WiiM Pro Plus Audiophile Endpoint/Streamer Reviewed

Price: $219.00

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Even the audiophile elders admit that streaming provides the best performance and most cost-effective way to get CD- to HD-quality audio into your audiophile system. In 2022, only a tiny fraction of the record high sales for recorded music was from physical media and, much like a computer, there is little chance that you are going to be buying your next copy of either Dark Side of the Moon or Microsoft Office on some form of silver (or vinyl black) disc. To WiiM, which has helped some of our audiophile favorites like Harman, JBL and even Edifier launch their own high-performance streaming products, streaming is about the total user experience, and not just the access to music at the expense of quality. 

The WiiM Pro Plus is a very low-cost music-oriented endpoint that can absolutely be used in an audiophile system. On the electronics side, the WiiM Pro plus packs a very respectable internal DAC, variable digital output various equalization options, and works with just about any hi-res streaming service one can ask for. When it comes to lifestyle integration, the WiiM Pro Plus works with any meaningful service in use today, has multi-room capabilities, and is controlled via smartphone app. Between the audio capabilities and lifestyle integration, there is a lot going on in the WiiM Pro Plus. Should this be your window to the world of music for one or more of your music playback systems? That’s what we are here to discuss….

The WiiM Pro Plus is a small form factor, 24 bit endpoint for music playback that is gaining favor with audiophiles
The WiiM Pro Plus is a small form factor, 24 bit endpoint for music playback that is gaining favor with audiophiles

What Makes the WiiM Pro Plus Audiophile Endpoint So Special?

  • The WiiM Pro Plus supports ultra-high-resolution streaming, unlike some popular music-based endpoints. It is not uncommon to see a hi-res audio logo on many mainstream consumer electronics products these days. However, that does not always mean a product will be able to accept, process, and reproduce the high-quality common formats like 24-bit/192kHz. The WiiM Pro Plus will not only support 24-Bit/192kHz inputs from external devices, but can output up to 32-Bit/768kHz. Now, I challenge anyone reading this to find readily available media at 32-Bit/768kHz resolution that has been recorded, then preserved for playback as such. You won’t. However, having enhanced streaming capabilities makes the WiiM Pro Plus future-ready, and a positive without question. 
  • If you are the kind of audiophile who values specifications, the WiiM Pro Plus has you covered there, too. The published specifications of the WiiM Pro Plus are pretty impressive. It sports a 120 db signal-to-noise ratio, and 0.00032 percent total harmonic distortion plus noise when using the built-in DAC. These numbers, indicative of strong performance, are commonplace with today’s standalone high-performance DACs, but are not so common in a $219 streamer. 
  • The WiiM Pro Plus will make use of pretty much any meaningful music service available. For example: Qobuz, Tidal, Amazon Music, Pandora, just to name a few, as there is a long list of supported services here.
  • The app to control the WiiM Pro Plus is seamless, intuitive, and ready to use in minutes. I found the interface and use of their app, as well as the set-up process, to be mature and well-thought-out.
  • Some simple home automation tasks can be performed with the WiiM Pro Plus through either its internal capability or Amazon Alexa. Do you like waking up to “30,000 Pounds of Bananas” by Harry Chapin? Perhaps you enjoy Chapin’s great storytelling in your kitchen while making oatmeal. It is possible to make this scenario automatically happen by automating routine tasks through multiple connected WiiM Pro Pluses. 
  • The Adaptative Equalization on the WiiM Pro Plus is slick. I mentioned “30,000 Pounds of Bananas” in the previous bullet for a reason. When it comes to musical diversity, even Pandora cannot keep up with the full breadth of my unique musical tastes. In any listening session in my house, one song may be by Mozart, and the next may be by Outkast. The Adaptive Equalization on the WiiM Pro Plus will use the tags built into each song while streaming, and automatically select your preferred equalizer setting to enhance the genre of music just how you like it. For those who like to program EQ for their music, the WiiM brings a very cool implementation to the party. 
  • The WiiM Pro Plus is responsibly packaged with all biodegradable materials, which is a small but thoughtful plus. Care in packaging shows WiiM is not just trying to hop on the latest tech bandwagon and make a buck, but rather they care about what they do on all levels. 

Why Should You Care About the WiiM Pro Plus Endpoint/Streamer?

