WiiM Pro Plus review: affordable audio elegance

WiiM's budget streaming DAC, the Pro Plus, is a great way to get into the world of wireless music streaming

T3 Platinum Award
WiiM Pro Plus review
(Image credit: Future)
T3 Verdict

If you’re ready to make a foray into the world of wireless music streaming, it’s hard to know how you could do any better than start right here with the WiiM Pro Plus.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Articulate, properly structured sound

  • +

    Impressive control app

  • +

    Discreet and usable

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not the heftiest sound you ever heard

  • -

    In no way luxurious

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What oh what can you do if you own an audio system of a certain vintage but fancy a bit of music streaming too? How are you supposed to build a wireless multiroom audio system without breaking the bank? Well, you could do a lot worse than investigate the Pro Plus by WiiM, which has its eyes clearly set on the best streaming DAC prize. 

WiiM is the (rather clunky) brand name adopted by Linkplay for a range of home audio streaming products. The Pro Plus (not the caffeine-fuelled pills) is the generously specified top of the current range, and it’s here to bring your legacy audio system into the 21st century and/or form part of a wireless multiroom streaming system. It’s not the only product around that can do this, of course - but it’s one of the most aggressively priced.

WiiM Pro Plus: Price & Availability

The WiiM Pro Plus is on sale now, and in the United Kingdom it sells for £219. It’s an even more enticing $219 in the United States, while in Australia it goes for AU$339. 

When you consider how much more affordable this is than even the most budget-conscious streaming DACs that T3 has tested in recent years, it’s obvious that WiiM might be onto something. Mind you, it’s equally obvious that the Pro Plus might be a false economy. So which is it?

WiiM Pro Plus review: What's new?

WiiM Pro Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

WiiM has obviously had to make concessions to keep the cost of the Pro Plus down to this sort of level - but they’re almost entirely dealt with in the ‘design and usability’ section of this review further down the page. Where features and functionality are concerned, there seems to have been very little scrimping.

The rear of the Pro Plus' chassis lets you know this is a serious device. Along with a USB-C socket for power, you’ll find an Ethernet socket, digital optical in and out, a digital coaxial output, and stereo RCA line-level ins and outs. There is a pair of slim RCA connections in the packaging, which is just as well - the analogue sockets are very close together and in a little recess, which means bigger-barrelled connections are a non-starter. 

The wireless stuff is taken care of by dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.1 with SBC and AAC codec compatibility. Chromecast is built-in, and Apple AirPlay 2 is available too. 

Under the bonnet, the Pro Plus uses an AKM 4493SEQ digital-to-analogue converter chip that has, frankly, nothing to prove. It can deal with every worthwhile digital audio file type, and is good up to 32bit/784kHz and DSD512 resolution. It’s a hugely capable arrangement, to the point that even customers with a half-decent DAC in their system already are invited to compare and contrast it with the decoding the Pro Plus is capable o performing.  

Analogue-to-digital conversion, meanwhile, is taken care of by a Burr Brown PCM1861 chipset - and this means you can connect an analogue source to your Pro Plus and then wirelessly stream it to other WiiM units you may have elsewhere in the home. Multiroom audio doesn’t get any easier (and rarely gets more affordable).

WiiM Pro Plus review: Performance

WiiM Pro Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

Despite its modest price, the Pro Plus is specified to take advantage of some of the most information-rich, highest-resolution digital audio files around. And if you put in a big 24bit/192kHz FLAC file, for example, what you get out is performance that belies the WiiM’s modest price. It doesn’t matter the sort of music you like, or from where it’s sourced - every time, the Pro Plus is an organised, detailed and quite eloquent listen, with only a relative lack of dynamic potency and low-frequency presence separating it from streamers costing twice as much and more.

Given the right stuff to work with, the WiiM sets up a big, properly defined soundstage and gives even complex recordings enough room to stretch out and express themselves. Detail levels are high, especially (or, at least, most noticeably) in the mid-range - and thanks to the generous size of the soundstage, a vocalist has plenty of room in which to operate. Despite this, though, the Pro Plus serves up music with good integration and a proper sensation of ‘performance’.

