Spotify Free On Wireless Speakers

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The streaming revolution has brought a world of convenience to music lovers everywhere. Not only can you create playlists and discover great artists you’ve never heard of before, most streaming services also allow you to download music straight to your mobile device or computer. But not all services offer the same level of connectivity options.

Yamaha MusicCast provides wireless multi-room control over music playback and streaming with the use of a free downloadable app called MusicCast Controller, available for iOS and Android™. This lets you focus on the enjoyment of your music (in both stereo and surround sound) and not on the technology behind it.

A wide range of MusicCast-enabled products — receivers, speakers, sound bars and even turntables — offer a variety of options to set up an easy-to-use networked audio system. For those who like to use Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri, MusicCast offers even more ways to take hands-free control of your music and entertainment. It also supports Bluetooth® streaming and Apple® Airplay® … and now, with a simple (and free) firmware update, many MusicCast devices are now compatible with the latest version of Spotify Connect too, which includes the use of a Spotify free account!

This latest update provides a major advantage in that Spotify Connect streams to your system via Wi-Fi® and not Bluetooth, offering better quality audio and a wider range, with fewer dropouts. Establishing a direct connection between your receiver and the internet means that your audio system streams music from Spotify directly, rather than via your phone, which instead acts simply as your remote control. By comparison, AirPlay (which also uses Wi-Fi) and Bluetooth stream music directly from your phone to the receiving device, which unfortunately also causes your phone battery to run down more quickly.

Spotify Connect is the brainchild of Spotify, the popular on-demand music service with more than 35 million songs. There are numerous levels of service available, including Spotify free, Spotify Premium, Premium for Family, Spotify for Students and Spotify Gaming — all of which offer a variety of free or paid tiers for your music and entertainment needs. Spotify free, as its name implies, is no-cost, although there are occasional ad interruptions, whereas Spotify Premium (price plans vary by country) offers unlimited high-quality streaming and no ads. Premium for Family allows you and up to five family members to use their own Premium accounts for one fixed price, while Premium for Students offers a 50% discount for a year. Spotify Gaming will play though your PS4™ PlayStation®.

There are a few other differences between the services. Spotify free streams AAC files at up to 160kbps, while Spotify Premium members have the option to stream their music at up to 320kbps. The Spotify Web player (which works through your browser) streams the free version at 128kbps and Premium at 256kbps, whereas the standalone desktop, mobile and tablet players stream Spotify free at 160 kbps and Premium at up to 320kbps.

Whichever service you choose, Spotify Connect will stream your music to up to three linked MusicCast devices simultaneously, all at CD-quality. This drops to a compressed format once you add a fourth device (or more). Up to ten devices can be used simultaneously at that compressed format.

Bear in mind that when using Spotify Connect with your MusicCast-enabled device, you have to connect directly from the Spotify app (not the MusicCast Controller app), as shown in the sequence below:

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Note: There may be times when your MusicCast device will not appear in the “devices available” menu within the Spotify app, even when the phone and receiver are connected to the same network. This can generally be corrected by unplugging AC power for a few seconds.

For a list of Yamaha MusicCast devices compatible with the current firmware update, click here.

Click here for more information about Yamaha MusicCast.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Tozzoli is a Grammy-nominated producer/mixer/composer based in the New York area. His credits include work with artists such as Ace Frehley, Hall & Oates, Omar Hakim and Al DiMeola. Rich's music has appeared in over a thousand TV series in 36 countries, and he has written for such shows as Live PD, Pawn Stars, Counting Cars, Duck Dynasty and NBC Olympics. Tozzoli has also authored numerous articles on audio production and technology as well as a book on surround sound mixing.

TAGS

a music loverAirPlayAppApple AirPlayaudio streamingAudio VisualAudiovisualAVBluetoothMusicCastRich TozzoliSpotifySpotify Connectwireless streamingYamaha AVYamahaAV

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Spotify has announced a new free app, giving users who don’t want to be locked into a monthly subscription more options to enjoy the service. But if you have a Spotify Premium account, you can make the most of audio products that have Spotify built in for added listening convenience.

Spotify

Spotify’s new app aims to take on the traditional radio industry with automatically generated playlists tailored specifically to you. It gives you access to 750 tracks spanning up to 15 playlists, giving you around 40 hours of music that you can save to your account.

