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WiiM Amp Streaming Amplifier Review

Rate this streaming amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 13 3.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 44 10.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 231 55.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 132 31.4%

  • Total voters
    420

TabCam

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Music, like every waveform does have a crest factor, too. Don't mix up power factor correction and crest factor.


He doesn't and that's the problem, exactly. He's one of those evangelists of the theory that music is somehow magically different from test signals, which is not the case. I wouldn't even mind him claiming that so much (because there's a grain of truth in it), if he wouldn't call himself scientific, which he is clearly not.

This mentioned grain of truth is, that power output at 1 kHz cannot be the only measure to judge an amplifier's capability to ... well ... amplify voltages. But the thing is: plain nobody says so. You need to look at and understand all the other tests being performed.

Lacking formal education on the fields of electronics, he falls for the trap that amps would be developed just with 1 kHz power output tests in mind and that was the reason for them to fail miserably with his unique noise tests (himself not knowing exactly what kind of nois signal he's using). Here's the beaf: The crest factor of multi-tone signals or pink or white noise is always greater than that a pure sine signal. If e.g. a 1 kHz sine input signal (crest factor 1.41, narrow distribution of energy) drove the amp right to the limit of clipping, the a multi-tone or noise signal (higher crest factor, wide distribution of energy) must be fed into the same amp at a lower level, so the peaks don't clip. However, the overall power of that signal (input and output) is actually lower that of the sine wave signal.

The WiiM Amp doesn't perform well down at 20 Hz. It's power amp section shows the same load dependency as mostly all other cheap class D chip amps. WIiM have been very conservative regarding maximum gain, especially the analog Input has a very low sensitivity, probably to keep the amp from clipping and damage under all circumstances. These are all valid points for criticism.

But it has nothing to do with it not being able to reproduce music, because it is music, not test signals. It can do that pretty well with half reasonably chosen speakers.
To me, you are pinning an industry wide problem to a single individual. It is both claimed specs and a well uninformed public and industry that misuses that uninformedness.

NAD was one of the few companies that the wattage was more or less a real world use value. The real problem lies in all the specs do not translate to real world usage and he addresses that problem. Should we not be cheerful for that? Should you need an electrical engineer degree just in order to understand specifications?

Yes, you should know about clipping when measuring amplifiers but as we both do not have the real tests He doesn't state the exact measurement procedure but that is true for most of the reviewers that measure. What alternative measurement would be a better indicator of real world performance? M-noise?

I truly do not understand the combative attitude at ASR. Instead of helping him, educating him, ASR has a tendency to ridicule those people. Taking that road doesn't make the point he is raising invalid. Or do you think the point he is raising is indeed invalid?
 

stakatchh

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Hi!
Which amplifier has the more power? Nad 338 (I have one) or Wiim Amp? I want to upgrade my amplifier, but I'm not sure if it has enough power (for Wharfedale Diamond 12.2).
 

Julf

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I know I am tilting at windmills here, but could we please use the proper term "power" instead of the american colloqualism "wattage" that makes as much sense as "poundage" for weight or "dollarage" for price? This forum does have "science" in its name after all...
 

harkpabst

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To me, you are pinning an industry wide problem to a single individual. It is both claimed specs and a well uninformed public and industry that misuses that uninformedness.
No, absolutely not. The situation with fantasy power numbers has been a lot worse 30 or 40 years ago than it is now. There is no (new) industry wide problem. The uninformed public doesn't know about input sensitivity, gain and speaker sensitivity. In an ideal world they wouldn't have to. Unfortunately, the variety of sources and their typical levels is ever increasing and the number of older devices still in use is probably higher than it's ever been. The degree of standardization has not gone up.

NAD was one of the few companies that the wattage was more or less a real world use value. The real problem lies in all the specs do not translate to real world usage and he addresses that problem. Should we not be cheerful for that?
He claims this to be the problem, but he's wrong. Simple as that. Could you give me a hint what your point regarding NAD is? The only two aspects of their strategy I am aware of is a) "more power doesn't equal better sound" and b) "provide the same power into all loads" (which is mainly a matter of efficiency, also from the economic point of view.

