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Which WiiM Network Streamer Should You Get? WiiM Ultra, Mini, Pro or Amp?

WiiM’s family of network streamers offers something for everyone. Here’s how to pick which WiiM is best for you.

WiiM Streamers - Family Portrait.

Few products generate as much interest among our readers as network streamers. Whether you’re a lifelong audio hobbyist or a budding audiophile setting out to build your first HiFi system, the appeal of a device that can instantly play virtually any song by any artist over a nice pair of speakers or headphones is hard to resist. Network streamers vary in price from under $100 to over $35,000: if you’re in the market for a network streamer, there is no shortage of choices.

Any good streamer will give you access to your favorite digital music sources and streaming services such as TIDAL, Qobuz, Spotify, TuneIn, Internet Radio and Amazon Music. Most can also provide direct access to local digital music files, ripped from your CD collection or downloaded from a service like HD Tracks whether you store these on a USB thumb drive or on a network-attached storage drive. In most cases, you will need to install a DLNA or uPnP media server or add a service like Roon to a PC in your local network to access your local digital audio files.

One thing that can make or break a network streamer is the mobile app. While virtually all network streamers allow you to connect a phone via Bluetooth and play your music back over speakers, a good mobile app allows you to access music from multiple streaming services, internet radio stations, or even a local digital music collection from a single app, using a wired or WiFi connection from the network streaming box to the internet. This allows you to skip the unwanted interruptions and compression artifacts of a Bluetooth connection.

Screenshot
WiiM Ultra, the company’s latest network streamer, offers a color touch screen to navigate your digital music collection or select a streaming music source.

Just about every streamer maker has its own mobile app. Some, like SONOS, have been enhanced and refined over many years, while other apps from newer entries to the streaming market can show their immaturity in a lack of functionality, lack of third party integration options or just inconsistent operation. There are also third party apps like Roon which are designed to work with multiple third party streamers, local digital music libraries and music streaming services. But Roon is a subscription-based model so it may not be the best choice for those trying to stick to a budget.

And speaking of budgets, one company that stays toward the budget-friendly end of the price spectrum for network streamers is WiiM. Their most basic streamer, the WiiM Mini ($99) does the same kinds of things as the more recently unveiled flagship WiiM Ultra ($329) so why spend more? It comes down to a few factors: sound quality, build quality, aesthetic design, features and functionality. At eCoustics, we’ve had hands-on/ears-on time with most of the WiiM streamers, except the WiiM Ultra and WiiM Amp Pro, which were just officially unveiled at High-End Munich in May, 2024. Stay tuned for reviews of these new streamers soon. Until then, here are our suggestions on what sets each WiiM apart so you can decide which WiiM will work well for you.

The WiiM Home App

All of WiiM’s network streamers use the same mobile app, called “WiiM Home.” WiiM Home gets high marks from users for its flexibility and reliability, though it can take some time to get used to just due to the sheer volume of features and options available. One thing that sets WiiM apart from many of its budget-priced competitors is that WiiM Home supports synced multi-room streaming. This allows you to play the same music in multiple rooms in your home, synchronized so there is no delay or echo. This is something that Sonos also does very well. Not all streaming apps support the feature.

WiiM Home App

As of the time of publication (June 11, 2024), the WiiM Home app supports most of the popular streaming music services, including Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn Radio, TIDAL, Amazon Music Unlimited, Qobuz, Napster and Deezer. Apple Music can be played back via Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast audio is also supported in all but the entry level WiiM Mini. Other third party apps are supported by connecting your phone to the WiiM streamer via Bluetooth. The company seems to be committed to adding new music services based on owner feedback (as evidenced by this post on the company’s official user forum). How about native Radio Paradise support? Not yet (sadly), but it looks like it’s under consideration. Until then you can get that as well as thousands of other Internet radios stations on TuneIn Radio in the WiiM Home app.

