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WiiM Mini vs Pro Streamer Reviewed

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For nearly ten years, I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect music streaming solution. I’ve tried all sorts of options, from using laptops, PCs, and Squeeze Boxes, to tinkering with mini computers and Raspberry Pi setups. I’ve experimented with countless software setups like RooPI, Squeezeelite, Max2Play, Moode, and Volumio. I even used my iPhone hooked up via USB DAC to my various DACs. I turned my Synology DS218j NAS into a music server and used Synology’s music app to play my own music. I subscribed to Roon for about two years, even though it cost quite a bit, just because it had a really good user interface. Then I switched to Audirvana, which was an okay compromise.

The main problem with all these setups was that I wanted to easily stream music from services like Tidal or Qobuz alongside my local collection, and none of these setups could satisfy me completely. I either hated their crappy UI, didn’t like the sound quality or found the solution simply too buggy. After all, who would want to fiddle with tech after a hard working day when all you want is to kick back and enjoy the music? One day, it hit me that I hardly ever listened to my own music – I was streaming 95% of the time from Qobuz. More and more of the albums I liked were becoming available on Qobuz, so I didn’t need to store them locally. I realized my local music collection was like a safety net – nice to have but not a must-have, as everything was already on Qobuz. I never really thought about getting a high-end music streamer because they’re basically just computers, and I wasn’t sure if smaller companies could keep up with the fast-changing tech world.

That’s when I stumbled upon the WiiM music streamers. These are made by Linkplay Technologies, a company started by big names like Google and Harman in the industry. Stay tuned as I dive into the features and promises of these streamers that caught my attention, changing the way I experience music in unexpected ways.

What do WiiM Streamers Do For Us Audiophiles?

Simply put, they allow you to stream unaltered 24bit/192kHz bit-perfect audio playback through its Toslink output. It supports various streaming services including Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, Amazon Music and tons of internet radio stations. It does Roon, too! WiiM streamers receive regular firmware updates which is great.

In terms of music streamer connectivity, both support Airplay, Wifi, Bluetooth, Chromecast and Tidal Connect. Heck, you can even stream your local content from a NAS which is what I do from my Synology DS218j. Want multi-room audio? The WiiM has you covered as well. And they’re a breeze to set up. If you’re coming from a Raspberry PI setup, I guarantee you’ll appreciate simplicity and stability.

There are currently 2 models to choose from: Mini or Pro. They differ in pricing and features.

WiiM Mini vs Pro – Which One is Right for You?

I took a closer look at Wiim Mini and Wiim Pro to understand what sets them apart, all from the perspective of someone who loves amazing sound.

First off, let’s talk about what makes Wiim Mini and Wiim Pro different. The Mini is great for people who want good quality without all the extra fancy stuff. On the other hand, the Pro is built for audiophiles who want not only the best sound possible but also extra port flexibility and are willing to dig deeper for it.

The Mini already supports all aspects of bit-perfect streaming. So if you’re fine with just a single Toslink output to your DAC and want to pay a bit less, this is the one for you.

The Pro on the other side will give you a slightly sturdier enclosure (the Mini feels a bit flimsy and can easily be pulled from your Hifi rack by a solid Toslink cable). On top of that, the Pro buys you an Ethernet port and has an additional coaxial digital output. The Pro also has a faster processor so if you’re into future-proofing your setup, I’d consider the Pro like I did.

An interesting feature of the Wiim’s is their analog input. You could theoretically connect a turntable to them – provided you have a phono preamp or if your turntable outputs a line level signal, and output that to your stereo system or an active speaker. You could setup up a super-minimalistic system that way. Not sure though how much degradation of the analog signal you’d have to accept (or whether it’s even audible). I haven’t tried this yet so I cannot comment on the performance.

Now, here’s where my own experience comes in. The thing is, the internal DAC (that’s a part that turns digital music into the sound you hear) that comes with these streamers wasn’t up to my standards. It just didn’t make the music sound as good as I wanted. So, I decided to use the optical or coaxial outputs instead and this is what I generally recommend to all of you. This might sound technical, but it basically means I used a different way to make the music sound awesome. This choice was a big deal for me because it kept the music quality where I wanted it.

If you’re new to the whole audiophile thing or you like things simple, both the Wiim Mini could be a good fit by just using their internal DAC. It’s like a starter pack for getting into great sound. You can always upgrade later by hooking them up to any DAC of your choice.

In a nutshell, both Wiim Mini and Wiim Pro cater to different kinds of enthusiasts. The Mini is straightforward and good, while the Pro looks more future-proof. For me, using the optical and coaxial outputs is an absolute must. I see the WiiM Mini in multi-room setups or for those who already own a WiiM Pro and need a secondary device.

You won’t believe how much more music you’re going to listen to once the hassles of dealing with Raspberry PIs and computers are gone. I can now enjoy 1-2 of my favourite albums on Qobuz, then seamlessly switch to a local radio station. And when my wife comes home, she can easily stream Youtube content to our audio system. It is a breeze.

Both WiiM Mini and Pro come with a great app for Android and iOS. Use weather device you have at hand. I seamlessly switch between my iPhone and iPad whereas my son commanded my WiiM Pro from his Android tablet. It just works.

Here are a few screenshots of the Wiim Home App:

In terms of sound quality, they are ASBOLUTELY identical to my ears. I had both the Mini and Pro connected to my RME ADI DAC and was blown away by the clarity. I switched back and forth between my MacBook Pro with Audirvana but could not discern any audible difference. I repeated those tests on my Gustard DAC as well but results were identical. Kudos to Linkplay Technologies and the WiiM team for bringing out such an affordable piece of gear! I’ve made the WiiM Pro my mean streamer and can finally retire all my other music streaming setups.

Where to Buy WiiM Mini and Pro?

You can buy the WiiM streamers on Amazon and they cost (US$99 for the Mini and US$149 for the Pro)

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