At just $149 (£149 / around AU$225) the WiiM Pro is an inexpensive music streamer that packs the kind of feature set you’d expect to see on streamers priced much higher. That fact alone makes it an incredible value, but the company has just announced that the WiiM Pro has received Roon Ready certification – a feature typically found on the kind of high-end audio components with stratospheric pricing.
In our WiiM Pro review, we found it to be an excellent option for adding not just high-res streaming capability to an existing speaker system, but also for wireless multi-room streaming capability. Same as with a Sonos setup, this lets you listen to tracks from the best music streaming services on a single system, or play them across multiple systems with everything managed by an easy to use control app.
What Roon Ready certification adds to the mix is the ability to use the WiiM Pro as an endpoint for Roon’s sophisticated music management and playback software. If you’re not familiar with Roon, here’s how it’s described in WiiM’s press release announcing the update:
“Roon is a rich and engaging way to browse, organize and listen to music. Artist photos, credits, bios, reviews, lyrics, tour dates and composers are located automatically, then interconnected by links to build a surfable digital magazine. Through Roon Ready, the WiiM Pro offers a multi-room, multi-user networked audio platform featuring bit-perfect playback, DSD and PCM upsampling, multichannel support and Signal Path display.”
You can buy a Roon Ready version of the WiiM Pro now on Amazon. And if you already happen to own a WiiM Pro, you will receive a notification prompting you to upgrade to the latest version of its software to enable the feature.
Analysis: Roon Ready certification makes a great, affordable streamer even better
I’ve been using the WiiM Pro as the streamer in my speaker system for a few months now, and I’m impressed with how good it sounds for the money. I’m equally impressed that it lets me access Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora, Deezer, TuneIn radio and more directly from its control app without having to launch any of those services individually.
Roon works in similar fashion, aggregating high-res-compatible services like Tidal and Qobuz along with internet radio stations and music files stored locally on your network. And it presents everything in a visually stunning app that you can use to control playback from on your phone, tablet, or computer.
Not only that, but Roon’s extensive metadata offers up artist biographies, discographies, song credits, and much more to browse while listening. And it also has an almost frighteningly accurate discovery and recommendation engine, one that puts other streaming music apps to shame.
WiiM Pro’s characterization of it as a “surfable digital magazine” is completely spot-on – you don’t just listening to music when using Roon; you experience it as a multi-media presentation.
As a Roon user, I’m used to making do with that software’s AirPlay support to stream music to devices like the WiiM Pro and the Apple TV 4K. And while AirPlay works fine, you’re not able to take advantage of Roon’s high-res audio compatibility since Apple’s wireless streaming protocol limits resolution to a CD-level quality.
With the WiiM Pro getting upgraded to Roon Ready status, I can now stream music wirelessly in high-res format from Tidal and Qobuz via Roon, which should make an appreciable difference when listening with the best stereo speakers. In some instances you’ll pay thousands of dollars for that privilege. With the upgraded WiiM Pro, however, it will cost a mere $149.