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WiiM Mini Review (Streamer)

Rate this streamer:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 8 2.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 35 10.2%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 178 52.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 121 35.4%

  • Total voters
    342

Jim Shaw

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That, in part, is why you need to enable Alexa in the WiiM app, as well as that allowing support of AlexaCast to allow you to cast music from the Amazon Music app, in much the same way as you would cast to an echo...

...This is separate from WiiM’s own multi room implementation which I think uses Airplay and is limited to 16/48 quality. I guess it’s this receiver/ sender role for Amazon Music HD/UHD that WiiM are hoping to implement by the end of the month as indicated in their release notes.
I can do this. It explains a lot of what is experienced here.

It surprises me how clear the difference is between 16/48 and 24/96 or 24/192. Probably it is because Amazon uses a different quality source file for non-high-res music. Like Amir once wrote: "Once you hear [it, referring to aliasing] you cannot unhear it." And low res becomes annoying.

Thanks again for your support here.
 

photodesignch

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Thanks so much for this response. At a glance, it explains my experience to date. I am encouraged by WiiM's track record in adding features and fixing bugs. I think I'll keep the 2nd WiiM in the expectation that I'll eventually be able to use it to 'cast the same Amazon UHD music to two systems simultaneously. I'd rather not pay Amazon an additional $6 per month to hear the identical stream on two systems. We'll see about that.

I have considerable sympathy for WiiM in producing this little hockey puck. It's a very significant software chore* they have taken on. This is exactly the reason I hesitated so long to buy a dedicated streaming appliance; I had little confidence in most companies' follow-thru on long-term support -- without which my streamer would become a doorstop. I still am occasionally using my former iPad/DAC solution for just one music playback system with Amazon UHD. Its primary deficiency is its inability to simultaneously bring one stream to two synched systems at some distance.

Thanks for your product knowledge and kind education on the present realities of WiiM.
.....
*I recall a YT Q&A with Jason Stoddard of Schiit. Asked if Schiit would be offering a streamer, he approximately said that Schiit tended to avoid software-based products like streamers. They aren't primarily a software-oriented company, beyond what they need to do firmware for dedicated products. I recall admiring his response. Software is quite a different animal from hardware.
Although all-in-one would be great! However, wasn't that "we" wanted the separates before we headed to the Schiit? I honestly don't see integration such as all-in-one AVR or streamer products comes to light at Schiit lineup.
 

Jeromeof

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So thinking about making the jump to get one of these - love that the company keep fixing enhancing the software - was going to wait until maybe a 'pro' version is released - specifically because I imagine they might use a better DAC (as I have read people 'complain' about the DAC) - I know that @amirm obviously suggested using the Optical output is ideal - but for now where I would put this device it would not have access to any external DAC (unless I buy a very small one) - it would replace a RPI I have with an hifiberry DAC hat. So my question is, is there really an audible difference?

My opinion about DAC's are that mostly if they are engineered reasonable well they should produce the same analogue output but obviously the analogue circuits within a device can / will introduce some levels of noise / distortion and mostly what is tested here, when comparing DACs, is whether than noise affects the sound? I know people talk about DAC 'colourisation' but surely that is the analogue output side of the DAC hardware being sub-optimal? Anyway, given I want to replace a RPI with an simple DAC hat with the Wiim would I notice a drop in quality without try to get an small external DAC?
 

photodesignch

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So thinking about making the jump to get one of these - love that the company keep fixing enhancing the software - was going to wait until maybe a 'pro' version is released - specifically because I imagine they might use a better DAC (as I have read people 'complain' about the DAC) - I know that @amirm obviously suggested using the Optical output is ideal - but for now where I would put this device it would not have access to any external DAC (unless I buy a very small one) - it would replace a RPI I have with an hifiberry DAC hat. So my question is, is there really an audible difference?

My opinion about DAC's are that mostly if they are engineered reasonable well they should produce the same analogue output but obviously the analogue circuits within a device can / will introduce some levels of noise / distortion and mostly what is tested here, when comparing DACs, is whether than noise affects the sound? I know people talk about DAC 'colourisation' but surely that is the analogue output side of the DAC hardware being sub-optimal? Anyway, given I want to replace a RPI with an simple DAC hat with the Wiim would I notice a drop in quality without try to get an small external DAC?
You probably won't notice the difference. Pi Hat DAC mostly were using similar chipset just like wiim mini. I came from experimenting myself in this journey. computer 3.5mm > apple mac optical out > pi + hat > pi usb + external dac > wiim mini optical + external dac.

Just my personal experiences. I would tell you to leave your pi solution because I've spent so much time and $ on it already. It's just....... so so....

As a side note.. I am not an expert on electronic design. But I think you are heading to the right direction but not entirely correct.

Most of cheap dacs such as cd player, computer mother board, iphone internal dac, wiim mini.. cheap pi hat dac.. they are all "somewhat" reached to the engineer excellency as you mentioned " if they are engineered reasonable well they should produce the same analogue output".

