Yamaha is bringing Amazon's Alexa voice control to its MusicCast wireless multiroom audio products beginning this fall with more than 40 A/V products.
The existing components will get a firmware update enabling control using spoken commands through Alexa-enabled devices. An Alexa skill that adds support for the MusicCast commands will simultaneously be made available for Alexa-enabled devices, including the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Tap and Amazon's Fire TV.
MusicCast products range from wireless speakers to sound bars, amplifiers and A/V receivers that stream audio content from streaming services, Internet radio channels, digital music libraries, Bluetooth devices, and external sources connected to MusicCast products, such as TV set-top boxes, Blu-ray Disc players and turntables. MusicCast products also play back Hi-Res Audio audio formats.
While the Alexa skill and MusicCast firmware updates are slated for this fall, MusicCast products can already be connected with the Amazon Echo Dot and support multiroom playback via a Bluetooth input, and can redistribute a Bluetooth source to multiple MusicCast devices. Since the Echo Dot offers a Bluetooth output, it can be paired with any MusicCast wireless speaker, sound bar or A/V receiver, the company said. The two devices can then be connected by simply saying, “Alexa, connect.” From there, the sound of the Echo Dot can be played back through a single MusicCast device, or multiple devices can be linked using the MusicCast app for distributed audio throughout a home.
Many MusicCast products also offer analog inputs which can be connected to the Echo Dot via its line output if a wired connection is preferred. More information on MusicCast products that can already be used with the Echo Dot is available here.
“MusicCast is the most versatile and powerful wireless multiroom audio system on the market, and the integration with Amazon Alexa makes it even easier to control,” said Bob Goedken, general manager of Yamaha's A/V division. “Telling Alexa to play your music and hearing it synchronized throughout your home with Yamaha sound quality is an extraordinary experience.”