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Low Budget Home Audio System

Many of you are familiar with Sonos and assume that a Sonos Amp plus a pair of speakers is likely your best bet for a starter kit for your home audio and surround sound system. While we love Sonos, an amp and a pair of in-ceiling speakers will run you at about $1,500 to install. It can get pricey quickly.

So, what is currently the best low budget home theater audio system we recommend without sacrificing quality and functionality?

With the new WiiM Amp by LinkPlay Technologies, Inc. for $299 on Amazon plus a pair of low-budget speakers like Klipsch or Red Atom in-ceiling speakers, you can install a home entertainment system for about $600 to $700 compared to the pricier $1,500+ with Sonos products.

Check out our recent unboxing of the WiiM Amp, as well as our performance review on our YouTube channel:

WiiM Amp Features

“Small Yet Mighty” is absolutely correct! This little beauty has a strong metal housing, can hardwire to the network, includes an HDMI and subwoofer out, has really nice speaker terminals (best with banana plugs, but you can use regular speaker wire as well), and has a surprisingly nice volume control knob, which is something companies frequently overlook. You can actually feel the magnetic steps in the volume control to make sure you’re hitting the level you want. Sonos and Bluesound don’t have a volume control knob at all.

With 60 watts per channel output and high quality DACs, it performs well after testing it with our Martin Logan bookshelf speakers, in-wall speakers, in-ceiling speakers, and REL subwoofer.

For the non-audiophile - a DAC (digital-to-analog converter) is a fundamental key to unlocking the convenience of digital music and enhances the quality of audio for speakers by converting it into an analog signal for superior playback quality.

After a few minutes of setting up the product, going through firmware updates, installing the app, and syncing it to our streaming music services (we use Tidal), it all ran really well. The WiiM App is simple and easy to navigate - even for the most basic user in the house.

The WiiM bluetooth remote has seamless voice control with built-in Alexa and four customizable preset buttons for quick access to your favorite settings. With AirPlay 2 built in, it will also play nice with other AirPlay 2 capable devices. For Android users, it has Chromecast built in, so in a lot of cases, you may not even have to download the WiiM app.

For the price, this a really nice low budget solution for your home theater and surround sound system. Let us know if you want to stop by the office to have a listen.

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