Yamaha WX-010 Wireless Speaker Review
A handy little addition to a MusicCast multi-room system
What is the Yamaha WX-010?The Yamaha WX-010 is the company's entry-level wireless speaker, sitting below the WX-030 in their line-up. It's a small and compact unit that can stream music via DLNA, Bluetooth, AirPlay and Spotify. The WX-010 also supports Yamaha's excellent MusicCast multi-room system, thus allowing you to add the speaker to a network of devices around your house. The WX-010 has a price of £119 as at the time of writing (December 2017) however it's a competitive market place, so let's see how it performs.
Design, Connections & ControlThe WX-010 is essentially a more compact version of the WX-030, so it bears some similarities to that larger wireless speaker. It's small, measuring 120 x 160 x 130mm (WxHxD) but it's solidly made and weighs in at 1.7kg. The design follows the same clean and minimalist approach that Yamaha have taken with all their wireless speakers, so you get rounded edges and a saran net covering the front and sides, with a glossy panel at the top and rear. There's also a choice of black or white in terms of the colour scheme, so you should be able to match the speaker with your decor.On the top panel you'll find some touch sensitive controls for power and connecting the WX-010 to a MusicCast system, as well as adjusting the volume and play/pause. There are also three small indicator LEDs for the Bluetooth, WiFi and power status, as well as for showing the volume. At the rear there is a recess for the two-pin power cable, which allows for flush wall mounting using a keyhole fixing and Yamaha also include little adhesive spacers to prevent vibrations if you do wall mount. All the connections are wireless with built-in WiFi, AirPlay and Bluetooth (Ver. 2.1 + EDR/A2DP, AVRCP).
The design is attractive and compact, whilst the build quality is pleasingly solid
Features & SpecsIn terms of features, the main highlight of the WX-010 is the inclusion of MusicCast support, which is Yamaha's multiroom system. It uses a wireless network to connect all your compatible devices; allowing you to listen to your favourite music in any room where there's a MusicCast product and control it all from a single app. The same app also functions as a remote control for all your other MusicCast-compatible devices including the WX-010.
In addition to MusicCast, there is DLNA support to connect to your network server, as well as both Bluetooth or AirPlay to listen to streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, Juke!, Deezer, Napster and vTuner internet radio. The WX-010 is equipped with Bluetooth (Ver. 2.1 + EDR/A2DP, AVRCP), making wireless operation convenient and allowing you to stream music to Bluetooth headphones or another Bluetooth speaker.
The WX-010 uses a two-way, two-speaker design with a 9cm woofer and 2.5cm tweeter combined with a passive radiator and 25W of built-in amplification. The speaker also includes EQ settings to fine-tune the high, mid and low bands, as well as support for MP3, WMA and MPEG-AAC, along with WAV, FLAC, AIFF up to 96kHz and ALAC up to 192kHz. You also have the option of pairing two WX-010s together via the MusicCast app to function as left and right channel speakers, thus creating a handy set of stereo speakers with a wider soundstage.
MusicCast remains an excellent multi-room system that now includes support for Tidal
Setup & OperationThe WX-0101 is simple to set up, all you need to do is download the MusicCast app, which is freely available for both iOS and Android, and then start the app and select Setup. You then turn the speaker itself on and hold the power/connect button for three seconds, at which point the Network and Bluetooth lights will flash. It will then connect to your network and you simply follow the instructions in the MusicCast app. If you already have a MusicCast network set up and are simply adding the WX-010, then all you need to do is go into Settings and select Add New Device.
Once you have setup or added the WX-010, you can name it according to which room it's in and even add images of the room. If you would rather connect via Bluetooth, then turn on Bluetooth on your device and pair it to the speaker. If you want to use AirPlay select the WX-010 from the list of options on your AirPlay compatible device. You can also use DLNA to stream music from your network as well as listen to internet radio. Finally you can update the firmware on your WX-010, via the internet and the MusicCast app to keep your speaker up to date.
Controlling the WX-010 from the MusicCast app couldn't be easier and whilst the user interface is fairly simple we found it suitably intuitive to use. The home page is broken down into options for each connected device or groups of devices if you've grouped them together. There's a Now Playing screen which shows the song and album titles, album art and running time, along with playback and volume controls. There's also a screen for selecting content whether that's from streaming services, internet radio, Bluetooth, AirPlay or your server.
