Yamaha MusicCast PLUS - the WX-030
The smallest member of the MusicCast family is a compact wireless speaker unit some 24cm wide, 16cm high and 11cm deep, with three angles to its front side. It’s effectively mono, not that we realised this particularly until checking the driver specifications, which list one 30mm tweeter, one 9cm mid/bass driver, plus a passive radiator.
While most users are likely to use the WX-030 on a table or desk, it can also be wallmounted, and Yamaha’s pictures even suggest it can be mounted sideways, which would have the merit of leaving its controls more accessible if you had it up high. Since it’s mono, sideways mounting won’t much affect the audio output.
Yamaha has made some fine wireless speaker units in its time, and this delivers another enjoyable performance, well balanced for casual listening, with a decent upper bass support to its sound (richest if you keep it close, but still respectable across a room), projecting both male and female vocals well, including nicely portrayed spoken voice, and topped by a clear but rarely over-insistent treble.
But it’s well up with even the best rival units at this price level — less brash and better balanced than most, and certainly delivering a bigger sound than the range of little portable Bluetooth speakers.
We’d perhaps query the choice of white control markings on a light grey background - we had to peer closely every time we wanted to use the touch buttons on the top. It was also an occasional problem child of our four-unit MusicCast system in terms of Wi-Fi reception — disappearing from the system and causing curious delays when linking MusicCast devices together. Yamaha looked at our diagnostics and indicated it might not have a strong enough Wi-Fi signal. We gave it a hard Ethernet network connection and sure enough, thereafter it had no further issues. But our phone showed no Wi-Fi dropout at that location, and other wireless speakers have worked fine there, so just possibly it's a tad needy in terms of Wi-Fi strength.
When controlled from the MusicCast app, the WX-030 enjoys all the access granted by the Yamaha multiroom wireless system to streaming sources and networked music shares. The MusicCast app links directly to Pandora and internet radio, and to music on your own devices (here you see our iPad which is called, for reasons too complex to explain, 'ezines'). Navigate through Shares to music on your PC or NAS drive (or to iTunes if you use our third workaround here).
Note that the WX-030 has no physical inputs at all, not even an analogue minijack.
But as a MusicCast room it can still perform as a master or slave controller for other MusicCast devices, or can send its music via Bluetooth to any single Bluetooth speaker or headphones, regardless of brand.
It has its own Bluetooth streaming, and AirPlay too, so it can operate entirely independently as a standalone streaming speaker, and be addressed directly from Mac computers and iOS devices. So don’t think of this as solely a MusicCast device.
But those additional abilities, its available music sources and your level of app control are all multiplied by the MusicCast platform, making this an excellent little speaker to extend your multiroom music making into additional small or medium-sized rooms.
Product page with specifications: Yamaha Music Australia
Here are the links to the rest of our extended MusicCast review:
Other MusicCast reviews on AVHub include: