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WiiM Mini Review (Streamer)

Rate this streamer:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 7 2.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 34 10.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 161 50.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 114 36.1%

  • Total voters
    316

don'ttrustauthority

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the WiiM Mini Wifi/Bluetooth streamer. It is on kind loan from a member and is on sale on Amazon for US $89.

View attachment 200172

As you can see the former factor is a "hockey puck." An included phone charger needs to be used to power the unit over USB-C. It did not work so when I used my computer USB port.

Initial setup is by connecting using Bluetooth and the available App. I connected using BT but the Android app would not see it. I had to shut off BT and turn it back on for it to recognize it. While this is disappointing, I have had similar issues with other streamers. Once there, the app was reliable and gave me the option of configuring Toslink output for bit exact and its maximum sample rate which I appreciated. It also updated the device on first connection.

WiiM Mini Measurements
My first tests were using Aiplay 2.0 as initiated by my Roon player. As usual, Airplay itself becomes the bottleneck as we see with Toslink digital out:
View attachment 200173

Not sure if Airplay forced the sample rate to change to 48 kHz or the device did it. Using it with analog out we get:
View attachment 200174

While we are beating the company spec, performance is lackluster as is typically the case in this category of product. Noise performance is not great either:

View attachment 200175

There is however good news if you use the App and output over Toslink:

View attachment 200176

This is the best you can do with 24-bit dithered signal. At 141 dB, your limit then will be what your DAC can do as even state of the are units have a SINAD of 123 dB.

Using the same signal but now testing the analog output we get:
View attachment 200177

So just a hair better than using Airplay. The internal DAC as expected, is a mass market product than high performance.

Using the same for jitter we have:
View attachment 200178

Noise floor is fairly high which can hide a lot of sins.

Since my analyzer can't control streaming devices, these are all the tests I can reasonably run. I think we have a good picture though.

Edit: by request, here is the frequency response from the internal DAC:

View attachment 200372

Edit WiiM Mini ADC Analog In Measurements
Feeding the Mini analog input and capturing the same, gives this output:
View attachment 200375

Performance is dominated by distortion. Switching to Toslink out to eliminate effect of the DAC we basically get the same result:

View attachment 200376

So just like the DAC, this is a mass market ADC implementation. Good enough for common uses though but I would not route the clean output of any DAC through it.

Conclusions
If you use the App and Toslink output, you basically have a transparent wireless link to your stereo. Connect it to your favorite DAC and your performance will only be limited by the rest of your system. For me personally lack of Roon support is a big deal. I don't want to use their App to play or stream content. I hope the company looks at supporting Roon endpoint. Analog output of the unit is just OK.

Personally I can't recommend the WiiM Mini due to lack of support for Roon player. That aside, it is great to see bit exact digital output in a budget streamer allowing you to improve its performance to any level you want using your own DAC.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Dude, this is an awful no recommend. Products like this, though imperfect, put great price pressure on the $2000 - $5000 streamers. Roon wants my business, don't allow people to charge so much for a Roon approved product.
 

Jmudrick

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I have 3 CCA's running as roon endpoints. Ocassionaly one of them will need a reset, but these things work like a charm!

Can someone explain to me why i would need to spend more on a streamer?

I run my CCA's optical out to dacs...and as roon endpoints.
Roon fixes a lot that's problematic with the CCA (of which I have 3), gapless playback in particular. If I had Roon I might not need the WiiM, but I don't so I do.
 
Last edited:

WiiM Support

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Thanks for stepping into the blast furnace of ASR discussions. It's a tough crowd, but you'll get used to it. It's always good to see manufacturers participate here to enlighten the ASR user base on their offerings. Hopefully the feedback received here will help WiiM improve their products.
Thanks Sam! All these wonderful feedback from this community helps us a lot. The product is far from perfect and we have a good list of feature and improvement roadmap waiting ahead. Meanwhile, we'll also share our opinion (or even test results) transparently to help our respected users be informed.
 

WiiM Support

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Do you have proof of this lossy compression? Airplay (both versions) will cause down-sampling to 16/44.1 for hi-res formats with WiFi, but it is said by Apple to be lossless at 16/44.1. Of course, for Bluetooth there is lossy compression.
Hi Blueone, AirPlay uses either AAC (lossy) or ALAC (lossless) for encoding. Besides the possible lossy compression, the entire audio path looks like the follows if you're playing Apple Music on iPhone and stream it to another AirPlay 2 receiver - Apple Music receives the audio data from Apple cloud > demux and decode it into PCM format > iOS re-encode it into one of the formats (AAC or ALAC) > re-packet into streaming format > stream to AirPlay receiver. Thus, it also involves transcoding. That's the reason why we don't recommend using AirPlay 2 for DAC performance evaluation. Hope it helps.
 

