus at this price point. Moreover, the WiiM Pro can be entirely controlled via the WiiM Home app, simplifying the setup and streamlining your experience. The app supports streaming services, including Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Napster, and DLNA, for playing content from your media server and internet-based radio services such as TuneIn.
The WiiM Pro has many features and functionalities, making it a versatile and attractive choice for users looking for a budget-friendly network player. Below, we’ll delve into its key features and how they enhance its usability:
- Comprehensive Streaming Compatibility: The WiiM Pro supports various popular streaming services, including Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Napster, and more. This broad compatibility ensures you can access your favorite music content directly from the app.
- DLNA Support: For users who prefer to play content from their media server, the WiiM Pro offers DLNA support. This feature allows you to seamlessly stream music from your personal media library, expanding your listening options.
- Internet Radio: The device enables hassle-free streaming of internet-based radio services like TuneIn. Access to thousands of radio stations worldwide enhances your music discovery and entertainment experience.
- Multiroom Playback: One of the standout features of the WiiM Pro is its support for multiroom playback. You can control multiple WiiM devices in different rooms using the smartphone app. This means you can play music in one room and synchronize across multiple rooms with WiiM devices, creating an immersive and synchronized listening experience throughout your home.
- Bluetooth and AirPlay 2: The WiiM Pro offers Bluetooth connectivity (version 5.1) and supports the SBC and AAC codecs. You can stream music from your smartphone or other Bluetooth-enabled devices directly to the WiiM Pro. Additionally, it supports Apple AirPlay 2, making it compatible with Apple devices for wireless audio streaming.
- Voice Control: The device is compatible with popular voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri. You can use voice commands to control playback, change tracks, adjust volume, and more, providing convenient hands-free music control.
- Roon Ready: The WiiM Pro is designated as “roon ready,” which means it can seamlessly integrate with the Roon music server platform. If you have a Roon license, you can enjoy the enhanced sound quality and user experience that Roon offers.
- Digital Outputs: The WiiM Pro includes optical and coaxial digital outputs, allowing higher-quality audio transmission to compatible amplifiers or receivers. This digital connection can enhance sound quality and provide greater control over audio settings.
- App-Based Control: The WiiM Home app is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly. It allows you to set up and control the WiiM Pro easily. With the app, you can select your preferred streaming service, adjust settings, create playlists, and manage multiple WiiM devices with a multi-room setup.
- Remote Control: While remote control is available separately or included with the WiiM Pro Plus model, many users find the app provides all the necessary control functions. However, having the option for a physical remote can be convenient for those who prefer tactile control.
- Analog and Digital Inputs: The WiiM Pro offers a variety of input options, including analog line-in and line-out connections, as well as digital input via SPDIF. These inputs provide flexibility for connecting other audio sources to the WiiM Pro.
- Aluminum Housing (WiiM Pro Plus): Although the standard WiiM Pro is constructed from plastic, the WiiM Pro Plus model features aluminum housing for improved durability and aesthetics.
In summary, the WiiM Pro impresses with its extensive feature set, enabling users to enjoy music from various sources, easily control playback, and expand their audio setup with multiroom capabilities. Its compatibility with voice assistants, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, and digital outputs enhances its usability and positions it as a cost-effective solution for beginners and audiophiles looking to upgrade their streaming experience.
Seamless Multiroom Playback
One standout feature of the WiiM Pro is its support for multiroom playback, allowing you to control multiple WiiM devices in different rooms through the smartphone app. This means you can play music in one room and seamlessly stream to other rooms equipped with WiiM devices, enhancing your home audio setup. Additionally, the WiiM Home app’s compatibility with Audio Pro’s speakers enables you to build a versatile multiroom audio system combining both brands, providing flexibility and customization.
Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, and Voice Control
The WiiM Pro offers Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay 2 support for direct streaming from your smartphone, making it convenient to enjoy your favorite tracks wirelessly. While it employs Bluetooth version 5.1 and supports SBC and AAC codecs, it lacks aptX and higher-resolution Bluetooth codecs. However, the WiiM Pro receives audio and can transmit it, allowing you to connect Bluetooth headphones. Furthermore, the device can be controlled via voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple’s Siri. This opens up voice-activated options for playback control, further enhancing its usability.
