Thanks to Yamaha UK for the sample.
Brief: Yamaha takes aim at Sonos.
Price: £150 or US$250
Specifications: Wi-Fi Yes, AirPlay Yes, Bluetooth Version/Profile Ver. 2.1 + EDR / A2DP, AVRCP, Audio Codec SBC, AAC* (*Receiving Only), Maximum Communication Range 10 m / 38.2 ft. 10 in. (without interference), Ethernet Yes, Speaker Unit 9 cm (3-1/2″) Woofer x 1, 3 cm (1-1/8″) Tweeter x 1, Passive radiator x 1, Maximum Output Power 30W x 1 (6Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD), Power Supply AC, Power Consumption 10 W, Standby Power Consumption 2.1 W (Network Standby ON, Bluetooth Standby ON, Wireless connection), 0.5 W (Network and Bluetooth Standby OFF), Dimensions (W x H x D) 243 x 157 x 113 mm; 9-5/8″ x 6-1/8″ x 4-1/2″, Weight 2.2 kg; 4.9 lbs, Colours Black, White
Accessories: Erm none. Well unless you count the controller apps. Oh there is a cable cover thingy too.
Build Quality: Good. It is a heavy, solid feeling bit of kit. Visually and to the touch I could find no issues.
Aesthetics: Hmm the white looks all right but I think maybe the black would be nicer. The light sort of silvered top made the controls are to see. Overall it mostly just made no visual impact on me, I’d forget it was there.
Sounds: Hearty, it’s got a bit of a big old hump in the bass, it can’t really do proper depth but it’s got a beefy thump in the middling to upper bass ranges. It likes to dominate when it can. The mids are rather good, a little creamy and heavy but rather pleasing in tone. The highs are really much more tame than you’d expect. Lots of treble can make a little speaker sound like a little tinny speaker and this is the antithesis of that. It’s all hearty, meaty chunky bass hum with a goodly dash of vocals. The treble is very reserved and polite. Not bad detail retrieval but you really have to listen out for it. The mids though, they stand much more on their and I find them quite pleasing. Its good and fully rich flavour you get. Still what’s funny is that they become even better when you begin to dial up the volume and oh my can it get loud. It can get loud to point I couldn’t, I just couldn’t get the dial to the top. No hints of distortion or the “woofer” crapping out either. It’s crazy how loud you can make this thill thing go. Seriously why???
Value: The sound is good but the key differentiator between this and its rivals is the MusicCast system. This has it, and you can do all sorts with it where as the competition either must make do with Airplay only or you lock yourself into the range limited Sonos stuff. I’d expect buyers to be quite pleased with their purchase.
Pro’s: Myriad functionality. Acoustically competent. Versatility
Con’s: Humpy bass. Diminutive treble.