Yamaha MusicCast review
ABOVE: Our four rooms of MusicCast showing on an iPad screen, with personalised imagery. The 'Link' button top left allows easy linking of rooms from your choice of 'Master'.

THIS IS PART OF OUR YAMAHA MUSICCAST REVIEW - for the full index, go here.

 
YAMAHA MUSICCAST:  This platform technology for wireless multiroom audio streaming was introduced with a collection of products in August 2015, and has kept growing. The system itself went on to win our Sound+Image Multiroom System of the Year for both 2016 and 2017, along with various product awards, notably to the excellent NS-N500 wireless active speakers. 
MusicCast Surround has also now been announced, extending the platform to form surround set-ups: more details here.
While Yamaha was far from first into the multiroom streaming market, long dominated by Sonos, it arrived with a cleverly diverse range of multiroom-enabled products, which has continued to expand. Where rivals have each created little ecosystems of products that can share their music around the house, Yamaha has delivered a platform that will operate throughout its extensive range of audio and AV — in small wireless speakers, soundbars, AV receivers, stereo receivers, micro systems, standalone speaker units, active stereo speakers… even recently in one of Yamaha Music's Clavinova baby grand pianos.
All MusicCast devices to date have been able to receive by Bluetooth and by AirPlay, in addition to app-based control of network playback and online music services.
Plus there’s a rather useful bonus in each MusicCast device also being able to push to one additional Bluetooth speaker (or headphone), whether that be a Yamaha-branded unit or not.

That puts a lot of pressure on the app, and on the quality of connections. Fine hardware can fumble if the control system doesn’t work.

So MusicCast is closely bound together with its app for smartphones and tablets (iOS or Android), with the whole connected via your home network,  able to play tunes from your smart devices, from home network shares, from internet services including online radio, Pandora, Spotify and Tidal, also happily streaming point to point via either Bluetooth or Apple’s AirPlay.

With such a vast system to examine, we initially called in four of MusicCast’s key launch products:

BAR, the YSP-1600BSW soundbar with its subwoofer

PLUS, the WX-030 standalone wireless speaker unit

FRAME, the ISX-80 lifestyle audio product

STUDIO, the NX-N500 active stereo speakers

- and we have since published the following reviews of product with MusicCast inside:

 the RX-A3050 networked AV receiver

the YSP-5600BSW Atmos soundbar + subwoofer

 the RX-A3060 networked AV receiver 

the RX-A3070 networked AV receiver

the RX-A3080 networked AV receiver

the RX-A1080 networked AV receiver

the YSP-2700 soundbar system

the R-N803D stereo networked receiver

the R-N303 R networked stereo receiver

and the MusicCast VINYL 500 networked turntable!

As you can see from the links above, we’ve separated out our reviews of each, along with separate sections on the following: 

- Intro to Yamaha MusicCast
how a MusicCast system is set up
the MusicCast app, what is can do and what it can’t
three ways to use iTunes with MusicCast
- What is MusicCast Surround?

Feel free to read these in whatever order is most congenial to your preferences! Meanwhile, here’s a video from Yamaha to introduce the overall system.