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Yamaha adds wireless rear capabilities to 2018 receivers

Yamaha has announced three new MusicCast 2018 receivers, starting at $450, plus wireless speakers that can be used as rears.


Yamaha has introduced three new AV receivers for 2018, which will allow users to add either of two new MusicCast speakers as wireless rears, plus a wireless subwoofer.

The receivers are the 5.1-channel RX-V485 and the 7.2-channel RX-V585 and RX-V685 while the new speakers are the MusicCast 20, MusicCast 50 and the MusicCast SUB 100 subwoofer.

Yamaha's new MusicCast Surround system enables the addition of the new wireless rears and the sub, but sadly, Yamaha says 2017-and-earlier MusicCast speakers and receivers are not compatible.


The Yamaha RX-Vx85 with the Sub 100 and pair of MusicCast 20


While the RX-V485 offers Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, the RX-V585 and RX-V685 also support atmospheric formats Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for overhead effects.

The V485 and V585 offer four HDMI inputs and one out while the V685 offers six ins and two outs. The HDMI ports include compatibility with all of the major 4K formats including HDR 10, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamma formats plus BT.2020 wide color gamut (WCG) compatibility.

All three receivers come with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay and Spotify Connect plus Pandora, SiriusXM Internet Radio and Tidal via the company's MusicCast multi-room system.


Yamaha RX-V485 rear


Three new wireless speakers

Meanwhile, the MusicCast 20 is a larger mono sibling to the MusicCast 10, while the MusicCast 50 is a stereo version. You can add two 20s or a single 50 to generate surround sound or, you know, just use them as regular music streamers around your house. The two models now also come with extra controls: an alarm-clock button and three music presets.

The three receivers -- the $450 RX-V485, $550 RX-V585, and $650 RX-V685, will be available in May while the MusicCast 20 ($230) and MusicCast 50 ($500) will follow in July. The MusicCast SUB 100 is expected in September for $550.

Yamaha has traditionally performed well particularly at the budget end of the receiver market and so if you don't need Atmos then the RX-V485 with its multiroom and wireless rear capability could be the model to look at. The inability to add the now-dirt cheap MusicCast 10 in the rear is a disappointment though.