Rottmannash

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I also have a Boss2 that obviously doesn't require a separate DAC and it has the RPi4 inside. You can setup the RPI4 in any configuration you like. Use it with DSP or not, use it with an external DAC or a Hat like the Boss2, use it with Moode for UPnP, Airplay2, Bluetooth or whatever. There really is no limit to the function it can serve. All of this is menu driven in a web browser for Moode. No code needed. It's as easy as it gets. I can't believe how many think the RPi4 is difficult to use. If you can setup your TV you can setup an RPI4 with Moode. It's actually much easier to configure Moode than setup a Denon 4700. :D

Changing out the guts in the toilet tank is harder than setting up an RPI4 with Moode or cleaning the filters in my pool pump, It's crazy how some people put up a mental road block when they have to configure a device with a web browser. Yet, they are OK doing it on the TV for an AVR or 4K player. If you don't try new things you limit skills and learning.

Qobuz automatically streams lower resolution music when a phone is used with their application compared to a computer. This also occurs with HEOS and Tidal. It will be interesting to see how the WiiM app handles this. I much prefer to use Audirvana as it offers a nice large screen, DSP control (if you want it) and sounds great. If I can't get the WiiM to work over UPnP with Audirvana I will probably return it. Hard to downgrade to a small screen and an iPad/iPhone for me.
? Qobuz does what? I choose what resolution I desire when using wifi and using cellular data. Maybe I don't understand what you're saying though.
 

DrZingo

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Perhaps he's referring to the Android Qobuz app which (like every other player apart from UAPP as far as I know) resamples to 48kHz? Otherwise I have no idea.
 

ENG

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Hi Blueone, AirPlay uses either AAC (lossy) or ALAC (lossless) for encoding. Besides the possible lossy compression, the entire audio path looks like the follows if you're playing Apple Music on iPhone and stream it to another AirPlay 2 receiver - Apple Music receives the audio data from Apple cloud > demux and decode it into PCM format > iOS re-encode it into one of the formats (AAC or ALAC) > re-packet into streaming format > stream to AirPlay receiver. Thus, it also involves transcoding. That's the reason why we don't recommend using AirPlay 2 for DAC performance evaluation. Hope it helps.
Hello WiiM Support
I can't understand this. Does it mean that you don't recommend using an external DAC with WiiM Mini Streamer in the case of AirPlay 2 ? And that the measured result will be better letting the inner DAC in WiiM Mini Streamer do the conversion in that case ?
 

WiiM Support

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Hello WiiM Support
I can't understand this. Does it mean that you don't recommend using an external DAC with WiiM Mini Streamer in the case of AirPlay 2 ? And that the measured result will be better letting the inner DAC in WiiM Mini Streamer do the conversion in that case ?
Hi there, I meant because AirPlay 2 involves transcoding and possible lossy compression, it is not recommended for measuring the DAC performance (the result includes the impact caused by AirPlay 2, not purely from D to A conversion by the DAC). You're definitely fine to use external DAC for AirPlay 2.
 

gfx_1

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Things I cannot buy (new or remotely near MSRP) on Amazon:
- Raspberry Pi's
- A Topping BC3 (why not, I have no clue)
- A ChromeCast Audio
The Topping uses a rather pricey DAC chip, with the current shortages and the demise of AKM the probably put it higher margin products.
aliexpress seems to have them.
 

PeteL

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Hi there, I meant because AirPlay 2 involves transcoding and possible lossy compression, it is not recommended for measuring the DAC performance (the result includes the impact caused by AirPlay 2, not purely from D to A conversion by the DAC). You're definitely fine to use external DAC for AirPlay 2.
Thank you, and thank you for your direct involvment in this thread, it’s appreciated. But, those « transcoding« aside the one where there is a conversion to AAC, which shoud be easy to assess at measurment, should at least theoretically be transparent and not degrade the samples. If it does, of course the Wiil, is not to blame but that is the sort of thing that deserve investigation and is also the sort of thing that is of interest in this specific community.All this chain(beside AAC) should be bit perfect: « Apple Music receives the audio data from Apple cloud > demux and decode it into PCM format > iOS re-encode it into one of the formats (AAC or ALAC) > re-packet into streaming format > stream to AirPlay receiver. » If measurments show a different story we are interested to know why. Transcoding, a general term, should not have to mean loss of information I also don’t see the first two steps happening when using a local file, in this case a PCM tone for measurments. And. the last two, well the other streaming protocol do them too (repacket, stream to the receiver} Is there something fundamentally wrong with Airplay? I’d be interested to know.
 

