In the price range of about 400 euros there is a lot of choice in the streaming audio category. Almost all major brands have something in that area. Although the bulk is just above this price. Think of Sonos, HEOS, Yamaha and Bluesound. Around or just under 400 euros there is still a lot of choice, but for those looking for quality it is getting hard. We put the NuPrime Omnia WR-1 on the audio rack and sit down for it.
For many people, streaming is largely about convenience. Searching quickly, discovering things quickly and being able to search and play with ease via an app. This means that a streamer should be easy to use. From installation to playback. This also means that if one of these elements is not in order, the device will not pass the test. If it doesn’t install properly, people will drop out in advance. If the app is not intuitive, users will quit, because of the irritation. Many manufacturers will therefore be happy with good third party apps such as Roon. Or in the case of UPnP, some decent UPnP apps. There are plenty of them.
What about sound?
We haven’t talked about decent playback? No, we haven’t. The reason is that in this price range – 379 euros – that’s not the biggest factor, we estimate. That does not alter the fact that playback is very, very important for Alpha Audio. In fact: it is number one! We’re a platform that puts quality first. However, we also realize that many users weigh convenience at least as much. Especially when it comes to streaming audio.
The NuPrime Omnia WR-1
NuPrime is a relatively young brand. But a brand with an interesting background. It is in fact a result of NuForce. Jason Lim bought the high-end division of NuForce and started NuPrime. The result is a brand that – according to its own words – makes high quality equipment for a reasonable price. If you look at the catalog, it seems to be quite right.
The Omnia WR-1 is a 379 euro streamer – which is really cheap for a streamer – but has a whole list of connections and features. Check this list: Airplay, UPnP streaming, Ethernet, wifi, bluetooth, analog in and out. Optical in, coaxial out. In short: it is not only a streamer. It is in fact a preamplifier with dac and a streamer. And all that for 379 euros.
The construction of the NuPrime Omnia WR-1 is good. However, do not expect a heavy device with a high-end internal power supply and a lot of ‘bling’. It’s just a neat little box with an external adapter – usb connector – and a small display. You can’t read that remotely. And beware of that USB connector: breaking it is very easy, is our experience.
To top it all off: NuPrime has its own app. Yes, it does… both for Apple and Android. And both for tablet and smartphone. Why can NuPrime have its own app, with a 379 euro streamer and a brand like Hegel cannot? It’s bizarre… Ow: and the streamer also supports an extensive list of streaming services. Think of Tidal, Deezer Napster, Qobuz, Spotify, QQMusic and two radio services: iHeartRadio and TuneIn. If your service is not included, you can always stream via Bluetooth. Or via another ‘upnp-to-way’. Think of BubbleUpnp. Not ideal, but it is possible.
We may conclude that the NuPrime Omnia WR-1 is a serious device when it comes to usability. It would be possible to finish the system with a few active speakers. A nice minimalistic setup… and lots of possibilities!