D-Stream WR100-D as an exclusive: a Qobuzissime for the successor of the WR100 which (finally) offers the Qobuz application!
Yet another newcomer to the world of Qobuz streaming with the D-Stream WR100-D, and some of you probably already have some questions. It is indeed the new version of the NuPrime WR100 streamer, which has just evolved and whose control application now offers Qobuz in CD quality!
Let’s start with some clarifications. D-Stream, a French-Chinese company, is indeed a partner of NuPrime. The D-Stream shareware applications are developed in France, while the hardware is manufactured in the D-Stream factory in China, in its name and for NuPrime.
When we presented you with the testing ground of the NuPrime WR100 just a year ago (after the Festival Son & Image as well), the Qobuz application was intended to be included in that device. The delay was longer than expected, and we were often asked when it would be done without being able to provide an answer.
However, and we don’t want to temper the joy of the owners of a WR100 NuPrime, if the latter remains compatible with the new D-Stream Air control application for iOS and Android, the network card’s hardware isn’t compatible with Qobuz, nor is it upgradable, but the WR100 can be included in a multiroom system - a solution which, we think, won’t leave the owners of the first model indifferent.
We’re going to present you (again) with the D-Stream WR100-D in this testing ground; the text from the WR100 is reused in the hardware section, which is identical aside from the software incompatibility of the network card with Qobuz.
||About the D-Stream WR100-D Streamer|| |Type:|Streamer (network audio adapter) with the Qobuz application in CD quality| |Function:|Transforms digital audio data played on the network into audible sounds| |Conversion:|Up to 24-Bit/96 kHz| |Converter:|Wolfson WM8988L (up to 24-Bit/96 kHz)| |Digital inputs:|RJ45, Wi-Fi| |Analog inputs:|Auxiliary on 3.5mm Jack| |Audio outputs:| Stereo audio on 3.5mm Jack, optical S/PDIF (Toslink)| |Supported audio formats:|PCM, WAV, FLAC, ALAC, MP3, AAC| |Gapless:|Yes| |Dimensions (L x H x P):|130 x 30 x 80| |Weight:|5.29 oz (150 g)| |Design/Manufacturing:|China/China| |R.R.P.:|Around 150 euros| |Contact:|Next Audio|
The D-Stream WR100D streamer presents itself in the simplest possible way, in the form of a small satin black resin box, embellished with the name D-Stream in a rather discreet amber colour. A succession of small gills in the back section of the upper surface of this box helps dissipate the heat generated by the electronics.
An indicator light located at the top edge of the box will inform you about the status of the WR100-D thanks to its state (permanent or blinking) and to its colour.
The connectivity is typical of this kind of devices, with its power supply through a micro USB plug that also handles the digital audio signals compatible with the USB A inputs/outputs of the NuPrime IDA-8 and DAC-9, its RJ45 network port (doubled as a Wi-Fi port internally), an optical S/PDIF output to receive the digital audio signals streamed this way that is compatible with an external DAC, and an audio 3.5mm Jack input, as well as an output of the same type.
You’ll also find two pushbuttons, one to start the network connection and the other to launch the direct mode, which allows you to connect a device directly through the WR100-D’s wireless connection, or to reboot the WR100-D by pressing the key for more than six seconds.
Two cards occupy the inside of the box of the WR100-D streamer, a main card and a network card—a Qualcomm Atheros CUS227—their interconnection being made through two flexible circuits.
While the connectivity is quite rich, the main card is rather lacking in active components with the heavy lifting being devoted to the network card.
We still find there crucial components such as the microcontroller, a Holtek HT48R005 eight-bit model, not far from which you can see the multicolored LED indicator, a 74HCT04D logic circuit which, as it seems, formats the S/PDIF digital signals intended for the optical output, and finally, the digital-to-analog converter, or rather the codec (coder-decoder), a Wolfson Microelectronics WM8988L.
This WM8988L circuit will convert into analog signals the digital audio signals coming from the network card up to 24-Bit/96 kHz, and it doesn’t require any additional filtering by an operational amplifier. It will also digitize on 24-Bit/96 kHz the analog signals coming from the Audio In Jack socket.
It’s worth noting that the D-Stream can stream Hi-Res files in 24 bit at 176.4 kHz and 192 kHz from a network player, but those will be downgraded respectively in 24 bit to 88.2 kHz and to 96 kHz by the network card so that the WM8988L can decode them.
Identical to the NuPrime WR100 aside from the compatibility with Qobuz, the D-Stream WR100-D has provided us with the same joy while listening, with various streamed Qobuz albums, in particular Felix Mendelssohn’s Ahalie, whose famous March of the Priests and all its brass instruments shone brightly in a balanced, precise and clear restitution.
We also listened for a long time to Pink Floyd’s cult album The Wall, which allowed us to confirm that playback is indeed gapless on iOS as well as on Android, and we also noticed the acuity and precision with which it reproduced all the sound information, effects and other various sounds recorded in real life and mixed with the music, including their spatial positioning and some rather impressive stereo effects. We won’t elaborate further on sound, as we found here everything that we liked about the WR100, which is unsurprising.
To conclude, we are all pleased to finally see the Qobuz application integrated into this D-Stream WR100-D streamer, that you will have to buy even if you already own a NuPrime WR100, but not everything is lost as you’ve seen. As for the rest, the application is very pleasant and the sound quality is excellent, so we bestow this device with a Qobuzissime award.
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