Russound is hoping to blend its MCA-Series of products together with the recently announced XStream X5 Wireless Controller Streamer – and to do this, the company has unveiled the MCA-88X Streaming Multizone Controller Digital Amplifier. 

The MCA-88X is an eight source, eight zone controller with built-in XStream Technology that streams content from Spotify, the cloud, home network, tablets and phones — all from a single component. 

Scalable up to 48 zones by combining multiple controllers, the MCA-88X is part of Russound’s next generation of controllers, which promise to deliver super-fast response times, an array of digital inputs and quicker configuration. 

The unit offers a variety of options to fit the distributed audio needs of most residential and light commercial environments. 

In addition to its analogue, digital and paging sources, the new MCA-88X is also Bluetooth compatible. This enables use of Russound’s BTC-1X Bluetooth Extender to wirelessly connect portable media players, smartphones and similar devices, located anywhere in a home to the MCA-88X. 

The built-in streaming module provides access to Spotify Connect, which is included with the MyRussound control App and the MCA-88X’s Tunein and vTuner functions make thousands of Internet radio stations available. 

Music can also be streamed directly from iOS devices using Apple AirPlay and from a network attached storage system over the local area network. 

The unit also features full system control via the My Russound App on both Android and IOS mobile devices and is fully compatibility with Russound’s advanced keypads and touchscreens. 

Russound says that it has engineered the MCA-88X for maximum expanadibility of both zones and components.

The MCA-88X features six zones of cool-running, high quality digital amplification at 40W per channel, all channels driven, as well as offering maximum integration flexibility with fixed/variable line-level outputs for outboard amplification, wireless expansion using the X5 Streamer or X1 series products and subzone use for up to eight zones per chassis. 

Russound has also added some of the company’s hallmark features – including custom audio settings, party modes, do not disturb and source/zone linking – plus new functions like alarm and/or phone system. 

Configuration of the MCA-88X is via the new Web Config system, an on-board hosted web page that is used for basic configuration and firmware updates. 

To simplify the process required on site, Web Config also allows the installer to configure and update the controller using a smartphone or tablet.

The MCA-88X is included in the new Russound Certified Installer programme, meaning the products will ship locked and require a certified Russound installation professional to unlock them via the Internet, in order to ensure consumers receive the benefits of working with certified installation professionals.

Mike Bonnette, The Multi-Room Company’s product director, comments: “The MCA-88X is designed to give our customers exactly what they asked for: total integration with mobile devices, keypads, Apps and operating systems without sacrificing seamless multi-room operability. 

“The MCA-88X delivers this experience flawlessly. What’s equally important is that all content can now be streamed wirelessly from a single component with absolute digital clarity. That fact sets the MCA-88X apart from all other controllers.”

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