Yamaha MusicCast Wireless Music System vs Sonos: Which is Better?

Which Wireless Streaming Solution Seems the Most Complete and Easy to Use?

  • Apple Airplay

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • Google Cast

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sonos

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • Yamaha MusicCast

    Votes: 5 55.6%

  • Total voters
    9
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,221 20 9
#1
Yamaha has just announced their new whole-house wireless audio ecosystem, called MusicCast. With MusicCast you get Sonos-like ease of use with a much broader and compatible set of products and sources. With support for high-resolution music and a cool and flexible cross-platform mobile app, MusicCast may be the first wireless music solution tailored towards the demanding music lover.

Read our in-depth report and see why we are so excited by Yamaha's announcement.



Read: Yamaha MusicCast Wireless Music System Overview

Don't forget to vote in our poll for your favorite wireless music solution.
 
Last edited:
M

mmulhern

Enthusiast
Ratings
3
#2
The massive problem with Sonos is that speakers refuse to play in sync with A/V receivers. Especially when any surround processing is happening within the receiver.

Does MusicCast solve this problem?

Also, will MusicCast be backwards compatible with older Yamaha devices that have the ability to connect to a network via ethernet and/or wifi?
 
TheoN

TheoN

Audioholics Contributing Writer
Ratings
27
#3
The massive problem with Sonos is that speakers refuse to play in sync with A/V receivers. Especially when any surround processing is happening within the receiver.

Does MusicCast solve this problem?

Also, will MusicCast be backwards compatible with older Yamaha devices that have the ability to connect to a network via ethernet and/or wifi?
@mmulhern We'll need to test all this out in practice once we get some review gear in-hand. One thing that I was very impressed with is that all the Yamaha products–even the MusicCast speakers have Ethernet. I'm a firm proponent of always using wired connections when possible to reduce latency issues and only use wireless when necessary. Now on the receiver front, I'm going to make guess that you'll see some much better performance on the processing side. The new pre-pro sports 64-bit processing and will apply Yamaha's EQ on top of DSP surround modes. We'll have some beefy processing power in these new products for sure.

If you're noticing the issue only on the receiver end of things with the Sonos bridge then I assume there will be some improvement with the Yamaha products on this front.

In the Yamaha demo that I attended, they did do a multi-device link to show room linking. I didn't notice any obvious latency between devices during that brief segment.
 
M

mmulhern

Enthusiast
Ratings
3
#4
Thanks for your reply.

When the receiver is generating the audio signal there is a delay between the receiver speakers and Sonos speakers due to wifi transmission, processing, etc.

One work around would be for receiver companies to create a 'Receiver Delay' similar to the television lipsync adjustments (naturally you couldn't have both enabled at the same time). That way the receiver can integrate into any wireless speaker system no matter what roadblocks are put in it's way. A few years back I emailed back and forth with Yamaha customer service (only because that's the make of my main receiver) and I'm not sure they understood what I was talking about.

Conversely one might allow Sonos to generate the signal (I'm thinking primarily of Pandora, radio on the internet, server) and feed it into the receiver. In this case, as you mention--due to surround processing, the receiver is out of sync and behind the wireless speakers.

Earlier incarnations of Sonos software included a variable delay feature to enable syncing all the speakers (Sonos and receiver) in this scenario.

Then Sonos removed the delay adjustment through software updates in an attempt to force users to embrace a 'Sonos Only' system. Sonos executives are on record declaring 'The A/V Receiver is Dead' (http://www.cnet.com/news/sonos-the-av-receiver-is-dead/). That's ridiculous for a host of reasons.

The current Sonos 'solution' is to run your receiver in Pure Direct. What's the point of having surround speakers then? Depending on the receiver in Pure Direct you experience a delay (in my case around 70ms).

This latency business has legs in the Sonos website forum but to date Sonos has just ignored the posts or thrown the Pure Direct solution at users.

I understand that in an ideal world wired is the way to go. I have wired speakers on my deck and in my kitchen. If I ran wires everywhere I needed, wireless speakers wouldn't be attractive at all. Frankly MusicCast wouldn;t have much of a market. But I don't want to tear the walls of my house apart just to put more speakers in other rooms.

To me the occasional glitch due to wifi/transmission is tolerable as long as a massive design flaw isn't BAKED into the system to begin with.

I experimented with Sonos and ended up with only one speaker in the basement in order to manage the delay. I would gladly invest with MusicCast (5-6 speakers) if their solution can keep everything in reasonable sync.
 
