Yamaha launch their new line of MusicCast products

Everything to Everywhere for Everyone

by Steve Withers Aug 20, 2015 at 7:45 AM

  • Yamaha’s new MusicCast multiroom system promises to deliver a robust and stable system that will deliver high quality music in an effective manner.
    To achieve this, the manufacturer has used all of its experience in routers, networking and audio to create a platform that combines convenience with performance. As a result of this approach, MusicCast will be included in the majority of Yamaha’s new products this year, allowing you to gradually create a multiroom system with each successive component. You can read more about exactly how MusicCast works here.

    At the top of the range of Yamaha’s new MusicCast products is the CX-A5100 11.2-channel preamplifier which offers eleven discrete channels for surround speakers and two subwoofer outlets, all available via high-end XLR outputs. The CX-A5100 not only includes MusicCast but also Dolby Atmos and has been designed as a high-end component to please both the home cinema enthusiast and the audiophile music lover. The CX-A5100 includes numerous complex DSP-programs to create the acoustic characteristics of famous venues, along with exclusive YPAO 3D automatic calibration, which uses three separate multi-point measuring procedures to calculate the perfect balancing for each individual channel. This is especially helpful when using new object-related audio formats such as Dolby Atmos. The CX-A5100 will cost £2,499 and be released this winter, replacing the CX-A5000, although it is still complimented by the MX-A5000 multi-channel amplifier.

    The other flagship MusicCast product is the YSP-5600SW soundbar which, more than anything else, shows how innovative Yamaha have been over the last few decades. The manufacturer was using height speakers decades before Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, it pioneered soundbars long before they appeared in everyone’s living room and they were championing sound projection ten years before Dolby started using it to deliver overhead effects from upward-firing speakers. They even had a very different version of MusicCast as far back in 2003, although the technology at the time couldn’t quite meet Yamaha’s ambition.
    Yamaha's CX-A5100 11.2-channel preamplifier has the lot - including support for MusicCast.

    The YSP-1 was the company’s first soundbar to use sound projection technology but the new YSP-5600 takes things to a whole new level. It doesn’t just include MusicCast but is also the first soundbar in the world that is able to play back both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound formats, which normally requires at least two speakers on the ceiling – in addition to five or seven front, centre and rear speakers. The YSP-5600 delivers this immersive experience by using a total of 46 array speakers, twelve of which are responsible solely for reproducing the overhead effects. The system is supported by two built-in subwoofers and a wireless subwoofer provides powerful additional bass-effects. Thanks to Yamaha’s patented intellibeam calibration-system, the setup is fully automatic and adjusts the performance for the characteristics of the listening environment. The YSP5600 will also be released this winter and will cost £1,899 with the wireless subwoofer and £1,599 without.

    Moving down the range, there’s also the YSP-1600 soundbar which also incorporates MusicCast and digital sound projection technology. The YSP-1600 is just 6.5 cm high but can still deliver a room-filling sound and decode both Dolby Digital and DTS. Thanks to the patented Yamaha Digital Sound Projector technology, the soundbar generates surround sound with two upwards-facing subwoofers and eight beam-speakers purposefully using sound reflections from walls, floor and ceiling. Furthermore, HDMI 2.0 including HDCP 2.2 and 4K video compatibility ensures a degree of future-proofing, whilst the soundbar can receive audio from connected sources, via the MusicCast network, via Bluetooth or via Apple AirPlay. The YSP-1600 will be available in black or silver and released in the autumn at a cost of £499.
    The new YSP-5600 soundbar not only includes MusicCast but 44 speaker arrays to support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

    If a soundbar isn’t to your taste, there’s also the SRT-1500 Sound Stage, which can act as a strong base for your TV, which sits safely and steady on the less than 8 cm high audio system and is directly plugged into it. In addition, the SRT-1500 provides you with a surround sound effect from one single and compact audio component. On top of that, the compact sound stage will give you easy access to all sources in your MusicCast network and is able to stream music via Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay. The SRT-1500 will also be available in black or silver, is released in the autumn and will cost £599.

    If it’s lifestyle products that interest you, Yamaha are releasing the Restio Mini ISX-80 MusicCast audio system. This is a very versatile piece of equipment, designed to deliver both looks and performance to any room. The 30 by 30 centimetre all-metal design provides stereo sound, a built-in radio tuner, a designer LED alarm clock and an AUX input for additional audio sources that cannot be connected via Bluetooth or WiFi. The Restio Mini is equally flexible when it comes to positioning and you can either use the included metal pedestal or hang the system on the wall of your choice using its built-in mounting. The ISX-80 will be available in black, white or purple and hits stores this autumn at a cost of £399.

