The $499-suggested WXA-50 streaming amp will let consumers integrate their existing passive speakers into a home-wide MusicCast network, and the $349 WXC-50 streaming preamp connects to existing stereo systems, including audio/video receivers (AVRs). The new products ship in August.
Yamaha launched its MusicCast technology last August as a firmware upgrade to many of its home audio products, and by year’s end the company expanded its wireless multizone audio selection to 20 new and existing networked products. They include AVRs, a two-channel stereo receiver, a pair of powered left-right monitor speakers, two soundbars, an under-TV speaker base, an A/V preamp processor and a single-chassis tabletop speaker.
Like other MusicCast products, the two slim components decode high-resolution audio formats; use Wi-Fi and Ethernet ports to stream the libraries of a networked PC or mobile device; and stream Pandora, Spotify Connect, Sirius XM, Rhapsody and vTuner from the Cloud. MusicCast products also feature Bluetooth, enabling users to retransmit a Bluetooth source over Wi-Fi to other MusicCast products. AirPlay sources can’t be retransmitted.
Content can also be distributed over the home network from sources connected to MusicCast products, including USB sticks, turntables, CD players and TVs.
High-res audio files decoded by the MusicCast products include Apple Lossless (ALAC) up to 96kHz/24-bit and FLAC, AIFF and WAV up to 192kHz/ 24-bit. Most of the products also stream DSD up to 5.6MHz, including the two new products, without the files being down-converted.
Custom applications: Both new models measure 2 by 8.4 by 9.6 inches, allowing for horizontal or vertical placement in a 1U equipment rack. Two horizontal units fit side by side in a 19-inch-wide rack space.
Both also offer professional-grade connectivity and control features for custom-integration applications. The features include a wired Ethernet port, 12-volt trigger and IR inputs, and an auxiliary bus mode.
In custom applications in which multiple WXA-50 and WXC-50 components are installed in an equipment rack to drive wired in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, each device will stream one source at a time to one zone.
The streamer/amp is rated at 2x55 watts into 8 ohms, 20Hz to 20 kHz, with 0.06 percent THD and 2x75 watts into 6 ohms, 20Hz to 20kHz, with 0.06 percent THD. The 4-ohm-capable amp can drive two sets of 8-ohm speakers run in parallel.
The amp also features optical input, RCA inputs, and subwoofer output.
The preamp features coaxial and optical outputs.