Volumio’s hi-res audio streamer and amp is beautifully odd

Volumio's high-end, hi-res audio streamer is finally available to order

Volumio Motivo media streamer
(Image credit: Volumio)

The best streaming DACs and media streamers do tend to look pretty similar: it's a sector where boxiness tends to be the order of the day as manufacturers focus on the digital delights inside. But the new DAC, streamer and amp from Florence-based Volumio, the Motivo, looks very different. Am I going to make it through this article without making a joke about Florence and the Machine? I wouldn’t bet on it.

Volumio is best known for music streamers such as its Integro and Rivo, which have received good reviews and which are designed to integrate with existing DACs. This new device has its own DAC, and promises to be a simpler and more elegant solution. 

It's taken a while for the Motivo to reach the market; it was first announced back in 2019 and prototypes were shown off at the Munich High End show that year with an anticipated production date of late 2019. It's taken a bit longer than that to arrive, but the shipping product looks pretty much identical to the prototype and comes with an impressive set of specs.

Florence and this machine

The Florentine firm's streamer has an eight-inch touchscreen and a comparatively enormous red control knob above it, and it's certainly very different looking from other streaming kit. But inside things are more familiar, with a SABRE ES9038 DAC for hi-res audio up to PCM 384 kHz and dual outputs for both analogue XLR balanced and unbalanced RCA. 

There are also outputs for coax and optical digital up to PCM 192kHz, I2S over HDMI Digital up to PCM 384kHz and DSD256, and USB audio output up to PCM 768kHz.

The Motivo comes ready to go with Spotify, Tidal, Tidal Connect, Qobuz, Roon Ready, YouTube, Bandcamp, Pandora and Fusion DSP via Volumio's own app, and it can cast to both Sonos and Google Cast devices as well as over Bluetooth 5.0. Supported formats include SD, WAV, FLAC, ALAC and MP3, and it works with web radio too.

The Volumio Motivo is available to order now for £1,499 / $1,849 / €1,749.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).