Audio upgrade

Toe-dipping into the audiophile's world

After a few months of saving, and regular check-ins with John Darko videos, I pulled the plug on my wishlist on Crutchfield and upgraded my audio setup.

The difference is truly night & day.

The amp

As I'm short on power outlets, even with an extension cord, I wanted something that could power a set of passive speakers. That's why I went for the WiiM Amp.

uboxing the amp
Unboxing the WiiM amp

Looking at a few reviews this seemed to be at a reasonable price point and fit in nicely with my current music setup. It's Roon Ready so I know it'll stream from my Roon endpoint. Has a slew of connectivity built-in for streaming services, as well as AirPlay, Chromecast, WiFi, and Bluetooth.

It comes with a dedicated sub-woofer connection, if I want to expand to that later. As well as an ethernet port for connecting straight into the network and an optical port.

I've currently connected my TV via the optical port, but I'm looking forward to trying my MiniDisc player hooked up to that—Releasing some of those old tunes.

Setting it up was a breeze using their app. Powered on. Quick firmware update. And I was ready.

Speakers and stands

Though I had my eye on a pair of Kef LSX II speakers, they would need extra power sockets. So I went with a pair of passive Kef Q150 speakers.

uboxing speakers
Unboxing the Kef Q150 speakers

For the stands I chose the 24" Pangea Audio LS300 ones. They came with carpet spikes and could be filled with sand/shot for more weight if needed.

I know I've mentioned (and linked) to Crutchfield a lot. None of it's sponsored, but the customer service was really good. After adding everything, including cables, to the cart I could share it with a live agent and have a chat. This was so useful as they answered all the noob questions I had. Is the amp powerful enough to drive the speakers? Will the speakers fit on those stands?

Also everything arrived in a few days, with extra sturdy packaging.

But how good does it really sound?

Bloody awesome! That's how good.

While having the smaller Apple HomePod mini's let me listen "out loud" their range Having this new setup feels like I've taken cotton wool out of my ears.

I went through some of my favourites; Talk Talk, Brian Eno, Underworld, Orbital, Courtney Pine, Bill Laswell. Everything from Jazz, Dub, through Dance, and Ambient.

All the audiophile tropes could be applied. Bass deeper, trebles brighter, vocals cleaner.

I'm really looking forward to digging back through my collection and "hearing" them again.