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WiiM Amp Streaming Amplifier Review

Rate this streaming amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 14 3.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 45 10.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 233 53.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 140 32.4%

  • Total voters
    432
Yes, it is. Both measure well beyond the ability of any human ear to tell the difference.
Has anyone measured a pre-release Ultra yet? There's a lot more complexity with the addition of a touchscreen, phono input, HDMI ARC with CEC. There aren't many other products with those features that have maintained DAC performance.
 
Skipping to the end, but how did @amirm miss the glaring flaws in the WiiM amplifier that other reviewers found ?
Or, did I fail to see that he identified the flaws which is more likely?
I always start with the assumption that I failed first and work forward from there.
Is it worth the money, yes for certain applications like a garage or utility sound system but it is not going in any primary system unless money is an issue and no shame in that.
 
Skipping to the end, but how did @amirm miss the glaring flaws in the WiiM amplifier that other reviewers found ?
Or, did I fail to see that he identified the flaws which is more likely?
I always start with the assumption that I failed first and work forward from there.
Is it worth the money, yes for certain applications like a garage or utility sound system but it is not going in any primary system unless money is an issue and no shame in that.
Which glaring flaws do you mean?
 
Load dependence and lack of channel separation
Loss of power output playing music
Load dependence and crosstalk were measured, not sure which reviews/reviewers have measured a loss of output power playing music or is this anecdotal?
 
Load dependence and crosstalk were measured, not sure which reviews/reviewers have measured a loss of output power playing music or is this anecdotal?
Erin’s Audio Corner
Andrew Robinson
Scientific Audio

Again, no reason not to get one for a garage or in SA’s case outside for his pool system.
Just wondering how this got past @amirm
 
Erin’s Audio Corner
Andrew Robinson
Scientific Audio

Again, no reason not to get one for a garage or in SA’s case outside for his pool system.
Just wondering how this got past @amirm
What does loss of output power playing music mean and how was it measured ?
 
Complex load, like playing music dropping the power output a lot, significantly
Watch their videos if so inclined
 
So in other words, i probably won't hear any difference between the internal DAC of the Wiim Ultra and the SMSL SU-1? Actually, adding an SMSL SU-1 DAC to the Wiim Ultra shouldn't be necessary?

Correct.

I'd further state that although the wiim (mini/original) doesn't measure perfectly, that most people also won't be able to hear the difference between that and any transparently measuring DAC.

For those that can, the difference will be small - difficult to hear, and probably not worth worrying about.

Obviously - as usual - sighted uncontrolled comparisons - all bets are off.
 
Complex load, like playing music dropping the power output a lot, significantly
Watch their videos if so inclined

Well I watched SA's some time ago. From what I remember, his measurement method was significantly flawed. For a start he was using cheap as chips meters to measure it (probably not true RMS, but trying to measure a wideband noise signal))

Secondly he was comparing two amps with different gains, and claiming one put out more power. Well if one amp has a higher gain, then with the same test signal it will ouput more power. That doesn't mean the amp is unable to deliver it's rated power - you just have to put a higher voltage signal in.
 
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Complex load, like playing music dropping the power output a lot, significantly
Watch their videos if so inclined
Erin does a multitone at full rated power output and Amir does not, so that is why Amir did not find that 'glaring flaw'. Not gonna bother watching the other vids as Andrew Robinson is a joke and @antcollinet has mentioned the flaws in the other.
I obviously respect Erin's reviews and he
says it may not be suitable for large rooms or speakers with low sensitivity. This does not necessarily relegate it to second systems or garages, by any means.
 
Has anyone measured a pre-release Ultra yet?
I admit to making the assumption that it will measure at least as well as the Pro+. Hopefully I'll not have to eat my words :)
 
I admit to making the assumption that it will measure at least as well as the Pro+. Hopefully I'll not have to eat my words :)
I'd be very surprised if you did. Wiim have said on the Wiim forum it will be better, if it's not the crazies on the Wiim forum will probably explode, so I reckon Wiim already know it will measure (a tiny bit) better.
I'm personally excited for it to be reviewed here (a bit sad, yes) as I think it looks and sounds (spec/functionality wise) amazing.
 
Screenshot 2024-06-04 7.25.53 AM.png
 
To your point, I have the Wiim Amp and Cyrus OneCast. To different performance levels and two different price points. Sonically the Cyrus is superior in every audible way.