However! the missing link isn't just analog output stage. there are more to it. Otherwise how come decent priced DAC chip, almost every manufacture uses it. how come everyone came up with different sound signature? Keep in mind, even same company but just a tiny different production line produces some differences.

It should really separated as in "digital output" and "analog output" stages. Something like SMSL, Topping, they would apply some digital filters to silent some background noise first. Then they would apply their own "EQ" filters before audio stream goes down to analog output. Although analog output is extremely important when people talk about delta-sigma, R2R.. That's just further filtering and coloring to the audio stream itself.

It's really not as simple as "all dacs were alike" or "if they are engineered reasonable well they should produce the same analogue output".. That's just false assumptions.

So the answer to your question after this huge circle I am making. NO.. between wiim mini and pi + hat you won't hear a difference. But with wiim mini optical out to an external dac, you will hear A LOT differences. That's because your wiim mini is no longer "coloring" the music but the expensive external DAC is.

What you are comparing is like.. "would I hear a difference from a $30 headphone vs my apple headphone came with my iphone for free?".. Obviously there are differences but the difference is so minimal you won't feel a difference. However, when you attach an external dac is like you upgraded your headphone from a free one to a Sennheiser hd 6xx.. all I can say is.. If you can't hear a difference... then you are better off to save $. Audio equipments are waste of your hard earned money. :)
 
Last edited:

Jeromeof

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You probably won't notice the difference. Pi Hat DAC mostly were using similar chipset just like wiim mini. I came from experimenting myself in this journey. computer 3.5mm > apple mac optical out > pi + hat > pi usb + external dac > wiim mini optical + external dac.

Just my personal experiences. I would tell you to leave your pi solution because I've spent so much time and $ on it already. It's just....... so so....

As a side note.. I am not an expert on electronic design. But I think you are heading to the right direction but not entirely correct.

Most of cheap dacs such as cd player, computer mother board, iphone internal dac, wiim mini.. cheap pi hat dac.. they are all "somewhat" reached to the engineer excellency as you mentioned " if they are engineered reasonable well they should produce the same analogue output".

However! the missing link isn't just analog output stage. there are more to it. Otherwise how come decent priced DAC chip, almost every manufacture uses it. how come everyone came up with different sound signature? Keep in mind, even same company but just a tiny different production line produces some differences.

It should really separated as in "digital output" and "analog output" stages. Something like SMSL, Topping, they would apply some digital filters to silent some background noise first. Then they would apply their own "EQ" filters before audio stream goes down to analog output. Although analog output is extremely important when people talk about delta-sigma, R2R.. That's just further filtering and coloring to the audio stream itself.

It's really not as simple as "all dacs were alike" or "if they are engineered reasonable well they should produce the same analogue output".. That's just false assumptions.

So the answer to your question after this huge circle I am making. NO.. between wiim mini and pi + hat you won't hear a difference. But with wiim mini optical out to an external dac, you will hear A LOT differences. That's because your wiim mini is no longer "coloring" the music but the expensive external DAC is.

What you are comparing is like.. "would I hear a difference from a $30 headphone vs my apple headphone came with my iphone for free?".. Obviously there are differences but the difference is so minimal you won't feel a difference. However, when you attach an external dac is like you upgraded your headphone from a free one to a Sennheiser hd 6xx.. all I can say is.. If you can't hear a difference... then you are better off to save $. Audio equipments are waste of your hard earned money. :)
Thanks for the response - very interesting - though given the specific use case for this Wiim replacing my RPI + HAT - for now I might just see how the internal DAC sounds and maybe later get a quality external DAC (I have a cheap Aiyima DAC in different room with a 'better' setup and even a bigger Denon AVR in yet another room) so this Wiim would be more for "good quality" casual listening, so probably I would not tell the difference.
 

Jeromeof

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If you already have a working RPi solution, there wouldn't be much point to switching. Depending on how your current player handles gapless, you might be disappointed by the WiiM.
Well its more the convenience of say Airplay 2 / Alexa / Amazon Music even DLNA - I have Volumio on the RPI at the moment which is ok but is a little limited I think e.g. Amazon Music HD !!
 

photodesignch

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Thanks for the response - very interesting - though given the specific use case for this Wiim replacing my RPI + HAT - for now I might just see how the internal DAC sounds and maybe later get a quality external DAC (I have a cheap Aiyima DAC in different room with a 'better' setup and even a bigger Denon AVR in yet another room) so this Wiim would be more for "good quality" casual listening, so probably I would not tell the difference.
A dac is the least influential piece since you are running an AVR. Your AVR dac is probably the same quality as your pi + hat or built in dac in wiim mini.

Let’s just say if you are intent to compare dac quality. Wiim mini’s is really no different than a pi, or an AVR’s.

You will notice difference when you move onto dac as separate unit.
 

tonycollinet

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You probably won't notice the difference. Pi Hat DAC mostly were using similar chipset just like wiim mini. I came from experimenting myself in this journey. computer 3.5mm > apple mac optical out > pi + hat > pi usb + external dac > wiim mini optical + external dac.

Just my personal experiences. I would tell you to leave your pi solution because I've spent so much time and $ on it already. It's just....... so so....