Above there, there’s authentic bite and substance to the top of the frequency range, supplemented by plenty of detail and attack. The bottom end is taut and controlled, and what the WiiM lacks in out-and-out wallop it makes up for where rhythmic expression and positivity is concerned.

Overall tonality is just slightly on the ‘blue’ side - there’s not an awful lot of heat to the way the Pro Plus presents music. The frequency range is well integrated, though, and there’s a genuine sensation of space in those recordings that are quieter or sparer than the usual. Silences and spaces get proper attention, and low-level dynamic variations are paid close attention. 

The Pro Plus doesn’t breathe deeply enough to give full expression to big dynamic shifts in volume or intensity - but equally, it doesn’t just find a specific level of animation and stick with it. Other (inevitably more expensive) streaming DACs give a fuller account of the light and shade apparent in some recordings, it’s true - but this is far from a fatal flaw as far as the WiiM is concerned. 

And when it comes to operating as a multiroom streamer (which requires other WiiM devices, don’t forget), the Pro Plus gives every impression of getting fully out of the way of your analogue sources. With a turntable plugged in and the music streamed to another room before being made audible, the overall sonic signature remains consistent. Of course, this process means the signal from the record player is converted from analogue to digital, streamed and then converted back again, and there’s an undeniable impact on detail levels and soundstaging - but it’s remarkably mild. If you want to hear your vinyl all over your home without buying more than one record player, this is a great option.  

WiiM Pro Plus review: Design & Usability

WiiM Pro Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

‘Design’ isn’t really something that’s happened here. Your money buys the most anonymous little black box (a titchy 42 x 140 x 140mm) that’s built from the sort of grade of plastic you’re familiar with from your debit card. Consequently it’s light (just 400g), and has kit-rack presence of approximately nil. It doesn’t look in any way special, and it doesn’t feel it either. And the same is true of the remote control handset that arrives in the same box.

The remote control is reasonably useful, though, covering all the obvious playback controls and incorporating a mic button for use with Amazon Alexa voice control. And it’s supplemented by some capacitive touch-controls on the fascia of the Pro Plus that handle play/pause, set-up, volume up/down, Bluetooth pairing and assign preset (there are a dozen preset slots available).

Your best bet where control is concerned, though, is the WiiM Home control app that’s free for iOS and Android. It’s clean in appearance, logical in navigation, stable in operation, and has plenty of scope for both control and for integrating your favourite music streaming services (Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect, Qobuz, Deezer, Amazon Music and Pandora are just of the available options). When you consider that plenty of larger, better-resourced companies than WiiM manage to make a complete pig’s ear of this sort of thing, WiiM Home is a modest triumph.  

WiiM Pro Plus review: Verdict

WiiM Pro Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

If you’re ready to make a foray into the world of wireless music streaming, it’s hard to know how you could do any better than start right here with the WiiM Pro Plus. 

As an affordable introduction to the world of music streaming, the WiiM Pro Plus makes a huge amount of sense. Its sound is balanced, its specification is extensive, and its control app is very decent indeed. What more could you want at this price point? 

Also consider

The Sonos Port is of a certain vintage, sure, and despite the fact that it’s one of the more affordable streaming DACs around it’s still getting on for twice the price of the WiiM Pro Plus. But if you’re already in the Sonos ecosystem, it makes an awful lot of sense. Or, at least, it did until the WiiM came along… 

Simon Lucas

Simon Lucas is a freelance technology journalist and consultant, with particular emphasis on the audio/video aspects of home entertainment. Before embracing the carefree life of the freelancer, he was editor of What Hi-Fi? magazine and website – since then, he's written for titles such as Wired, Metro, the Guardian and Stuff, among many others. Should he find himself with a spare moment, Simon likes nothing more than publishing and then quickly deleting tweets about the state of the nation (in general), the state of Aston Villa (in particular) and the state of his partner's cat.