Yamaha’s MusicCast impressed us when the company first introduced the technology, leading us at the time to declare it the best multiroom solution since Sonos. MusicCast continues to make its way into the company’s products, but now the company is taking it in a different direction. On Monday, April 23, Yamaha announced MusicCast Surround, a new spin on the technology that saves you from having to run speaker cables all over your living room.
MusicCast Surround is similar to the approach that Sonos takes, letting you use wireless speakers as surround satellite speakers. Not only is this a lot easier than running cable everywhere, but the software can calibrate timing automatically to make sure that the sweet spot in your room sounds better than ever before.
With the debut of this technology, Yamaha has also released a salvo of new products: Three new A/V receivers in the 5.1-channel RX-V485 and the 7.2-channel RX-V585 and RX-V685; two new speakers in the MusicCast 20 and MusicCast 50; and the MusicCast Sub 100 subwoofer. All of these feature MusicCast Surround and can be used together to put together a 5.1-channel surround sound system.
An example system might use wired speakers for the front surround and center channels, while the rear surrounds and subwoofer could be wireless. In the case of the MusicCast 20 and MusicCast 50 speakers, these can be used alone or as part of a multiroom audio setup. They can also be used in stereo pairs for better performance.
All three A/V receiver models support the latest TV technologies like 4K and high dynamic range, including HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Hybrid Log Gamma. In the case of the RX-V585 and RX-V685, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based surround sound are supported as well, allowing for sounds that seem to come from above you when used with special ceiling-mounted or upward-firing speakers.
The receivers will go on sale in May, with the RX-V485 priced at $450, the RX-V585 at $550, and the RX-V685 at $650. The MusicCast speakers will go in sale in July in both black and white finishes, with the MusicCast 20 selling for $230 and the MusicCast 50 going for $500. Finally, the MusicCast Sub 100 subwoofer will launch in September for $550. For more information on setting up your home theater on the audio front, be sure to check out our guide to all things surround sound.
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