Multiroom playback is a feature that allows you to play audio in multiple rooms or zones of your home simultaneously, with synchronized playback. The WiiM Pro supports multiroom playback, and here’s an elaboration of how it works:
- Multiple WiiM Pro Devices: To create a multiroom audio setup, you’ll need multiple WiiM Pro devices, each connected to speakers or audio systems in different rooms of your home. These devices communicate with each other over your Wi-Fi network.
- WiiM Home App Control: The WiiM Home app, available for your smartphone or tablet, is the central control hub for managing multiroom playback. You can install the app on your mobile devices to configure and control your WiiM Pro units.
- Setup and Configuration:
- During the initial setup, you’ll connect each WiiM Pro to your Wi-Fi network and configure them within the WiiM Home app. This step ensures that all devices are connected to the same network and can communicate with each other.
- You can assign each WiiM Pro to a specific room or zone in your home, such as the living room, kitchen, bedroom, etc. This makes it easy to select which rooms should play audio simultaneously.
- Audio Sources:
- The WiiM Pro supports various audio sources, including streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Napster, and more. You can also play music from your media server using DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance).
- Additionally, the WiiM Pro can access internet-based radio services like TuneIn, expanding your choice of audio content.
- Synchronized Playback: Once your WiiM Pro devices are set up and configured, you can use the WiiM Home app to select the audio source and choose which rooms or zones should participate in the multiroom playback. When you start playing music, the audio is synchronized across all selected rooms, providing a seamless and immersive listening experience.
- Individual Room Control: While enjoying multiroom playback, you can control each room’s volume and playback options independently using the WiiM Home app. This means you can adjust the volume or pause the music in one room without affecting the others.
- Voice Assistant Integration: Using voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple’s Siri, you can use voice commands to control the WiiM Pro and initiate multiroom playback. For example, you can say, “Alexa, play jazz music in the kitchen and living room,” the selected rooms will start playing the requested music.
- Expandability: You can expand your multiroom audio setup by adding more WiiM Pro devices to additional rooms as needed. This scalability allows you to tailor your audio system to suit your home’s layout and your audio preferences.
In conclusion, the WiiM Pro’s support for multiroom playback offers an excellent way to enjoy music throughout your home with ease. With the ability to control multiple rooms independently, access various audio sources, and integrate voice assistants, the WiiM Pro provides a versatile and immersive audio experience that can be customized to suit your preferences and home layout.
Sound Quality and Digital Connection
While the WiiM Pro includes an integrated DAC, it’s essential to note that it may not match the quality of higher-end DACs. To maximize its sound performance, connecting the device digitally through its optical SPDIF output to a compatible amplifier or receiver is recommended. This setup provides a more homogeneous sound profile and enhanced spatiality. The WiiM Pro delivers impressive sound quality considering its price, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious audiophiles. While it may not compete with premium streaming amplifiers, its performance more than satisfies its target audience. Additionally, when used with an inexpensive analog amplifier, the WiiM Pro can create a compelling audio setup without breaking the bank.
Sound quality is a critical aspect of any audio device, and the WiiM Pro aims to deliver a satisfying audio experience, especially considering its budget-friendly price point. Let’s explore its sound quality and performance through a sound test and analysis:
Sound Quality: The WiiM Pro offers a respectable sound quality that can be described as clean, balanced, and well-suited for a wide range of music genres. It handles various audio formats, including MP3, AAC, ALAC, APE, FLAC, WAV, WMA, and OGG Vorbis, which ensures compatibility with most audio sources and high-resolution music files.
Sound Test: During a sound test, the WiiM Pro’s performance may vary depending on the quality of the source material and the type of speakers or headphones used. Here’s a breakdown of how it performs under different scenarios:
- Streaming Services: When streaming music from popular platforms like Spotify, Amazon Music, or Tidal, the WiiM Pro provides a reliable and enjoyable listening experience. It reproduces music with clarity, maintaining good instrument separation and vocals.
- Hi-Res Audio: For those who prefer high-resolution audio, the WiiM Pro can handle formats like FLAC and WAV. When playing high-quality music files, you can expect an improvement in detail and dynamics, showcasing its ability to reproduce intricate nuances in the music.
- Multiroom Playback: The WiiM Pro’s multiroom playback feature allows for synchronized audio across multiple rooms. While this feature is more about convenience and versatility than pure sound quality, it ensures that your music follows you throughout your home without any noticeable audio lag or synchronization issues.
- Bluetooth and AirPlay 2: When streaming music via Bluetooth or AirPlay 2, the sound quality remains solid. It supports the SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs, which are suitable for wireless audio transmission. However, it’s worth noting that higher-resolution Bluetooth codecs like aptX are not supported.
- Analog and Digital Outputs: The WiiM Pro provides both analog and digital output options. When digitally connected to a high-quality external DAC or amplifier, the sound quality can improve further, offering a cleaner and more detailed audio experience. The digital outputs (optical and coaxial) are particularly useful for users seeking higher fidelity.
- Voice Control: Voice assistants like Amazon Alexa can be used to control the WiiM Pro. Voice commands can enhance the overall user experience by enabling hands-free control of playback and volume adjustments.
Comparison to Higher-End Systems: It’s essential to keep in mind that the WiiM Pro is a budget-friendly network player, and its sound quality, while commendable for the price, may not compete with high-end audio systems. In a direct comparison to more expensive streaming amplifiers, the WiiM Pro may fall short in terms of ultimate clarity, detail, and spatiality. However, considering its cost, it performs admirably.
Conclusion: In conclusion, the WiiM Pro offers a sound quality that is more than adequate for most users, especially those looking for an affordable way to introduce streaming capabilities into their audio setup. While it may not deliver audiophile-grade sound, it strikes a balance between price and performance, making it a valuable addition to both beginner and budget-conscious audiophile setups. For users seeking even higher sound quality, connecting the WiiM Pro to an external DAC or amplifier can further enhance the listening experience.
Digital connections are a crucial aspect of modern audio equipment, including devices like the WiiM Pro. These connections allow for the transmission of digital audio signals, ensuring high-quality sound reproduction and compatibility with various audio sources. Let’s explore the digital connections available on the WiiM Pro and their significance:
- Digital Inputs:
- Coaxial (RCA) Input: The WiiM Pro features a coaxial (RCA) digital input. This type of connection allows you to connect external digital audio sources, such as CD players or other audio players with coaxial digital outputs. It uses a standard RCA cable to transmit the digital audio signal.
- Optical (SPDIF) Input: Another digital input option on the WiiM Pro is the optical (SPDIF) input. This connection utilizes optical fiber cables to transmit digital audio signals. It’s commonly used for devices like DVD players, gaming consoles, or set-top boxes that have optical output ports.
- USB Input: While not a traditional digital input, the USB-C connection on the WiiM Pro serves multiple purposes. It’s primarily used for power supply, but it can also be used to connect external USB storage devices containing digital audio files. This allows you to play music stored on a USB drive through the WiiM Pro.
- Digital Outputs:
- Coaxial (RCA) Output: In addition to the digital inputs, the WiiM Pro provides a coaxial (RCA) digital output. This output allows you to send the digital audio signal from the WiiM Pro to an external digital-to-analog converter (DAC), an AV receiver, or other audio equipment that accepts coaxial input. Using this output can help improve the sound quality when connecting the WiiM Pro to more advanced audio systems.
- Optical (SPDIF) Output: Similar to the coaxial output, the WiiM Pro includes an optical (SPDIF) digital output. You can use this output to connect the WiiM Pro to compatible devices that accept optical input, such as soundbars, AV receivers, or external DACs.
- USB Output (Audio Transmission):
- The USB-C connection on the WiiM Pro can serve as a digital audio output when used with compatible devices. This is particularly useful for connecting the WiiM Pro to external DACs or amplifiers that support USB audio input. By doing so, you can take advantage of the DAC’s superior audio processing capabilities, potentially resulting in enhanced sound quality.
In summary, the WiiM Pro offers a variety of digital input and output options, allowing users to connect the device to different audio sources and equipment. These digital connections enable the transmission of high-quality digital audio signals, making it a versatile addition to various audio setups. Whether you’re connecting external sources, improving sound quality with an external DAC, or integrating the WiiM Pro into a multi-room audio system, these digital connections play a crucial role in delivering a satisfying audio experience.
Turntable Compatibility and Roon Integration
Connecting a turntable to the WiiM Pro requires an external phono preamp or a turntable with an integrated preamp since the device lacks its own phono preamplifier. This limitation should be considered if you plan to incorporate vinyl playback into your setup. The WiiM Pro is also rated as “roon ready,” allowing seamless integration with the Roon music server platform. However, its extensive feature set and exceptional app may render Roon unnecessary for many users, especially considering the cost of a Roon license.
