Looks really nice. I was going to suggest a Sonos Connect. It lacks the Bluetooth and Airplay capability but it can play music stored on mobile devices if the device is on the same network. It’s the same price as the Yamaha so I guess the only real advantage to a Sonos Connect would be the multi-room capability. But that Yamaha has extra features (volume knob, 12v triggers, optical input, and sub output) so if multi-room isn’t important it looks like a winner.
Upon further review it actually does have multiroom capability. I’m looking for a downside to the hardware but I don’t see one other than price. But $350 doesn’t seem unreasonable to me considering it’s capabilities.
On the software front the interface is critical. Reading reviews of tha MusiCast app it appears to be a really good choice. The only criticism I’m seeing is with using the app to occasional connection issues to MusicCast clients. In my experience that sort of thing is almost always related to the quality of the WiFi network inside the home.
I was looking at these units and they both look perfectly fine... however, I got very excited to see on the Yamaha unit a feature called "volume adapted EQ". Basically, it is a true "perceived loudness" EQ based on the "equal loudness curve" which boosts the bass and treble at lower volumes as you adjust the volume. This is one very cool feature if you want to compensate for how balanced the system sounds at various volume levels.
Assuming you connect to your pre/pro via a digital connection, I don’t see an advantage to the BlueSound
So, again, it comes down to the interface on both the hardware and software. Without actually using both apps I can’t say that one is superior. So based on that I wouldn’t be able to justify the $150 premium for the BlueSound.
Something worth considering ... for me the ability to have a single source playing throughout the house, and being able to easily control it from my phone or tablet (or even by voice via Alexa) has been addicting. If you think this may appeal to you, and that you’ll add additional receivers for other systems, or smart speakers in rooms without a system (the kitchen and bedroom for example) consider that your buying into an ecosystem. These systems don’t work across brands.
There are devices which use the DTS Play-Fi platform which does work across brands. But in my experience the Play-Fi experience isn’t as good as 1st party platforms.
Damn you, Heeman!!! I now want the Yamaha unit for my family room system. It can completely replace my Parasound Analog Stereo Preamp and offer the benefit of the playing of my digital music library and integrate with Alexa. The only thing I lose is the Phono Preamp, which I can get an outboard preamp and still listen to LPs.
....Yamaha unit a feature called "volume adapted EQ". Basically, it is a true "perceived loudness" EQ based on the "equal loudness curve" which boosts the bass and treble at lower volumes as you adjust the volume. This is one very cool feature if you want to compensate for how balanced the system sounds at various volume levels.
I got the Yamaha WXC-50 today and it works extremely well for streaming media of every kind, including from my phone. The MusicCast features are great! I still have much to experiment with to see if it can do everything I need in the streaming department.
However, for the life of me I cannot get it to play audio which is feeding the Optical input or the Aux input at all. This is frustrating as I purchased this unit specific to replace my current preamp. So... damn.
I am going to do some research and see if there is some setting I am missing.
Analog Turntable (which means I need an external preamp)
Toslink (optical) TV LPCM
Echo Dot (likely to do Bluetooth, but I didn't get that far in the testing since the first two didn't work)
The MusicCast app was able to find my music libraries on my DLNA enabled home PC server, and navigating was a little clunky, but functional. The streaming radio worked great as did Amazon Music and playing from my phone. I liked the app and the PC web interface, so I could use a Windows notebook/tablet to control the unit if I wanted.