    Watch the full video report from the launch event.

    There’s also the WX-030 MusicCast network speaker can be setup and brought online quickly and easily. This compact MusicCast audio system is designed to be a handy addition to your system, measuring 24.3 x 15.6 x 11.5 cm (WxHxD) it provides high quality sound from a 4cm tweeter and a 9cm mid/bass speaker. Which makes the WX-030 perfectly suited to smaller rooms such as your bathroom or kitchen. The WX-030 will be available to buy this autumn at a cost of £199 and with a choice of a black or white finish.

    For those looking for something with more of a HiFi pedigree, Yamaha are launching their R-N602 MusicCast stereo receiver. The R-N602 is designed to deliver higher quality audio, with two discrete 100 watts amplifiers designed to push even big speakers with maximum efficiency. The receiver benefits from European fine-tuning and audiophile components. It has six different inputs (optical, coax, phono and three analogue), as well as MusicCast, streaming services like Napster or Spotify and a built-in radio. There’s also gapless playback and support for DSD 5.6MHz and PCM 384kHz. The R-N602 will be available in black or white, arrives in the autumn and will cost £449.
    Along with the convenience of MusicCast, many of the new products can stream high resolution audio including DSD 5.6MHz.

    There’s also the NX-N500 HiFi stereo speaker set, which draws on Yamaha’s long-standing experience in constructing premium-class HiFi speakers and active studio monitors. This accumulated knowledge has helped create the fully active NX-N500 HiFi speaker, thus providing the music fan with a self-sufficient high-fidelity audio system with MusicCast support in every single room. The units of the stereo-system have their own separate power connection and the NX-N500 is capable of internal bi-amping, providing every speaker with two discrete amplifiers. Both components are connected via balanced XLR. There’s also an optical input and a mini stereo jack port to provide a large range of possible connections with legacy sources. The NX-N500 uses a premium-class Steinberg USB-DAC (32 Bit, 384 kHz) which links PCs and laptops directly to the system. The NX-N500 is available in black and will arrive in stores in the autumn at a cost of £599.

    There will also be MusicCast versions of Yamaha’s Grand PianoCraft micro HiFi series, with the MCR-N670 and MCR-N870; both of which have been shaped by decades of experience in the field of audio and HiFi. As such Grand PianoCraft amplifiers and CD-players are built as two separate components to rule out sonic interaction between the two. Along with MusicCast, both versions also feature WiFi, Bluetooth and Airplay. On top of that, the components can effortlessly access numerous music-streaming services and make them available to the whole network. Additional sources include your CD player, FM tuner or other external sources connected via optical or mini stereo jack. In contrast to the MCR-N670, the MCR-N870 has a high-class USB-DAC (32 Bit, 384 kHz) and will be bundled with the more powerful NS-BP401 speakers. The MCR-N670 and MCR-N870 will both be available in black or silver and arrive in stores in the autumn, with the N670 costing £699 and the N870 setting you back £999.
    Yamaha's new range of AV receivers will support MusicCast thanks to a firmware update later this month.

    Finally a number of Yamaha’s new AV receivers will also be supporting MusicCast thanks to a firmware update this month. As a result their AV receivers will become an even more versatile hub to your home cinema and, thanks to their MusicCast integration, the RX-V79 and RX-A50 series will not only able to access the countless sources which are plugged into them, but all MusicCast components as well. Those receivers are already available in stores and the free firmware update will instantly make them fully-fledged members of the MusicCast system. Whilst the RX-V79 series has been designed for newcomers as well as more sophisticated users, the AVENTAGE RX-A50 series is aimed at the audiophile home cinema enthusiast with only the highest expectations where sound is concerned. These AV receivers will deliver all the connected audio sources to the network - including the audio return channel of a plugged-in TV.

    That’s an extensive range of new products from Yamaha but what’s really impressive is how MusicCast will be supported across their entire range, allowing you to easily create a multiroom system. Of course as with any multiroom system you can never tell how good it will be until you actually start using it but if MusicCast can deliver on Yamaha’s promise of convenience, stability, flexibility and quality, then they’ve really got a winner on their hands.

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