Review: Yamaha MusicCast2 Audio System

The MusicCast2 does a great job of letting you select and play tunes from a PC via your existing wireless network. You first have to install and configure the included DLNA-compatible media server, but after that you can select songs via artist, album, title, or genre, and the controller displays album art while you listen.

But the version we tested offered only simple stereo analog audio output — no S/PDIF or optical digital. And the touchpad accepted only simple gestures like swiping your finger from left to right in order to move to the next menu item. There was no cursor control or other advanced selection option, which made scrolling through some of the more complex menus more excruciating than an evening with Carrot Top.

Even its remote control functionality seems hobbled; it can only control Yamaha components, and it offers no organized control layout — just row after row of functions that you painfully scroll through with the touchpad.

Worse yet is the bottom line: Creating an expandable multiroom system with the MusicCast2 system will set you back about the same amount of cash as the more capable Sonos package. And the Sonos is much easier to configure, offering more source options and a touchscreen interface that’s a whole lot easier to use.

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