Google is growing the Chromecast ecosystem. Alongside the 2nd gen update to the original Chromecast TV dongle, the company has launched Chromecast Audio. This new product is set to do for speaker systems what the original did for TVs.
What is Chromecast Audio
Chromecast Audio is a small dongle that connects to (almost) any speaker system and makes it wireless. Put simply, it turns any dumb speaker into a Sonos style streaming device.
Spotify has recently added Chromecast support, and this is clearly a large part of the reason why.
How it works
Chromecast Audio connects to your speakers via the standard 3.5mm headphone jack that most systems (but not all) have, and effectively speakers wireless connectivity. You then use the Chromecast support in the audio app on your phone to send the music to the speakers. As with the TV version, the music is streamed directly to the dongle, and your phone is used purely as a remote control.
If you’re using Spotify, for example, you’ll see your Chromecast Audio-enabled speakers appear as a Spotify Connect device. It also works in Google Music, among other apps.
The dongle needs its own external power supply, since power cannot be supplied through the 3.5mm headphone port. As a result, it’s not a wholly portable solution.
An innovative product
But that’s a rare downside to an otherwise innovative, good looking and highly affordable gadget. While it probably won’t become as popular as the TV version, it is an effective way to get streamed music onto a speaker system inexpensively, and should produce better sound quality than streaming Bluetooth straight from your phone.
Chromecast Audio costs £30 in the UK, or $30, and is available both in store and direct from Google. Check out the product page for more details.
What do you think of Chromecast Audio. Are you plannning to buy one? Let us know in the comments.