There are a lot of endpoint/streamers out there, from Chi-Fi offerings under $100 to ultimate-level products like the T+A Elektroakustik SD 3100 HV  DAC that will take $38,900 out of your savings account. The $219 WiiM Pro Plus falls into the former category, but offers serious lifestyle integration included in its price, as you will find with non-HD endpoints like a Sonos Port. I found the features and integrations on the Pro Plus to be intuitive and useful. They worked well, too, with no hiccups, excessive delay or bugs that can sometimes plague even not-so-inexpensive streamers. The flexibility of the WiiM Pro Plus meets the requirements of a modern, busy lifestyle, where we all need things to just work and work seamlessly. Most importantly to audiophiles, the seamlessness of the WiiM Pro Plus does not come at the cost of audio performance. 

WiiM Pro Plus audiophile endpoint installed and ready to rock
WiiM Pro Plus audiophile endpoint installed and ready to rock

Some Things You Might Not Like About the WiiM Pro Plus Endpoint/Streamer 

  • In my time with the WiiM endpoint, WIFI reception can be a bit spotty on the WiiM Pro Plus. Unfortunately, my WIFI router is on the other side of my home from my listening room. In order to use the WiiM Pro Plus in the manner I wanted for evaluation, I needed to extend the cables on my WIFI router by 10 feet and temporarily relocate it to get an acceptable signal for the Pro Plus. I have not had this inconvenience with any other component so far, but I was able to make this work with a little extra effort.  
  • The remote control that comes with the WiiM Pro Plus is not all that useful. Since the WiiM Pro Plus is normally controlled via a unique app on a smartphone, thus remote is not all that necessary… at least in the manner I used it.
  • The sound quality of the WiiM Pro Plus is a little on the cold side to use an audiophile descriptor. Whether used with a “power DAC” components like the Peachtree GaN 1 or analog out to a good HIFI system, the WiiM pro plus sounded a little unnatural in the high-frequency range. While not annoying, harsh, or overly detrimental to the sound, the lean and hash-like high-frequency performance was the only hint I could find that the WiiM was a budget streamer. The good news? It could be equalized out using the built-in equalizer. 
Here's a look at the read panel if the WiiM Pro Plus audiophile endpoint
Here’s a look at the read panel if the WiiM Pro Plus audiophile endpoint

Listening To the WiiM Pro Plus Audiophile Endpoint/Streamer…

I used the WiiM Pro Plus with the Peachtree Audio GaN 1 power DAC/amplifier quite a bit. The WiiM Pro Plus is one of the few streamers with a variable digital output. As a point of reference, a power DAC is a switching (Class D) amplifier that only takes a straight, variable digital input from a DAC. This direct variable digital input removes an entire layer of conversion in the signal path and preserves a whole lot of fidelity. The concept of a power DAC has been around for decades, but now, with products like the WiiM Pro plus and GaN switching amplifiers, the concept can be a feasible reality. I found the WiiM Pro Plus to have the overall fidelity of a good, standalone DAC in the $750 and under price range. The biggest limiting factor was the high-frequency performance. This finding was consistent, regardless of the loudspeakers or associated equipment used. 

New Orleans jazz and its associated Southern musical sub-genres have always been favorites of mine. “Mr. Bones” by Steve Strauss falls neatly into this meaningful genre of music, and is a well-recorded, high-resolution track that makes a heck of an evaluation piece of music. From the second I pressed play, the guitar bounced into the soundstage and set the foot-tapping pace for what was to come. Where the WiiM was showing its high-resolution capability was in its ability to resolve subtle dynamic changes in Strauss’ guitar, thanks to his seemingly limitless talent. Further, the WiiM preserved the musical integrity of the guitar, harmonics, and chords, providing a realistic in-room presence. Strauss’ voice was rich and full and, as with the guitar, the WiiM did a fine job of getting all the vocal inflections across to me as the listener. I found the start/stop of the bass guitar to also be satisfying and, when featured to keep the song moving, it was easy to hear the musical talent behind the smooth walking bass line. There was a subtle tendency for some of the sibilance to be emphasized more than I was used to, but it wasn’t overly distracting from the fun. 

