Yamaha ISX-80 Review: Extraordinary comfort and airiness
Yamaha has introduced a new model: the compact, flat Yamaha ISX-80 audio system. The Yamaha ISX-80 Restio adds a Wi-Fi and Airplay module. Also, the ISX-80 can be combined into a multi-room system based on MusicCast technology. The Yamaha ISX-80 music center is available in three colors: black, white and purple. You can hang the ISX-80 on the wall if you like.
The Yamaha Restio ISX-80 has taken full advantage of the design possibilities provided by wireless audio – the company has a wealth of experience in all-in-one speaker design and has achieved outstanding results in the field of soundbars and sound projectors. So if anyone can get the right surround sound from a one-piece stereo, it’s Yamaha.
Yamaha is working on its own system called MusicCast. Not so long ago, representatives of a Japanese company announced a new breakthrough in the field of networked audio equipment. Yamaha has conducted numerous surveys to improve its system. According to company representatives, the system will allow high quality sound to be transmitted to every corner of an apartment or room without delay. In fact, MusicCast allows you to build a flexible and scalable multi-room audio system that can be changed and adjusted depending on the task at hand.
With Yamaha MusicCast technology, users can connect other audio devices throughout the home to compatible devices.
Yamaha notes that the individual components of the system can communicate with each other wirelessly. However, most system components are also equipped with traditional wired connectors. Also, all devices that support MusicCast have a Bluetooth transmitter and receiver. This allows Bluetooth speakers to be integrated into the MusicCast audio network.
Users can use mobile devices to control the entire system. An application called Yamaha MusicCast allows you to control playback, select a signal source (it can be a streaming service, TV, player), control playback zones, and so on.
The storage of audio tracks can be not only home network servers or the memory of your portable gadget, but also music streaming services on the global web – Spotify, Pandora and others, as well as hundreds of Internet radio stations. Moreover, in the MusicCast system, you can broadcast music from any source connected, for example, to your AV receiver, to different rooms of your house or apartment. MusicCast is fully compatible with High-Resolution Audio – FLAC, WAV up to 24-bit / 192kHz, and DSD are supported. Support for various wireless data transmission channels is also noteworthy, which greatly expands the choice of components for your multi-room system. MusicCast technology can use not only Wi-Fi network but also Bluetooth as a wireless medium. In addition, you can connect system components with ordinary twisted pair cables over Ethernet. The technology supports up to three control consoles (mobile gadgets with the Yamaha MusicCast CONTROLLER app). That is, all family members can take part in managing the system.
There is a rather large information display in the center of the facade, the rest of the speaker area is covered with a metal mesh that hides the dynamic heads. Yamaha Restio ISX-80 is equipped with four emitters – a pair for each channel. Bass and mids are reproduced by 8cm cone speakers, while the high-frequency spectrum is assigned to dome tweeters with a diameter of 3cm. At the top of the speaker there are small system control keys and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth indicators. But most likely you will prefer to control the system either with the included credit card-sized wireless remote control, or, even more likely, through the proprietary application for smartphones running iOS or Android.
The digital stuffing of the Yamaha Restio ISX-80 is uncompromising in terms of supporting a variety of audio formats. The system can work with material in FLAC, WAV, WMA, AAC files. The built-in DAC is capable of processing digital streams up to 24 bit / 192 kHz.
The Yamaha ISX-80 speaker system is equipped with Bluetooth and allows you to enjoy wireless music playback from smartphones and other devices. Yamaha Compressed Music Enhancer is now optimized for Bluetooth audio transmission to ensure your music has vibrant, vivid sound quality even when played wirelessly.
Support for the vTuner radio station database allows you to listen to Internet radio stations from all over the world after connecting to the Internet via a local network. Streaming music support gives you access to a wide variety of music content.
The Yamaha ISX-80 speaker system plays music from almost every device at your disposal. AirPlay technology makes it easy to wirelessly play music from iPod, iPhone, iPad, and computer.
There are three body finishes to choose from – white, black and deep magenta, with the background of the information display being tinted to match the rest of the finishes. In most cases, it displays large digital clock numbers. Alarm clock functions are also implemented here, which predetermines the installation of the Yamaha Restio ISX-80 in the bedroom.
The sound character of the Yamaha ISX-80 is remarkable for its extraordinary comfort and airiness, while maintaining a highly detailed sound image. Of course, you can’t get away from the physical limitations typical of compact acoustics – the working range and stereo panorama here are incomparable with stationary Hi-Fi. But, nevertheless, the developers managed not only to eliminate cabinet overtones at high volume levels and to minimize distortion, but also to create a very effective illusion of surround sound. The bass here, albeit shallow, but very elastic and clear.