Powered vs. Unpowered Network Streamers. What’s the Difference?

WiiM makes two types of network streamers: powered and unpowered. A powered streamer (a.k.a. “Network Amplifier”) like the WiiM Amp or WiiM Amp Pro includes a built-in stereo amplifier. This means it can drive a traditional pair of passive bookshelf or tower speakers. This can both simplify your system and save you from having to purchase a separate integrated amp, receiver, power amp or pair of powered speakers. If you’re building your first HiFi system from scratch, or setting up a secondary system in a den or office or a vacation home, a powered streamer makes sense as it can save you money and system complexity.

A standard “unpowered” network streamer like the WiiM Mini, WiiM Pro, WiiM Pro Plus or WiiM Ultra is more like a traditional audio component such as a CD player or turntable in that it needs a separate piece of gear like a receiver, integrated amp or power amplifier to drive a pair of speakers. As an alternative option, you could pair an unpowered streamer with a pair of powered speakers, but this limits speaker choices a bit. If you’ve already got a nice HiFi system – modern or vintage – and you just want to add streaming functionality, a standard (unpowered) network streamer makes the most sense.

WiiM Pro Plus Network Streamer Works With All Your Audio Devices

What’s in a WiiM?

All of WiiM’s streamers, including the entry-level WiiM Mini, support lossless and high resolution audio at a minimum of 192kHz/24-bit (depending on the source) with gapless playback for seamless track-to-track transitions. Enjoy that whole “Dark Side of the Moon” album without annoying blank spaces between tracks. All WiiM streamers support Apple AirPlay 2 and work with Alexa or Siri voice assistants. All WiiM streamers offer both parametric and graphic EQ in the app. And all will soon support WiiM’s room correction option, either right out of the box or with a future software update. This feature is currently in beta test and will be delivered to all WiiM network streamers in the future, allowing you to get the best performance from your speakers in your specific listening room.

“Works with Google” and Chromecast Audio support are available in the WiiM Pro and above. All WiiM streamers include built-in WiFi connectivity and all but the entry-level WiiM Mini include an ethernet port for an even more reliable network connection. For those users who favor Spotify or TIDAL, all WiiM streamers support both Spotify Connect and TIDAL Connect so you can eliminate the middleman and get your streamer connected directly to the internet, bypassing the phone entirely except as a control device.

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All WiiM streamers currently feature two-way Bluetooth connectivity so you can stream from your phone or tablet to the WiiM or stream from the WiiM to your favorite pair of Bluetooth headphones or wireless speakers.

Really there are more things in common among the WiiM streamer family than there are differences, but each step up the line does offer improvements in both feature set, aesthetic design and performance.

WiiM Streamer Comparison Chart (Unpowered Streamers):

All prices listed are MSRP. Click the price to view current pricing online. Note: Scroll to lower section for comparison chart of WiiM’s powered streamers (WiiM Amp/WiiM Amp Pro).

