Home Review Volumio Motivo streamer – Touch me baby!

Review Volumio Motivo streamer – Touch me baby!



  • Sounds very good
  • Nice design
  • Lots of connectivity


  • Volume button is not pleasant
  • Touch screen layout

Price: € 1750

Build quality
Alpha-Audio Approved
Volumio Motivo


Motivo means ‘Reason’ or ‘Cause’ in Italian. Or depending on context, ‘Motive’ or ‘Motivation’. Perhaps Volumio chose the name Motivo because the product was developed in response to community feedback. This was the ‘motivation’ to create a touch-screen streamer with headphone output. We will take a close look at it.

It has to be said: the Motivo is a very nice product to look at. The device also feels good when we grab it and place it on the rack. The casing is sturdy. That in itself inspires confidence.


Volumio Motivo

The Motivo is actually a product initiated by the community. Volumio asked the community what should go into a “new streamer” and then incorporated the community’s input into the features of the Motivo. Perhaps from this interaction and collaboration, the name was born. After all, Motivo means “cause”.

The community clearly stated that a headphone output was important. Volumio took that seriously and created not one, but two connectors: one for low impedance and one for high impedance.


These jacks are integrated into the XLR outputs. This has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that – despite space limitations – serious headphone and balanced connections are available. The disadvantage is that the connection is reversed: they are female connectors. Combined use cannot be done otherwise, but as a consequence a regular cable is not going to fit. Adapter plugs exist, but Volumio supplies cables that work with the Motivo. And the quality of those cables is fine.


Volumio Motivo

What is immediately noticeable when unboxing the Volumio Motivo is the large – 8-inch – screen. This is a touch-screen, which allows complete control of the device without an app. Although we must say: the app does work a bit more pleasantly. Especially for people with larger hands. Volumio has already promised that an update will make it possible to enlarge the icons. We hope that upcoming updates will make the interface on the Motivo a bit more “touch-worthy”. Right now it is simply the web interface. That works great on a laptop, but it was not developed as a touch interface.

The fact is also: the screen is nice and sharp and colorful and definitely has added value in combination with head-fi. And that is the target group Volumio has in mind with the Motivo.

Some more specs

Motivo inside

Under the hood we see a neat layout with even clearly labeled sections. Think Reclocking, DAC, Digital Audio, et cetera. The Primo also has a reclocker, but on the Motivo this part is more extensive. Also notable is the more luxurious isolation at the Ethernet port. Clearly, Volumio has done more work on the power supply and isolation.

The DAC is an ESS Sabre 9038. A well-known chip. However, Volumio applied its own filters, so do not expect the “freshhhh” Sabre sound. A Texas TPA61209A2 provides the headphone output. Another well-known, solid chip.

Interview with Volumio

Type test
Single Test
  • Digital USB
  • Streamer ethernet
  • Streamer wifi
  • Bluetooth
  • Analog RCA
  • Analog XLR
  • Digital Coaxial
  • Digital Optical
  • Digital USB
Product type
Max samplingrate
384 kHz
Max bit depth
24 bit
2.5 Kg
  • Width: 19,5 cm
  • Depth: 19.5 cm
  • Height: 5.5 cm
Production country
No Noise - 0 dB - noise floor
No Noise - 0 dB - noise floor
1 KHz - 0 dB - noise floor
1 KHz - 0 dB - noise floor
Power Supply noise
Power Supply noise
Phase Noise Volumio (1)
Phase Noise Volumio (1)
Phase Noise Volumio (3)
Phase Noise Volumio (3)
Phase Noise Volumio (2)
Phase Noise Volumio (2)
Volumio Motivo - Stock Switch - Stock PSU
Volumio Motivo - Stock Switch - Stock PSU
Volumio Motivo - Stock Switch - Lab PSU
Volumio Motivo - Stock Switch - Lab PSU
Voumio Motivo Power Supply stability
Voumio Motivo Power Supply stability