WiiM Ultra in development

MikeyFresh

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WiiM/Linkplay's CEO confirmed development of the WiiM Ultra is underway, with availability expected during Q2 2024. No pricing as yet, so far the only features WiiM have announced are an LCD display, aluminum enclosure, and USB output.
 
Interesting. I've been curious about the Eversolo streamer but so happy with the Wiim streamers connected to my DACs that I haven't seriously pursued that route. If I could stay in the Wiim-verse while getting a slightly more "upscale" option going, at least for my main rig, that would be great.
 
I've been using a new Wiim Pro Plus with a temporary mini system in my city apartment when I'm in NYC for work ...as opposed to my main system in my house.
It's the Wiim streamer going directly in to a Vista Audio Spark 20wpc chip amp feeding a pair of Fritz mini monitors.
This is little system sounds surprisingly crazy good. Not the most dynamic thing in the history of hifi but pretty great for it's use case.
I would like to find a small and budget appropriate dac to use instead of the internal dac on the Wiim. Though it's good. Any suggestions?
The Wiim interface is pretty great too...I also have been controlling it with the JPLAY app. I would consider an upgraded Wiim Ultra in the future.
frtz.jpg
 
I imagine the aluminum enclosure for the Ultra will be the same as the one used in the soon to be released WiiM Amp. I'm also guessing the LCD will be a touch display, otherwise why bother?

I'll be curious to see what other outputs are included. I'm thinking HDMI eARC would be mainstream popular, while I²S would have appeal only with the audio enthusiast crowd, and exactly no one else. Ditto AES/EBU.
 
I would actually like AES/EBU but I'm probably the only one. My old Berkeley Alpha prefers that, though I'm currently running it with a coax to BNC adaptor cable and its good.
 
I've been using a new Wiim Pro Plus with a temporary mini system in my city apartment when I'm in NYC for work ...as opposed to my main system in my house.
It's the Wiim streamer going directly in to a Vista Audio Spark 20wpc chip amp feeding a pair of Fritz mini monitors.
This is little system sounds surprisingly crazy good. Not the most dynamic thing in the history of hifi but pretty great for it's use case.
I would like to find a small and budget appropriate dac to use instead of the internal dac on the Wiim. Though it's good. Any suggestions?
The Wiim interface is pretty great too...I also have been controlling it with the JPLAY app. I would consider an upgraded Wiim Ultra in the future.
View attachment 69262
Lots of discussion, including budget appropriate DACs here Giant Killer Doorway DAC?

I myself am considering a Topping E30 II
 
I own both the Eversolo DMP-A6 and the WiiM Pro Plus. If you are using the internal DAC then the Eversolo wins hands down. If you like the touchscreen, cool meters, on/off switch, Balanced outputs and HDMI hook up, etc. the Eversolo wins hands down. However, if you have a great external DAC then it could be argued that the Wiim Pro Plus is the better bargain. I like the remote as well on the WiiM.

To my ears the Eversolo/Chord Qutest combo doesn't sound any better than the Wiim/Chord Qutest combination. The Wiim/Chord Qutest sounds better than the stand alone Eversolo. Of course, I don't have the master edition, so I have no opinion on whether it beats Wiim with a good DAC.

I almost always control both of my streamers with my iPhone. Both are user friendly.

Sadly, I've yet to find a cheap DAC that sounds as good as an expensive one.
Sadly, I have to agree with you.
 
WiiM have updated the planned features for their forthcoming (2Q24) WiiM Ultra model:

- USB media server input
- Phono input
- USB output
- Subwoofer output
- HDMI ARC input
- Wi-Fi 6/Bluetooth Low Energy
- A display
- Integrated power supply


Interesting they still haven't clarified whether or not the display will be a touchscreen or not, and whether or not the Phono input will have a software feature that defeats the RIAA EQ allowing it to be used as a standard line level analog input instead of Phono.

Also a bit strange that WiiM are saying in order to both connect to a USB DAC, and to a USB storage hard drive for the media server function, you'll need to bring your own USB hub. That I don't like, the unit should just have two USB ports on it instead. Connecting your own USB hub passes the buck in providing adequate USB bus power to the hard drive, at an additional cost, and adds another device/connecting wire to deal with.
 
WiiM have updated the planned features for their forthcoming (2Q24) WiiM Ultra model:

- USB media server input
- Phono input
- USB output
- Subwoofer output
- HDMI ARC input
- Wi-Fi 6/Bluetooth Low Energy
- A display
- Integrated power supply


Interesting they still haven't clarified whether or not the display will be a touchscreen or not, and whether or not the Phono input will have a software feature that defeats the RIAA EQ allowing it to be used as a standard line level analog input instead of Phono.

