WiiM’s cheap wireless high-res audio streamer turns any speaker into a Sonos

    WiiM’s cheap wireless high-res audio streamer turns any speaker into a Sonos
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    Wireless audio system from manufacturers like Sonos, Apple, and others make it extremely simple to stream music utilizing Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and different protocols. But in the event you have an present hi-fi system that makes use of wired audio system, making wi-fi music magic occur might be an costly improve, with many devoted streaming parts priced at $1,000 and up.

    Vinyl LPs and compact discs proceed to be viable media codecs, however the finest music streaming companies can match them quality-wise, with Tidal, Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, and Qobuz providing high-res audio together with lossless CD-quality choices. Any music aficionado would understandably wish to add that functionality to their system, and with the brand new WiiM Pro music streamer, they’ll now accomplish that at a really inexpensive $149 (round £122 / AU$225) cost.

    How low is that price? To put issues in perspective, it’s significantly lower than what you’ll pay for step-up choices such because the Bluesound Node ($600) or its sister firm’s less-expensive sibling, the NAD CS1 Endpoint Network Streamer ($349).

    With assist for as much as 24-bit/192kHz audio, the WiiM Pro is able to deal with nearly any high-res observe obtainable on streaming companies. You can use it to stream over each Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet community connections, and it also handles AirPlay 2, Chromecast, Alexa Casting, Spotify Connect, and Tidal Connect. Along with an analog stereo output for hooking as much as your receiver or built-in amplifier’s enter, each optical and coaxial digital outputs are provided, and there are also analog stereo and optical and coaxial digital inputs.

    That last function is value commenting upon, as a result of it means you may join different sources equivalent to a CD participant or turntable to the WiiM Pro for streaming to different techniques or audio system in a multiroom setup. The WiiM Pro app steps you thru grouping a number of WiiM Pros for whole-house playback, and you’ll also use it to wirelessly group Nest, Echo, and Apple HomePod audio system for streaming. It works with Alexa, Hey Google, and Siri, so that you’ll have your selection of assistant for voice instructions and management.

    Music companies that may be configured in the WiiM Pro app embody Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora, Deezer, TuneIn radio and more.

    WiiM’s cheap wireless high-res audio streamer turns any speaker into a Sonos

    The WiiM Pro gives analog and digital outputs together with inputs so as to add sources to a multiroom audio setup. (Image credit score: WiiM)

    Analysis: The WiiM Pro brings high-res audio streaming to the plenty

    At $149, the WiiM Pro is the least costly choice I do know of for including wi-fi high-res audio streaming to an present stereo system. I’ve been on the lookout for a streamer like this one, each for myself and to suggest to pals who wish to lastly cease having to attach their laptop computer to their stereo for streaming – one thing that was commonly performed when music companies first launched, however now could be an archaic apply.

    The block to creating that improve beforehand for a lot of has been cost. At $349, the NAD CS1 is an inexpensive choice, however it omits the HDMI eARC port, analog stereo enter, and, most important, app-based multiroom management that the more costly Bluesound Node gives. That last function is one you’ll discover all through the Sonos speaker family, and it makes grouping varied audio system for whole-home music playback, in addition to playback of various music sources in totally different zones, a snap.

    The attention-grabbing factor in regards to the new WiiM Pro is that it gives app-based multiroom playback in a $149 streamer, and it also helps the massive three voice assistants for controlling issues like playback, music choice, and quantity degree. (The firm says it’ll quickly be launching a distant accent that can provide a more conventional {hardware} management choice.)

    Is there something that the WiiM Pro isn’t supplying you with for its $149 cost? There’s no built-in  Apple Music assist in the management app for one, and which means Apple Music subscribers will as a substitute have to make use of AirPlay 2 to wirelessly solid tracks from that service to the WiiM Pro. The draw back there may be that you just received’t have the ability to hearken to music in high-res format (AirPlay 2 doesn’t assist high-res audio) and there’s also no assist for Apple Music Spatial Audio – a function that Sonos has announced for its new Era 300 speaker, in addition to its present Arc and Beam (Gen 2) soundbars.

    Even with that limitation, the WiiM Pro seems to be to be a wonderful deal, and a fantastic way for listeners to inexpensively dive into the world of high-res audio streaming. It’s one thing we hope to get our fingers on in the close to future, so keep an eye fixed out for a evaluation.