Yamaha enters multi-room audio with MusicCast

Yamaha has announced details of the next generation of MusicCast, its newly re-imagined multi-room audio technology.

First launched in 2003, Yamaha has revamped the concept to make it more accessible across more products.

Rather than a dedicated product line-up as before, MusicCast will instead be implemented across Yamaha’s whole range of AV receivers, soundbars, wireless speakers, micro systems and stereo amps, totalling 23 products in 2015.

Flexibility is the key with MusicCast, which allows you to make any component the main audio source in your home and stream its output to other MusicCast devices.

MORE: Best multi-room systems 2015

This might be TV sound from a soundbar, CD playback from a micro-system or streamed music via Bluetooth or Apple AirPlay, whether it's streaming services or files over your home network.

Another nice touch is that all MusicCast devices pack both a Bluetooth transmitter and a receiver, so you can also stream from them, to non-MusicCast Bluetooth speakers or wireless headphones, for example.

All devices will also have analogue inputs so external devices like MP3 players can be hardwired to them, plus there will be support for high-res music too.

This means 24-bit/192kHz FLAC, WAV and AIFF files and 24-bit/96kHz ALAC files will be available for playback across the board, as well as DSD files up to 5.6MHz in some higher end products too.

As long as you have a source device capable of playing back the latter natively, MusicCast is able to downsample that for playback on other non-DSD compatible devices, adding even more flexibility to the system.

A free app for both iOS and Android will allow you to control all your MusicCast devices from your phone or tablet, such as changing volume, selecting sources and choosing what’s playing where.

MusicCast will be included on all forthcoming Yamaha devices as standard, with currently available products receiving it shortly via a firmware upgrade.

MORE: Read all our Yamaha news and reviews

Verity Burns

Verity is a freelance technology journalist and former Multimedia Editor at What Hi-Fi?. 

Having chalked up more than 15 years in the industry, she has covered the highs and lows across the breadth of consumer tech, sometimes travelling to the other side of the world to do so. With a specialism in audio and TV, however, it means she's managed to spend a lot of time watching films and listening to music in the name of "work".

You'll occasionally catch her on BBC Radio commenting on the latest tech news stories, and always find her in the living room, tweaking terrible TV settings at parties.