wiim-family-streamers-non-powered-with-remote
WiiM MiniWiiM ProWiiM Pro PlusWiiM Ultra
MSRP$99$149$219$329
Ethernet NoYesYesYes
WiFi5556E
Bluetooth5.25.15.15.3
Chromecast AudioYesYesYes
Group with Nest Speakers and DisplayYesYesYes
Group with Echo Speakers and DisplayYesYesYesYes
Alexa Multiroom with UHDYesYesYes
Group with HomepodsYesYesYesYes
Works with AlexaYesYesYesYes
Works with GoogleYesYesYes
Works with SiriYesYesYesYes
Group with WiiM or Linkplay DevicesYesYesYesYes
Airplay 2YesYesYesYes
DLNAYesYesYesYes
Spotify ConnectYesYesYesYes
TIDAL ConnectYesYesYesYes
Gapless PlaybackYesYesYesYes
PEQ (Parametric EQ)YesYesYes (after firmware update)Yes
10 Band Graphic EQYesYesYesYes
Linkplay Music Streaming PlatformYesYesYesYes
Roon ReadyYesYes (after firmware update)Yes
CPUDual Core A7Dual Core A53Quad Core Amlogic A113XQuadcore Cortex A53
DRAM128 MB512 MB512 MB512 MB
Flash128 MB512 MB512 MB512 MB
Voice Remote Included?OptionalOptionalYesYes
Audio Input (wired)AuxLine-in
Optical
Line-in
Optical
Line-in
Optical
HDMI-ARC
Phono (MM)
USB 
Audio Output (wired)Aux,
Optical
Line-out
Optical
Coax
Line-out
Optical
Coax
Line-out
Optical
Coax
Subwoofer
Headphone
DACTI PCM 5121TI PCM 5121AKM AK4493SEQESS ES9038Q2M
Built-in Amplifier
Subwoofer OutputYes
Front Panel Display Yes
Wiim Mini Network Streamer
The WiiM Mini network streamer offers a spartan puck-shaped design with basic inputs/outputs and playback and volume controls on top.

Entry Level: WiiM Mini

The WiiM Mini streamer is a bare-bones streamer, lacking some of the more advanced features, but providing all the essentials for a music-lover on a limited budget. It uses the same WiiM Home app as WiiM’s more expensive models with the same rich functionality, but it lacks some niceties like a hard-wired ethernet port, Roon-ready certification and “Works with Google” support, or a digital input for use as a standalone DAC. The WiiM Mini does include a fiberoptic digital output for connection to an outboard DAC, preamp or integrated amp with a built-in DAC. The Mini also includes a basic 3.5mm analog output so you can plug it into a receiver, preamp, amplifier or powered speakers using a 3.5mm to stereo RCA adapter cable. With a list price of $99, the WiiM Mini normally sells online for less making it a true bargain for an entry-level network streamer.

Where to buy WiiM Mini: $99.99 $89 at Amazon


WiiM Pro
The WiiM Pro offers a more refined industrial design than the WiiM Mini.

Step Up: WiiM Pro

The WiiM Pro offers all of the features of the WiiM Mini, including the same Texas Instruments PCM 5121 DAC (Digital Audio Converter), but adds a hard-wired ethernet port for rock solid network connectivity, a faster more powerful processor and increased internal RAM and Flash memory (from 128MB to 512MB). It also adds support for Chromecast Audio, Works with Google and Roon-ready certification. In addition, the WiiM Pro offers a more refined design as well as a digital input so you can use it as a DAC for an older CD player or CD transport.

The WiiM Pro moves playback controls from the top to the front panel and adds high quality RCA jacks for both line inputs and line outputs. It also includes both fiberoptic and coax digital outputs for connection to a receiver, preamp, integrated amp or external DAC. The WiiM Pro does not come with a remote control, however you can bundle it with the WiiM Voice Remote for an additional $10 or just use the WiiM Home app to adjust volume and playback.

Where to buy WiiM Pro: $169 $149 at Amazon


wiim-pro-plus-with-remote-900px
WiiM Pro Plus

WiiM Pro Plus: It’s What’s Inside that Counts

Looking nearly identical to the WiiM Pro, the upgrades in the WiiM Pro Plus are mostly invisible to the naked eye, but not to the naked ear. The WiiM Pro Plus offers upgraded DAC (Digital-to-Analog Conversion) and ADC (Analog-to-Digital Conversion) technology. It features an AKM 4493SEQ premium DAC with support for up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD512 high resolution audio, with PCM/DSD automatic switching. Meanwhile, its TI Burr-Brown Audio PCM1861 ADC supports up to 192kHz/24-bit from the digital outputs so connected analog sources will offer smoother overall sound. The CPU is also upgraded to a Quad Core Amlogic A113X chip which makes operation a bit smoother overall.

