Yamaha Launches MusicCast Wireless Music Platform
Yamaha introduced Thursday its new and improved MusicCast wireless audio system, offering a new level of capabilities designed for people who want a whole-home wireless audio system for more than just background music.
The MusicCast system is designed to wirelessly transmit music to every room, controlled by a smartphone or tablet app. In addition the system will support simultaneous playback of surround sound in the main room while streaming audio to remote rooms. It will even support hi-fidelity music, including new Hi-Res Audio files such as FLAC and DSD, to multiple rooms.
Yamaha said it plans to offer more than 20 MusicCast-enabled products, a number of which have already been launched into the market with the MusicCast system built-in.
More on Yamaha’s MusicCast system after the jump:
Yamaha said MusicCast supporting product categories include: AV receivers, wireless speakers, sound bars, Hi-Fi components and powered monitor speakers. All products support Bluetooth playback, which allows users to listen to any content played on the system via the enabling playback of music from mobile devices on a MusicCast product or system. MusicCast devices also output Bluetooth signals for wireless reception by any Bluetooth speaker or headphones within range.
The MusicCast system will tap into a variety of popular streaming services including: Internet radio channels, Pandora, Spotify Connect, Rhapsody, SiriusXM as well as content from digital music libraries, Bluetooth devices, and external sources connected to MusicCast products, such as TV set-top boxes, Blu-ray Disc players and turntables.
MusicCast also enables listening to a variety of surround sound platforms – including object-based Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, depending on the device – in a main TV room, while streaming audio to other rooms throughout the home.
Bob Goedken, Yamaha AV Division general manager, said, “Now you can build the ultimate home theater or Hi-Fi system in your main entertainment room and expand it easily with wireless speakers, sound bars, or additional receivers in other rooms, like a kitchen or bedroom, with a single app to control it all. Or you can start with a single wireless speaker and expand over time. No other system provides access to all your content and such a wide range of listening experiences.”
The free MusicCast app (pictured at top) can be downloaded starting today on Apple and Android smartphones and tablets. The app enables browsing content and playing it back in each room of a home. It will also allow linking rooms to play the same content. The app supports personalization features so that each room can be identified with a preloaded room image or the color of buttons can be changed to represent each room in the home. The content source buttons can also be customized to rename, remove or reorder selections for easier operation.
MusicCast supports a wide variety of music files and fidelity levels including: Apple Lossless (ALAC) up to 96 kHz/24-bit, as well as FLAC, AIFF and WAV files up to 192 kHz/24-bit. Yamaha said most MusicCast models also support single-device playback of DSD streams up to 5.6 MHz.
A firmware update delivering the MusicCast system is available starting today to owners of the recently launched RX-V 79 and Aventage RX-A 50 Series of Yamaha network AV receivers. Other supported AV receiver models include the RX-V479 ($399.95), RX-V579 ($549.95), RX-V679 ($599.95), RX-V779 ($799.95), RX-A550 ($499.95), RX-A750 ($649.95), RX-A850 ($899.95), RX-A1050 ($1,199.95), RX-A2050 ($1,699.95) and RX-A3050 ($1,995.95).
In addition, MusicCast will extend starting next month to separate components including the CX-A5100 ($2,999.95 suggested retail) preamp/processor, which is a new companion to the MX-A5000 11-channel amplifier. The new model will feature Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based multidimensional sound technology, along with support for HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2.
In September, Yamaha will add the MusicCast-supporting slimline RX-S601 ($649.95 suggested retail), offering a 5.1-channel AV receiver solution.
In October, the MusicCast Wireless Speaker ($249.95 suggested retail), will be available in a choice of black or white offering a 2-way design with digital sound processing.
The system will even be extended to a MusicCast Sound Bar and a MusicCast TV Speaker Base in September. Both models will include Yamaha’s Digital Sound Projector technology for true surround sound and HDMI connectivity with 4K Ultra HD and HDCP 2.2.
The MusicCast Sound Bar model YSP-1600 ($499.95 suggested retail) sports eight speaker drivers plus dual built-in subwoofers. The MusicCast TV Speaker Base model SRT-1500 ($599.95 suggested retail) features 10 speaker drivers plus dual built-in subwoofers in a solid wood MDF enclosure that can be used as a base for most 32-inch to 55-inch TVs.
Yamaha said that it December it will also add a step-up MusicCast SoundBar model YSP-5600 ($1,699.95 suggested retail) that will include Dolby Atmos and DTS:X using Digital Sound Projector technology for an object-based surround sound experience.
Yamaha said it will also offer MusicCast products designed for the company’s “natural sound” Hi-Fi sound quality. This includes the R-N602 ($649.95) network Hi-Fi receiver, available in October, and the NX-N500 ($799.95/pair) powered monitors, available in December. Additional details on these models will be made available later.
By Greg Tarr
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