If you’re seeking a Sonos alternative, there are certainly a lot of options out there. Of course, a lot of people wonder why you’d want something like that, when Sonos products are so plentiful. Now, Yamaha is delivering an answer.
The company’s MusicCast lineup has capabilities and product options that go beyond what several manufacturers are offering. Yes, it’s a Sonos alternative, but it’s also an alternative to Apple AirPlay and Google Cast.
MusicCast connects to your home’s WiFi network to stream music wirelessly into any room—or at least, the rooms where you have MusicCast devices. The music, as well as the devices, are all controlled through Yamaha’s MusicCast app.
Before the end of 2015, Yamaha plans to have 20 different products in the MusicCast lineup. : (See: Yamaha Ships Out First MusicCast Wireless Speaker.) That will include speakers, soundbars, and receivers. You can also integrate existing Bluetooth devices and other external sources into the MusicCast mix, including set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, and even turntables. Here are five other things to know about this must-have technology:
1. MusicCast can stream a lot of music. Not only can you play all of the music stored on your networked devices (computers, NAS, smartphones, etc.), but MusicCast also taps into web radio and streaming services, such as Pandora, Spotify Connect, Rhapsody and SiriusXM Internet Radio. (Just know that subscriptions and/or fees may apply.)
2. MusicCast does Bluetooth. All MusicCast products support Bluetooth playback, which means you can stream content from smartphones, tablets and computers to any MusicCast devices. However, each MusicCast-capable device can also output a Bluetooth stream, so you can stream content from MusicCast devices to wireless headphones or Bluetooth speakers.
3. MusicCast supports good audio. Audiophiles will be happy to know that this technology supports high-resolution audio files, including Apple Lossless (ALAC) up to 96kHz/24-bit and FLAC, AIFF and WAV files up to 192kHz/24-bit, as well as DSD streams up to 5.6MHz. Also, because it’s part of so many different types of products, the tech offers integration with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based audio formats.
4. The MusicCast app is a necessity. The free app is available now for iOS and Android devices. This is what allows you to browse through personal and web-based content, and send music to specific rooms or all rooms. It even has customization options for using personal images and colors, as well as renaming and reorganizing sources.
5. You may have MusicCast now and not know it. Or at least, you could have it. Many of Yamaha’s existing products are currently eligible for a free MusicCast firmware upgrade. (See the slideshow for a list of products and model numbers.)
Looking for that special Sonos alternative? Take a peek at what products will be offered through the MusicCast lineup in our slideshow below.
Originally published August 25, 2015.