And you’re not forced into shuffling songs, either. You have unlimited track ‘skips’ and can also select songs directly. The only caveat is that the songs must appear in the personalised playlists that Spotify creates for you, so you don’t have universal access to Spotify’s vast library of music.

Best Buy wireless speakers – see our full list of recommendations.

The app aims to learn your particular tastes as you play songs, to improve its recommendations over time, and Spotify’s also introducing a low-data mode that it says lowers data consumption by 75%, so you can listen to more within your smartphone’s data allowance.

However, to enjoy Spotify with other people, you’ll want to stream the app through a wireless speaker, radio or mini hi-fi. If you’re willing to pay for Spotify Premium, some audio products have Spotify built in, so you can enjoy the service without even needing to get out your smartphone.

Spotify Free On Wireless Speakers Surround Sound

Below we pick out some of the best and cheapest wireless speakers with Spotify built in, plus two Spotify radios as well.

Amazon Echo (2nd Gen) wireless speaker, £90

Aiming to bring great sound at an affordable price, the second generation of Amazon’s smart speaker with Alexa has a nice compact and stylish shape with a fabric front and Spotify support.

Alexa voice control allows you to control the speaker with your voice alone, and also ask for information such as the weather, send messages to other Amazon Echo owners and control your smart home devices, such as smart lights that you can turn on with your voice.

It aims to improve sound over the first-generation model, and includes a 2.5-inch downward-firing woofer for lower frequencies and a 0.6-inch tweeter for the treble.

See whether Amazon’s flagship smart speaker beats the competition for sound quality with our Amazon Echo (2nd Gen) review.

Ultimate Ears Megablast wireless speaker, £137

Ultimate Ears recently announced that its flagship smart speakers, the Ultimate Ears Megablast and Ultimate Ears Blast, are soon to get Spotify Connect built in. A specific date has not been announced, only that the feature is ‘coming soon’.

The Ultimate Ears Megablast is the more expensive of the two, with more internal speakers. It’s a travel-style portable wireless Bluetooth and wi-fi speaker with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant built in, so you can tell it what to do using your voice.

It’s also waterproof, drop-proof and dustproof with an IP67 rating, so this could be one to go for if you’re looking for a Spotify portable speaker to last the distance.

See whether the sound and battery life match the impressive specs in our expert Ultimate Ears Megablast review.

Amazon Echo Show wireless speaker, £200

For those that are looking for a more visual element to their Spotify listening experience, plus easier smart control, Amazon thinks it has the answer with the Echo Show, which comes with a 7-inch touchscreen.

With Spotify built in, the Echo Show’s screen brings with it additional functionality too, such as allowing you to see lyrics and audio information on screen as audio plays, and even take video calls to other Amazon Echo Show owners.

Uniquely among the Amazon Echo family, the Echo Show produces stereo sound, having two 2-inch speakers tuned by audio specialists Dolby.

But does the flatscreen design make its sound inferior to traditional speaker rivals? Find out in our definitive Amazon Echo Show review.

Roberts iStream 2 digital radio, £134

Spotify Free On Wireless Speakers Wireless

Having Spotify built in isn’t just limited to wireless speakers. Some radios and mini hi-fis have the functionality as well. The Roberts iStream 2 is a DAB+/FM and internet portable radio with Spotify support and 30 presets to save your favourite stations, and you can play music from a USB stick as well.

For those that dislike touchscreens and voice control, the iStream 2 has large pleasing push buttons and rotary dial controls, and a clear display. There are two independent alarms as well.

Spotify Free On Wireless Speakers Bluetooth

See whether this radio has sound that punches above the rest in our Roberts iStream 2 review.

Roberts Stream 93i digital radio, £142

If you’re looking for a more traditional radio with Spotify support, the Roberts Stream 93i may fit the bill. It’s a DAB+/FM and internet radio with a built-in app for Spotify support and a full colour display.

Spotify Free On Wireless Speakers Best Buy

It has two independent alarms, you can plug in a USB stick and it has a rear-facing subwoofer and two large dials for volume and tuning.

See whether this radio has the sound quality to do your Spotify music justice in our full Roberts Stream 93i review.