Jumping on the bandwagon of wireless sound, Yamaha has launched a new series of products supporting MusicCast to deliver wireless sound to your 5.1 channel home theater setup. It all begins with their new receivers (AVR), including the RX-V485 ($449.95), RX-V585 ($549.95) and the RX-V685 ($649.95). All of these support the ability to deliver wireless sound to both your rear channels and a subwoofer (your front mains and center are still wired). The approach is similar to certain soundbars that offer wireless rear/sub options.
All three of the new AVR models support the ability of course to run everything with wires like any other (if you choose not to go wireless), and the later two of the three AVR models also support up to 7.2 channels (wired). When choosing to go wireless on your rear and sub channels, the AVR will connect to the speakers using Yamaha’s own MusicCast, which does so via Wi-Fi, and is the same technology they use for multi-room audio. When using the rear/sub speakers in wireless mode (aka MusicCast Surround mode), the AVR will connect to them directly using its own generated Wi-Fi, preventing the user from having to connect everything using an external router (unless you are using multi-room audio, which does make use of your router).
The AVR models also pack all of the same familiar options you find in all of Yamaha’s other recent models, including online streaming of music, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay and so much more.
To compliment the new AVR models are their new speakers to pull the job off with. This includes their new MusicCast 20 ($229, available already for pre-order) and MusicCast 50 ($499) speakers. These are what you would be using for those read channels. For your sub, you would be buying into the MusicCast SUB 100. The speakers can also be used as typical stand-alone units for wireless sound (like a Sonos or other wireless speaker). The MusicCast 20 model can be paired into stereo speakers or used as your surround speakers in surround mode, or you can use a single MusicCast 50, which delivers stereo sound by itself (although you also have the option of using two if you like).
The sub woofer can also be used with speakers that are used as a stand-alone unit to add more “umph” to your music with–as an alternative to using it as part of a surround setup.
All three of the AVR models will be launching sometime in May, while the speakers will be coming a little later in July (the MusicCast 20 speakers are already available for pre-order here). The sub will be trailing further behind with a release date of September.