SoundMate WM201 Wi-Fi Music Streamer (EZMusic) Review

Orange Pi Development Boards

Last year I reviewed SoundMate M2 Wi-Fi audio streamer, and Uyesee has sent me a sample of their new SoundMate WM201 powered by Actions Semi AM8253, and based on EZCast app for audio calld EZMusic (EZCast Music).

SoundMate WM201 Unboxing Pictures

That’s the package for the device.

SoundMate_WM201_Package
The device comes with two audio cables, a micro USB to USB cable for power, and “SoundMate WiFi Music Streamer” user manual.

WM201 and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)
WM201 and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

Let’s have a closer look at the tiny box.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

Two LEDs are located on the front for power and connection, a micro SD slot can be found on the side, and the rear panel has most of the connection: micro USB port for power, reset pinhole, optical SPDIF, 3.5mm stereo jack, and USB 2.0 host for mass storage.

SoundMate WM210 Teardown

Take out of four sticky rubber pad on the bottom of the case, and loosen four screws to remove the bottom cover.

Bottom of WM201 Board
Bottom of WM201 Board

Not much to see here, except the MAC address that starts with 54E4BD and belongs to FN-Link Technology, which must be the company provided the Wi-Fi module for WM201.

Top of WM201 PCBA (Click to Enlarge)
Top of WM201 PCBA (Click to Enlarge)

Actions Semi AM8253 [email protected] 600 MHz is in the center of the board, and connects to Axeme H2A35121656BB6C 64MB DDR2 RAM, and Samsung K9F1G08U0E NAND flash (128MB).  The Wi-Fi module is based on Realtek RTL8188ETV chip.

SoundMate WM201 Review

I’ve connected WM201 to Onkyo TX-NR636 AV receiver with any SPDIF optcial audio cable. It does not make much sense to do so because TX-NR636 already support Wi-Fi conenctivity and DLNA, and can already do much of the added featues provided by WM201, but if you have an older amplifier / AV receiver without connectivity, WM201 can be a neat way to smarten your older AV receiver.

SoundMate_WM201_Onkyo_Receiver_SPDIF_EZCast
SoundMate WM201 Connected to an Onkyo AV Receiver, and EZCast App in Android.

Once of the thing you’ll want to do is to install EZcast app for Android, iOS or Windows/Mac. I’ve only installed EZCast android app on my Android smartphone for this review. The first time the app will look with an EZCast dongle, and detect a SoundMate-XXXXXX device to which you can connect to. The first time the connection can take a while, like over one minute. You can then access the Home screen with Music, Web, Cloud Storage, Comment, Update, AirDisk, and Radio options, as well as DLNA, AirSetup (for micro SD card / USB flash drive connected to WM201), and 3G/4G connectivity.

Home Page and Settings (Click to Enlarge)
Home Page and Settings (Click to Enlarge)

AirSetup will let you choose the audio output (Stereo, SPDIF 5.1, …), set the equalizer, configure the connection, check for firmware upgrade and so on.

Music, Video and Cloud Storage (Click to Enlarge)
Music, Video and Cloud Storage (Click to Enlarge)

The “Music” app will let you browse audio files on your smartphone and stream them to your speaker or AV receiver. It works OK, but there’s no volume option here. In theory, the Web option can let you stream audio from YouTube and other online service, but I could not make this work at all. Cloud Storage will detect some cloud apps installed on your device (in my case Dropbox), and allow you to stream audio files from the cloud.

EZCast / EZMusic Radio (Click to Enlarge)
EZCast / EZMusic Radio (Click to Enlarge)

The “Radio” app will list various online radio station from over the world. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to radio, and the last time I did that was in France, but I could not find any famous radio on the list, except maybe “Oui FM”.

DLNA, Firmware Update and AirDisk (Click to Enlarge)
DLNA, Firmware Update and AirDisk (Click to Enlarge)

“AirDisk” function should allow you to play music from a micro SD card or USB flash drive formatted to FAT32 connected to the device, but in my case it did not recognize my USB drive at all. It’s a LiveCD (with Ubuntu), so maybe that’s why. DLNA will simply redirect to launch one of your installed DLNA apps such as BubbleUPnP, and in my case it could also play m4a audio files, something that’s not supported by Onkyo TX-NR636 internal software. I did get a firmware update (13395), and the procedure worked fine. You’ll hear a female voice telling you to wait during the update, followed but some audio signal.

Within the room, WM201 works fairly well, but I did have one or two short audio cuts during the dozen music files I played. If you go a bit further than 6-7 meters with a wall then the system becomes unreliable, but it’s quite common with this kind of solution. Once you lose the connection, you may have to reboot the device to make it work again.

SoundMate WM201 can be bought for  $37.99 on Aliexpress for $37.99 including shipping. You may also want to check the product page on UyeSee website if you intend to purchase in larger quantities.

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RoelMarmite Sandwich200 EZCast LAN & Music Free Samples Up for GrabSettleGiveaway Week – SoundMate WM201 Wireless Audio Streamer Recent comment authors
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Ray Knight
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Ray Knight
Ray Knight
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Ray Knight

I just ordered WM201 SoundMate Airplay EZ DLNA Music WiFi Music Streamer for Internet Radio Play (Transform your old speakers to a modern WiFi Hi-FI Smart audio System) from http://www.newegg.com for a total price of $7.49! It appears to be the same item reviewed in this article.

Tadej
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Thumbs up for 24bit/96khz audio quallity!

Ray Knight
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Ray Knight

Just wanted to let everyone know that I received the WM201 Soundmate from the NewEgg for a total price of $7.49 and it is the item described above!

octal
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octal

@cnxsoft
Thanks for the tip Ray I had got one still last week when you mentioned it, seems to be in stock still when I checked a few minutes back.

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[…] things must come to an end, and this is the last day of Giveaway Week on CNX Software with Uyesee SoundMate WM201 wireless audio streamer that adds Wi-Fi connectivity to your speakers or old AV receiver, so that […]

Settle
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Settle

Hi!
What is the main difference between models SoundMate M2 and WM201?
What would you, guys, recommend to buy today?

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[…] a giveaway campaign where it plans to giveaway 100 EZCast LAN (aka Tronsmart T3000) and 100 EZCast music devices until August 20th. You’ll need a Facebook or Google+ account to […]

Marmite Sandwich
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Marmite Sandwich

Does this product support gapless playback over DLNA? Albums with no pause between tracks (Sergeant Pepper, Dark Side of the Moon, most live albums etc.) should play continuous music. Anybody tested this?

Roel
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Roel

Somebody already connected through serial console on this thing.

roel
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roel

Seems it runs am7x linux. It looks like it is specialy developed for ezcast. So no openwrt here.