Also a bit strange that WiiM are saying in order to both connect to a USB DAC, and to a USB storage hard drive for the media server function, you'll need to bring your own USB hub. That I don't like, the unit should just have two USB ports on it instead. Connecting your own USB hub passes the buck in providing adequate USB bus power to the hard drive, at an additional cost, and adds another device/connecting wire to deal with.
That feature set is wild-ass.

The WiiM Pro (or Pro Plus) is clunky as a DAC/pre. You can use it that way, for sure, but… meh.

Looks like the Ultra makes serious strides in that direction.
 
More details trickling out on this forthcoming unit, now said to closely resemble the WiiM Amp (likely the same enclosure) and the display will be a touch screen allowing access to about 80% of the WiiM Home app's functionality directly from the device's front panel.

Still no target price or prototype pictures, also no change to the planned 2Q24 release date.

 
Be nice if they had an HDMI input.

It might actually be an input, there have been conflicting descriptions so far of the HDMI port, and no real official finalization of the product specs by WiiM just yet, so I'd say stay tuned and they should be finalizing much of this pretty soon, if a late 2Q product release is still the schedule.

I'm not much of a video system type of guy, I'm curious what would be the use case for an HDMI input? I can envision an output for the purpose of passing sound directly to a TV soundbar, but I'm not sure what an HDMI input might be used with.
 
It might actually be an input, there have been conflicting descriptions so far of the HDMI port, and no real official finalization of the product specs by WiiM just yet, so I'd say stay tuned and they should be finalizing much of this pretty soon, if a late 2Q product release is still the schedule.

I'm not much of a video system type of guy, I'm curious what would be the use case for an HDMI input? I can envision an output for the purpose of passing sound directly to a TV soundbar, but I'm not sure what an HDMI input might be used with.
I’m guessing nothing more than using the WiiM as your one remote switching device if you want to use it for TV sound. I have my soundbar hooked up to optical which means when it comes time to use it for a movie on blue ray I end up using 3 remotes. The TV remote to switch the input of the TV to the HDMI port the blue ray is connected to. Then the blue ray remote to start the movie. And finally the soundbar remote for volume.
I had the sound bar hooked up by HDMI originally to use it as the single remote switching device but my wife didn’t like it. Said it was too confusing. The 3 remote system is much simpler :rolleyes:
 
The problem with HDMI is it comes with a licensing fee. Or did. That’s what kept a lot of the small players out of it.
 
I’m guessing nothing more than using the WiiM as your one remote switching device if you want to use it for TV sound. I have my soundbar hooked up to optical which means when it comes time to use it for a movie on blue ray I end up using 3 remotes. The TV remote to switch the input of the TV to the HDMI port the blue ray is connected to. Then the blue ray remote to start the movie. And finally the soundbar remote for volume.
I had the sound bar hooked up by HDMI originally to use it as the single remote switching device but my wife didn’t like it. Said it was too confusing. The 3 remote system is much simpler :rolleyes:

That makes sense and since it has been described as HDMI ARC, the ability to consolidate IR remotes aspect seems likely.
 
The problem with HDMI is it comes with a licensing fee. Or did. That’s what kept a lot of the small players out of it.

I believe that is still the case, as well as an implementation complexity that is beyond some smaller "boutique" audio manufacturer's' core competency, many need design engineering hired guns for that sort of thing.
 
What makes HDMI so challenging?

Simply that it wasn't the same old SPDIF that many of the smaller audio companies had gained a grasp of, but at one time was probably equally perplexing until they studied that standard and went through a few product design cycles.

I'd guess that full access to all of the HDMI specification was only available if you'd paid for the license that John alluded to, and lacking that expenditure/upfront investment meant you'd stay in the dark about it or have to hire a 3rd party that did possess the knowledge necessary to proceed with a prototype design incorporating HDMI.

One big difference is HDMI is a 2-way communication protocol, as opposed to SPDIF signals only traveling in one direction, with no "handshake" at all.

Another major difference in complexity is the interface pinout, HDMI has 19 different pins:

HDMI pinout (1).jpeg

There is the potential for quite a bit more going on there, though not every feature requires all of the pins, but something like HDMI ARC is an example of a two-way communication between devices that involves more circuitry and logic than earlier digital interfaces such as SPDIF, which only had good ol' +/- and GND to contend with.

Still other mandatory complexities with HDMI not present on earlier digital interfaces are related to digital rights management and copy protection, a very robust scheme called High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), encryption/decryption, the whole 9 yards in terms of circuitry/chips and interoperability concerns. When designing products with HDMI, you can't opt-out of any of that.
 
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