As a side note.. I am not an expert on electronic design. But I think you are heading to the right direction but not entirely correct.

Most of cheap dacs such as cd player, computer mother board, iphone internal dac, wiim mini.. cheap pi hat dac.. they are all "somewhat" reached to the engineer excellency as you mentioned " if they are engineered reasonable well they should produce the same analogue output".

However! the missing link isn't just analog output stage. there are more to it. Otherwise how come decent priced DAC chip, almost every manufacture uses it. how come everyone came up with different sound signature? Keep in mind, even same company but just a tiny different production line produces some differences.

It should really separated as in "digital output" and "analog output" stages. Something like SMSL, Topping, they would apply some digital filters to silent some background noise first. Then they would apply their own "EQ" filters before audio stream goes down to analog output. Although analog output is extremely important when people talk about delta-sigma, R2R.. That's just further filtering and coloring to the audio stream itself.

It's really not as simple as "all dacs were alike" or "if they are engineered reasonable well they should produce the same analogue output".. That's just false assumptions.

So the answer to your question after this huge circle I am making. NO.. between wiim mini and pi + hat you won't hear a difference. But with wiim mini optical out to an external dac, you will hear A LOT differences. That's because your wiim mini is no longer "coloring" the music but the expensive external DAC is.

What you are comparing is like.. "would I hear a difference from a $30 headphone vs my apple headphone came with my iphone for free?".. Obviously there are differences but the difference is so minimal you won't feel a difference. However, when you attach an external dac is like you upgraded your headphone from a free one to a Sennheiser hd 6xx.. all I can say is.. If you can't hear a difference... then you are better off to save $. Audio equipments are waste of your hard earned money. :)
A lot of audiophile folklore and nonsense in there.

When a DAC outputs a flat frequency response with inaudible noise and distortion (like all good measuring dacs do) what to you think "colouring" is.?
 

DeepSpace57

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The WiiM doesn’t use coax, its SPDIF interface is optical.
Whatever it is, Jitter depends on the cable quality, transmitting hardware, receiving hardware, potential sources of interference, and more. In this chain, WiiM Mini is a weak point. Why the hell should I connect it to my good measuring DAC even if I need a Toslink connection? Briefly, its Jitter performance is terrible. I think IFI stream is much better as shown in GoldenSound's measurements.
 

Brantome

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Whatever it is, Jitter depends on the cable quality, transmitting hardware, receiving hardware, potential sources of interference, and more. In this chain, WiiM Mini is a weak point. Why the hell should I connect it to my good measuring DAC even if I need a Toslink connection? Briefly, its Jitter performance is terrible. I think IFI stream is much better as shown in GoldenSound's measurements.
Whatever indeed…
 

Music1969

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Ground hog day.

As long as you have an optical cable , that can pass bit perfect test up to 24b/192k, from WiiM Mini's TOSlink output: then WiiM Mini's jitter is completely irrelevant

Jitter is only important right at the point of A to D and D to A.

You can ask all the best DAC designers, not GoldenSound

If your DAC deals well with TOSlink jitter like RME ADI-2 or even this cheap SMSL DO100 below, there is no jitter to worry about from WiiM Mini

What DAC do you have @DeepSpace57 ?

index.php


Or another cheap DAC:

index.php
 

Merifon

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An RME engineer demonstrates how their Steadyclock FS makes jitter completely irrelevant.
Some years ago, I saw an university paper work (actually lost) concluding that jitter is matter of domain conversion quality only. For the recording steps A-D, we have no control but is supposed studio good equipments. For the D-A phase, we can now buy good an not so expensive DAC and not worry about cables...
 

photodesignch

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A lot of audiophile folklore and nonsense in there.

When a DAC outputs a flat frequency response with inaudible noise and distortion (like all good measuring dacs do) what to you think "colouring" is.?
I am not sure what exactly you want to hear here. "Coloring" is a relative term and it can be anything or everything.

You can read the chart and tell me distortion, noises and jitters caused "coloring". But do keep in mind that even the best measured equipment out there has its coloring. That leads to "coloring" itself, it can be both measurable or unmeasurable.

This goes into deeper of the system design. You can't possibly read a couple of numbers and assume that's what "coloring" means. Because every component within a Dac, every piece of software matters. Hence! I think what caused "coloring" can not be answered. I will just take the results and compare between different dacs with it's own coloring.
 

Ralph_Cramden

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I am not sure what exactly you want to hear here. "Coloring" is a relative term and it can be anything or everything.

You can read the chart and tell me distortion, noises and jitters caused "coloring". But do keep in mind that even the best measured equipment out there has its coloring. That leads to "coloring" itself, it can be both measurable or unmeasurable.

This goes into deeper of the system design. You can't possibly read a couple of numbers and assume that's what "coloring" means. Because every component within a Dac, every piece of software matters. Hence! I think what caused "coloring" can not be answered. I will just take the results and compare between different dacs with it's own coloring.
You must be mistaking ASR for PS Audio or some other such site for absurdity. Facts and measurements matter here, not what some old guy thinks he "hears".
 
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