The Chromecast Audio is the same suggestion, albeit with a focus on music rather than video. It is the search engine giant’s first real play in the multi-room audio market, and it isn’t bad for a virginal offering. For those who do not know much about Chromecast, it is basically a streaming platform that lets you move media between devices.
The great thing about Chromecastis it is lightweight even though, that will not matter much because it is going to be plugged into the back of your speaker most of the time anyway. That is made possible by its 3.5-mm jack connection, which means you will be able to plug the Chromecast Audio into most, but not all, speaker systems.
Chromecast Audio mimics this offering, banking off the growing disdain towards Bluetooth-powered speakers. It’s mainly for a simple reason if you get a call while streaming, your music is interrupted. Nonetheless, with Chromecast Audio, the actual device is streaming the content over WiFi, not any smartphone.
This is true when switching between audio zones speakers in the demo ‘living room’ and demo ‘kitchen’, for instance as well as changing tracks, and setting up multi zone playback. Again, another jab at Sonos. The latter point is interesting, because this is a real play by Google to take a chunk out of Sonos’ market.
Sonos is, of course, the multi-room audio market leader, that has made a name for itself by offering seamless, WiFi based audio streaming. Do not expect to plug the Chromecast Audio into any old speaker to make it work it isn’t magic. You will have need to use a powered speaker or speaker system that comes with an amp.
Overall, the Chromecast Audio is a decent suggestion from Google, and will likely see plenty of uptake from those who want to bring their old speaker systems into the 21st century.