The WiiM Pro offers turntable compatibility and the ability to integrate with the Roon music server platform, enhancing its versatility as an audio streaming device. Here’s an elaboration of these features:
1. Turntable Compatibility:
- The WiiM Pro allows you to connect a turntable to it, expanding its functionality beyond digital audio sources. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind:
- Phono Preamplifier: The WiiM Pro does not have its own phono preamplifier. Therefore, you’ll need either an external phono preamp or a turntable with a built-in phono preamp to properly connect a turntable to the WiiM Pro. Many modern turntables offer a switchable phono preamp, which can be used in this setup.
- Connection Method: You can connect the turntable to the WiiM Pro using RCA cables. Make sure to connect the turntable’s audio output (usually labeled as “phono out” or “line out”) to one of the RCA inputs on the WiiM Pro.
- Sound Quality: While the WiiM Pro’s primary focus is on streaming and digital audio sources, it can still provide a satisfactory experience with turntables. The sound quality will depend on the turntable, cartridge, and phono preamp used in your setup.
- Analog Sources: The WiiM Pro digitizes analog sources at 48 kHz with 16-bit depth. This is suitable for most standard turntable setups but may not fully exploit the potential of high-end analog systems.
2. Roon Integration:
- The WiiM Pro is “Roon Ready,” which means it can seamlessly integrate with the Roon music server platform. Here’s how this integration works:
- Roon Compatibility: Roon is a premium music management and playback software that provides an immersive music browsing and listening experience. The WiiM Pro, being Roon Ready, can be easily recognized and used as an endpoint within the Roon ecosystem.
- Control and Playback: Using Roon’s interface on your computer or mobile device, you can control the WiiM Pro for playback. Roon offers rich metadata, album artwork, and extensive music library management, making it a comprehensive audiophile solution.
- Sound Quality: Roon’s integration with the WiiM Pro ensures high-quality audio streaming. The WiiM Pro’s capabilities complement Roon’s advanced audio processing and playback features, delivering excellent sound fidelity.
- User Experience: Roon’s user-friendly interface and powerful music discovery features enhance the overall user experience when using the WiiM Pro as a Roon endpoint. It allows you to access and organize your music collection with ease.
In summary, the WiiM Pro offers turntable compatibility, allowing you to connect a turntable and enjoy analog audio sources alongside digital ones. However, this setup requires an external phono preamp or a turntable with a built-in phono preamp. Additionally, the WiiM Pro is compatible with the Roon music server platform, offering a high-quality and feature-rich music playback experience with advanced control and audio processing capabilities. This combination of features makes the WiiM Pro a versatile choice for analog and digital audio enthusiasts.
WiiM Mini, WiiM Pro, and WiiM Pro Plus
Comparing the WiiM Pro to other models in the WiiM lineup, such as the WiiM Mini and WiiM Pro Plus, reveals minimal differences. The WiiM Mini lacks certain features, including an Ethernet port and support for Google Chromecast, making it suitable for those who can live with these limitations. The WiiM Pro Plus, on the other hand, includes a remote control with voice support and a superior AK4493EQ DAC from Asahi Kasei Microdevices, supporting higher sampling rates and bit depths compared to the WiiM Mini and WiiM Pro.
1. WiiM Mini:
- Price Point: The WiiM Mini is the most budget-friendly option in the WiiM lineup, making it an attractive choice for those looking for basic audio streaming capabilities without breaking the bank.
- Features: It offers essential streaming features and connectivity options, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. However, it has limited input/output options compared to its siblings, with a 3.5mm jack for analog audio and a digital output via SPDIF.
- Usage Scenario: The WiiM Mini suits users who want to stream music from online services or mobile devices to their existing audio systems. It lacks some advanced features and connections in the higher-end models.
2. WiiM Pro:
- Price and Features: The WiiM Pro sits in the mid-range of the WiiM product lineup, balancing affordability and features. It comes at a moderate price point, making it accessible to many users.
- Build and Connectivity: The WiiM Pro features a compact design and provides various inputs and outputs, including RCA sockets for line-in and line-out, SPDIF sockets for digital audio, and a USB-C connection for power. It supports both Wi-Fi and Ethernet for network connectivity.