Switching over to The Black Crows’ hit album The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion, I put on a medium-deep track I always have fancied: “Thorn In My Pride.” The WiiM produced this soulful tune well. I think all of the important aspects of what differentiates high fidelity from just okay were present. Like with “Mr. Bones” above, much of the subtleties were preserved even though this track is more musically diverse. The drums had great immediacy when listening to the WiiM. The snare drum was especially full and snappy, which is a tough thing for many systems to reproduce properly. The acoustic guitar was again true to the instrument, and the organ danced across the soundstage, as any good reproduction of a synthesized organ does. Chris Robinson’s thin but soulful voice was anchored dead center in the soundstage, and played well with the rest of the instruments, providing a peek into how this quality recording was engineered. I did wish the WiiM had a bit more body while listening to this track, but it was nothing that could not be equalized out. 

One last track of noteworthiness is from the modern folk/Americana legend Rhiannon Giddens. The title track off the album Factory Girl is, like many love stories in the folk world, a tragedy of epic proportions. Beyond Giddens’ sultry and talented vocals, which the WiiM Pro Plus presented with acceptable realism, the eclectic drums had presence and authority. I found the violin to suffer a little from the high-frequency emphasis the WiiM Pro Plus has. It was not all that distracting, though it did detract from the realism I am used to when listening to this track. 

Being an audiophile is an experience. Some of that experience has little to do with the actual music. Many companies make their equipment beautiful under the premise that we listen with our eyes first. Others will have a carefully curated house sound that appeals to a cult following of listeners who find community in their common interest. Strictly speaking, neither have anything to do with the music; however, the fond memories and attachment that come from these fringe benefits are important. In this spirit, when listening to the WiiM Pro Plus, the experience of seamlessly using the app while in a stream of consciousness, curating my listening experience on the fly. was a big plus to the overall musical enjoyment I experienced while listening to the WiiM Pro Plus. I have used other means of streaming that are very start/stop, or do not function well, causing a break in the musical focus. Soon, the mood is ruined, or frustration kicks in and the whole purpose of listening in the first place is lost. Food for thought, and a noteworthy point when using streamers like the WiiM Pro Plus to enjoy your listening. 

The WiiM Pro Plus installed at Michael Zisserson's house
The WiiM Pro Plus installed at Michael Zisserson’s house

Does the WiiM Pro Plus Streamer Have Any Resale Value?

The WiiM Pro Plus at $219 will not have a whole lot of resale value, nor is there much investment to lose either thus no-harm, no-foul . There are other valuable things that can be done with one at the end of its useful life in your system. I am a big proponent of spreading the audiophile hobby as far as possible. Since there are many young music lovers out there, likely in your own close circle of friends and family, gift your used WiiM Pro Plus to them. Provide a chance to open new musical doors and access to music in a manner the next generation of audiophiles understand. At the end of the day, is there a better gift you can give than one of music? I think not. 

Who Is the Competition for the WiiM Pro Plus Endpoint/Streamer?

  • $179 buys you into the Grace Link GDI-WHAL01 Internet radio tuner/streamer. The Grace Link is another budget streamer and boasts a nifty 2.8-inch color screen. The WiiM sports more capability on the fidelity and app feature side of things. I can’t imagine why you’d need to go to a more affordable option, as these endpoints cost less than a good entry-level interconnect, but this is an option. 
  • The NAD CS-1 ($349 – buy at Crutchfield) is another good-performing audiophile endpoint that our publisher, Jerry Del Colliano, has recently reviewed recently. This unit is capable of HD performance, but is a bit limited if you use Apple Airplay 2 (24/48 NOT 24/96), whereas Google Chromecast allows connection with 24/96 performance, which is pretty strong. The NAD CS-1 is an endpoint, thus you can’t install music onto it ripped from your collection. You also use another external music control software, such as Roon (or the handful of others that are like it), or you use the app for your favorite streaming service, be it Apple Music, Amazon Music, Qobuz, Tidal, and so on. 
  • Another hybrid endpoint is the Sonos Port ($449 – buy at Crutchfield) that has an incredibly good OS is Sonos.  It is also the best way to add whole-home audio to other rooms of your house. Unlike most audiophile endpoints, you get the killer Sonos OS, which interfaces better than any that we’ve tested with all of the streaming apps, thus you don’t need to use other control apps as with most endpoints, including the NAD. They Sonos has one fatal flaw – it limits the resolution of its output to 16/44, which is very not-HD, and that pretty much sucks in terms of absolute audio quality, as compared to the other players in the marketplace today. 
  • Bluesound Node ($499 – buy at Crutchfield) is less of an endpoint and really more a music server. Why is that? Because it manages all of your streaming on its excellent OS and nearly-Sonos-levels of performance, and you can install your ripped or downloaded music collection into the Node via a network drive or a thumb drive. This is a game-changing product that most FutureAudiophile.com reviewers use in their audiophile systems today. Sonically, it is excellent, and the cost is small. The internal DAC isn’t terrible, but it also offers optical and COAX digital outputs, so that you can feed an external audiophile DAC and go higher-end with your system configuration. 
The WiiM Pro Plus with its remote
The WiiM Pro Plus with its remote