While the chassis of both the WiiM Pro and the Pro Plus are the same size (5.5″ square, 1.6″ high), the Pro Plus offers more premium parts and construction which leads to it weighing a bit more than the Pro: 400g (14.1 oz) for the Pro Plus compared to 330g (11.6 oz) for the Pro. The WiiM Pro Plus comes with WiiM’s voice remote. Read Ian White’s review for more details or find out why it earned out Editor’s Choice Award for 2023.

Where to buy WiiM Pro Plus: $219 at Amazon


WiiM-Ultra-Front-900px
The WiiM Ultra is the company’s most feature-packed streamer to date.

WiiM Ultra – One with Everything

When I’m listening to music on a network streamer, I like being able to glance over to see what artist is playing without having to refer back to my phone. Listening to Radio Paradise, not a day goes by when I don’t discover a cool new artist. In this case, a screen on the front of the streamer comes in handy. This is one of the things I liked so much about the Cambridge Audio CXN V2. The WiiM Ultra also offers a high-quality 3.5″ full-color touchscreen, but does so at about a third of the cost of the Cambridge Audio streamer.

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The color screen isn’t all that’s added to the WiiM Ultra. Like the Zen master, it is truly “one with everything.” The WiiM Ultra includes an upgraded DAC and CPU. The DAC is the highly rated ESS Sabre ES9038Q2M DAC with decoding of up to 32-bit/384 kHz digital files or data streams. The CPU is a quad core Cortex A53 for super smooth operations. In addition to analog, fiberoptic and coax digital inputs, the WiiM Ultra includes an HDMI ARC input for connection to a TV (2-channel PCM, 2-channel Dolby Digital or 5.1-channel Dolby Digital).

WiiM Ultra Digital Music Streamer Rear
WiiM Ultra features a bevy of analog and digital inputs and outputs.

At 8-1/8 inches wide and deep and 2-15/16 inches high, the WiiM Ultra is the largest of WiiM’s streamers to date, though it’s still only about half the width of a “standard” 17 inch component. Its elegant aluminum enclosure is accented by the glass-covered color display and a robust illuminated glass-covered volume and playback knob.

The WiiM Ultra is the first WiiM streamer to include a built-in headphone amp and jack (3.5mm). It even includes a built-in phono section which means you can plug your turntable in without a separate phono preamp. The USB-A port will allow you to connect a USB drive with your favorite digital music tracks (requires a future firmware update). An RCA subwoofer output allows you to manage bass output and crossover as part of the WiiM’s integrated room correction functionality.

As with the WiiM Pro Plus, the WiiM Ultra includes two-way Bluetooth so you can stream wirelessly from your Bluetooth phone or tablet to the WiiM or stream from the WiiM to a pair of Bluetooth headphones or speakers. It also comes with the WiiM Voice remote in case you want to just put your damn phone down for a minute. Honestly I’d be hard-pressed to find something missing from the WiiM Ultra, particularly when compared to other streamers in its price range.

We have no idea how WiiM has managed to pack in so many features and so much performance into the WiiM Ultra and still reach a price point of $329. But suffice it to say, the most expensive of WiiM’s unpowered streamer offerings is still a bargain compared to the competition. The WiiM Ultra is expected to begin shipping in July, 2024.

Where to pre-order WiiM Ultra: $329 at Crutchfield (expected July 7, 2024)


WiiM Amp vs. WiiM Amp Pro
WiiM Amp (left) and WiiM Amp Pro (right) look the same but the Pro version has a few tweaks to design and performance for about $70 more.

WiiM Powered Streamers (“Network Amplifiers”)

WiiM’s powered streamers or “network amplifiers” combine the streaming features of WiiM’s network streamers with a robust 2-channel amplifier capable of driving a pair of passive bookshelf or tower speakers. The WiiM Amp ($299) and WiiM Amp Pro ($369) look nearly identical and offer similar features and specs, though the main difference is that the Pro includes an upgraded ESS Sabre ES9038Q2M DAC with decoding up to 32-bit/384KHz digital files and data streams. The DAC is the same one used in WiiM’s flagship network streamer, the WiiM Ultra.

