Review: D-Stream WR100-D

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The D-Stream WR100-D is a WiFi and Ethernet compact audio streamer that allows you to listen to HD audio files from a smartphone, a NAS, a computer, Internet radios, and also Spotify, Qobuz, Tidal and Deezer.

D-Stream WR100-D
The D-Stream WR100-D audio streamer is ultra compact.

HD sound

The D-Stream WR100-D can decode PCM digital audio files (FLAC, ALAC, WAV, MP3, etc.) up to 24-bit/96 kHz. Go over this limit and the device’s processor starts subsampling on the fly. The digital optical input has the same limit.

If you’re thinking of listening to CD quality files, Deezer or Tidal, this limitation has no impact whatsoever. The restriction is only really important when it comes to some Qobuz files that go over 192 kHz. If you’re looking for an audio streamer that can handle HD audio streams, there are devices that are made precisely to this effect (Yamaha MusicCast NP-S303,Marantz NA-6005, Rotel T-14, etc.).

D-Stream WR100-D
The D-Stream WR100-D has a line input for multiroom streaming of an analog source, plus one analog and one digital audio output.

Line input

The D-Stream WR100-D has a line input that allows you to connect any type of stereo source : a DAP, a CD player, an RIAA preamp for a turntable, etc. The incoming sound is then digitized and can be transmitted to one or more D-Stream WR100-D streamers as part of a multiroom setup for example.

Line output

The D-Stream WR100-D features a line output. Seeing as no cables are provided,you’ll have to get yourself a mini-jack to mini-jack stereo cable or a mini-jack to RCA stereo cable, depending on the device you wish to connect. That way you can connect the D-Stream WR100-D to a portable speaker, a hi-fi stereo system, a hi-fi stereo amplifier or a headphone amplifier for example.

D-Stream WR100-D
A micro-USB cable and a powered USB port are enough to power the D-Stream WR100-D.

Digital output

The digital optical output allows you to transfer music in digital form straight to a home theater receiver, an external DAC or a wireless headphone’s base transmitter for instance. Any device that has a digital optical output can be used. The whole point of this output is to leave the digital to analog conversion to a more capable device. All that’s needed is an optical cable.

Test conditions

The D-Stream WR100-D doesn’t come with a power supply. This isn’t a problem because a micro-USB to USB-A cable connected to any USB port capable of delivering 1A  is enough to power it. There are plenty of suitable USB charging solutions: smartphone or tablet chargers,USB ports on a television or receiver, or even a computer’s USB port.

D-Stream WR100-D
To install the D-Stream WR100-D you can either read the user manual or use the mobile app.

Installation

You’ll need a smartphone or a tablet to set up the D-Stream WR100-D. Step one: you’ll have to download the D-Stream Air app. Once you’ve created a free account (email/password), the account will automatically detect the D-Stream WR100-D if it’s connected to your home network with an Ethernet cable. If you’d rather activate a WiFi connection, you need to choose the D-Stream WR100-D as the WiFi access point on your smartphone (in the smartphone’s WiFi settings). In this instance, a web page will automatically appear on the screen for you to choose your home network’s WiFi access, then to enter the password. The D-Stream WR100-D will then automatically connect to your set-top box or router and your smartphone will go back to its initial WiFi settings.

D-Stream WR100-D
The D-Stream AIR app requires you to create a free account.
D-Stream WR100-D
The D-Stream WR100-D audio streamer can be connected to the local WiFi network in an instant thanks to an immediate WiFi connection.
D-Stream WR100-D
The installation process is easy to follow.

WiFi and Ethernet performance

The D-Stream WR100-D is compatible with the 5 GHz WiFi bandwidth, which makes for a stable connection when associated with a box and a WiFi 5 GHz access point. If there’s lots of other WiFi networks in the vicinity (when living in an apartment building in the center of a large city for example), or if your children are pushing your network connection to its limit by playing Fornite and streaming Youtube videos in 1080p, it’s probably better to use an Ethernet connection. However, we didn’t encounter any problem when we were listening to music over WiFi with a Netgear Orbi RBK50 router, even when there were around fifteen other competing WiFi connections.

D-Stream WR100-D
The D-Stream WR100-D is compatible with the 5 GHz WiFi bandwidth, with a theoretical max speed of 300 Mbps (screenshot of the Netgear Orbi app).

Listening impressions

We listened to FLAC files shared via a DLNA server (Emby) directly controlled by the Android D-Stream Air app. Playing from a computer in DLNA Renderer mode is still possible (the Windows Media Player Play To fonction, Foobar2000 with a UPnP/DLNA output module, Audirvana, Jriver Media Center, etc.).

D-Stream WR100-D
The D-Stream WR100-D’s control app is straightforward and efficient. No lagging to deplore.

When plugging the D-Stream WR100-D into a stereo amp connected to high quality speakers (Klipsch RF-7 MKIII in our case), the mini-jack line output offers a sound without much dimension. The line output’s performance is adequate and the sound delivered is pretty pleasing to listen to when using a Fender Newport speaker.

Next, we connected the D-Stream WR100-D to a NuPrime IDA-8 amp using the optical output and a Norstone Arran Optic cable. The Klipsch RF-7’s behaviour changed immediately and gave way to denser and more detailed lows. The same can be said for the other ranges. In our opinion, this is a good-quality optical output.

Conclusion

The D-Stream WR100-D benefits from a fast, solid, user-friendly mobile app. It’s a practical solution for active speakers or for when you want to add streaming features to a DAC amp.

What we liked:

  • The ultra-compact format
  • The possibility to power the streamer simply via a USB port or an external battery charger.
  • The 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi
  • The control app
  • The compatibility with online music services
  • The compatibility with DLNA servers (NAS, Box, etc.)

What we would have liked:

  • Nothing else

D-stream wr100d

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