Since the tail end of 2015, Yamaha has been hard at work introducing its new MusicCast multi-room audio system across a wide range of products, from standalone speakers to A/V receivers. In our hands-on with the system earlier this year we called it one of the best multi-room systems we’ve seen since Sonos, and now a lot more people are going to be able to put it to use.
Today Yamaha unveiled two new products aimed at allowing customers to integrate its multi-room solution with audio equipment they already own. The WXA–50 Wireless Streaming Amplifier and WXC–50 Wireless Streaming Preamplifier both allow existing home audio equipment to easily add MusicCast streaming capabilities, with each meant to be used with certain types of gear.
The WXA–50 is meant for use with wired speakers ranging from bookshelf to tower and even outdoor speakers without the need for any other equipment, thanks to a built-in power amp. On the other hand, if you’re already using an A/V receiver you’d rather not part with, the WXA–50 preamp adds both streaming capabilities and multi-room playback in tandem with other MusicCast devices.
Both the WXA–50 and WXC–50 are built with a metal chassis and use the same ESS Sabre DACs found in the company’s high-end A/V receivers. Yamaha’s Compressed Music Enhancer, Volume Adaptive EQ, and Advanced Bass Extension Processing sound processing features, seen in many of its recently released receivers, are also included.
Both offer network control via a built-in Ethernet port, and auxiliary input and output via RCA jacks found on the back. The WXC–50 also features both an analog preamp output and digital output via both optical and coaxial connections on the back of the unit.
MusicCast supports a variety of music sources from streaming services, Internet radio, and Bluetooth, as well as any external audio sources that you would normally plug into a receiver. Digital music files including Apple Lossless, FLAC, WAV, and AIFF are supported, as well as single-device streams for DSD files.
The WXA–50 will retail for $500, while the WXC–50 will go for $350. Both are expected to ship in August of this year. For more information on MusicCast, see Yamaha’s website.