Yamaha Debuts AVRs & MusicCast Speakers, Sub for Wireless Surround

Yamaha RX-85 AVRs with MusicCast Wireless Surround

Yamaha has introduced three new AV receivers that feature wireless surround-sound when used in conjunction with two newly introduced wireless speakers. The new AVRs are the RX-V485 ($449.95), RX-V585 ($549.95) and RX-V685 ($649.95) and the new speakers are the MusicCast 20 ($229.95) and MusicCast 50 ($499.95). Furthermore, the company released the wireless Sub 100 ($549.95).

The RX-V485 is an upgrade to the also-new RX-V385 ($279.95). Both are 5.1 channel units, but the RX-V385 is not networked and therefore does not support the advanced wireless features of the higher models. The RX-V485 costs $170 more, but offers the wireless surround speaker compatibility and other MusicCast features like WiFi streaming and multi-room audio. These two AVRs both feature Bluetooth and have HDMI ports (4 in, 1 out) that are compatible with the latest video formats like HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG (hybrid log-gamma) HDR. These AVRs also sport YPAO room correction.

You get a lot more bang for an extra hundred bucks when you move up to the RX-V585 from the RX-485. You get the same number of HDMI inputs and outputs, but the channel count increases to 7.2, and you gain Dolby Atmos and DTS:X compatibility. And at the top of this series is the RX-V685, which adds niceties such as Zone 2, ups the HDMI count to 5 in, 2 out, and includes a more advanced version of YPAO room correction that features “reflected sound control.”

The RX-485, RX-585 and RX-685 are all able to use the new MusicCast 20 and MusicCast 50 speakers as wireless rear/surround speakers, as well as the new MusicCast Sub100 for bass. Here are the details on those new offerings:

Yamaha’s MusicCast 20 is positioned as a compact speaker whereas the MusicCast 50 is promoted as the high-performance option. Older MusicCast speaker models are not compatible with the RX-85 series models that offer wireless surround, one of these two new models is required.

The MusicCast 20 is a mono speaker, but you you can use to two of them as a stereo pair, and you can add the Sub 100 to create a 1.1 or 2.1 system. The MusicCast 50 is more flexible, it’s capable of stereo output on its own, and you can also use two of them as a higher performance stereo pair. Either way, if you add the Sub 100, you wind up with a 2.1 system.

If you use the MusicCast 20 for wireless surround you will need two. Intriguingly, because the MusicCast 50 offers stereo output, you can use just one of them as rear surrounds, or two of them, each acting as a single channel, if you desire a wider sound field and higher output.

These new speakers will be available in either white or black finish. The MusicCast 20 features a 3.5″ woofer and a 1.125″ soft-dome tweeter, as well as dual passive radiators. Maximum output power is rated at 40 watts total, with 25 watts going to the woofer and 50 watts to the tweeter. Dimensions are 5.875″ (W) x 7.375″ (H) x 5.125″( D) and a MusicCast 20 weighs 4.8 pounds.

The larger MusicCast 50 is billed as Yamaha’s highest-performance wireless speaker to date. It has dual 3.875″ woofers and dual 1.125″ soft-dome tweeters. Total powers 70 W, 35 watts for each woofer and tweeter pair. This is a low-profile speaker, dimensions are 15.75″ (W) x 4.875″ (H) x 7.875″ (D) and it weighs 9.9 pounds.

Wrapping things up, the Sub 100 is Yamaha’s first wireless subwoofer. He utilizes an 8 inch driver and has a 130-watt amp. The specs claim a frequency response of 28 Hz to 300 Hz. It’s primarily designed for wireless use, but it does have an analog input in the form of a 3.5 mm mini-jack. This subwoofer is available in piano black loss, measures 9.875″ x 14.65″ x 16.5″ and weighs 27.6 pounds.

Yamaha says the three new RX-85 series AV receivers will be available in May 2018, the two new speakers will be available in July, and the Sub 100 is scheduled to ship in September.


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