Contact us
Close contact box
Connect ID #
122 616 728 4
Connect ID #
122 616 728 4
Don't wait on hold. We'll call you back when it's your turn to talk with the next available .
Please enter your name  
Please enter your phone number  
Please enter a message  

Calls may be recorded for training and quality control purposes.

We are located in Virginia USA.

Thank you. We will be calling you .
We're sorry. We have encountered a problem.

Russound MBX-PRE Streaming audio player/preamplifier with Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth®

Item # 543MBXPRE

The Russound MBX-PRE lets you add music streaming to your custom-installed home audio system.

The Russound MBX-PRE lets you add music streaming to your custom-installed home audio system.

California customers:
Please click here for your Proposition 65 warning.

8 questions - 10 answers

Item # 543MBXPRE

In stock

About the Russound MBX-PRE

Eric A.

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.

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 Pandora, 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.


Product highlights:

  • 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)
  • Pandora streaming built-in (free 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
  • 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

Customer reviews for Russound MBX-PRE

Loading reviews...

Average review:

4.5 out of 5 stars
14 reviews

Thanks for submitting your review

Filter by rating

Customer photos

Customer provided image, click to load a larger version.
Customer provided image, click to load a larger version.

Sort reviews

Sort by:
Items per page:
View page:

Verified customer (What's this?)
Verified employee review (What's this?)

Reviewed on

This review was collected as part of a promotion



Crutchfield response
Customer provided image, click to load a larger version.
<< >>

More details on the Russound MBX-PRE

Stacey B.
The Russound MBX-PRE replaces these items:

Product Research

Additional Features
Connections & Controls


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:

  • Russound App: The Russound App (available from the Apple App and Google Play stores) lets you operate the MBX-PRE 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.
  • XTS7 Controller: The Russound XTS7 Wall-Mounted Touchscreen Controller (sold separately) is a stylish in-wall touchscreen that runs an embedded version of the Russound 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 XTSPlus 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. Russound now offers Pandora music streaming service via the latest firmware update (v. 3.0 or higher). The MBX-AMP can be configured to automatically update as newer firmware is available. To take full advantage of Pandora music streaming, make sure you are using the latest version of the Russound App (v. 1.5).

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.

Additional Features

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
  • 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.

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:

  • 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.

Loading accessories...

Customer Q&A

8 questions already asked

Will this work with the MCA-C3 6 source multizone controller amplifier?
brian  Nov 27, 2023
1 answer
The Russound MBX-PRE has an RCA line-level output and can be connected to the MCA-C3 6, Brian. You can control the Russound MBX-PRE by app or the XTS7 controller in the link below.
bo  Nov 28, 2023 (Staff)
My existing system is a Russound PR-4Z with a Sonamp 1250 will they work with the MBR-PRE?
kevin  Aug 09, 2023
1 answer
The MBR-PRE could be used as an input to the PR-4Z as a source.
zachary  Aug 09, 2023 (Staff)
Can the MBX-PRE or MBX-AMP be used by multiple zones at the same time? i.e. Can one zone stream SiriusXM while another zone uses Apple AirPlay or some other streaming service?
manny  Apr 17, 2023
1 answer
Each MBX-PRE or MBX-AMP may constitute a zone. It is possible to have multiple zones playing at the same time with different sources.
zachary  Apr 17, 2023 (Staff)
I have a Russound CAS44 system that was installed before I bought the home in 2013. Will the MBX Pre work with it? I am trying to get my CAS44 system integrated with my current wireless network.
tharrel  Nov 28, 2022
1 answer
Yes you can connect that streaming preamp to one of the 4 sets of RCA inputs on the back of the CAS44 system you have.
arielle  Nov 29, 2022 (Staff)
My Rssound smart ST2 is done, can this one could be the replacement device for my multiroom music background system? connect to CAV6.6 MULTI ZONE controller with music streamer (apple music, spotify, etc) and tuner, thanks!
guangguo  Oct 30, 2022
1 answer
Greetings Guangguo, and thank you for your question. The Russound MBX PRE is not a direct replacement for the Smart ST2. The ST2 has a dual radio tuner tuner built in for local broadcast radio stations. The MBX PRE is a single zone Internet music steamer. It has no built in radio tuner, all the music would come from the Internet. If your CAV6.6 can take RCA type of inputs, than you can connect the MBX PRE to it, but you would not be able to control the MBX PRE from the CAV6.6. The MBX PRE is app controllable.
hogan  Oct 31, 2022 (Staff)
Does it come unlocked and ready to plug and play or do I need to have it installed by a Russound dealer?
carrie  Oct 16, 2020
1 answer
This does not come unlocked. It must be unlocked during setup. Some of our technical support team are certified Russound Installers so they can help our customers unlock this. We send the toll free number to call our technical support department on the order invoice so just keep that handy so you can call them for this help.
jason  Nov 08, 2020 (Staff)
I'm considering connecting a Russound MBX Pre to Russound AH484 ABUS Hub. Can the MyRussound app control the zones in the home?
lionel  Apr 19, 2020
3 answers
No. Only to turn on and off all zones.
jeff  Apr 21, 2020
We connected our hub to an existing receiver dedicated to our whole house audio. Therefore, we do not use an MBX-PRE. We also do not use the app as the WHA is in our upper level and we can control the receiver with its remote.
steve  Apr 21, 2020
The myRussound app cannot control any A-Bus zones. You can use the audio output from the MBX-PRE to provide an audio signal to the AH484, but would have to use the A-Bus keypads to turn zones on and off, adjust volume etc. A-Bus is not networked so neither the MBX-Pre or myRussound app know it even exists.
james e.  Apr 21, 2020
Just moved into a new house that is wired for sound in 5 rooms using a 4 zone Speakercraft MZC-64 and an expansion 2 zone Speakercraft BB-50s. The previous owner took the music streamer and I have no idea what it was. My question is would the Russound MBX-PRE complete the system? And will it work with my Tidal subscription via my phone app??
mark  Nov 24, 2019
1 answer
Mark, with systems like this we often recommend you get in touch with one of our A/V design group members. They can be reached here: If you get with them with what you currently have, and what you want to be able to do, they can recommend the best setup for you!
thomas  Dec 16, 2019 (Staff)

Loading articles...

Compare the sound