Yamaha MusicCast amp and preamp bring wireless music streaming to any hi-fi

Wireless music streaming is all the rage these days, and Yamaha’s solution, MusicCast, enables you to stream from multiple devices and build a multi-room system with ease.

Joining the line-up are a new stereo amplifier and preamp. Both include Bluetooth, DLNA and Apple AirPlay connectivity, Spotify Connect and, of course, compatibilty with all other MusicCast products.

The slimline design of the casework means the amps can be positioned vertically or horizontally, and are suitable for rack mounting in custom installations.

‘One-push play’ means you can press any button on the front of the amp and it will immediately switch on and start playing the most recently selected source.

Power output on the WXA-50 is a claimed 65W per channel (8ohms, 1kHz, 0.9% THD, two channel driven).

Both models can be placed vertically if space is tight

Both models can be placed vertically if space is tight

Physical inputs include ethernet, USB, optical digital and analogue, while the usual speaker outputs, a separate subwoofer out and analogue output are also fitted to both models. In addition, the WXC-50 gets a set of preouts, and optical and coaxial digital outputs. Power consumption in standy is said to be less than 2W.

Yamaha has specified an ESS Sabre9006AS DAC (digital-to-analogue converter) for both units, a ‘high output’ digital amp for the WXA-50 and uses a rigid metal chassis for optimum performance.

Other technical highlights include Direct Mode, which allows you to play high-resolution audio sources (24-bit/96kHz or 24-bit/192kHz) without any additional processing; a volume adaptive EQ that adjusts the bass and treble according to the volume level; Advanced Bass Extension for boosting bass when using smaller or in-wall speakers; and a Compressed Music Enhancer for improving sound quality when listening to compressed audio on smartphones and tablets.

The Yamaha WXC-50 and WXA-50 are compatible with the MusicCast controller app for smartphones and tablets. They will go on sale in the UK from August.

MORE: Yamaha MusicCast hands-on review

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.