Should you need an electrical engineer degree just in order to understand specifications?
For some specs that's unavoidable. But I get your point. The end user should be able to tell which devices will work well together from what's in the specs. But SA is of no help here.

Yes, you should know about clipping when measuring amplifiers but as we both do not have the real tests He doesn't state the exact measurement procedure but that is true for most of the reviewers that measure. What alternative measurement would be a better indicator of real world performance? M-noise?
I did watch his video from the beginning to the end. As far as I understood he shows all the measuring equipment that's been in use. Based on what I've seen I would conclude that his power measurements are probably invalid. Standard multimeters may provide RMS readings, but only for - Hooray! - pure sine waves, not for different kinds of noise.

From my point of view single tone and multi-tone measurements are pretty much OK for measuring amplifier power output. The problem - if there is a problem - is not about the test signal. The problem is that no single measurement, no single value can ever capture the whole thing. You have to look at many different aspects of performance and telling a good match with speakers or sources based on those specs can be challenging. I believe that M-noise has been introduced for speaker measurements, specifically. As far as I understand it it's not an industry standard (so far) but mostly a single manufacturers attempt. So far I have no personal experience with it.

I truly do not understand the combative attitude at ASR. Instead of helping him, educating him, ASR has a tendency to ridicule those people.
Pardon me, I am here in the hope to be helpful. That does not include trying to educate a guy who's trying to make money from a YouTube channel.

Or do you think the point he is raising is indeed invalid?
That's what I think, indeed (but you probably had guessed so based on the other paragraphs :) ).

The topic has far too many facets to cover in a single posting (and most probably I'm simply not enough of an expert to cover most of them). However, the whole idea that there is a conspiracy in the industry, optimizing all amplifiers just for 1 kHz power managements, because nobody's listening anyway, is plain silly.
 

rsc1

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To me, you are pinning an industry wide problem to a single individual. It is both claimed specs and a well uninformed public and industry that misuses that uninformedness.
He is in fact part of a similar problem - certain reviewers using specific bits of information, in this case from "scientific measurements", that dispute the general public opinion (or "hype" as they love to call it), which in this case is based on actual measurements from Amir. All to influence mostly uninformed people's opinions or get YouTube clicks. Probably mostly the latter.
He doesn't state the exact measurement procedure but that is true for most of the reviewers that measure.
Not the trustworthy ones. If your testing procedures are sound, why wouldn't you disclose them?
 

Inertiaman

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I know I am tilting at windmills here, but could we please use the proper term "power" instead of the american colloqualism "wattage" that makes as much sense as "poundage" for weight or "dollarage" for price? This forum does have "science" in its name after all...
I'm not sure I agree with your wordage. ;)
 

gwing

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I know I am tilting at windmills here, but could we please use the proper term "power" instead of the american colloqualism "wattage" that makes as much sense as "poundage" for weight or "dollarage" for price? This forum does have "science" in its name after all...

Let's spin the windmill a little :). I believe "wattage" to be a perfectly good and recognised English noun. As it has been in significant use from about 1900 we can't even condemn it as a modern corruption of the language.

Quoting from Collins English Dictionary:
"UNCOUNTABLE NOUN:
The wattage of a piece of electrical equipment is the amount of electrical power which it produces or uses, expressed in watts."
 

Julf

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Let's spin the windmill a little :). I believe "wattage" to be a perfectly good and recognised English noun. As it has been in significant use from about 1900 we can't even condemn it as a modern corruption of the language.

Quoting from Collins English Dictionary:
"UNCOUNTABLE NOUN:
The wattage of a piece of electrical equipment is the amount of electrical power which it produces or uses, expressed in watts."
Collins is relying on crowdsourcing a lot. The Oxford English Dictionary notes use of "wattage" as colloquial.
 

solderdude

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Hi!
Which amplifier has the more power? Nad 338 (I have one) or Wiim Amp? I want to upgrade my amplifier, but I'm not sure if it has enough power (for Wharfedale Diamond 12.2).
NAD = 50W (8ohm) and WiiM = 60W in 8ohm so the WiiM can play 0.8dB 'louder' which in essence is an inaudible difference so basically they go equally loud when looking at continous rated power in 8ohm.