Brantome

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Thank you, and thank you for your direct involvment in this thread, it’s appreciated. But, those « transcoding« aside the one where there is a conversion to AAC, which shoud be easy to assess at measurment, should at least theoretically be transparent and not degrade the samples. If it does, of course the Wiil, is not to blame but that is the sort of thing that deserve investigation and is also the sort of thing that is of interest in this specific community.All this chain(beside AAC) should be bit perfect: « Apple Music receives the audio data from Apple cloud > demux and decode it into PCM format > iOS re-encode it into one of the formats (AAC or ALAC) > re-packet into streaming format > stream to AirPlay receiver. » If measurments show a different story we are interested to know why. Transcoding, a general term, should not have to mean loss of information I also don’t see the first two steps happening when using a local file, in this case a PCM tone for measurments. And. the last two, well the other streaming protocol do them too (repacket, stream to the receiver} Is there something fundamentally wrong with Airplay? I’d be interested to know.
I think there have been a few posts on Airplay here (such as this Post in thread 'Any Known Apple AirPlay 2 Sound Quality Issues?'
https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...lay-2-sound-quality-issues.22013/post-1079910 ) which suggest that in only specific cases can you assume that Airplay will transfer your file from source to the WiiM losslessly- in some cases it’ll convert it to lossy AAC. WiiM has no control over what it receives, just what it does with a file once it gets it. So if you’re comparing your source file to what WiiM outputs, you won’t necessarily get the same if you’ve used Airplay to deliver it to the WiiM.
 

tsammyc

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Hi, first post here.

I just received the WIIM Mini and am actually quite impressed. I'm using the WIIM as a UPNP renderer and driving it with Audirvana 3.5 (on a MacBook Air) over DLNA. Control is using Audirvana Remote on an iPhone. The WIIM is connected over TOSLINK (24/192) via a Topping D50s DAC to my amp and speakers. Seems to work fairly well. I can play DSD 64 files to the Topping directly and Topping's display says DSD 64. DSD 128 and 256 get resampled to PCM 24/176.4 by Audirvana presumably because it knows the output limitation of the WIIM's TOSLINK is 24/192. Playing a 24/352.8 PCM file from The Nordic Sound results in a downsampling to 24/192. Audirvana's upsampling of Redbook 16/44.1 works all the way to 192 Khz

Tidal MQA works! Audirvana does the first unfold and then sends up to PCM 24/96 to WIIM and to the Topping. For example, the MQA of What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong which is a Tidal 24/192 Khz MQA file gets sent as 24/96 to the Topping (which is not a MQA DAC). If you have MQA DAC, it should do the 2nd unfold and you should get 24/192.

Things are not perfect. I get an occasional dropout, especially on hires files (DSD, PCM 24/192). I'm not sure if this is an Audirvana issue due to my 10 yr old MacBook Air with 2GB of RAM and DLNA, but the combo works driving another Topping DAC over USB. The WIIM is also far away from my 5Ghz router and Wifi strength is only "very good" according to the WIIM app.

Lastly, both the Topping and WIIM are powered by the Topping P50 Linear power supply. It has two 1A USB outputs which is just nice for the WIIM and the Topping
 

Jmudrick

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Hi, first post here.

I just received the WIIM Mini and am actually quite impressed. I'm using the WIIM as a UPNP renderer and driving it with Audirvana 3.5 (on a MacBook Air) over DLNA. Control is using Audirvana Remote on an iPhone. The WIIM is connected over TOSLINK (24/192) via a Topping D50s DAC to my amp and speakers. Seems to work fairly well. I can play DSD 64 files to the Topping directly and Topping's display says DSD 64. DSD 128 and 256 get resampled to PCM 24/176.4 by Audirvana presumably because it knows the output limitation of the WIIM's TOSLINK is 24/192. Playing a 24/352.8 PCM file from The Nordic Sound results in a downsampling to 24/192. Audirvana's upsampling of Redbook 16/44.1 works all the way to 192 Khz

Tidal MQA works! Audirvana does the first unfold and then sends up to PCM 24/96 to WIIM and to the Topping. For example, the MQA of What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong which is a Tidal 24/192 Khz MQA file gets sent as 24/96 to the Topping (which is not a MQA DAC). If you have MQA DAC, it should do the 2nd unfold and you should get 24/192.

Things are not perfect. I get an occasional dropout, especially on hires files (DSD, PCM 24/192). I'm not sure if this is an Audirvana issue due to my 10 yr old MacBook Air with 2GB of RAM and DLNA, but the combo works driving another Topping DAC over USB. The WIIM is also far away from my 5Ghz router and Wifi strength is only "very good" according to the WIIM app.

Lastly, both the Topping and WIIM are powered by the Topping P50 Linear power supply. It has two 1A USB outputs which is just nice for the WIIM and the Topping
Are your files stored on the MacBook or attached drive? I've had poor luck with Audirvana and network files getting gapless playback through the WiiM via DLNA (I don't think it's a WiiM issue)
 

PeteL

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I think there have been a few posts on Airplay here (such as this Post in thread 'Any Known Apple AirPlay 2 Sound Quality Issues?'
https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...lay-2-sound-quality-issues.22013/post-1079910 ) which suggest that in only specific cases can you assume that Airplay will transfer your file from source to the WiiM losslessly- in some cases it’ll convert it to lossy AAC. WiiM has no control over what it receives, just what it does with a file once it gets it. So if you’re comparing your source file to what WiiM outputs, you won’t necessarily get the same if you’ve used Airplay to deliver it to the WiiM.
AAC have been measured many times. It doesn't look like the FFT in this airplay measurment. my question was more about if and why the measurments would show degradation when using lossless trough Airplay. Of course AAC is not what could show us the performance of the DAC, I already mentioned that, but it's not what we see here.
 

fquails

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I have three of the Wiim streamers—love ‘em! Replaced my aging Squeezebox system. I listen to Tidal, Apple Music, and hi-res Flac via DLNA. I tried the Wiim with the Topping D3 pro + via Toslink. Although the Topping measured well in ASR tests, I find its sound less engaging than the Wiim’s onboard DAC. To my ears, through my systems, in rooms inside my house, the Wiim’s onboard DAC renders more engaging and realistic music—I find myself tapping my toes, bobbing my head, and having goosebumps. I get none of those when using the Topping DAC. I found the Topping sound too “clean”, clinical, and lacking in emotion.
 

jaykay77

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I have three of the Wiim streamers—love ‘em! Replaced my aging Squeezebox system. I listen to Tidal, Apple Music, and hi-res Flac via DLNA. I tried the Wiim with the Topping D3 pro + via Toslink. Although the Topping measured well in ASR tests, I find its sound less engaging than the Wiim’s onboard DAC. To my ears, through my systems, in rooms inside my house, the Wiim’s onboard DAC renders more engaging and realistic music—I find myself tapping my toes, bobbing my head, and having goosebumps. I get none of those when using the Topping DAC. I found the Topping sound too “clean”, clinical, and lacking in emotion.
I'm totally with you on the topping dacs i've had two which rank very highly on this site, one broke after 3 months, the other i sold and bought a schiit modi. Maybe it's all placebo but I like the sounds coming from my old MF dac and cheapo schiit dac better than what the topping was producing.
 

Ralph_Cramden

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I think there have been a few posts on Airplay here (such as this Post in thread 'Any Known Apple AirPlay 2 Sound Quality Issues?'
https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...lay-2-sound-quality-issues.22013/post-1079910 ) which suggest that in only specific cases can you assume that Airplay will transfer your file from source to the WiiM losslessly- in some cases it’ll convert it to lossy AAC. WiiM has no control over what it receives, just what it does with a file once it gets it. So if you’re comparing your source file to what WiiM outputs, you won’t necessarily get the same if you’ve used Airplay to deliver it to the WiiM.
I turned on the Airplay Bridge on my LMS server. Played the RME tests, 16/44.1 and 16/48, fixed volume. Neither passed the bit-perfect test on the RME. The same test that passed using the DLNA/UPnP plugin at 24/192.

FWIW, the WiiM Mini reports itself as TinaLinux to LMS via the Airplay Bridge. I assume it's running Tina Linux.
 

TheBatsEar

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FWIW, the WiiM Mini reports itself as TinaLinux to LMS via the Airplay Bridge. I assume it's running Tina Linux.
5 years old that repository.
Possibly several SSL, services and even network exploitable vulns in this.

mom_is_that_you.gif

These devices are all a security nightmare.
Let's better not poke deeper.
 
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