Yamaha MusicCast 50 Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Aug 03, 2021 at 10:18 am
Yamaha MusicCast 50 Picture
7.1
Music
6.6
Videos/Movies
6.3
Podcasts
2.7
Voice Assistant
5.4
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
Yes
Speakerphone
No
Voice Assistant
No
Battery Powered
No

The Yamaha MusicCast 50 speaker is a wired home speaker with a slightly boomy, well-balanced sound profile with its 'Bass Booster' feature enabled. You can connect it to other MusicCast-compatible speakers and soundbars, and there's even a multi-room feature you can use to listen to different audio across different rooms of your home. While it doesn't have any built-in voice assistants, the manufacturer advertises that it can be connected to other Google Assistant or Alexa-enabled speakers, though we don't test for this. Unfortunately, it struggles to reproduce low-bass. That said, there's a graphic EQ and presets you can use to tweak its sound to your liking.

Our Verdict

7.1 Music

The Yamaha MusicCast 50 is decent for music. With its 'Bass Booster' sound program enabled, it has a well-balanced, though slightly boomy sound profile, making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. It has a fairly balanced mid-range, so vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. However, it lacks some low-bass, so you can't feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music like EDM. Fortunately, its MusicCast companion app features a graphic EQ and presets you can use to tweak its sound to your liking.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Little compression at max volume.
Cons
  • Poor directivity.
  • Lacks low-bass.
6.6 Videos/Movies

The Yamaha MusicCast 50 is fair for watching videos and movies. While it has a well-balanced, though slightly boomy sound profile with its 'Bass Booster' sound program enabled, it still struggles to reproduce the deep thump and rumble typically present in action-packed scenes. It also has a poor Bluetooth latency performance with iOS and Android devices, so your audio and video may be out of sync. However, some apps compensate for latency differently, and your experience may vary.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets.
  • Optical port.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • Poor Bluetooth latency with iOS and Android devices.
  • Poor directivity.
  • Lacks low-bass.
6.3 Podcasts

The Yamaha MusicCast 50 is passable for podcasts. It can get loud with little compression at max volume, so your audio sounds mostly clean during louder listening sessions. With its 'Bass Booster' sound program enabled, the MusicCast has a balanced mid-range, so voices accurately reproduce in the mix. However, the overemphasis in the treble range can make higher-pitched voices and sibilants like S and T sound a bit harsh. It also isn't very portable due to its wired design. That said, there's a multi-room feature you can use to listen to different audio content across different rooms of your home.

Pros
  • Little compression at max volume.
  • Multi-room.
Cons
  • Isn't very portable.
  • Poor directivity.
2.7 Voice Assistant

The Yamaha MusicCast 50 doesn't have any built-in voice assistants. You can connect it to Google Assistant or Alexa-enabled speakers to use voice assistants, though we don't test for this since it requires the purchase of a third-party device.

5.4 Outdoors

The Yamaha MusicCast 50 speaker is a wired-only speaker that isn't designed for outdoor use.

  • 7.1 Music
  • 6.6 Videos/Movies
  • 6.3 Podcasts
  • 2.7 Voice Assistant
  • 5.4 Outdoors
  1. Updated Aug 03, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Jul 29, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Yamaha MusicCast is a sleek, oval-shaped speaker meant to sit horizontally. It has a plastic, glossy finish on its top, and its touch-sensitive controls and indicator lights are on its matte plastic rim. You can find the MusicCast in three colors, 'White', 'Black', and 'Birch'.

3.8
Design
Portability
Volume
586 in³ (9,600 cm³)
Weight
9.8 lbs (4.5 kg)
Power Source
AC Only
One-Hand Carry
No

The Yamaha MusicCast 50 isn't very portable. While it isn't very large or heavy, it needs to remain wired to a power outlet for it to work, so you can't easily take it outdoors with you.

6.4
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Good
Water Resistance
No
Dust Resistance
No
Impact Resistance
Unspecified
Floats In Water
No

This speaker's build quality isn't bad and feels nice and solid. There's a metal grille protecting its drivers, and the speaker sits on a silicone base with four small feet. Its inputs are located on its rear, and its tactile controls are on its top. That said, the glossy plastic finish atop it doesn't have a very premium feel and may be prone to collecting fingerprints. It also doesn't have an IP rating for dust or water resistance, so it's best to avoid using it around sources of water.

4.8
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Good
Feedback
Good
Music Play/Pause
No
Call Answer/End
No
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Tactile)
Track Next/Previous
No
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

This speaker has poor controls. Its touch-sensitive controls are located on its top and are pretty easy to use. While there are indicator lights that turn on depending on your chosen settings, the controls themselves aren't backlit and don't light up, which can make them difficult to locate in darker environments. That said, you can press the Power/Connect button to turn the speaker on and off and hold it to enter Bluetooth pairing mode. There are also buttons you can use to switch between your inputs and your volume. However, while there aren't any physical controls you can use to backtrack or skip tracks, you can still do so through its companion app.

Design
In The Box

  • Yamaha MusicCast 50 speaker
  • Quick Start Guide/Safety Brochure
  • Power Cable

Sound
6.8
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.51
Std. Err.
3.29 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
55.8 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
14.5 kHz

This speaker has an alright frequency response accuracy. With its default 'Bass Booster' sound program enabled, it has a slightly boomy though well-balanced sound profile overall, making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. Its balanced mid-range ensures vocals and lead instruments are clearly reproduced in the mix. That said, it lacks a deep thumpy and rumbling low-bass, and the overemphasis in its treble range can make some higher-pitched voices and sibilants like S and T sound a bit harsh. Fortunately, its companion app features a graphic EQ and presets you can use to tweak its sound to your liking.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
6.8
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
6.02 dB
Stereo
Yes

This speaker has an okay soundstage similar to that of the Denon Home 350. The MusicCast can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. However, it has middling directivity, so your audio may not sound as clear from all angles.

8.1
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
95.2 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
1.35 dB

This speaker's dynamics are very good. It can get pretty loud with little compression at max volume, so your audio sounds clean during louder listening sessions. For a home speaker that can get even louder, check out the Klipsch The Three II.

Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power Saving
No
Charging Port
No Battery

The Yamaha MusicCast 50 speaker isn't battery-powered and needs to remain plugged into an outlet for it to work. That said, the speaker will enter standby mode if left inactive for 20 minutes. You can enable and disable this feature by holding the 'Alarm Logo' on the control panel for three seconds.

0
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Siri
No
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No
Far-Field Performance
No Assistant
Ambient Noise Performance
No Assistant

While it doesn't have any built-in voice assistants, the manufacturer advertises that the MusicCast can connect to speakers with Google Assistant and Alexa built-in, though they would both need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. However, we don't test for this since it requires the purchase of a third-party device.

9.6
Active Features
App
App Name
MusicCast
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
Graphic + Presets
Stereo Pair Mode
Yes
Party Mode
Yes
Multi-Room
Yes

This speaker's companion app is superb. It features a graphic EQ and presets, so you can customize the speaker's sound to your liking. You can also use the app to connect the speaker to other MusicCast-compatible speakers to create a stereo pair or when you want your audio to cover a large room. There's also a multi-room feature that can come in handy when you want to play different audio content in different rooms across your home simultaneously. You can add the speaker as a rear unit to a MusicCast soundbar and can also use the app to set up the speaker's alarm function. You can connect and control music service applications like Spotify or Pandora via the app and can also use it to turn the speaker On/Off and skip your tracks.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
Yes
USB Audio
No
Other Ports
Yes

Aside from its power input, this speaker features an AUX input you can use to wire older devices to it. There are also red and white RCA inputs, an ethernet port you can use to connect it to your network, and a digital optical port to wire it to a compatible soundbar. While there's a USB port, it's only for servicing the speaker.

6.6
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.2
Bluetooth iOS Latency
-250 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
-290 ms
Bluetooth Range
315.0 ft (96.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
No

This speaker offers fair Bluetooth connectivity options. It has extremely high negative latency with iOS and Android devices, which can cause you to hear your audio before you see its matching visuals on your screen, so it isn't suitable for watching videos and movies. That said, some apps compensate for latency differently, and your experience may differ.

8.2
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
Wi-Fi 5
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
2.4GHz & 5GHz
Apple AirPlay
Yes
AirPlay Latency
5 ms
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

This speaker has great Wi-Fi compatibility. It has low Apple AirPlay latency, making it suitable for watching videos and movies over this connection, though some apps compensate for latency differently, and your real-world experience may vary. Unfortunately, while it's compatible with Google Assistant speakers, it doesn't support Google Chromecast, which may disappoint some Android users.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Yamaha MusicCast 50 comes in three color variants: White, Black, and Birch. We expect these variants to perform similarly. We tested the White variant, you can find its label here.

If you come across any other variants, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Yamaha MusicCast 50 is an oval-shaped speaker with a well-balanced sound profile overall. Like many home speakers, it isn't very portable due to its wired design and needs to remain plugged into a power source for it to work. You can use the graphic EQ and presets in its MusicCast companion app to customize its sound to your liking, and can also use the app to pair it to compatible MusicCast devices like the Yamaha YAS-408, though we don't currently test this.

See also our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers, the best home speakers, and the best Alexa speakers.

Bose Home Speaker 500

The Bose Home Speaker 500 is a slightly better speaker than the Yamaha MusicCast 50. The Bose offers a wider and more natural-sounding soundstage, so your audio sounds clean from most angles. It also has Google Assistant and Alexa built-in and does an excellent job of understanding your commands from far and in noisier environments. However, the Yahama has can get louder than the Bose, with less compression at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio during louder listening sessions. It's also more customizable thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured in its companion app.

JBL Charge 5

The Yamaha MusicCast 50 is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 5 overall, though you may prefer one over the other depending on your listening habits. The Yamaha can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono and can get louder than the JBL with less compression at max volume, so your audio sounds cleaner at louder volumes. It's also more customizable thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured in its companion app. That said, the JBL is battery-powered, making it more portable than the Yamaha. It's also better-built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.

Amazon Echo Studio

The Amazon Echo Studio and the Yamaha MusicCast 50 are similar speakers. The Amazon offers excellent voice assistant support with Alexa built-in and does an excellent job of understanding your commands from far away. It has better directivity, resulting in a wider-sounding soundstage. It also has a built-in Zigbee hub, so you can connect it to compatible smart home devices like lightbulbs or thermostats and control them using Alexa. You can connect the Yamaha to MusicCast-compatible devices like MusicCast soundbars. It can also get louder than the Amazon and is more customizable thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured in its MusicCast app.

Denon Home 350

The Denon Home 350 is a better speaker than the Yamaha MusicCast 50 overall, though they have different strengths. With its default settings, it has a better-balanced sound profile that can produce much deeper bass than the Yamaha. It can also get a bit louder than it. The Yamaha has less compression at max volume, resulting in cleaner sound at louder volume levels. It also features a graphic EQ and presets you can use to customize its sound to your liking.

Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM

The Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM is a better speaker than the Yamaha MusicCast 50 overall. The Ultimate Ears offers a wider-sounding soundstage and can get louder than the Yamaha with less compression present at max volume. It's battery-powered and comes with a built-in carrying strap making it more portable. Though we don't currently test for this, it also has an IPX4 rating for water resistance, so you can take it outdoors with you when you're on the move. That said, the Yamaha supports Apple AirPlay, which may please some Apple users.

Bose Portable Smart Speaker

Depending on your preferences, you may prefer either the Bose Portable Smart Speaker or the Yamaha MusicCast 50. The Bose is battery-powered, making it more portable since it doesn't need to remain plugged into a power source for it to work. It also has a more spacious-sounding soundstage thanks to its 360-degree design and offers fantastic voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. That said, the Yamaha can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which is more immersive. It can also get louder than the Bose with less compression at max volume, resulting in a cleaner sound.

Sonos Move

The Sonos Move is a better speaker than the Yamaha MusicCast 50 overall. The Sonos has a better-balanced sound profile that can produce deeper bass than that of the Yamaha. It's also battery-powered and is rated IP56 for dust and water resistance though we don't test for this, making it more portable than the Yamaha. Also, it offers outstanding voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. That said, the Yamaha can get louder with less compression at max volume, resulting in cleaner-sounding audio at louder volume levels. It's also more customizable, thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured on its companion app.

Sonos Roam

The Yamaha MusicCast 50 is a better speaker than the Sonos Roam overall, though you may prefer one over the other depending on your listening habits. With its default 'Bass Booster' sound program enabled, the Yamaha can produce a more extended low-bass than the Sonos. It can get louder than the Sonos with fewer compression artifacts at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio during louder listening sessions. It can also play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, which is more immersive. That said, the Sonos is smaller and is battery-powered, making it more portable than the Yamaha. It also offers fantastic voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in.

Klipsch The Three II

The Yamaha MusicCast 50 is a better speaker than the Klipsch The Three II overall. With its default settings enabled, the Yamaha offers a better-balanced sound profile. It also comes with a graphic EQ and presets you can use to tweak its sound. Also, you can connect it to compatible MusicCast speakers and soundbars. However, the Klipsch offers lower latency with iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth, which may come in handy if you typically like to watch movies and videos over this connection. That said, some apps compensate for latency differently, and your experience may differ.

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