That, however, is not the whole story as the NAD has a higher peak power rating so with music the NAD can play slightly louder making the NAD play about 1.2dB louder.
Again... not substantial and maybe just noticeable.

Both amps can deliver power in 4ohm. The Wharfdale is 8ohm nominal and dips at 4ohm somewhere) so can be driven by both amps.

So your choice could be made based on functionality, looks and price.
 

TabCam

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No, absolutely not. The situation with fantasy power numbers has been a lot worse 30 or 40 years ago than it is now. There is no (new) industry wide problem. The uninformed public doesn't know about input sensitivity, gain and speaker sensitivity. In an ideal world they wouldn't have to. Unfortunately, the variety of sources and their typical levels is ever increasing and the number of older devices still in use is probably higher than it's ever been. The degree of standardization has not gone up.
I agree it is not a P-P power from 40 years ago and that it is unfortunately not standardized.

He claims this to be the problem, but he's wrong. Simple as that. Could you give me a hint what your point regarding NAD is? The only two aspects of their strategy I am aware of is a) "more power doesn't equal better sound" and b) "provide the same power into all loads" (which is mainly a matter of efficiency, also from the economic point of view.
NAD reports (also) Continues Power Output which seem to be better correlated to real world power output than 1kHz power output. Unfortunately it is also no standard. I agree that power is by far not the most reliable spec. I think simulated loudspeaker loads already provide more of info on how stable an amplifier is or not. Would like to see something more telling of loudspeaker / amplifier compatibilit.

I did watch his video from the beginning to the end. As far as I understood he shows all the measuring equipment that's been in use. Based on what I've seen I would conclude that his power measurements are probably invalid. Standard multimeters may provide RMS readings, but only for - Hooray! - pure sine waves, not for different kinds of noise.

From my point of view single tone and multi-tone measurements are pretty much OK for measuring amplifier power output. The problem - if there is a problem - is not about the test signal. The problem is that no single measurement, no single value can ever capture the whole thing. You have to look at many different aspects of performance and telling a good match with speakers or sources based on those specs can be challenging. I believe that M-noise has been introduced for speaker measurements, specifically. As far as I understand it it's not an industry standard (so far) but mostly a single manufacturers attempt. So far I have no personal experience with it.
As said I do not know his exact testing procedure but from what I could gather he has a specific noise track from a "Sheffield test CD". He also mentions 80 dB so he probably also uses a sound meter. How he measured the power I do not know. Maybe he converted the dB to watts?

Multi-tone is most often used for distortion, not for power measurement as far as I know. From what I read I think M-Noise probably could be used for amplifier measurements as well.
 

Antlestxp

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Can someone point me to an example of Wiim "marketing this as an AVR solution"??

My perception is they have positioned it as a versatile way to improve the audio for your television via the ARC connection, decent amplification, and a decent subwoofer xover/output function. I've not seen -- perhaps missed -- any suggestion that the WIim Amp is an "AVR".

A TV + Wiim amp + decent pair of speakers and (optionally) a subwoofer is a very affordable way to get a quality audio experience in a home: great streaming source support, good local file support (USB server), good ARC functionality when TV is the source, currently good (4 band PEQ) and soon likely great (8 or 10 band PEQ) EQ functionality, virtually idiot-proof multi-room synchronization, good SNR stereo performance. That is a LOT of functionality, all at good to great levels of performance.

In that context of versatility and performance, we're going to isolate a single passage in a single movie with a particularly difficult to drive pair of speakers and conclude that this product isn't "worthy" ????

