- As expected, Linkplay Technology Inc. now presents the new WiiM Amp and with it a new so-called Just add Speakers Device.
Admittedly, this is not the biggest surprise, as it has long been suspected that Linkplay Technology Inc. will continue to push ahead with its commitment to flexible, affordable streaming devices with high quality standards and launch further products on the market in addition to the WiiM brand solutions already available.
In mid-September, sempre-audio.at was able to announce that Linkplay Technology Inc. is even developing a WiiM Professional CI Series and is also working on a so-called Just add Speakers Device, the WiiM Amp.
WiiM Amp – Versatile streaming amplifier
As with the WiiM brand systems available to date, the new WiiM Amp should also be able to impress with its flexibility, in this case not only in terms of pure streaming like the WiiM Mini, WiiM Pro and WiiM Pro Plus systems, but also as a stereo integrated amplifier in a particularly compact form.
“We are committed to developing products that enhance the music streaming experience and the WiiM Amp is the first step in our expanded product range. Thanks to valuable user feedback and our team’s commitment to superior audio quality, WiiM Amp delivers audiophile sound and a seamless experience for music lovers, opening up a world of musical possibilities.”Dr Lifeng Zhao, CEO of WiiM
TV or phono preamp – from HDMI to AUX In
The new WiiM Amp presents itself in a very elegant form, focussing on a compact design so that it can easily find its place anywhere. The front is adorned with a rotary encoder, which also functions as a button, and a status LED – that’s all it needs. The rear offers all the connections, with the most notable being an HDMI port that can be used to connect a TV set, as it guarantees an ARC (Audio Return Channel) and HDMI CEC for signal transmission and centralised control with just one cable. There is also an optical S/PDIF interface as an input for digital signals and a pair of RCA sockets as an input for analogue signals. There is also a USB port for corresponding storage media. The speaker systems are connected via solid screw terminals and if you want to bring a subwoofer into play, there is a corresponding Sub Out in the form of an RCA connection.
It should also be mentioned that the power is supplied via an integrated power supply unit, so the corresponding connection is also located at the rear of the WiiM Amp.
There is also an RJ45 Ethernet interface, because a streaming amplifier must of course be integrated into the network, whereby this is done via cable, but also via the integrated WiFi module according to IEEE 802.11ac.
Flexible streaming in hi-res audio
The new WiiM Amp naturally utilises the same streaming platform as most of its siblings, proving to be extremely flexible. First and foremost, the only industry standard UPnP is available, making the WiiM Amp a dlna-certified UPnP streaming client. Apple AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast, Spotify Connect, TIDAL Connect and countless other streaming services are also available via the WiiM Home app. Integration into the smart home is also possible, as the WiiM Amp supports voice control via Apple Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
It should also be emphasised that the WiiM Amp will soon be designated as Roon Ready; certification is expected shortly, according to the manufacturer’s promise, which explicitly points out that new options will gradually be made available in the form of updates, even talking about automatic OTA updates, i.e. over-the-air updates.
Did we mention that the new WiiM Amp also supports Bluetooth? Via Bluetooth 5.0 with BLE, it will function as an A2DP receiver and transmitter, support AVRC and HID, and can therefore also be used with the WiiM Voice Remote. It should be explicitly stated that not only smartphones and tablets can be used as a source, but also the integration of corresponding headphones is possible.
Signal processing with up to 24 bit and 192 kHz
At the heart of the signal processing in the new WiiM Amp is a D/A converter from ESS Technology Inc., namely an ESS Sabre Premium DAC with 32-bit HyperStream DAC architecture, which processes audio signals at up to 24 bits and 192 kHz.
DSP algorithms are available to adapt the sound to your own preferences, above all various equalisers, specifically a 10-band graphic equaliser plus a 4-band parametric equaliser.
Amplification is provided by a Class D amplifier module, namely a TI 3255 amplifier chip from Texas Instruments. This provides two 60 watts into 8 ohms and two 120 watts into 4 ohms, as the data sheet reveals.
Prices and availability
The new WiiM Amp will be available in either Space Grey or Silver, with the manufacturer quoting a price of US$ 299,-.
Getting to the point
It was clear that Linkplay Technology Inc. would gradually expand the WiiM brand solutions to include a so-called Just Add Speakers Device, and this is now available in the form of the new WiiM Amp. The WiiM Amp combines the flexible streaming options already familiar from the previously available systems – WiiM Mini, WiiM Pro and WiiM Pro Plus – with a powerful Class D amplifier.
|LINKPLAY TECHNOLOGY INC.
|Linkplay Technology Inc.
|Audio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH
|More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG