WiiM Pro Plus Takes on Sonos Port for Half the Price
The $219 music streamer offers upgraded analog converters and can be used to listen to a turntable anywhere in the house.
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
ExpertiseTy has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast.Credentials
Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
The Chromecast Audio was one of the most truly useful gadgets of its time -- a dedicated music streamer for under $50 that could also be controlled with your voice. Though you can still purchase the Chromecast Audio, it has been discontinued so long that there are now preschoolers who never saw it in production. I spent all of those years trying to find a suitable replacement, including some kludgy hacks to the Xiaomi Mi Box S, but in the WiiM Pro I finally found what I wanted. While the Pro costs more at $149 than the Chromecast ever did, the WiiM Pro can also do more -- much more. It's a lot like the Sonos Port -- a music streamer that can also distribute an analog source -- but with full hi-res support and at one-third of the price. It's worth noting that is not compatible with Sonos, as it's part of the WiiM Home system.
Though it doesn't actually replace the Pro, the brand new WiiM Pro Plus picks up where the Pro leaves off, mainly by improving the "simply OK" parts. The WiiM Pro did a lot of things right, but a weak point was its analog input, which had an AM-radio frequency response. The Plus potentially fixes this by adding a TI Burr-Brown Audio PCM1861 ADC to convert an analog signal and squirt it out to other WiiM devices (only, and not Airplay or Sonos ones, sadly). While I didn't have a problem with the sound of the analog output of the WiiM, the Plus adds an even better DAC (AKM 4493SEQ) and upgraded operational amp. It also does DSD, which should please some audiophiles.
Otherwise, the Plus offers everything that the Pro did including Wi-Fi, Ethernet, digital optical and digital coax. The streamer also offers an absolutely comprehensive number of streaming standards. including AirPlay 2, Alexa Casting, Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect, Qobuz, Deezer, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and Chromecast built-in. While the Pro is Roon Ready, the company says that certification is coming soon for the updated version.
The WiiM Pro Plus features a comprehensive control app for iOS and Android, but it also ships with a voice-capable remote.
Though most people will be very happy with the performance of the WiiM Pro, the new unit be worth the upgrade for some others. Specifically, If you're looking to stream a turntable to other rooms, the WiiM Pro Plus looks to be your best option -- and it's still half the price of the Port.
The WiiM Pro plus is available from today for $219.