Budget Streaming - Wiim Mini any good?

gylo

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Mar 5, 2016
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I have a nice but old Naim Nait3 Amp with Polk Audio RT8 speakers.

The Marantz CD player hasn't been used for 8yrs, but the Amazon Echo has been connected to stream Amazon Music HD, it was temporary a couple of years back.

I had my eye on a Bluesound Node but didn't really want to spend that much.

I had a listen last week and wasn't impressed by the Echo DAC and wondered if the WiiM Mini might be a good move for £90?

As a family we all use headphones and I'm not certain that we will use the living room stereo much, we might if it sounded better??

Thoughts?
 

Gray

Well-known member
I had a listen last week and wasn't impressed by the Echo DAC and wondered if the WiiM Mini might be a good move for £90?
Thoughts?
Some reporters have been unimpressed by the Mini's DAC.
Put its digital output through the right external DAC though and it's likely to be a different story - and still be cheaper than the Node option.
 
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Witterings

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Sep 17, 2020
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I have a nice but old Naim Nait3 Amp with Polk Audio RT8 speakers.

The Marantz CD player hasn't been used for 8yrs, but the Amazon Echo has been connected to stream Amazon Music HD, it was temporary a couple of years back.

I had my eye on a Bluesound Node but didn't really want to spend that much.

I had a listen last week and wasn't impressed by the Echo DAC and wondered if the WiiM Mini might be a good move for £90?

As a family we all use headphones and I'm not certain that we will use the living room stereo much, we might if it sounded better??

Thoughts?
The Echo's also don't play Ultra HD, the WiiM will if you're streaming from it's own App or Amazon Music App assuming you subscribe to Amazon Unlimited.

The WiiM's internal Dac isn't meant to be great, you'd probably want to buy an external like a Topping E30 using the optical out in the WiiM, the combination's still considerably cheaper than the Node.

If you ever want to multiroom in the future, the current WiiM you have to turn off Ultra HD, there's a new release the WiiM Pro due out literally in weeks which will be about £150.
It'll have Coax out as well giving you a greater choice of Dacs, you could probably pick up a 2nd hand one somewhere.

With the Wiim Pro's coming out soon there'll probably be quite a few WiiM Mini's up for sale shortly after from those that do want the multiroom or more connectivity, certainly I'll be selling one and maybe 2.
 

Hifiman

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Apr 17, 2020
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Agree with Witterings’ approach. I have a mini connected to a Mojo 2 and then into my historic (even older than yours, but still great) hifi. This front end (with Amazon Music) has been a transformation in both sound quality and convenience. I use the system much, much more than before.
 
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JoostM

Active member
Dec 8, 2022
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I have a nice but old Naim Nait3 Amp with Polk Audio RT8 speakers.

The Marantz CD player hasn't been used for 8yrs, but the Amazon Echo has been connected to stream Amazon Music HD, it was temporary a couple of years back.

I had my eye on a Bluesound Node but didn't really want to spend that much.

I had a listen last week and wasn't impressed by the Echo DAC and wondered if the WiiM Mini might be a good move for £90?

As a family we all use headphones and I'm not certain that we will use the living room stereo much, we might if it sounded better??

Thoughts?
I have not heard it myself. but the Argon Audio Solo could maybe be a cheaper alternative:
 

manicm

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May 1, 2008
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I'm getting mine in a few days and will post my findings. I'll be using the optical output into my soundbar and compare Tidal on TV HDMI vs the Mini via optical. So obviously there'll be an unknown on the soundbar's optical quality, but I'm hoping it will at least beat Bluetooth.
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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I'm getting mine in a few days and will post my findings. I'll be using the optical output into my soundbar and compare Tidal on TV HDMI vs the Mini via optical. So obviously there'll be an unknown on the soundbar's optical quality, but I'm hoping it will at least beat Bluetooth.
Keen to hear your findings!
 

newworld

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Feb 24, 2015
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I've also recently started using Wiim Mini and its addition to my system has been a real game-changer for me. I've been using the Bluesound Node for two generations since the founding of the company (because I believed it to be the future of streaming), and have never been satisfied with its performance.
 

Witterings

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Sep 17, 2020
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I've also recently started using Wiim Mini and its addition to my system has been a real game-changer for me. I've been using the Bluesound Node for two generations since the founding of the company (because I believed it to be the future of streaming), and have never been satisfied with its performance.
What differences do you find between the WiiM and to the Node and what is it you didn't like about the Node?

I think the WiiM's are brilliant but they keep making software updates and I don't believe they test them properly before they're released.

Last night mine just stopped playing every 20 to 40 seconds for 3 / 5 seconds and then started again and it kept happening making it totally unusable.
I immediately did a speed test unless it was internet based and it was as it should be.
I disconected the WiiM and played it on the tablets speakers to see if it was actually Amazon and not the WiiM and the breaks in music immediately stopped, tried casting it to the WiiM again and it instantly started again.

I then tried casting to an Echo Dot instead as I was fed up with it at that stage and it worked perfectly.

Also recently hitting the pause button, it takes ages to stop the music which if you have a phone call coming in or other reason you need to pause the music it isn't great and this didn't start happening until about 2 weeks ago so again I'm guessing it's as a result of an update.

In essence it is a great product BUT they need to test the updates properly before release rather than treating their customers like free guinea pig testers.
 

newworld

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Feb 24, 2015
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What differences do you find between the WiiM and to the Node and what is it you didn't like about the Node?

I think the WiiM's are brilliant but they keep making software updates and I don't believe they test them properly before they're released.

Last night mine just stopped playing every 20 to 40 seconds for 3 / 5 seconds and then started again and it kept happening making it totally unusable.
I immediately did a speed test unless it was internet based and it was as it should be.
I disconected the WiiM and played it on the tablets speakers to see if it was actually Amazon and not the WiiM and the breaks in music immediately stopped, tried casting it to the WiiM again and it instantly started again.

I then tried casting to an Echo Dot instead as I was fed up with it at that stage and it worked perfectly.

Also recently hitting the pause button, it takes ages to stop the music which if you have a phone call coming in or other reason you need to pause the music it isn't great and this didn't start happening until about 2 weeks ago so again I'm guessing it's as a result of an update.

In essence it is a great product BUT they need to test the updates properly before release rather than treating their customers like free guinea pig testers.
I've just done some listening again through their toslink outputs. The difference is much bigger than I'd thought. I've found the Wiim to be much more detailed with clearly defined depth. The Bluesound had more upfront mid with softer frequency extremes. I really don't know which one is true, but it boggles my mind because they are just supposed to be digital transports.

Bluesound has been refining their system for about 10 years, and it's quite useable now, but you couldn't imagine my frustration with the software in the beginning. Its analogue output through its first three generations has never sounded good to me with its harsh vocals and indistinct bass. I played around a lot with it and found some things. Ethernet-wired sounded better (more extension top to bottom), but the harshness in the vocals got worse with ringing in certain frequencies. Via wifi it was kind of pleasant with more distant vocals and rounder bass, but treble had weird artifacts. Chasing ghosts, I turned up the volume with no music playing and found intereference-like buzzing in the background. I emailed Bluesound about it, and they acknowledged the problem but offered no solution. I assume it's probably the wifi module because the noise was gone with ethernet connection.

The Wiim already has an extremely speedy and intuitive software (at least on my network) and the support team keeps pushing features. Yeah Amazon Music is slow on the platform, but it's still better than on Bluesound. Well, I still cancelled Amazon Music altogether after the trial.
 
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manicm

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Keen to hear your findings!
Just installed it now and it's really great. The EQ settings are really useful though I've switched it off, and the Wiim on optical sounds as good as the HDMI on my soundbar.

Tip. Just leave it at 24/192. It has a sound test to check if the settings allow playback. I couldn't tell any difference so I decided to leave it at the highest resolution, even though I'm only using 16/44 on Tidal.

One dislike and caution though. Do not kill the Wiim app, otherwise if you switch off your system at the plug and switch on again Tidal doesn't want to reconnect.
 
