The WiiM Mini and Pro are the perfect alternative to the Chromecast Audio
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The WiiM Mini and WiiM Pro are two new and affordable products that are the perfect alternative to the discontinued, but loved, Chromecast Audio. These multi-room audio streamers are designed to bring high-quality sound and versatility to your living space, making them an ideal choice for anyone looking to upgrade their audio experience.
Both the WiiM Mini and Pro are true alternatives, or perhaps even spiritual successors, to the Chromecast Audio. They don't have built-in speakers, but are designed to be attached to whatever you already have. Instead of using Bluetooth for a direct connection to a smartphone, they connect to your wired or wireless network, just like the Chromecast Audio did. Despite all the talk of Chromecast Audio, WiiM's devices aren't just aimed at Android users, but they also integrate nicely with both the Amazon and Apple ecosystems, as well as allowing local and high-res streaming.
Unfortunately, if you want a true successor to the Chromecast Audio, you will have to opt for the slightly more expensive WiiM Pro. While the WiiM Mini does support Spotify Connect, TIDAL Connect, AirPlay 2, DLNA, and more, it doesn't support the Chromecast Audio service. Due to hardware limitations, Chromecast Audio will never be supported on the WiiM Mini. Only the WiiM Pro can be grouped with Nest smart speakers and displays and integrated with the Google Assistant.
The WiiM Pro boasts the same capabilities as the WiiM Mini. It can be grouped with Amazon Echo smart speakers and displays as well as Apple's HomePods, offering compatibility with Siri and Alexa. The device can stream gapless audio with high-fidelity up to 24-bit / 192 kHz. It features an auxiliary and optical output and an auxiliary input, giving you the freedom to choose your preferred speakers.
The WiiM Pro boasts unique features that set it apart from the WiiM Mini, including seamless integration with Google Chromecast Audio and the ability to be part of an Alexa multi-room setup with UHD. To ensure a seamless experience, the WiiM Pro also has an Ethernet jack, eliminating the need for a Wi-Fi connection and preserving your wireless bandwidth. The Pro model not only supports Ethernet, but also offers RCA and optical line inputs. Its outputs include an RCA replacing the auxiliary, as well as a coaxial option. In terms of hardware, both devices feature a built-in Texas Instruments PCM5121 DAC, but the WiiM Pro boasts a more powerful SoC, increased RAM, and ample flash storage.
Self-callibrating multi-room audio
The WiiM Home app elevates the overall experience with its functionality. With its ability to group multiple WiiM devices for synchronized play, and automatic speaker timing sync through a built-in microphone, you can effortlessly customize your listening experience. If you want more precise control, the app offers options for manual tweaking, including support for a graphic EQ. And for even greater sound customization, WiiM has plans to add a parametric EQ in the future. Though, do keep in mind that you should never buy a product based on promises.
The WiiM Mini and Pro are not only capable of streaming from web services, but thanks to their support of DLNA, local playback is also possible. This allows you to stream any audio file, be it in the MP3 or FLAC format, to anywhere in your home. This is great news for those using open-source variants of the Logitech Media Server (LMS).
LMS is a free, open-source software that enables you to stream music from your computer or server to other devices on your home network. It is often used with the discontinued yet popular Logitech Squeezebox players, but can also work with a wide range of other devices, including Sonos speakers, various network-attached storage devices, and mobile devices. LMS allows you to manage and organize your media files and stream them to compatible devices on your network. It also provides a web interface for remote control and access to your media files.
If you are using AirPlay 2, the WiiM Mini and Pro should also work as Roon endpoints. An upcoming firmware update for the WiiM Pro will officially make the device Roon Ready. A separate firmware for the WiiM Mini is in active development, which will strip out some existing functions to make space on the limited storage for the Roon integration.
Linkplay Technology, who makes the WiiM audio streamers, has shown itself to involved and very active when it comes to improving their line-up. Online, you will find roadmaps for both the WiiM Mini and WiiM Pro. Since their launch, both devices have received several firmware updates featuring not just bug-fixes but also additional functionality.
The WiiM Mini is a top choice for anyone seeking to elevate their audio experience. Its multi-streaming service compatibility, ability to stream in multiple rooms, exceptional sound quality, and sleek design set it apart in the market. Upgrade your home entertainment system today with the WiiM Mini. If you need the added benefit of Chromecast Audio, the WiiM Pro is an upgraded option that also includes a wired network connection and other useful features.
About Liam Alexander Colman
Liam Alexander Colman is an experienced Home Assistant user who has been utilizing the platform for a variety of projects over an extended period. His journey began with a Raspberry Pi, which quickly grew to three Raspberry Pis and eventually a full-fledged server. Liam's current operating system of choice is Unraid, with Home Assistant comfortably running in a Docker container.With a deep understanding of the intricacies of Home Assistant, Liam has an impressive setup, consisting of various Zigbee devices, and seamless integrations with existing products such as his Android TV box. For those interested in learning more about Liam's experience with Home Assistant, he shares his insights on how he first started using the platform and his subsequent journey.