The Dayton WF60PA is more then just a Bluetooth amplifier! It offers also high quality Wi-Fi and Multi Room connectivity
4 and half stars for this Dayton Plate amp that I use with very good results in my small sized 2 way DIY speaker project named FELIX.
Here is what I experienced:
- FIRST OF ALL -
The first very good thing and to consider is that Wi-Fi connectivity has better sound quality than Bluetooth one, as Bluetooth compresses the data more than Wi-Fi.
Moreover speakers with Wi-Fi can be used anywhere within the Wi-Fi signal, stream media using the internet, use multiple speakers with one smart device (Hi-Fly free App and is AirPlay© and DLNA compatible), and typically sound better than the current speakers with Bluetooth.
Considering all this the price of the WF60PA sounds much better, still I think the cost could be a bit lower in the European market.
But also consider that we don’t really find similar Plate Amplifiers, ready to be assembled in the cabinet of the speaker and with so many functions. The only other solutions are some good external Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Multi Room amplifiers but these cannot be mounted in your speaker cabinet, they are a different kind of device.
- CONSTRUCTION, SOUND, CONNECTIVITY -
The Dayton plate amp is all around a very good product, it’s compact, well build, very versatile and the power and sound are more then fine for the price, not just the sound is pleasant but we have also a surprisingly good sound stage reproduction.
To enjoy this plate amp I suggest to listen to music in formats of at least 320kbps MP3 or better in AAC. But if you WANT TO GET THE MOST IN QUALITY then go for FLAC, ALAC or for any UNCOMPRESSED AUDIO FORMATS.
There are very good wireless features and many connections: Selectable optical (S/PDIF – Toslink), RCA, and 3.5 mm inputs for traditional wired connections and a RCA mono subwoofer output that has a 80 Hz Xover. Unfortunately the speakers (satellite) remain full-range, it would have been nice to have a digital high pass to switch on when the subwoofer out is used. In this way the satellite and the Plate Amp are not anymore “stressed” to reproduce also the low frequencies.
The Bluetooth connections works well and the pairing process is fast. We can obviously hear the music that is on our smart phone or tablet or reproduce the sound of what we are viewing on the browser, for example a Youtube video or the audio of a film we are watching in streaming. Bluetooth range is approximately 10 meters, so you shouldn’t go too far or “kind of hide” your device.
The Amplifier has also a useful remote control where we have: power on/off, mute, adjust volume and switch between the inputs. It has also functions like PREVIOUS, SKIP, PLAY, and PAUSE that control the playing of music on our device, these last functions are only available in Bluetooth mode.
BUT NOW COMES THE STRENGTH OF THIS PRODUCT! Thanks to the Wi-Fi connections and to the Hi-Fly App (Android and iOS) we can get to the real world of streaming!
All you need is to have the Hi-Fly App installed on your smart phone or a tablet and your device will turn in a great Controller. The Setup was very easy on iOS and on Android was also ok.
The first thing to do is to use Hi-Fly to connect to the Dayton amp and then tell to the Amp to which Internet Network to connect through Wi-Fi, at this point the Dayton is connected to the Local Network and Internet and it become a real “network player”, surely a DLNA device.
As Network Player it can play all the songs contained in devices connected to the same network and shared, like a computer with shared folders and I guess (as I was not able to test it) also a NAS or a Network hard drive.
Obviously it also plays all the songs contained in the same smart phone and with “some limitations” also the songs stored in another smart phones connected to the same network.
As we are connected to the internet we can also use different supported services that are in the Hi-Fly, like SPOTIFY, DEEZER, QOBUZ or TIDAL, and add also other ones. And not last you are also able to connect to many INTERNET RADIOS from around the world and chose them through multiple useful criteria.
I also watched movies on my computer using the browser (in streaming) or a media player and connecting the audio via Wi-Fi to the FELIX speakers (that uses the WF60PA) with no problems. In my Wi-Fi Network I didn’t really experience noticeable Audio Delay (Latency) but it can happen, this has nothing to do with the Dayton, it’s all about the Wi-Fi network quality and about how busy it is. There are few solutions to fix this kind of issue.
Being on a Wi-Fi networks we DON’T HAVE the 10 meters limitation range like with the Bluetooth, we can move between different rooms or different floors or going out in the garden without loosing the connection. Of course it depends on the quality and strength of your Wi-Fi network.
Moreover while playing the music (also the one located on your smart phone) we can keep using our phone to do other things and even make phone calls.
- EXTRAS -
Keep in mind that the WF60PA support: MULTI-ROOM (Play synchronized audio in multiple rooms for seamless listening), MULTI CHANNEL (Play any song to any single device or group devices together) and MULTI USER (Different users can control the audio source for different devices).
- GOOD TO KNOW -
1) The Plate Amp has a Boost in the low end region (+4.5dB) and a small one at the very high frequencies (+1.5dB), this characteristic IS NOT SPECIFIED by Dayton! And it’s a shame, we should know about it.
I tested 2 different units and the near field measures shows that the Boost starts very “gently” from 200 Hz and reaches a +4.5dB around the 45-35 Hz.
The little “boost” on the high frequencies starts slowly from 8000 Hz and reaching about +1.5 dB at 18000 Hz.
2) The amplifier gets very hot, so be careful with the positioning of the damping material inside the box so as NOT TO COVER the Dayton!
- A POSSIBLE PROBLEM -
— The many connections available are great but unfortunately when I connect Aux 1 or 2 to recent CD players and mostly with “now days records” then the input of the Dayton will go in clipping! The Dayton has an input level of 2 V and here is the list of what I used and the results of the test:
Marantz SA8005 (2.4 V) and CD6002 (2.2 V), you cannot listen to music the clipping is preeminent
Sony DVP-NS355 (2 V - a cheap product), the clipping is still there but less preeminent
Sony DVP-S7700 (2 V - an older product), the clipping is not there with any kind of records, or at least I cannot hear it
Tests where made with the same CD records and is important to clear that with recent records the clipping is worst, as unfortunately they are recorded at a “higher level”, I don’t like it but this is the industrial standard of the moment:
- Lana Del Ray Lust for Life, Adele 25, Jorja Smith Lost & Found: clipping is very bad (no any clipping on S7700)
- Diana Krall The Girl In The Other Room, Stacey Kent Breakftast On The Morning Tram: clipping is there but not preeminent
- Dire Straits Comuniqué, Tears For Fears The seeds Of Love: clipping is not there (as the “record level” is much lower)
It’s important to state this because if somebody make a test with old kind of records then it will not necessarily have the problem!
Ok! Maybe many young people will use the WF60PA just in wireless mode but the analog inputs are there, indeed the sound with the Sony S7700 connected to the analog input of the WF60PA installed in the Felix speakers was very good! Surely much better then playing an MP3 file.
Something should be done in the future by Dayton to solve this possible problem.
Till then if you have this kind of issue you can buy a RCA Line Level Audio Attenuator (around 30.00€) or connect the CD player through a Mixer.
I GIVE 4 AND HALF STARS TO THE DAYTON WF60PA CAUSE OF THE ANALOG INPUT PROBLEM, ALL THE REST IS VERY MUCH APPRECIATED.
Door Andrea PM on 15 September 2020