Final Thoughts on the WiiM Pro Plus Audiophile Endpoint/Streamer…

The WiiM Pro Plus streamer is a feature-packed, entry-level streamer, costing an amazingly low $219. Normally at such a scant price point, audiophiles are willing to accept some performance flaws because of its cost. The WiiM Pro Plus doesn’t have many issues to excuse, despite its very low asking price. 

For the price, I was quite impressed by the WiiM Pro Plus’s smartphone app, supported music services, and home integration features that intuitively work without being glitchy, and overall, the fidelity that includes a pretty capable internal DAC. I am not sure one could ask much more from an all-in-one endpoint streamer. This is clearly an entry-level solution that might not meet the needs of a higher-end audiophile system and that’s perfectly OK. The WiiM Pro Plus could be used as a front-end audiophile source for a more entry-level system for someone who is just starting to dabble in streaming or in alternate locations or systems in your house. This is an affordable and well-thought-out product that will meet the needs of mainstream consumers, as well as please many an audiophile. 

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Ross Warren

Good review of a great budget streamer/DAC with excellent user software. But your use of the WiiM Pro Plus with the Peachtree Audio GaN 1 power DAC/amplifier has me a bit confused. If you were using only the streamer part of the Pro Plus and the DAC in the GaN 1 was doing the conversion, then wouldn’t any “hash” in the high frequencies be due to the DAC in the GaN 1 and not the DAC in the Pro Plus? If a streamer is doing its job, shouldn’t any bits being sent to an external DAC be exactly the same as those being sent by the streaming company like Tidal, Spotify, or Amazon (allowing for whatever jitter is present and how decent the clock circuit is in the streamer)? Or was jitter responsible for that “hash”? Thanks. Would love you to do a review of the $499 Cambridge Audio MXN10 streamer/DAC and see how it stacks up against the WiiM.

Trevor

While I havn’t heard either of these components, it has to be streamer clock jitter or a lack of clock jitter reduction phase lock loop in the power DAC that is causing harshness. It’s a pity a conventional amplifier & high quality DAC wasn’t tried to possibly isolate the source of the problem. At the Wiim’s price you cannot expect a highest quality crystal clock.

Jerry Del Colliano

I am no digital engineer but clock and jitter issues are “a thing” and important to deal with when seeking the best possible performance.

Add that to the power supply topic and you can see the absurdity of the idea that “all DACs sound the same”

Chris Benten

I have the WiiM PP connected to Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers (also have a Rega P3-24+Art Audio Phone Pre connected) and i think the WiiM is fantastic. My criteria are Radio Paradise and SB compatibility. The WiiM is faster and more reliable than my SB Touch has ever been. Most low-cost items do not do RP so that rules them out although I primarily connect through LMS/iPeng and not the native app. The WiiM is killer. Using its DAC and I do not listen critically…background music for when I listen while working at home. I now have my Touch replacement when it gives out in my main system.

Jerry Del Colliano

NICE.

We got the WiiM to work with the Peachtree Audio GaN 1 amp which NEEDS a variable output source.

We ended up liking this low-cost streamer a lot – like you.

Greg Handy and I are working on getting many of the best, more up-market streamers in to find out what you get when you spend 10x (but still not bat-shit crazy) amounts more. I have the Bricasti M5 in my rack and both a HIFI ROSE and and Lumen streamer coming. I am playing with higher end Ethernet cables and even found a LOW-NOISE, audiophile grade hard drive to test. Greg has the PS Audio Airlens, Orchard Audio streamer, Bluesound Node (I have one too – current favorite). Brian Kahn is doing a story all about how to use and embrace Roon AND will do their new “core” (you need a computer of sorts to run Roon and they have a new one coming which we will review!!!)

I find this space super exciting.

Oh, I am talking with Aurender too. I almost forgot.

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