Yamaha expands its MusicCast streaming-music lineup with a new amplifier and pre-amp

While market leader Sonos is exploring new directions, Yamaha is doubling down on its efforts in multi-room audio. The Japanese manufacturer today announced a new amplifier and pre-amplifier for its MusicCast product line, but buyers will have to wait until August to lay their hands on them.

The $500 WXA-50 will drive two channels at 55 watts each (8-ohm load, two channels driven, with total harmonic distortion of 0.06 percent). It will be equipped with analog inputs and outputs (one set of each), a subwoofer output, and a digital input (optical). The unit also promises be custom-installer friendly, with a remote input, a trigger input and output, and an ethernet adapter in addition to Wi-Fi support.

The $350 WXC-50 is designed to add wireless music-streaming capabilities to an existing amp or receiver. Yamaha says its has analog audio inputs and outputs (one set of each, plus a pre-amp output), a separate subwoofer out, and optical digital inputs and outputs (one of each). It will be outfitted with the same custom-installer features as the WXA-50 amplifier.


Yamaha’s WXC-50 pre-amp brings the company’s MusicCast technology to just about any receivier or amplifier. 

Both devices can host a USB storage device, and you'll be able to pair them with a DLNA server or a Bluetooth device. Both will support Apple’s AirPlay streaming technology in addition to Yamaha’s own proprietary MusicCast protocol. As with the already-available components in the MusicCast line, these new additions will support nearly any digital-audio codec, including FLAC, ALAC, and DSD.

Why this matters: Sonos remains the clear market leader in multi-room audio, but Yamaha is coming on strong with MusicCast. Where Sonos hasn’t moved much beyond building single-cabinet powered speakers (the company still has just one stand-alone amplifier, the Connect:Amp), Yamaha offers a broad range of MusicCast-enabled receivers, A/V receivers, and even a respectable home-theater-in-a-box. When you include its powered speakers and the two devices announced today, that’s nearly two dozen products in all.

IDG Insider


« Urban Empire preview: SimCity, from the eyes of a minor government official


Polaroid Remote-Controlled Panorama EyeBall Head review: You spin me right 'round, baby »
IDG News Service

The IDG News Service is the world's leading daily source of global IT news, commentary and editorial resources. The News Service distributes content to IDG's more than 300 IT publications in more than 60 countries.

  • Mail


Do you think your smartphone is making you a workaholic?