Yamaha has introduced a wireless music system it calls MusicCast. What differentiates Yamaha’s MusicCast from all other wireless music systems is the enormous range of device options on offer: 25 different AV receivers, two amplifiers, two audio systems, two wireless speaker systems and three sound bars, all of which can communicate with each other, with the internet, and be controlled by any Smartphone… and that’s just what’s available at the initial launch. The other big news is that MusicCast will send music to any Bluetooth speaker/device you already own, irrespective of make or model.

Yamaha says that every product in its range will eventually be MusicCast-capable. ‘MusicCast is a real revolution in network audio,’ said Simon Goldsworthy, Managing Director of Yamaha Music Australia. ‘Use all your MusicCast products together or separately—it’s completely up to you, and you can control it all using a free app on your phone, and it’s a beautiful app, one that’s simple and intuitive to use, ultra-fast, and shows every component in your MusicCast network, whether it’s a sound bar, a wireless speaker, an AV Receiver, or a complete hi-fi system… whichever suits you best. You can start with one component, and then expand your MusicCast system as time goes on, mixing and matching however you choose.

Demonstrated to Australian Hi-FI Magazine in a private session prior to the official launch, Yamaha had a full multi-room installation to prove that it had ticked all the boxes to ensure that MusicCast would deliver the most comprehensive and full-featured multi-room audio experience on the market. It allows you to play different music in each room, combine any rooms you choose, playing different music in each combination, or all rooms can be playing the same music simultaneously… and in perfect synchronisation. You can stream music from AM, FM, DAB or Internet radio services, from any music service or from your Smartphone via Bluetooth or AirPlay, or from your computer or NAS drive... even from your turntable! MusicCast will handle all available file formats including MP3, WAV, FLAC, AAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF, at up to 192kHz/24-bit.

In a stroke of marketing genius, Yamaha has designed its multi-room MusicCast system to be backwards-compatible, so if you already own a relatively new Yamaha AV receiver, it will link to this new MusicCast platform. Compatible Yamaha receivers include the following models:

• Yamaha RX-V479
• Yamaha RX-V579
• Yamaha RX-V679
• Yamaha RX-V779
• Yamaha RX-V1079
• Yamaha RX-V2079
• Yamaha RX-V3079
• Yamaha HTR-4068
• Yamaha HTR-6068
• Yamaha RX-A550
• Yamaha RX-A750
• Yamaha RX-A850
• Yamaha RX-A1050
• Yamaha RX-A2050
• Yamaha RX-A3050
• Yamaha RX-S601
• Yamaha RX-AS710
• Yamaha CX-A5100
• Yamaha YHT-4920
• Yamaha YHT-7920
• Yamaha HT-8920
• Yamaha YHT-9920
• Yamaha LiveStage 6200MC
• Yamaha RR-9920B

The MusicCast platform is also compatible with Yamaha’s R-N602 Network Receiver and its MCR-N670 Micro Component System.

New models released today to coincide with the MusicCast launch include the WX-030 Wireless Music Speaker, the ISX-80 ‘Frame’ Integrated Audio System and the NX-N500 ‘Studio’ Powered Speakers.

Also, in another masterstroke, as mentioned above, ALL of Yamaha’s MusicCast products can also stream music, via Bluetooth, to any Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones, no matter what the make or model.

Goldsworthy told Australian Hi-Fi Magazine that despite the flexibility of the MusicCast platform, and the number of components that could be interconnected using it, that it was not only the easiest multi-room system to operate, but also the easiest to set-up. ‘To add a component, you simply press the ‘Connect’ button on your phone, input the password of your wireless router, choose a room name and room photo and you’re done. The set-up is complete!’ he said. The MusicCast platform even extends the power of your existing home wireless network. ‘Standard’ mode enables you to connect equipment and routers directly, while ‘Extend Mode’ enables Wi-Fi signals from MusicCast products to be transmitted over longer distances. MusicCast will automatically determine and apply the optimal network setup for your particular home environment.

You can get into MusicCast for just $349, which will buy you a MusicCast '+Plus' powered speaker that will act as the start of your MusicCast system. Add another +Plus to get stereo sound, then other components as you require them.

If the word 'MusicCast' is ringing bells with you, you have a good memory, because back in 2005 Yamaha released a MusicCast Server MCX-1000, which was a CD player/recorder/ripper with a built-in 80GB hard drive that could wirelessly stream tunes to other Yamaha's MusicCast products (the MCX-A10 and MCX-C15). The only thing Yamaha's new MusicCast products share with the MCX-1000 is the word 'MusicCast'.

For further information, please contact Yamaha Music Australia