The WiiM Amp Pro was announced at this year’s High End Show in Munich and is expected to begin shipping in late 2024. It is not available to pre-order yet (as of June 11, 2024).

Our Editor-in-Chief Ian White reviewed the OG WiiM Amp earlier this year as part of his Audiophile System Builder column. In Ian’s words, “the power, multi-room audio support, and surprising build quality makes this the network amplifier to beat below $500.” The WiiM Amp Pro is an upgraded version of that product, based on customer feedback. In addition to the upgraded DAC, the WiiM Amp Pro improves on the standard WiiM Amp with improved amplification thanks to a post-filter feedback (PFFB) loop, more powerful WiFi connectivity and improvements to internal circuitry.

WiiM Amp Pro Front
The WiiM Amp Pro offers an improved DAC, better wireless connectivity and improvements to the on-board power amplifier compared to the WiiM Amp.

Upgraded Specs of the WiiM Amp Pro:

  • Support for the latest Wi-Fi 6E and BT 5.3 standard with two antennas for rock-solid Bluetooth or Wi-Fi audio streaming
  • TI TPA3255 Class D amp module (60 Watts per channel at 8 ohms, or 120 Watts per channel at 4 ohms) now comes with additional post-filter feedback (PFFB) loop.
  • Premium 32-bit/384kHz ES9038 Q2M SABRE DAC
  • Elegant aluminum case with subtle design tweaks over the regular version
  • Built-in room correction to optimize your system for your specific listening environment (available in all WiiM streamers)
  • Superior sound quality with -105 dB THD+N (Total Harmonic Distortion plus Noise), 120 dB SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) compared to -92dB THD+N and 102 dB SNR in the original WiiM Amp

Flexible Control Options

As with the company’s unpowered network streamers, WiiM Amp and Amp Pro users can control their streaming preferences, song playback and volume from within the easy-to-use WiiM Home App, from the unit’s front panel, from a native music streaming app or with their voice. WiiM offers compatibility with the three major voice assistant platforms: Siri, Alexa and Google. The included WiiM Voice Remote includes a built-in microphone for wireless control.

WiiM Amp Pro Rear
Like the WiiM Amp, the WiiM Amp Pro includes HDMI, analog RCA and optical digital inputs as well as a USB port for direct connection of a USB drive.

For third party compatibility, the WiiM Amp and WiiM Amp Pro can handle Apple AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast, Alexa Cast, DLNA, Spotify Connect, and TIDAL Connect. If you prefer, you can manage your content and devices within the WiiM Home App, with embedded support for Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, Qobuz, TIDAL, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, SoundCloud, and more. The WiiM Amp has “Roon ready” certification while that certification is in progress for the WiiM Amp Pro.

In addition to streaming, the WiiM Amp and WiiM Amp Pro each offer a stereo RCA line input, optical S/PDIF digital input, HDMI ARC and USB-A inputs so you can add additional sources like a turntable, TV or CD player. Note that there is no phono preamp on-board so you’ll need a turntable with a line level output or an outboard phono stage. Both units also offer bi-drectional Bluetooth so you can connect your phone as a Bluetooth source or connect a pair of Bluetooth headphones or speakers – in addition to or instead of the wired speakers – for playback.