I also purchased the SMSL AO300 at the same time to compare. It costs slightly less than the Wiim amp but it too sounds better. To @Marss72 point, the Wiim amp does sound lean. That’s the first thing I noticed. Even compared to the AO300 the sound was inferior. There’s a lack of fullness and weight. The highs on AO300 are smoother and the overall presentation was more immersive. Even when comparing at roughly the volume (within 1db) the AO300 sounded more confident/authoritative.

The 60/120 watts may hold in bench testing but in real world situations with actual musical content it seems to l fall short. It lacks in volume.

All that said, I kept the Wiim Amp and returned the SMSL because of all the other features the Wiim has. I use it as a desktop amp where I sit less than two feet from both speakers. For my use case it has ample volume. I would not use this in a main bsystem. For smaller rooms, casual listening and desktop usage, I doing think you can find a more complete product for so little, though you can find better sounding.
I get confused sometimes by the code-switching in discussion here between the language of measurement/testing analysis and the kind of subjective impressionism that this site is nominally hostile toward.

Looking at the original review testing and endorsement that started this thread, and now the John Atkinson measurements and praise in Stereophile, along with my own experience using the WiiM Amp for several months, I find it difficult to parse observations like, “the WiiM Amp does sound lean... There’s a lack of fullness and weight.” It’s less “smooth,” compared with an SMSL amp, has a presentation less “immersive,” less “confident/authoritative.”

Assuming the WiiM Amp hasn’t been mismatched with inappropriately spec’d speakers, where are these alleged serious sonic flaws coming from in defiance of the measured performance?
 
subjective impressionism that this site is nominally hostile toward.
Not necessarily hostile. More antithetical. We just know that subjective opinions that are not tied to actual measurements that support these observations. Are mostly made up terms to express their emotional state when listening to the devices results. This includes the authors opinion on the value of the product and is it costly enough to be used as a status symbol.


Looking at the original review testing and endorsement that started this thread, and now the John Atkinson measurements and praise in Stereophile, along with my own experience using the WiiM Amp for several months, I find it difficult to parse observations like, “the WiiM Amp does sound lean... There’s a lack of fullness and weight.” It’s less “smooth,” compared with an SMSL amp, has a presentation less “immersive,” less “confident/authoritative.”
See above. It’s a low entry cost device that does a lot of stuff. If they say it sounds great and every bit as good as my $$$$$K DAC and Streamer. They would be admitting that price is not a direct function of performance quality. Something Amir has been telling us and proving to us for many years now. Human Bias is the greatest hallucination known to man. If you believe a thing it becomes real and true to the believer. Every time we look in the mirror we hallucinate about our own image. Ever looked at photos of yourself and said “I look like that?” Yeah, at some point we all have.

Assuming the WiiM Amp hasn’t been mismatched with inappropriately spec’d speakers, where are these alleged serious sonic flaws coming from in defiance of the measured performance?
Answered above Sir.
 
Erin’s Audio Corner
Andrew Robinson
Scientific Audio

So just to be clear, whilst Erin noted the measurements, he's also double-blind tested the WiiM Amp against other amps, and couldn't notice a difference - despite testing it with a range of speakers, including a pair of KEF Meta Blades (RRP £30,000).

I think WiiM will just have to take the hit.

Andrew Robinson? God bless you.

Scientific Audio? Ah, I get it, you're pulling our legs.
 
So just to be clear, whilst Erin noted the measurements, he's also double-blind tested the WiiM Amp against other amps, and couldn't notice a difference - despite testing it with a range of speakers, including a pair of KEF Meta Blades (RRP £30,000).

I think WiiM will just have to take the hit.

Andrew Robinson? God bless you.

Scientific Audio? Ah, I get it, you're pulling our legs.
“As we can see from the above, at low power the test signal used doesn’t change the output. However, at high power there is approximately 33 watts of power loss with the multitone signal compared to the single 1kHz signal.” Erin

I just asked how the problems identified by Erin and others was overlooked.
No one addresses that predictably but goes reflexively into drone mode.
I would stick one in a garage.
 
“As we can see from the above, at low power the test signal used doesn’t change the output. However, at high power there is approximately 33 watts of power loss with the multitone signal compared to the single 1kHz signal.” Erin

Go and watch the follow up videos, then come back and we can discuss it.
 
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