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Russound MBX-AMP

Streaming zone amplifier with Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth®

Item # 543MBXAMP

The Russound MBX-AMP is a versatile problem-solver for custom-installed home audio systems.

The Russound MBX-AMP is a versatile problem-solver for custom-installed home audio systems.

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About the Russound MBX-AMP

Streaming amp for a multi-room system

The Russound MBX-AMP is a versatile problem-solver for custom-installed home audio systems. This stereo amplifier puts out 50 watts per channel and supports popular streaming music services like Spotify®, TIDAL, Deezer, and SiriusXM. An optical digital input lets you hook up your TV, plus a Type-A USB port on the back lets you connect a flash drive full of tunes.

Streaming amp for a multi-room system

The Russound MBX-AMP is a versatile problem-solver for custom-installed home audio systems. This stereo amplifier puts out 50 watts per channel and supports popular streaming music services like Spotify®, TIDAL, Deezer, and SiriusXM. An optical digital input lets you hook up your TV, plus a Type-A USB port on the back lets you connect a flash drive full of tunes.

This handy amp can stand on its own for a single-room installation, or it can be part of an extensive multi-room system with additional MBX-AMPs, MBX-PRE preamplifiers, and Russound MCA Series controllers.

Wireless streaming

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are built-in for convenient access to streaming sources. Chromecast built-in lets you stream straight from the cloud with compatible mobile apps. Apple® AirPlay® enables streaming music from an iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, or computer running iTunes®.

Remote control

The MBX-AMP features browser-based configuration, and it can be controlled with your Apple or Android™ mobile device via the MyRussound app. Russound's XTSPlus in-wall touchscreen offers a sleek way to control the system, and display artist, title, and track information while you listen. And if you've connected your TV as a source, the MBX-AMP can learn your existing TV remote's volume and mute commands.

READ LESS

Product highlights:

  • 50 watts per channel into 8 ohms, 70 watts into 4 ohms
  • dual-band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Bluetooth built in
  • compatible file formats: MP3, WAV, OGG Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, AAC+
  • Apple® AirPlay® for streaming music from an iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, or computer running iTunes®
  • native streaming from Spotify, SiriusXM (subscription required), TIDAL, Deezer, Tunein, and vTuner
  • Chromecast built-in for streaming music from the cloud with compatible mobile apps
  • browser-based configuration (accessible by mobile device)
  • remote control via MyRussound app or Russound XTSPlus in-wall touchscreen
  • wall mounting brackets included
  • requires pre-sale and installation support. Please contact a Crutchfield commercial system designer at 1-800-315-2758 prior to purchase
Connections:
  • Toslink digital optical input and output
    • connect your TV using the optical input (TV's audio output must be set to "PCM Audio"; Dolby Digital® not supported)
  • 3.5mm analog input and output
  • Type-A USB port for connecting a flash drive
    • high-res audio streaming support up to 24-bit/192 kHz
  • pair of binding posts for connecting passive speakers
  • analog RCA output for connecting a powered subwoofer
  • Ethernet port for connecting to your local network
  • IR and 12-volt trigger inputs
Dimensions and warranty:

What's in the box:

  • Streaming amplifier
  • 58" Power cable (C7 unpolarized)
  • IR Sensor with 94" cable (terminated in a 3.5mm stereo plug)
  • Two 3M adhesive strips for IR sensor
  • 2 Mounting brackets
  • Four 1/4" screws
  • Installation guide
  • "Read Me First" Initial setup sheet

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More details on the Russound MBX-AMP

Stacey B.

Product Research

Features
Network
Additional Features
Connections & Controls

Features

Overview: The Russound MBX-AMP WiFi Streaming Zone Amplifier is designed for adding high quality audio streaming high-resolution audio anywhere in your home, while being easy to install and configure. The 2-channel amplifier offers 50 watts per channel into an 8Ω load (70W @ 4Ω), and features WiFi streaming (wireless or hardwired), Bluetooth Audio streaming, and audio playback via a rear-panel USB port, along with both optical digital and analog inputs.

