Yamaha announces a deluge of MusicCast components

We’ve already heard about Yamaha’s new RX-V81 and RX-A60 Aventage AV receiver ranges, so we’ll be focusing on the soundbars, speakers and stereo receivers and it’s the latter we’ll come to first.

The Yamaha R-N402ND stereo receiver supports hi-res WAV, FLAC and AIFF files up to 24-bit/192kHz, DSD 2.8 and 5.6 MHz and Apple Lossless. You can stream audio stored on a NAS drive or computer via wi-fi as well as via Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay. If you still don’t feel that’s enough ways of playing music, then you’ll be glad to know there’s built-in support for Spotify Connect, a DAB/DAB+ tuner and digital optical and coaxial connections for hooking up a TV or Blu-ray player.

And of course, there’s support for Yamaha MusicCast multi-room platform, which means you can connect other sources such as a CD player or turntable - providing you have a phono stage - and stream audio from them around your home. Everything can be controlled via the MusicCast app for Android and iOS devices. The R-N402ND should be available in the next few months for £400.

MORE: Yamaha MusicCast system hands-on review

But what if you’re pretty happy with your current stereo amplifier but want to take advantage of multi-room audio? Yamaha has you covered with the WXC-50 (left) and WXA-50 (right) MusicCast modules. The WXC-50 pre-amplifier can be added to existing hi-fi and home cinema systems allowing you to stream audio through your current speakers or send audio from your sources to other speakers dotted around your home.

The Yamaha WXA-50 amplifier meanwhile can be connected to passive speakers and deliver 2 x 55W to them. While both streaming amps work with the MusicCast tech, they also support Apple AirPlay and Bluetooth for wireless streaming from mobile devices and computers. They both come with analogue and digital inputs, as well as subwoofer outputs. The WXC-50 gets an additional pre-out as well as a coaxial and optical digital outputs.

The Yamaha WXA-50 and Yamaha WXC-50 will be available from August with pricing to be revealed nearer the time.

MORE: The best stereo amplifiers of the 21st century

Next up it’s streaming speakers, with two new models: the Yamaha WX-010 (left) and Restio ISX-18 (right). The WX-010 is a compact wireless speaker that uses a closed two-way system with two passive radiators to deliver “bass reproduction that is remarkable given its size”. While it’s happy to be used on its own, you can connect two WX-010s together to form a stereo pair and it can be wall mounted using the integrated fixings.

The Restio ISX-18D is aimed at those who want a bit of style with their speaker. It features a built-in DAB radio and alarm clock, can be wall mounted and has an integrated two-way bass reflex system. It can be used to stream music via Bluetooth, AirPlay, wi-fi and Spotify, or from other MusicCast components in a multi-room system. The WX-010 and ISX-18D will be available in the next few months for £160 and £250 respectively.

MORE: 7 of the best wireless speakers

Finally, we move on to soundbars and Yamaha has two new models: the YAS-306 and YSP-2700. Yamaha says the YAS-306 adopts Air Surround Xtreme technology which uses algorithms to allow it to produce “authentic 7.1 surround sound”. Under the grille there are two integrated subwoofers and Yamaha has equipped it with five different sound modes. The YAS-306 will also be available in the next few months for £350.

The Yamaha YSP-2700 meanwhile is classed as a digital sound projector because it uses targeted reflections in the room to produce the surround sound effect.

It features 16 array speakers which project sound to various locations around the room using Yamaha’s IntelliBeam technology. We were impressed with the surround sound effect from the outgoing YSP-2500 so have high hopes for its successor.

The YSP-2700 has three HDMI inputs and one HDMI output that support 4K Ultra HD video, as well as ten different DSP sound modes. And as with all other products, the soundbars are MusicCast compatible, so they can receive audio from other components or send it out to other speakers or modules in a multi-room system. The YSP-2700 will cost £900 when it goes on sale in the next few months.

MORE: Best soundbars 2016

And for the musicians among you, Yamaha's pianos can now be fitted with the Disklavier Enspire which can transmit whatever you are playing on the piano throughout the house on any MusicCast system. If you don't fancy playing yourself, the Enspire can play many well-known piano pieces itself. Clever.

MORE: Yamaha Atmos soundbar review

Max is a staff writer for What Hi-Fi?'s sister site, TechRadar, in Australia. But being the wonderful English guy he is, he helps out with content across a number of Future sites, including What Hi-Fi?. It wouldn't be his first exposure to the world of all things hi-fi and home cinema, as his first role in technology journalism was with What Hi-Fi? in the UK. Clearly he pined to return after making the move to Australia and the team have welcomed him back with arms wide open.