Description

Description

Yamaha ISX-80 MusicCast Speaker

The Yamaha ISX-80 Restio is a lifestyle wireless speaker that forms part of the company’s MusicCast range of products. It has plenty of features and, along with MusicCast functionality, also includes Bluetooth, AirPlay, DLNA support and an FM tuner. There’s a built-in alarm clock and an interior art picture frame design that comes in a choice of black, white or purple.
The speaker itself uses a dual woofer and tweeter configuration and provides the option of a stand or wall mounting. It isn’t cheap, costing £399 as at the time of writing (February 2016), so can the Restio offer a performance to match its design and price tag?

Design

The ISX-80 offers an unusual design to say the least, with an appearance that is more like a picture frame than a speaker. This is very much a lifestyle product, so Yamaha have paid close attention to the details of material and form.
The Restio uses a compact, high-quality 302mm square form that can be placed on a shelf or wall-mounted and the front panel is manufactured from a single sheet of expanded steel mesh, which reduces waste and lowers the environmental impact.
If you want to shelf mount the ISX-80 there are non-skid pads and a stand that screws into the bottom rear to support the speaker. Alternatively there is a hole for wall mounting and a screw hole for attaching a safety wire.
Aside from the picture frame design, the Restio also has some basic controls along the top and an alarm clock in the centre. This display can be dimmed using the provided remote control and can be set to wake you up with a beep or an audio source (network or radio).
The clock works well enough but the layout of the digits in the display is a bit strange. There are connections inside recesses on either side and there are also removable covers and grooves down each side for tidy cable management. The ISX-80 has dual 8cm woofers and dual 3cm soft dome tweeters, with 30W of built-in amplification. The speaker itself comes in a choice of white, black or purple, measures 302 x 302 x 65mm (WxHxD) and weighs 3.3kg.

Decorate your living space and enjoy your music. Use it on a shelf or a wall like an art frame, conveniently adding music to your life. And team it with Yamaha’s MusicCast multi-room audio system for easy access to a wide range of music sources.

The Yamaha ISX-80 MusicCast Speaker provides interior art through music whether wall-mounted or placed on a shelf. Compatibility with streaming services and Yamaha’s new system MusicCast means more ways to enjoy music than ever before.

Yamaha ISX-80 MusicCast Speaker

MusicCast is a new revolution in network audio, use all your MusicCast products together or separately, it’s completely up to you. Control it, all from one app, designed to be intuitive, quick and simple to use. Use a soundbar, a wireless speaker, an AV Receiver, HiFi audio whichever suits you best, mix and match then expand your MusicCast system as time goes on.All new from Yamaha, the MusicCast system brings everything to everywhere for everyone.

With close attention to the details of material and form, Restio epitomises interior quality. Its compact, high-quality 30.2 cm (11-7/8″) square form can be placed on a shelf or wall-mounted to create the space you desire.

The front panel manufactured from a single sheet of expanded steel mesh reduces waste resulting in lower environmental impact.Restio supports wireless playback from a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth plus with access to streaming services and FM radio built in, Restio is set to deliver almost unlimited musical content.

The ISX-80 is equipped with the latest Bluetooth technology, making wireless operation more convenient than ever. You can stream music from the ISX-80 to Bluetooth headphones for private listening or to Bluetooth speakers.

Simply install the MusicCast CONTROLLER app on your smartphone or tablet to stream content, pause/play, adjust the volume and change settings. The same Controller app functions as a remote for all your MusicCast-compatible devices on the same network.

Yamaha ISX-80 MusicCast Speaker

Yamaha ISX-80 MusicCast System in Black -

Yamaha ISX-80 MusicCast Speaker

MusicCast is the highlight, allowing you to link up several speakers in different rooms and orchestrate playback from Yamaha’s MusicCast smartphone app. You can play the same song on them all, or stream different sources to each speaker.

Using the app, you can access tracks on PCs, NAS drives and other devices on your home network – including hi-res FLAC, ALAC and WAV – or stream music from Napster, Spotify, Juke and internet radio. It’s a decent selection, but Deezer, Qobuz or Tidal users will be disappointed.

The ISX-80 also supports AirPlay, making it easy to play music from Apple devices and iTunes, while built-in Bluetooth caters for everything else. You can even stream music from the ISX-80 to Bluetooth headphones if you want to listen in private. 

The ISX-80 has a quoted power output of 2 x 15W and there’s an FM radio tuner with six presets; or 30 when using the app. The built-in alarm, snooze and sleep timers make this an ideal system for your bedside table.

Wireless speakers are a potential minefield for the uninitiated, but thankfully, Yamaha makes the setup process easy. It’s all carried out through the MusicCast app – once downloaded onto your phone or tablet, simply tap the “Add Device” option and follow the instructions. 

Hold down the “Connect” button on top of the unit and wait for the app to find your device. It doesn’t take long before you’re good to go. Spotify playback isn’t handled by the MusicCast app – you have to launch the separate Spotify app and select the ISX-80 in the list of available devices, a feature only available to Spotify Premium subscribers.

The setup process posed no problems whatsoever, although on regular occasions the music cut out in the middle of a song with no explanation, forcing me to reset the connection by switching to another input and back again.

Yamaha ISX-80 MusicCast Speaker

Yamaha’s multiroom app is a straightforward affair, using black backgrounds and simple white text. It’s a far cry from the sophisticated, colourful layout of Samsung’s multiroom software, yet Yamaha’s effort is every bit as slick and usable.

Launch the app and you’ll see a list of connected speakers or “Rooms”. You can change the names to make them easier to identify. For each speaker, it displays the name of the track playing, alongside a small cover thumbnail and an animated EQ icon.

The ISX-80 interacts seamlessly with other MusicCast speakers. Yamaha sent me a WX-030 to try out, and once connected to my network I had them synchronised in seconds. To group them, tap the Link icon at the top of the screen and select which speaker is the master. Select the speakers you want to link from the dropdown menu and music starts playing through both speakers.

Tap the relevant speaker and it whisks you to the input selection screen. There’s a Favourites section that lets you save up to 40 songs or 30 FM radio presets.

I tapped the Server option and delved into my NAS drive. The black and white lists are rudimentary but easy to navigate. Most impressively, the app scrolls through lengthy lists of tracks and albums quickly, unlike some rival apps that freeze after each swipe. Scroll too fast and it takes a few seconds to load the titles, but it’s an acceptable wait.
Additional information

Additional information

Weight 3.3 kg
Dimensions 6.5 × 30.2 × 30.2 cm
Brand

Yamaha

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