Setup was simple and both operation and control were flawless in testing
PerformanceThe WX-010 proved to be a great little performer when it came to delivering a decent quality sound from a compact wireless speaker. Naturally when it comes to these small speakers with a single woofer and tweeter, you're never going to get a sense of stereo separation but the WX-010 does manage to sound bigger than its cabinet would suggest. That makes it ideal for smaller rooms such as kitchens, offices or bedrooms, whilst its compact size makes it quite flexible in terms of placement.
The overall sound of the WX-010 was quite punchy and whilst you're never going to get really deep bass from a speaker this small, the mid-range and higher frequencies were well represented and the treble was suitably revealing. The lack of any stereo separation did mean that the soundstage was very narrow, with the sound emanating from a single point. However the WX-010 could go quite loud without sound brittle or distorting and whilst it won't fill a very large room, as we've already mentioned it's ideal for smaller spaces.
The performance of the WX-010 could also vary depending on how high you positioned it, so we would recommend keeping it at ear-level for optimal performance, and putting it near a wall can help to boost the bass. The WX-010 could certainly lend itself to a number of different musical styles and we found that it was capable of a pleasing sound that retained a decent amount of detail with a clear and neutral presence. There are larger and better wireless speakers but the WX-010 gave a good account of itself considering its size.
There is a graphic equaliser built into the MusicCast app for those who want to adjust the sound of the WX-010 to suit their tastes, but we found that for our listening purposes the speaker performed admirably without any changes. The WX-010 certainly makes for an effective way of starting a multiroom system and for listening to music whilst performing other tasks. We listened to music from our iPhone, from other devices connected to the MusicCast system, from our network server and from music streaming services.
Overall we found that the WX-010 handled all the different sources well and was very tolerant of more compressed music, whilst still being able to make the most of higher quality sources. We listened to the new soundtrack for Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the little speaker did an impressive job of handling the orchestrations, even if it lacked the wider scope of the recording. The same was true of Suede's 'Still Life' which builds from a simple vocal to a full orchestra, which the Yamaha also handled surprisingly well.
We listened to quite a bit of David Bowie during testing and the WX-010 handled the subtle beauty of 'Life on Mars?' very well and it even made his duet with Bing Crosby on 'Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy' bearable. The slow build of 'Cat People' was delivered with aplomb, although the drums did lack the full impact that a larger speaker could deliver. We also listened to Bruce Springsteen's seminal Born to Run album and the Yamaha handled both the full blown rock of the title track just as well as the stripped back harmonica of 'Thunder Road'.
The WX-010 was a great performer, especially considering its diminutive cabinet size
- Good audio performance
- Compact design
- Decent build quality
- Plenty of features
- Supports MusicCast
- Easy to setup and flexible
- No stereo separation
- Bass is limited
Yamaha WX-010 Wireless Speaker ReviewThe Yamaha WX-010 is a great little wireless speaker that, despite its diminutive dimensions, was able to delivering a pleasing all-round performance. The nature of the speaker's design meant that the sound was clearly emanating from a single point and thus lacked a more open soundstage, whilst the physical size restricted the amount of bass it could deliver. However that's to be expected from a speaker of this nature and the Yamaha was capable of a clear and detailed sound that was loud enough for smaller rooms.
The wireless capabilities include DLNA, Bluetooth and AirPlay, whilst MusicCast is a welcome addition. The main music streaming services are covered, including Spotify, Tidal and Qobuz, whilst you can also access your own server as well as other connected devices. The multi-room system that MusicCast creates proved very effective and the remote app is simple but intuitive, expanding your setup options to include running two WX-010s as a stereo pair. The fact that the Yamaha WX-010 can be picked up for just £119 is even more impressive, making this wireless speaker worthy of recommendation.
In terms of alternatives, if you have bit more to spend you could go for the WX-010's bigger brother, the WX-030, which you can currently pick up for £149. This speaker has all the same features as the smaller model but adds some digital signal processing, an Ethernet port and a fuller sound. Alternatively KitSound have released some excellent wireless speakers recently, with the Voice One being a great choice for about the same money at £129. This speaker also has WiFi and Bluetooth, along with a remote app and even Amazon Alexa support for voice control. If you would prefer a wider soundstage then the KitSound Reunion is a good choice and at £99 also exceptional value. The Reunion consists of a pair of speakers, allowing you to enjoy a genuine stereo soundstage. Finally if you want full Alexa control then you could take a look at Amazon's Echo Plus which will currently only set you back £110.
Ease of Use9
Value for Money8
Our Review Ethos
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