- Multiroom Playback: One of its standout features is support for multiroom playback, allowing users to synchronize audio playback across multiple rooms using the WiiM Home app. This feature enhances the overall listening experience.
- Sound Quality: While not the highest-end option, the WiiM Pro delivers satisfactory sound quality, especially with an analog amplifier. It can also be digitally connected to an external DAC for improved performance.
3. WiiM Pro Plus:
- Price and Features: The WiiM Pro Plus is the top-tier model in the WiiM lineup, offering a premium set of features and enhanced audio quality. It is priced slightly higher than the WiiM Pro.
- DAC Upgrade: One of the significant differentiators is the inclusion of a higher-quality DAC (AK4493EQ from Asahi Kasei Microdevices) compared to the other models. This results in improved audio resolution and fidelity.
- Remote Control: The WiiM Pro Plus has a remote control that supports voice commands, making the user experience convenient.
- Sampling and Bit Depth: It supports higher sampling rates (up to 768 kHz) and bit depths (32 bits) when digitizing analog sources, offering audiophiles more flexibility and detail in their music playback.
- The WiiM Mini is a budget-friendly option with basic features.
- The WiiM Pro offers balanced features and affordability, including multiroom playback.
- The WiiM Pro Plus is the premium model with a superior DAC, remote control, and enhanced sampling/bit depth capabilities.
Choosing the right model from the WiiM lineup depends on your budget, desired features, and audio quality preferences. If you’re looking for a cost-effective streaming solution, the WiiM Mini may suffice. For more advanced capabilities and multiroom audio, the WiiM Pro is a solid choice. Audiophiles seeking top-notch sound quality may opt for the WiiM Pro Plus with its superior DAC and additional features.
Conclusion: A Game-Changer in Budget Streaming
In conclusion, the WiiM Pro is a compelling contender in network audio players, offering a remarkable blend of affordability and functionality. With its extensive connectivity options, including digital and analog outputs, Wi-Fi and Ethernet support, and the ability to stream from various sources, it caters to the diverse needs of audio enthusiasts. Moreover, including multiroom playback capabilities through the intuitive WiiM Home app adds a layer of versatility, allowing users to create a seamless audio experience throughout their homes.
While the WiiM Pro may not reach the audiophile heights of some premium alternatives, its sound quality remains more than satisfactory, especially when paired with an analog amplifier. This, combined with its accessible price point, makes it an excellent choice for those looking to upgrade their existing audio systems with modern streaming capabilities. Whether you’re a casual listener or a discerning audiophile, the WiiM Pro proves you don’t need to compromise on features or affordability to enjoy high-quality audio streaming in your home.
When considering whether to invest in the WiiM Pro, there are compelling reasons to make it a part of your audio setup and some considerations that may steer you in another direction.
Reasons to Buy:
- Affordability: The WiiM Pro offers a remarkable range of features and functionalities at a budget-friendly price, making it an excellent choice for those seeking high-quality audio without breaking the bank.
- Versatility: With support for a wide range of streaming formats, including popular services like Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, and more, the WiiM Pro ensures you can access your favorite music seamlessly.
- Multiroom Playback: Creating a multiroom audio system using the WiiM Pro allows you to enjoy music throughout your home, enhancing the overall listening experience.
- Voice Assistant Integration: Integration with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple’s Siri provides convenient control and voice-activated playback, adding a layer of accessibility.
- Digital Connections: The WiiM Pro offers various digital connection options, including Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, and digital outputs, enhancing compatibility with a wide range of audio devices.
Reasons to Consider Alternatives:
- Build Quality: The plastic construction of the WiiM Pro may not exude the same premium feel as some other audio components, which could be a consideration for those looking for a more robust build.
- Limited High-Resolution Support: While the WiiM Pro supports a variety of codecs, it lacks support for DSD and MQA formats, which may matter to audiophiles seeking the highest possible audio quality.
- Competition: Depending on your specific needs and budget, alternative network players or streaming devices from well-established brands might offer similar or superior performance.
Ultimately, buying the WiiM Pro should be based on your preferences, requirements, and budget. If its feature set aligns with your needs and you prioritize affordability, the WiiM Pro could be a valuable addition to your audio setup. However, exploring alternative options might be worthwhile if you seek premium build quality or specific high-resolution format support.
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