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Comparison Chart for WiiM Amp and WiiM Amp Pro

WiiM Amp vs. WiiM Amp Pro
WiiM AmpWiiM Amp Pro
MSRP$299$369
(expected late 2024)
TypeStreamer + AmpStreamer + Amp
Audio AmplificationTI TPA3255TI TPA3255
CPUQuadcore A53Quadcore A53
DRAM512 MB512 MB
Flash512 MB512 MB
DAC ICESS ES9018K2MESS ES9038Q2M
Audio Input PortStereo RCA, Optical, HDMI ARC, USB-AStereo RCA, Optical, HDMI ARC, USB-A
Audio Output PortHP terminals, Subwoofer outHP terminals, Subwoofer out
Pair with a Sub
USB Port (Storage/Audio Out)
Wi-Fi56E
Ethernet
Bluetooth5.05.3
Analog Out SNR98 dB120 dB
THD+ N (Analog Out)-92 dB (0.002%)-105 dB (0.0005%)
Analog Input (ADC)Up to 192k, 24bitUp to 192k, 24bit
Chromecast Audio
Group with Nest speakers and Display
Group with Echo speakers and Display
Alexa Multiroom with UHD
Group with HomePods
Works with Alexa
Works with Google
Works with Siri
Group with WiiM or Linkplay devices
AirPlay 2
AirPlay Cast
Voice Remote Included?
2-Way Bluetooth
Roon ReadyIn Certification
DNLA
Spotify Connect & TIDAL Connect
Gapless Playback
10-band Graphics EQ
Linkplay Music Streaming Platform
Room Correction

Pricing & Availability

The WiiM Mini, Pro, Pro Plus and Amp are all available now on Amazon.com (see links below). The Wiim Ultra can be pre-ordered from Crutchfield for a July delivery. The WiiM Amp Pro is expected to begin shipping in late 2024 and is not yet available to pre-order.

The Bottom Line

Priced from $99 to $369, there’s a WiiM network streamer for everyone. Whether you want basic no-frills model, a fancy touch-screen with ultra high-end DAC or a powered streamer for simplified connection to any pair of speakers, there’s definitely a WiiM that will work well for you.

Where to Buy (note: prices are accurate as of June 12, 2024)

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Paul

    June 14, 2024 at 1:24 am

    I like my WIIM Pro Plus. What I don’t get is the Ethernet port speed. It’s the 21st century and they put 10/100 MB port in it. Why not a GB port? Pretty cheap ass if you ask me. Modern networks prefer a GB port.

    • Chris Boylan

      June 16, 2024 at 6:43 pm

      That is lame. I mean, 100MB should be more than enough for even lossless high res audio but how much could the part cost difference be? I wonder if the Ultra will have GB ethernet?

      • Ian White

        June 17, 2024 at 2:11 pm

        Chief,

        It is lame, but I will say based on my experience with the Pro Plus and Amp, there have never been any issues so far using the hardwired ethernet connection.

        Best,

        Ian White

        • Chris Boylan

          June 17, 2024 at 3:10 pm

          Yeah, I think high res lossless two-channel audio maxes out at around 9 MBPS so it’s really a non-issue. Even when WiiM moves toward immersive streaming (one day), the 100MB wired connection would still be more than enough.

  2. Stephen

    June 14, 2024 at 1:42 pm

    The WiiM Pro does two-way Bluetooth; you don’t need the Plus version for that. I’ve used it far more than expected to stream internet radio to my Bluetooth speaker and headphones.

    • Chris Boylan

      June 15, 2024 at 7:51 pm

      Thanks. It looks like the Mini does too so all the WiiM’s do two-way Bluetooth. I’ll update the article.

  3. Liam

    June 18, 2024 at 7:24 pm

    Hi, the Ultra has an USB port as per the images but is missing from your streamer table. Also, AirPlay Cast is no longer a feature of any WiiM device. Good article btw 🙂

    • Chris Boylan

      June 20, 2024 at 3:27 am

      Thanks for your comment. USB is listed under the “wired inputs” section for the Ultra in the streamer table. It is also mentioned in the text description for the Ultra.

      Also these charts came directly from WiiM. Are you saying WiiM has discontinued support for AirPlay Cast in the last month since they sent us these streamer feature tables? From what I understand, people are using this feature on WiiMs to deliver sound from the WiiM directly to Apple HomePod speakers.

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