There are now so many multiroom system families on the market that a manufacturer like Yamaha has to come up with something to give its system a unique selling point. And the traditional Japanese manufacturer succeeds in this simply due to the fact that the Yamaha MusicCast system family is the only one to offer a WLAN turntable (!) integrated into the system, and even limited electric pianos and pianos from the manufacturer can be integrated.
The MusicCast system app is a home-grown product, but the portfolio of compatible devices takes a different approach to Sonos, Bluesound and the like.
Multiroom with a sense for classics: from retro amplifiers to record players
The integrated system boxes include three different models. In contrast to the competition, however, all three are very small and particularly design-oriented. This is particularly true of the smallest mobile MusicCast 10, but even the largest model is not exactly voluminous. All of them can also be coupled to form a stereo pair, provided you are already prepared to purchase two of them. There is also a near-field compact monitor with integrated streaming.
Classic larger bookshelf and floorstanding speakers are not available with MusicCast compatibility. There is a reason for this, because according to Yamaha, customers interested in this type of system prefer a classic hi-fi system with a central receiver or a compact system. There are now several of these in the range, practically in all gradations, sizes and price categories.
If you want to get even more serious about hi-fi, there are not only three beautiful modular receivers in the classic retro design of the 1970s available with built-in MusicCast streaming. A network player and even a record player reinforce the combination of multi-room streaming and classic hi-fi. In addition, compact zone streamers and amplifiers as well as a small bridge are also available, which in turn stream music streams from Bluetooth or Airplay 2 into the MusicCast network.
A compatible soundbar and optional wireless subwoofer are also available in the lineup, to which additional surround speakers can be connected as rears. According to Yamaha, however, this should not normally be necessary, as the company relies on the rather exotic virtual technology of dts.
Software and playback: The dedicated MusicCast app and more
The MusicCast app from Yamaha is limited to the essential functions, but is stable and very easy to install. It is available for Android and iOS devices.
Hires files are supported up to 192/24, even the import of locally stored music data, be it from USB storage or a NAS, works without any problems. In addition, Bluetooth and Airplay 2 streams can be received via a bridge and distributed in the MusicCast network.
Various streaming services are integrated into the app or you can select the MusicCast components from the app, ranging from Spotify and Deezer to Tidal and Qobuz.
As voice assistants, Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant are also able to control MusicCast components.
The Yamaha MusicCast system is ideal for these requirements
Of course, the integration of a turntable is unique in the multiroom sector. But otherwise, the system is most likely to be suitable for those who want to have as little stress as possible during installation and want to have a classic stereo system networked with a receiver or amplifier as the main system.
All components of the Yamaha MusicCast at a glance
System Onebox systems:
- Yamaha MusicCast WX-010
- Yamaha MusicCast 20
- Yamaha MusicCast 50
Stereo compact speakers
- Yamaha MusicCast NX-N500
- Yamaha MusicCast BAR 400
- Yamaha MusicCast BAR 40 SW
- Yamaha MusicCast Sub 100
Stereo compact systems
- Yamaha MusicCast MCR-B270D
- Yamaha MusicCast MCR-B370
- Yamaha MusicCast MCR-N470
- Yamaha MusicCast MCR-N570
- Yamaha MusicCast MCR-N670
Network player/digital sources
- Yamaha MusicCast WXC-50
- Yamaha MusicCast NP-S303
- Yamaha MusicCast R-N402D
- Yamaha MusicCast R-N602
- Yamaha MusicCast R-N802
- Yamaha MusicCast WXA-50
- Yamaha WXAD-10
- Yamaha Vinyl 500
- various models, more information at: yamaha.com