Volumio's do-it-all music streamer looks like one of this year's most intriguing bits of tech

Volumio Motivo on a wooden shelf
(Image credit: Volumio)

With the High End Munich show almost upon us, we're bracing ourselves for an influx of new products, gadgets and audio gear as manufacturers showcase their finest (and sometimes weirdest) wares to the consumer market. The next few weeks will see a slew of new products unveiled, yet we can't think of many that will rival the new Volumio Motivo for downright uniqueness, especially visually.

A composite blend of functions housed within a striking design, the new Motivo is predominantly a music streamer with a built-in headphone amplifier rolled into a single unit, a unit which sports an 8-inch touchscreen that dominates much of its overall surface area. Powered by an internal Sabre ES9038 DAC, the new music streamer is capable of supporting high-res audio files up to 24-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD256, with the USB port able to handle PCM files up to 32-bit/768kHz and DSD512. 

The do-it-all system aims to cater to the modern audio consumer with its raft of streaming features and banquet of physical connections, with Bluetooth 5.0 alongside wi-fi streaming support for the likes of Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect and Qobuz, not to mention Google Cast and AirPlay (via Shairport Sync). Playback and streaming, including multiroom, are managed using Volumio's designated app, with the Italian company teasing music discovery that uses artificial to curate songs digitally via its own AI DJ.

Volumio Motivo next to office accoutrements

(Image credit: Volumio)

The Motivo's physical connections include analogue balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA sitting alongside coaxial and optical audio outputs, not to mention an HDMI port and twin USB 2.0 ports. The headphone output is designed for both high and low-impedance headphones.

Volumio promises a "blending of beautiful Italian craft with true audio innovation". The dominant 8-inch touchscreen is the unit's natural centrepiece, but Volumio's latest also comes furnished with a large red control knob and an anodised aluminium body. 

This isn't the first time that Volumio has aimed for a do-it-all audio solution to cater to a variety of needs and desires all in one place. The brand's Integro integrated network amplifier billed itself as the only hi-fi system you'd ever need, pulling together a raft of connectivity options plus headphone amplification into a streamlined single-box unit.

The Volumio Motivo music streamer is available now, priced at £1499 / €1749 / $1849.


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Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied law and history at university before working as a freelance journalist covering TV and gaming for numerous platforms both online and in print. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or forcing himself to go long-distance running.