Network

Network Connection: The MBX-AMP can be connected to a home network, either wired or wirelessly (WiFi). Wired and WiFi setup options let you select a specific type, which then disables the other option. A third Automatic setting (default) allows either type of connection to be made and will take priority over a hard-wire connection.

  • WiFi: The MBX-AMP features built-in 2.4GHz/5GHz dual-band 802.11ac WiFi for streaming audio wirelessly, including Hi-Res audio up to 24-bit/192kHz. Setup for the MBX-AMP is done by first downloading the Google Home app, available from the Apple App and Google Play Stores. Once the device is connected to your network, the Google Home app will automatically "see" the MBX-AMP and can be selected. This is the fastest and preferred method of setting up a wireless connection. Other wireless connection setups include:
    • iOS Device: Wireless setup can be initiated with an iOS device on the same WiFi network by selecting the MBX-AMP as an AirPlay speaker.
    • Access Point: The MBX-AMP will broadcast an SSID that your phone or tablet can connect to, allowing WiFi setup.
    • Hard-Wired: A temporary direct Ethernet connection will give access to the amp's configuration, allowing a wireless configuration.
  • Wired: A rear-panel RJ-45 Ethernet port lets you make a hard-wired connection to your router via a CAT-5 connection.

Configuration: The MBX-AMP has a programming feature called Web Config. Web Config is an onboard hosted web page used for unlocking and configuring the MBX-AMP. Web Config can be accessed by entering the IP address or Hostname in any web browser on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop that's connected to the same network as the amp. This allows the amp to be completely and easily configured from your device. The first time you navigate to the MBX-AMP Web Config page, it will automatically open in First Time Setup mode. The First Time Setup is designed to help configure basic settings as well as provide for a quick method of enabling Chromecast Built-in Audio.

Note: All setup and configuration must be done through a browser-based controller using a network connection. When the MBX-AMP is initially shipped, it will only operate in a "locked" state. In this state, no audio or control is available. In order to unlock the system, valid Russound Certified Installer credentials must be entered using the convenient Web Config browser-based configuration utility. Please contact your sales advisor for details.

Control: The MBX-AMP can be controlled using 2 methods:

  • MyRussound App: The MyRussound App (available from the App Store or Google Play Store) lets you operate the MBX-AMP from your Apple or Android phone or tablet, giving you control of the amp from anywhere inside your network's range. This is also a convenient way to change the Volume, Bass, Treble and Loudness settings, and allows other people to control the sound from the area they're in.
  • XTS Controller: The Russound XTSPlus Touchscreen controller (sold separately) is a stylish in-wall touchscreen that runs an embedded version of the MyRussound App. This allows the same control that's available on your smartphone or tablet without having to use your device to change the volume or make a music selection. The XTS is an IP-based network device that gets connected to the same router the amp is connected to.

    Note: In order to prevent unauthorized changes to configuration settings, a default password (see owner's manual) has been created that will be required to be entered prior to changing any configuration settings. The default password is user-changeable in the Web Config.

Chromecast: The MBX-AMP features built-in Chromecast for Audio support, letting you stream music from popular music services such as Spotify, SiriusXM, vTuner, Tunein, and Deezer, all from your smartphone or tablet that's connected to the same network and running the Google Home app.

Note: A subscription may be required for some music streaming services.

AirPlay: The Russound amplifier supports Apple's AirPlay technology, letting you listen to your iTunes library or other audio content from any AirPlay-enabled Apple device connected to the same network. When AirPlay is selected from iTunes or an iOS mobile device and music is sent to the MBX-AMP, the amplifier will activate and select the internal streamer as the source. Using AirPlay will also automatically power on the amp when music is cast to it. AirPlay steaming can output full metadata to iOS/Android apps or XTSPlus touchscreens.