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Witterings

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Hate to say it, whilst I as impressed initially I'm now thinking this falls into the cheap toy catagory.

I'd heard reports of distorion with EQ, I've been playing with it for days at really low volumes trying to get rid of some "sharp" tones from my speakers which I managed to do.

Tonight I turned it up a bit and thought that sounds absolutely sh1te, I thought it was my EQ adjustment which was minimal, switched it to no EQ and the distortion disappeared.

This may be a product in time, but it's asbolutely not at the moment.
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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Hate to say it, whilst I as impressed initially I'm now thinking this falls into the cheap toy catagory.

I'd heard reports of distorion with EQ, I've been playing with it for days at really low volumes trying to get rid of some "sharp" tones from my speakers which I managed to do.

Tonight I turned it up a bit and thought that sounds absolutely sh1te, I thought it was my EQ adjustment which was minimal, switched it to no EQ and the distortion disappeared.

This may be a product in time, but it's asbolutely not at the moment.
Have a search on the ASR forums, there's a lot of discussion about its limitations and how to overcome them.

I think I'm going to wait fir the Pro, or more likely the NAD when it's launched.
 

manicm

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May 1, 2008
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Hate to say it, whilst I as impressed initially I'm now thinking this falls into the cheap toy catagory.

I'd heard reports of distorion with EQ, I've been playing with it for days at really low volumes trying to get rid of some "sharp" tones from my speakers which I managed to do.

Tonight I turned it up a bit and thought that sounds absolutely sh1te, I thought it was my EQ adjustment which was minimal, switched it to no EQ and the distortion disappeared.

This may be a product in time, but it's asbolutely not at the moment.
I have the EQ off. If you have EQ elsewhere in your system I don't see why you'd want to use it on the Wiim anyway?

I was not expecting the world. But still very impressed. For me it does what it says on the tin, and for Spotify or Tidal it does exactly what I want and very well. This morning I switched on the equipment on the plug, fired up Tidal, and it just played.
 
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manicm

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May 1, 2008
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Have a search on the ASR forums, there's a lot of discussion about its limitations and how to overcome them.

I think I'm going to wait fir the Pro, or more likely the NAD when it's launched.
From what I glean the Pro is just not worth it. It has coaxial output which is about the only worthwhile feature. The internal DAC is still weak. So why pay more for a bigger, more unattractive device?

You're probably better off with a Bluesound or something more substantial like the NAD - they make a point of its internal DAC.

The Wiim Mini also has better support for Amazon, and will output 24/192. So it's an excellent convenience device to add plug and play streaming.
 
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manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
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Hate to say it, whilst I as impressed initially I'm now thinking this falls into the cheap toy catagory.

I'd heard reports of distorion with EQ, I've been playing with it for days at really low volumes trying to get rid of some "sharp" tones from my speakers which I managed to do.

Tonight I turned it up a bit and thought that sounds absolutely sh1te, I thought it was my EQ adjustment which was minimal, switched it to no EQ and the distortion disappeared.

This may be a product in time, but it's asbolutely not at the moment.
I noticed the fixed output level from optical is quite high.
 

manicm

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May 1, 2008
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Can optical output level vary from streamer to streamer? I'm really curious about this, because it would mean messing with digital signals, right?
Not sure. But I've also noticed that at 16/44 the high frequencies are slightly rolled off than when setting the Wiim to 24/192. Playing Tidal at 16/44.

The caveat to setting at 24/192 is the sound becomes a bit tiring. This of course may improve if I'd actually stream at hires. But I'm don't even know the specs of my soundbar DAC.
 

newworld

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Feb 24, 2015
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Not sure. But I've also noticed that at 16/44 the high frequencies are slightly rolled off than when setting the Wiim to 24/192. Playing Tidal at 16/44.

The caveat to setting at 24/192 is the sound becomes a bit tiring. This of course may improve if I'd actually stream at hires. But I'm don't even know the specs of my soundbar DAC.
I thought those options just set the parameter for the highest input rate accepted by the DAC. Digital sources have become increasingly hard to nail down in one's system. So many options!
 

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