Wiim Pro Plus – HiFi Audio Streaming for Everyone

Wiim Pro Plus front
8.8 TOTAL SCORE

Wiim Pro Plus (tested at $217)

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Sound (Digital Outs) 10
Sound (Analog Outs) 5
Build 8
Compatibility 10
Features 10
Value 10
Pros
  • Surprisingly good digital outputs
  • Feature rich
  • Polished software
Cons
  • External DAC is desirable for best results

Wiim Pro Plus is an attention-grabbing network audio streamer given its rich set of features and affordable price. This particular combination propelled its popularity and created quite a bit of hype around the web. Let’s find out if it’s justified or not.

Build and Connectivity

Wiim Pro Plus is a fairly small device, and given its all-plastic build, very lightweight too. That said, the finish is decent and the plastic doesn’t look or feel overly cheap, just reasonably budget-friendly when compared to more upmarket aluminium builds. Styling is always a matter of personal preference but I really like this clean and positively simplistic look. The front LED is inconspicuous, and orange markings on touch-sensitive buttons are not tacky. So far so good.

Wiim Pro Plus front

The back of the unit is where real fun is. Here we can find an ethernet port that you’ll use to connect Wiim Pro Plus to your network. WiFi is onboard too if you are more into wireless technology and not one of those annoying audiophiles that insist on cables as a better option (I’m one of those by the way). Moving on, there’s an optical digital input too, as well as one set of analog line inputs.

As for the digital outputs, we have a selection between optical and coaxial SPDIF. If you use one of these, the signal coming out of the unit is in digital form and the internal DAC section will not be used. On the other hand, using RCA line output means that Digital to Analog conversion has to be done inside of the Wiim Pro Plus. We’ll talk more about why you use one or the other.

Finally, as you can see from the image below, the unit is powered through the USB-C port. This means two things. First, a small external power supply is used. Second, it can be upgraded to a better one.

Wiim Pro Plus back

Features and Software

To add on a very decent connectivity, Wiim Pro Plus comes with very feature-rich software. The software itself is accompanied by the native control app that goes on your phone or tablet. Wiim Pro Plus supports all of the important connection protocols like UPnP, Roon, AirPlay, and Chrome cast. But to cut the long story short I’ll simply add a picture of all the streaming services and content supported by the native Wiim app.

Wiim Supported Services

But there’s more here than just the long list of supported services. The UI is clean, well-organized, and very pleasant to use. This is something that many older and renowned brands still don’t do very well so I was positively surprised to see how good and polished the app experience is. This part deserves a 10 out of 10 no matter the price of the device in question.

Sound (Digital Outs)

If you decide to use Wiim Pro Plus as a digital transport only and send the signal to the external DAC, you will be met with great sound quality. Tonality is flawless, with all frequency parts present in equal measure. No trace of thinness or edginess which often follow many budget digital transports. We’re talking about a very revealing presentation with good layering. At the same time, it is very calm and natural in its presentation. This is a combination of sonic skills I’ve only heard with noticeably pricier streamers until now. If there’s anything that actually tells you that Wiim Pro Plus is not one of those pricy streamers, that’s its relatively modest soundstage size.

Up until now, I was talking about the sound of the unit with its factory-supplied power supply. This one is a small and clearly very budget-oriented switching power supply, known also as a wall wart. Putting a better one in its place – I used the Allo Shanti linear power supply – resulted in a better sound quality. The background became darker, all tones cleaner, and arranged in a bigger soundstage. At this moment I knew that little Wiim was more than ready to rock the boat and face some pricier streamers head-on, but more on that in the comparison section.

Sound (Analog Outs – DAC section)

Using RCA analog outputs means we’re now using the internal DAC section too. All I can say about it is that is serviceable. We’re talking about an OK sound with a good tonality but with limited detail retrieval, and very limited soundstage and dynamics. To put it into perspective, I will say that connecting the cheap SMSL SU-1 DAC ($79) brought clear improvement over the internal DAC. Detail retrieval was noticeably better, and the sound overall snappier, more dynamic, and livelier in general. Using a better power supply does help the sound on analog outs to some extent, but not enough to make it compare with good budget DACs like the one mentioned above. Because of this, I can only recommend using internal DAC in an entry-level HiFi system, or as a means of getting by while you’re saving for a better one.