UPnP: The MBX-AMP is UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) compatible, allowing it to stream music from other UPnP compatible storage devices connected on the same network.

Additional Features

Bluetooth Audio: The MBX-AMP lets you steam audio from a Bluetooth enabled device. A simple pairing process allows you to connect your device using the front panel controls. When Bluetooth audio playback is initiated, the amplifier will automatically switch to the Bluetooth source.

Note: Bluetooth functionality is limited to audio streaming. Hands-free phone call operation is not supported.

TV Integration: The MBX-AMP's advanced TV integration feature allows it to play audio from your TV as well as share it with other playback devices on the network. The MBX-AMP includes an IR sensor that can be mounted to the front of the TV and plugged into the rear-panel IR Input, allowing it to pass the IR signal from the TV remote to the Russound amplifier. Through a "learning" procedure, the MBX-AMP can then follow the TV's Volume Up/Down and Mute functions.

Expansion: The Russound MBX-AMP streaming amplifier can be mixed and matched with other MBX-Series components for a flexible and versatile system design that can be expanded to up to 32 rooms of streaming audio. When paired with a Russound multi-room controller, such as the MCA-66 or MCA-88, a system can be expanded with up to 8 independent audio sources and up to 48 rooms of distributed audio.

USB: A rear-panel USB port (Type-A, 2.0) is provided for playing audio from a USB flash drive or USB hard drive. Supported formats include:

  • MP3 (CBR, VBR)
  • WAV (8- & 16-bit)
  • OGG Vorbis (8- & 16-bit)
  • FLAC (8- & 16-bit)
  • AAC
  • AAC+ (up to 24-bit/192kHz)

Quick Access Buttons: Two numbered buttons (1 & 2) can be used for quick access of up to 2 of your favorite audio sources, similar to radio preset buttons. Pressing and holding either button will store the currently playing selection. A quick tap of the button lets you quickly access and start playing that selection.

Subwoofer Output: A single RCA Subwoofer jack provides a 160Hz low-passed audio signal for passing to a powered subwoofer or subwoofer amplifier (sold separately).

Connections & Controls

Front Panel:

  • LED Indicator: Is off when the amp is on and ready for operation. Will display various colors, either solid or blinking, for different functions and modes.
  • Play/Pause: Can initiate audio playback as well as pause it.
  • Volume: Up/Down
  • Quick Access Buttons: Two numbered buttons (1 & 2) can be used for quick access of up to 2 of your favorite audio sources.

Rear Panel:

  • Speaker Outputs: Four binding posts are provided for connecting a pair of speakers (sold separately). These can accommodate banana plugs, pin-connectors, and bare-wire up to 12AWG. Each channel can output 50W @ 4Ω (70W @ 8Ω).
  • Ethernet: An RJ-45 port allows connection to a router via a CAT-5 cable (sold separately).
  • USB: A Type-A, 2.0 USB port allows playback of music files.
  • Trigger Out: A 3.5mm jack can provide a 12VDC/100mA output to trigger outboard equipment.
  • IR In: A 3.5mm jack provides the input connection for the included IR sensor for adjusting TV volume.
  • Audio In: Provides both an Optical Digital and a 3.5mm Analog input for running audio from a TV or other playback device.
  • Audio Out: Provides both an Optical Digital and a 3.5mm Analog output passing internal audio out to additional amplifiers or powered speakers (sold separately).
  • Reset: Push-button for resetting unit.
    • Factory: Press/hold 10 secs.
    • DHCP: Press/hold 3 secs.

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Customer Q&A

1 question already asked

Q
Is this amp Airplay 2 compatible? This could finally be what we've been looking for!
[ Eric  Apr 19, 2019 ]
1 answer
A
That unit has Airplay but not Airplay 2. If you need something with Airplay 2 you might consider the Bluesound Node 2i https://bit.ly/2vygu8S
[ Cosmo  May 03, 2019 ]  Staff

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