About the Russound MBX-PRE
Add streaming audio to a Russound multi-zone system
Add streaming audio to a Russound multi-zone system
The Russound MBX-PRE lets you add music streaming to your custom-installed home audio system. You can connect it to an MCA-66, MCA-88, or MCA-88X controller in a multi-zone system. It has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless streaming, plus a Type-A USB port on the back for connecting a flash drive full of tunes.
The MBX-PRE features native streaming from Spotify, SiriusXM, TIDAL, Deezer, and more. And it has Chromecast built in for additional music streaming and control with compatible devices.
Voice control and more
There are several ways to control the MBX-PRE. You can issue voice commands and queries via Amazon Alexa and Google Home, or you can use a handy Russound XTSPlus in-wall touchscreen. For remote control on your mobile device, download the MyRussound™ app.
- music streaming source for a connected amplifier or MCA-series multi-zone controller
- responds to voice commands from Amazon Alexa and Google Home
- remote control via MyRussound app or Russound XTSPlus in-wall touchscreen
- built-in Bluetooth®
- native streaming from Spotify, SiriusXM (subscription required), TIDAL, Deezer, Tunein, and vTuner
- Apple® AirPlay® 2 for streaming music from an iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, or computer running iTunes® (may require firmware update)
- Chromecast built-in for streaming music from the cloud with compatible mobile apps
- DLNA support for NAS drives
- wall mounting brackets included
- Toslink digital optical input
- 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
- Type-A USB input for connecting a thumb drive
- Ethernet port for making a wired connection to a router
- high-res audio streaming support up to 24-bit/192 kHz
- Toslink digital optical output
- stereo analog RCA output
- 12-volt trigger output
Dimensions and warranty:
- 8-3/8"W x 1-7/8"H x 9-1/2"D
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # 4500-537226
What's in the box:
- Media player
- 57" AC Power supply (12VDC/1.25A output)
- 4 Outlet adapters (N. America / UK / EU / Australia)
- Installation manual
- "Read Me First" Initial setup sheet
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More details on the Russound MBX-PRE
Overview: The Russound MBX-PRE WiFi Streaming Zone Player is designed for adding high quality audio streaming high-resolution audio anywhere in your home, while being easy to install and configure. It features WiFi streaming (wireless or hardwired), Bluetooth Audio streaming, audio playback via a rear-panel USB port, and both optical digital and analog inputs. The MBX-PRE also includes both optical digital and stereo RCA outputs for passing the signal to an outboard amplifier or set of powered speakers (sold separately).
Network Connection: The MBX-PRE 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-PRE 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-PRE 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-PRE 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-PRE as an AirPlay speaker.
- Access Point: The MBX-PRE 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-PRE has a programming feature called Web Config. Web Config is an onboard hosted web page used for unlocking and configuring the MBX-PRE. 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 player. This allows the player to be completely and easily configured from your device. The first time you navigate to the MBX-PRE 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-PRE 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-PRE 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-PRE from your Apple or Android phone or tablet, giving you control of the player from anywhere inside your network's range. This is also 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-PRE 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-PRE, the player will activate and select the internal streamer as the source. Using AirPlay will also automatically power on the player when music is cast to it. AirPlay steaming can output full metadata to iOS/Android apps or XTSPlus touchscreens.
AirPlay 2 (Firmware Update): The Russound MBX-PRE now supports AirPlay 2 audio streaming via a firmware update (2.0.23). The firmware update can be found in the Admin-Firmware Update section of the Web Config menu. If your MBX-PRE is configured to receive automatic updates, the AirPlay 2 update will install automatically when available. AirPlay 2 features include:
- Multi-Brand Synchronization: Allows you to synchronize audio between the MBX-PRE and any other brand of AirPlay 2-compatible products.
- Siri Voice Control: You can now use Siri to play and control your favorite music apps including Apple Music, Pandora, and more.
- Uninterrupted Music: AirPlay 2 will continue to play your music uninterrupted if you receive a phone call on your playback device.
UPnP: The MBX-PRE is UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) compatible, allowing it to stream music from other UPnP compatible storage devices connected on the same network.
Bluetooth Audio: The MBX-PRE 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.
Expansion: The Russound MBX-PRE streaming player 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+ (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.
- 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.
- 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 an outboard playback device.
- Audio Out: Provides both an Optical Digital and a pair of stereo RCA outputs for passing internal audio out to an amplifier or set of powered speakers for playback.
- Reset: Push-button for resetting unit.
- Factory: Press/hold 10 secs.
- DHCP: Press/hold 3 secs.
The Russound MBX-PRE replaces these items
- stream music from popular services like Spotify®, Pandora®, and SiriusXM Music for Business
- compatible with Apple® AirPlay®
- high-res audio streaming up to 24-bit/192kHz
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