TheoN

TheoN

Audioholics Contributing Writer
Ratings
27
#5
@mmulhern I spoke to the folks at Yamaha on your behalf and here's the official answer to your question:

The MusicCast link mode allows content to be played back on multiple MusicCast devices at the same time. Content on the network -- such as streaming services (Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, SiriusXM) and music libraries on network-connected mobile devices, computers and storage devices – will play back in sync on all MusicCast devices, including AV receivers, speakers and sound bars. If the Master Room is a MusicCast AV receiver in a surround sound / Cinema DSP mode and the linked room is a MusicCast speaker, the two rooms will still be in sync, though the DSP mode will inherently give the Master Room a different sound. External sources connected to a MusicCast device via HDMI, optical, coax or analog inputs may have a delay between the Master Room and the linked rooms.

Also, MusicCast functionality is not supported by older Yamaha receivers (before the 2015 network models in the AVENTAGE and RX-V Series.

I hope that helps answer your question!
 
M

mmulhern

Enthusiast
Ratings
3
#6
Sure does---awesome! This fits what I'm trying to accomplish. Assuming they can market themselves properly, Yamaha may have a leg up on Sonos with customers in who actually want their music in sync.

Thanks for asking them for me!

One last question. Right now Yamaha has an AV Controller iOS app. Will the AV Controller app be folded into the the MusicCast app? Or will users need to have two separate apps (one to control speakers and one to control receiver) on their iOS devices? I re-read your review but couldn't find anything specific in this regard...
 
TheoN

TheoN

Audioholics Contributing Writer
Ratings
27
#7
Sure does---awesome! This fits what I'm trying to accomplish. Assuming they can market themselves properly, Yamaha may have a leg up on Sonos with customers in who actually want their music in sync.

Thanks for asking them for me!

One last question. Right now Yamaha has an AV Controller iOS app. Will the AV Controller app be folded into the the MusicCast app? Or will users need to have two separate apps (one to control speakers and one to control receiver) on their iOS devices? I re-read your review but couldn't find anything specific in this regard...
@mmulhern there's no difference in the app from what i understood at the meeting. All the new AVRs will be using the MusicCast app. You'll be able to control the AVR via the MusicCast app, which greatly simplifies everything.
 
D

DarQMusic

Audiophyte
#8
Yamaha already has an older Musiccast systems that they just abandoned why would anyone trust them again?
 
M

mnedel

Audiophyte
#9
Hello, I am a complete noob in these things so please bear with me. I have a new apartment. It is not yet equipped. In the living room we have wiring in place for a 7.1 surround system while in other rooms we intend to use wireless speakers. My question is can the surround system in the living room synchronize with the app (these speakers would be connected to the receiver via cable) and be used the same as the wireless speakers in other rooms? It seems to me that the product lineup for the wireless MusicCast speakers doesn’t include true surround systems. Also, is it possible to install the app on pc? Is there any indication there will be an app version for windows phone?

Thanks
 
M

mmulhern

Enthusiast
Ratings
3
#10
mnedel---I haven't seen musiccast in person yet so I can't speak for it but don't buy Sonos for use in a wireless/wired hybrid system and expect everything to be in sync.

I currently use a yamaha RX-A2030 in conjunction with the app on a 3 zone wired system and it works great. I'm hoping musiccast solves the wired/wireless sync problem.
 
B

burtpersson

Audiophyte
#11
Dear Sirs.

Can anybody confirm that Yamaha Musiccast product e.g. R-N602, can output audio to an Airplay speaker?
I have not found any comment on this anywhere on the web, except on this website.

Thanks,
 
martinot

martinot

Audiophyte
#14
Any upcoming support from Yamaha for a musiccast app for Windows 10 Moible (Windows Phone)?
 
Victor Lee

Victor Lee

Audiophyte
#15
Hi everyone. Great insights in this post! Has anyone come up with a definitive comparison yet? By the way, our company AlltecPro is a certified Sonos dealer. So if you have any specific feedback or features requests for Sonos, then please message me.
 
KenM10759

KenM10759

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
715 7 1
#16
Has anyone considered how Bluesound's system fits into this situation?

I have the Bluesound option on my NAD AVR. I also have a Bluesound Vault 2. I've put Bluesound speakers in other parts of my home. I can be playing a movie on my main system and though I can't feed that movie output to the other speakers (why would anyone want to?),but I can switch over to any 2-channel music source and have that play on any Bluesound device on the same wireless network. I can also have each device playing a different source if I want, and it's very high quality (up to 24/192 & MQA) sound. All is controlled via the app on my tablet, phone, or PC.

My understanding is that up to 34 players/speakers can be on the same system, and you can select all, some, or one to play together or independently. This is why I don't think Yamaha's Music cast system is breaking any new ground. BlueOS has been around longer and EVERY older device has been updated to whatever the current product can do.
 

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