Earlier this year, we reviewed the WiiM Pro, a small box that adds Wi-Fi streaming and whole-home audio capabilities to any old stereo system. We were extremely happy with the WiiM Pro’s performance, but we had just a few small complaints—WiiM Pro lacked some important features for audiophiles, and the remote control was sold separately. Now, Linkplay Technology is addressing these complaints with its WiiM Pro Plus audio box.
The WiiM Pro Plus is functionally identical to the WiiM Pro. Both units add wireless streaming protocols like Chromecast Audio, AirPlay 2, Alexa Cast, Spotify Connect, and DLNA to any stereo receiver. They can also take audio from up to two analog sources (turntables, tape players, etc) and convert it into a high-res digital format, which may be streamed to headphones and speakers over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Notably, if you own multiple WiiM boxes, you can link them together wirelessly for whole-home audio. (Yes, you can also use this box to manage a TV’s audio or upgrade an AVR.)
Linkplay Technology’s new WiiM Pro Plus simply adds a remote control and some audiophile-focused quality improvements. The standout upgrade, at least for some users, is 192kHz/32-bit digital output for analog audio sources (up from 192kHz/24-bit in the WiiM Pro). The addition of DSD decoding also ensures that the WiiM Pro Plus can play archive-quality DSD files (which are much rarer than PCM, but somewhat common in the jazz and classical scene). These functions are achieved through the use of an AKM 4493SEQ DAC and TI Burr-Brown Audio PCM1861 ADC.
Linkplay Technology Inc.
Notably, the WiiM Pro Plus’ remote control has an integrated microphone for Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant voice commands. You can use your voice to adjust the playback volume, switch between analog sources, and request a song or playlist from your favorite streaming service. These functions can also be controlled through an app, and naturally, some basic playback controls are featured on the front of the WiiM Pro Plus box.
Like the cheaper WiiM Pro, the upgraded WiiM Pro Plus is powered by a USB-C cable. It connects to wired playback equipment (speakers, amplifiers, a soundbar, etc) over RCA, optical, or coaxial cable. You also have RCA and optical line inputs for up to two external audio sources (turntables, tape players, etc). If you want to pair WiiM Pro Plus with more than two analog audio sources, I suggest using a switch box or a small audio receiver to expand your input selection (some CD players can also fulfill this task). Note that if your turntable lacks an integrated phono preamp, you’ll need to buy one to use it with WiiM Pro Plus.
You can purchase the WiiM Pro Plus today for $220. It ain’t cheap, but it’s a lot less expensive than an audio receiver with the same capabilities. If you don’t care about the WiiM Pro Plus’ extra features, I suggest that you buy the cheaper WiiM Pro box and a voice remote, which will only run you $170 in total.
Source: Linkplay Technology Inc.