Hiding in plain sight in a corner of Henley Audio’s suite at the recent Ascot Show was the new WiiM Amp. Combining a WiiM streamer with Class D amplifier, it looked very promising indeed. Particularly at it’s then unofficial price of £300.
Well it has now been formally launched. The price is confirmed at £300 / $299 / €349. And it’s available this month, in the UK at least.
Power is quoted as 60 wpc into 8 Ohms (doubling into 4 Ohms), enough to have a good stab at driving most speakers it’s likely to be paired with. There’s a subwoofer output, handy when used in conjunction with the HDMI ARC input in a simple home cinema system. Or use it in a 2.1 music system. In both cases you can specify the crossover point, between 30 and 200 Hz, which eases subwoofer setup and integration.
Analogue (RCA) and digital (optical) inputs add to the flexibility, as does the USB-A input for connecting external disc drives. The rear panel is completed by a power input and four robust-looking speaker terminals.
Bluetooth 5.1 can be received or transmitted, the latter enabling wireless headphones or Bluetooth speakers to be used. Very handy. There’s also Airplay 2 and Chromecast, as well as both Spotify Connect and Tidal Connect. DLNA allows music stored on your network to be played. And finally the WiiM Amp works with Alexa; just connect a suitable Echo device. Notable by its absence is any mention of Roon capability; I’ll report back when I find out if this is in the works. I’d expect it to be. If so, what a cracking Roon endpoint the WiiM Amp could make.
Unlike the Pro and Pro Plus the WiiM Amp uses a ‘high quality’ ESS DAC chip. Which is as yet unspecified, let’s see if I can prise the detail out of Henley!
It does imply the WiiM Amp is a discrete model though, not just a Pro/Pro Plus with amplifier tacked on. Something confirmed by the lack of outputs – the Pro/Pro Plus have digital and analogue outputs, the Amp has neither. Meaning the device is intended as a standalone all-in-one unit.
Use scenarios for the WiiM Amp? Just add passive speakers for a complete main system. Its size – bigger than a Pro/Pro Plus but still small – makes it an ideal second system. It’s a slam dunk for student / bedroom systems. Or connect a turntable (with phono stage) or CD player for even more flexibility.
Everything is based on Linkplay software, which continues to impress (I’m using it for the WiiM Pro Plus review that will be published next week). On finishes I’d opt for the Silver version. Space Grey is also available.
If, and it is an if, the WiiM Amp cuts the mustard sonically then this could be a killer solution at a very attractive price. I look forward to getting one home and reporting back soon.
More information can be found here.