Yamaha takes on the Chromecast with its stripped-down MusicCast streamer

If you’re buying a new piece of audio equipment these days then chances are it will have support for at least one type of wireless connectivity, be it Bluetooth, Google Cast or AirPlay. 

But for those of us who have an existing setup that was built in the days before we cut the chord, devices like Google’s Chromecast Audio are a great way of smartening up an older hi-fi setup. 

Now Yamaha is getting in on the action with the WXAD-10, a device that will equip your stereo with support for Bluetooth, Airplay, and Yamaha’s own MusicCast app. 

MusicCast vs Chromecast

Compared to the Chromecast, Yamaha’s offering seems to be a little more restrictive. 

Whereas Google Cast functionality is now built into a wide range of apps, MusicCast has a more limited offering that you’ll have to access through the MusicCast app itself (iOS and Android versions are available). Spotify, Tidal and Deezer are all currently supported, which should cover most streaming needs, but you won’t be able to access them natively from their own apps as you can with a Chromecast setup. 

The WXAD-10 itself is a different beast to the Chromecast audio. It doesn’t allow digital output, but it’s equipped with a Burr-Brown DAC so you’ll probably be content with analogue audio outputs. 

It’s also got an Ethernet port which the Chromecast lacks, which should allow you to get a more stable internet connection. This is especially handy considering it supports files of up to 24-bit/192kHz in resolution (Chromecast, meanwhile, re-samples higher resolution files down to just 24-bit/48kHz). 

The WXAD-10 will be available from May this year at a price that’s still to be confirmed, but with these specs it’s unlikely to be as affordable as the Chromecast. We’ll have to wait and see whether Google can be displaced from its streaming throne.  

Jon Porter

Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.