After a big reveal in August, the first standalone speaker as part of the burgeoning Yamaha MusicCast wireless multiroom audio system has arrived. Yamaha’s new MusicCast wireless speaker, the WX-030 became available for retail today. The new multiroom system has been riding in new Yamaha receivers since its unveiling last summer, but this is the first piece in a round of standalone components that will ultimately be able to be linked with multiple other MusicCast products to create a house-wide listening experience.Like other multiroom setups, the speaker can be controlled using a free app for iOS and Android devices, and it also works with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to stream music from mobile devices, computers, and more, including services like Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, and SiriusXM Internet Radio.
But unlike most multiroom speaker setups, Yamaha doesn’t stop there: Those who pick up (or already own) a new Yamaha receiver can also send anything connected to the system — from your favorite vinyl, to the Superbowl — to any MusicCast component. That’s what really makes this system special, and an affordable new speaker ready to compete with Sonos, and multiple other multiroom components should start the party off right.
With its 2-way speaker design, large passive radiator, and advanced digital sound processing technology, sound quality for the WX-030 is said to be clear and “room-filling,” according to Yamaha. As part of the MusicCast family, the speaker also supports high-resolution audio at up to 24bit/192kHz, and is compatible with a variety of music files. And if you’re sourcing from an MP3 or streaming service, it’s also designed to restore clarity via onboard DSP.
The speaker has a few other tricks up its sleeve, too. While connected to your Wi-Fi network, the MusicCast speaker can re-stream Bluetooth content from a phone or other device to other linked MusicCast speakers and components, making it easy to transmit audio to Bluetooth speakers or headphones, as well as allowing guests to set the playlist from their smartphones. If desired, however, the WX-030 can also be used with Bluetooth independent of Wi-Fi. It’s even possible to opt for a wired network connection using a standard Ethernet jack.
Towards the end of 2015, a software update will also let two WX-030s be paired in stereo, and many more big changes are coming. Yamaha plans to unveil the remainder of the first 20 MusicCast-enabled products by the year’s end, stretching from the aforementioned AV receivers to audiophile-grade monitors, sound bars, and more. Meanwhile, the MusicCast app will lead the way, providing access to content, enabling users to control how music or other audio is played, and allow for deeper personalization.
For now, music lovers can pick up the WX-030 speaker today, available in black or white for $249.95.