Yamaha today announced a series of firmware updates that will bring Apple AirPlay 2 support and new streaming and voice control capabilities to a number of existing products.
An update to Yamaha’s MusicCast app will enable more than 70 Yamaha audio products built since 2015 to use Google Assistant voice commands to control compatible Yamaha devices via a Google Home smart speaker or Android/iOS device running the Google Assistant app. With the update, Yamaha owners will be able to speak commands to control a home theater, link rooms, adjust volume, and more.
An update slated for late April will enable support for Apple AirPlay 2, high-resolution streaming via Qobuz, and expanded Spotify Connect capabilities in 15 audio products, including RX-A 80 and RX-V 85 series receivers, the TSR-7850 AV receiver, RX-S602 slimline AV receiver, CX-A5200 AV preamp/processor, and ATS-4080 soundbar. The update will also bring AirPlay 2 and the other capabilities to several MusicCast products, including the Bar 400 soundbar, XDA-QS5400 multiroom streaming amplifier and MusicCast 20 and MusicCast 50 wireless speakers. Yamaha’s MusicCast Vinyl 500 streaming turntable will get the update later in the year.
With AirPlay 2 on board, Yamaha owners will be able to stream Apple Music and other music services from an iPhone, iPad, HomePod, or Mac to Yamaha devices and AirPlay 2-enabled speakers throughout the home.
The update will also make the Qobuz music service available through Yamaha’s MusicCast app for streaming on a single device or to multiple MusicCast devices throughout the home. The Spotify Connect part of the update will enable streaming with free Spotify accounts instead of just the paid Spotify accounts it had been limited to.
A third firmware update, also slated for late April, will add enhanced-audio-return channel (eARC) functionality to 23 of Yamaha’s 2017 and 2018 model year AV receivers. The list includes RX-A 70, RX-A 80, RX-V 83, and RX-V 85 series AV receivers, the RX-S602 slimline AV receiver, TSR-7850 AV receiver, TSR-5830 AV receiver, and CX-A5200 AV preamp/processor. eARC is designed to handle uncompressed audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD as well as object-based surround-sound forms such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
Owners of Yamaha products targeted for updating, will be automatically prompted to install the firmware via the MusicCast app; owners who have registered their products will also receive email notifications when updates are available.