Comparisons

iFi Zen Stream is a pricier network streamer that offers digital outputs only. At the moment of its release, it was universally praised as a device with a great price-to-performance ratio. I praised myself for that. Well, next to a Wiim Pro Plus with a decent power supply, Zen Stream now sounds lean and lacks body. Wiim Pro Plus offers better tone timbre, more palpable tones, and a more three-dimensional soundstage. Now add a very finicky software of Zen Stream that was never polished, and we have a very clear winner here. Because of this, I had to go and lower the scores for Zen Stream once again.

EverSolo DMP-A6 is a bigger, pricier, aluminium-made, and just more premium-looking device. Just looking at these two feels like DMP-A6 will mop the floor with Wiim, but… Given that both of these streamers have analog outputs, I started comparing them that way. EverSolo presented a more transparent sound, with more dynamics and more punch too. Wiim Pro Plus sounds flat and gray in comparison. Then I moved to comparing them on their digital outputs, and the story was much different here. Wiim Pro Plus with the help of Allo Shanti fully matches EverSolo’s sound fidelity at half the price. I had to recheck this impression several times, but it stood. So if you don’t care about analog outputs, fancy premium materials, and big display – Wiim Pro Plus can offer the same level of sound fidelity on its digital outputs.

Conclusion

Wiim Pro Plus surely generated some buzz and hype as a digital audio streamer. Listening to it and having it compared to other streamers, I can only say it’s fully deserved. If a digital streaming platform that will feed your external DAC is what you need – you can go for this affordable Wiim streamer knowing that it can easily go head-to-head with devices several times its price. There’s even a purely digital version of this streamer called Wiim Pro (without the plus) that is supposed to be an even greater value. But I didn’t test that one and I can’t confirm that its digital outputs sound completely the same. Anyway, Wiim streamers are surely going to ruffle some feathers in the audio industry.

WIIM PRO PLUS – CHARACTERISTICS

Connectivity: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n/ac dual-band Wi-Fi, BT5.1, Ethernet (100M)
Power Input: USB Type-C power
Audio Output/Input:
Line out, digital Coaxial Out, digital Optical SPDIF Out / Line In, digital Optical SPDIF In
SNR: 120 dB
THD+N Analog Line out: 0.00032%
Music input: Up to 192 kHz, 24-bit
Music output: Up to 192 kHz, 24-bit (Bit perfect output, i.e., output matches input source format)
Music Format: MP3, AAC, ALAC, APE, FLAC, WAV, WMA, OGG
Sample Rate Decoding up to 192 kHz, 24-bit
Protocol AirPlay 2, Chromecast Audio, DLNA, Spotify Connect, TIDAL Connect, Amazon Music Casting
Integrated Streaming Sources Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, TuneIn, Tidal, Qobuz, SoundCloud, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Napster, Soundmachine, Calm Radio, etc.
Control Devices iOS and Android-based smartphone and tablet, Alexa speaker, Google Assistant speaker, HomePod
On-device Buttons: Capacitive touch control: Play/Pause, Volume +/-, 1 x Preset
Weight/Dimension 14.1 oz (400 g)/5.5 x 5.5 x 1.6 in (140x140x42 mm)

Official product page

One thought on “Wiim Pro Plus – HiFi Audio Streaming for Everyone

  1. First of all, very good review, as always!

    One comment
    Wiim pro is not a pure digital version of pro plus – it has a DAC, however even weaker one, from what I hear. I have it and I use it with SMSL SU-1.

    And a question
    To what do you attribute the differences between streamers when it comes to digital outputs? Those are all digital signals after all, they should be exactly the same. Or so I thought and it seems there is quite a debate around this topic – some people say they can hear the differences, some say they don’t.
    After some thought, the only source of differences I can think of might be transcoding between data downloaded from an internet and send to outputs , but I am not an expert in how streamers work.
    Do you have any explanation?

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