Wiim has never suggested this is a replacement for 5.1 channel home theater. My perception of their "home theater" angle is more along the lines of an optimized middle ground between a sound bar and a messy, full-blown, multi-speaker home theater setup. I think that's a legitimate functional "space" with a large demographic to market to.
They don't specifically say it but this imo leads to the idea of replacing an avr. This is grabbed from their product page. The do mention adding "extra oomph adding a sub"
 

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Antlestxp

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When I saw the amp spec and measurements I thought nice product. With its obvious limitations as load dependency and not so much power, it anyways has a lot going for it with all the nice features . But I also view the 2.1 capacity more mandatory and not always optional (60/40 in my subjective view ) . For the price you shift some of the workload to the sub , it’s a better optimisation for a minimal budget. WiiM amp small two ways + decent budget sub .

I think it’s what you could realistically expect . So WiiM should be better to manage expectations and not over promise what this kind of product can do .

But in my amateur market analysis I think there are a niche for a better performing versions to up the price 50% add better psu metal chassi and post filter feedback :) and you occupie another niche .
Their marketing doesn't help with managing expectations
 

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radix

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As said I do not know his exact testing procedure but from what I could gather he has a specific noise track from a "Sheffield test CD". He also mentions 80 dB so he probably also uses a sound meter. How he measured the power I do not know. Maybe he converted the dB to watts?

Multi-tone is most often used for distortion, not for power measurement as far as I know. From what I read I think M-Noise probably could be used for amplifier measurements as well.

From what I could see, he uses two DMMs, one for voltage and one for amps. They look like inexpensive meters. He should be aware that putting an inexpensive amp meter in-line with a 6-ohm load will not work. It likely has at least a few ohms series resistance. That will throw off both his current and voltage measurements. He says he uses a 6-ohm resistor for the load, but it is not clear if it's a non-inductive resistor. The video of his test meters is jerky, blurry, and quick. I cannot tell specific models.

He claims certain dB SPL levels, but I don't know how he gets those. Could be a SPL meter, but not sure of his methodology.

The closest meter I could find to his amp meter, by appearace, is a 2000-sample or 4000-sample clamp-on amp meter whose lowest setting is 2A and it samples 3x/sec.
 

stakatchh

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NAD = 50W (8ohm) and WiiM = 60W in 8ohm so the WiiM can play 0.8dB 'louder' which in essence is an inaudible difference so basically they go equally loud when looking at continous rated power in 8ohm.

That, however, is not the whole story as the NAD has a higher peak power rating so with music the NAD can play slightly louder making the NAD play about 1.2dB louder.
Again... not substantial and maybe just noticeable.

Both amps can deliver power in 4ohm. The Wharfdale is 8ohm nominal and dips at 4ohm somewhere) so can be driven by both amps.

So your choice could be made based on functionality, looks and price.
Thank you!
 

radix

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NAD = 50W (8ohm) and WiiM = 60W in 8ohm so the WiiM can play 0.8dB 'louder' which in essence is an inaudible difference so basically they go equally loud when looking at continous rated power in 8ohm.

That, however, is not the whole story as the NAD has a higher peak power rating so with music the NAD can play slightly louder making the NAD play about 1.2dB louder.
Again... not substantial and maybe just noticeable.

Both amps can deliver power in 4ohm. The Wharfdale is 8ohm nominal and dips at 4ohm somewhere) so can be driven by both amps.

So your choice could be made based on functionality, looks and price.
They will have different input sensitivities (i.e. the preamp output level required to drive at the same output power) if you are using analog in. If using digital, should not really be a difference.
 

rsc1

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Anyone see this?

Take my money.

I hope they keep making affordable stuff and don’t start increasing their prices just because they can.

According to digitaltrends article there will be another new device:
“LinkPlay is being very coy, but Digital Trends was told that the Ultra, “along with another new WiiM product,” will debut at the Munich show. That’s all we know for now.”
 

_Piotr

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I have been waiting a long time for an affordable (couldn't justify an M10 price) and decent measuring streamer with an eARC input. Might decide to replace my current setup of wiim pro + topping E50 + topping PA5 and shouldn't be able to hear a difference.
 
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stakatchh

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Hi! Anyone can confirm this info ? Its my post on wiim forum
It is critical fail for my usage scenario
 

TedBaker

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All I can say is that optical in works for me. It wakes up the Wiim amp when I turn on the tv.
 
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