NEW YORK–Yamaha is now in the proprietary multi-room music system game with the release of its MusicCast system, which is integrated into all but one of its 2015 receivers from today.
More than 20 products will support MusicCast, including Yamaha’s Aventage and RX-V receivers, sound bars, monitors and dedicated speakers.
The multi-room music system supports streaming from your network and smartphone as well as from Pandora, Spotify Connect, Rhapsody and SiriusXM. It offers streaming via dual-mode Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Unlike Sonos and Denon Heos, the system supports hi-res music including Apple Lossless (24-bit/96 kHz), FLAC, AIFF and WAV (24-bit/192 kHz) and native DSD streams up to 5.6 MHz (the small speakers convert to PCM).
Yamaha’s entry-level product is the MusicCast Wireless Speaker ($250, coming in October), which features a two-way design with a large passive radiator available in white or black.
While the category is dominated by one company, Sonos, most electronics manufacturers also offer a multi-room product and almost all are proprietary. Yamaha is currently one of only two companies that offers its wireless system on its receivers. Sony has its own multiroom system called SongPal Link, but it’s only in a handful of products, while Denon’s Heos isn’t used in its 2015 receivers at all.
The MusicCast system is controlled via an iOS and Android app and uses standard Wi-Fi to transmit uncompressed audio. As the technology is built into its receivers, Yamaha users can transmit any of the receivers’ inputs around the house including HDMI sources.
Yamaha says it doesn’t have a dongle to use MusicCast with existing equipment, but will announce more products in the New Year.
Of the 20-or-so products two standout MusicCast products from the announcement include the large, Atmos-capable YSP-5600 sound bar ($1,700) coming in December and the Marantz-like slimline RX-S601 ($650) coming in September. More details on these products soon.
Australian and UK pricing and availability are yet to be announced.