Chromecast Audio : What is it and Is It Worth A Buy?
The tech giant Google had revolutionized the media streaming by introducing Chromecast two years ago. With very small price and portable shape, Chromecast changed the way that TVs stream media. This year, Google announced two devices in this line. The New Chromecast 2015 and Chromecast Audio.
Let’s take a look at what is Chromecast Audio and how to use it.
What is Chromecast Audio?
This is also a media streaming device like the Chromecast, but limited to only Audio. Well, why do we need this if we already have a Chromecast? The answer to that question is speakers. It allows you to connect any speaker with 3.5mm/RCA/Optical Port. You can stream your favorite music from apps such as Google Music, Spotify etc loud by connecting this device to your speakers.
Chromecast Audio is of circular shape (as the new Chromecast) and plays your music over Wi-Fi.It’s dimensions are 51.9 x 51.9 x 13.49 mm and it has a 1.46mm audio cable with 3.5mm jack. It weighs 30.7g. Unlike the Chromecast which is available in three colors (black, lemonade and coral), Chromecast Audio comes only in Black Color. It comes with a USB port to charge the device, and a 3.5mm input jack to plug in the cable and a charger. It supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz wifi bands. You can plug this device to your music system from the other side of the cable. It supports 3.5mm jack, RCA and Optical Ports.
How this thing works?
The procedure is similar to setting up the New Chromecast. The only difference is it has a audio jack plugged in instead of a HDMI port. To make this thing work, you need
- A speaker system with input port (3.5mm/RCA/Optical)
- Working Wi-Fi connection
- Smart Phone with Chromecast Audio App installed (Android/iOS) or A computer with Chromecast extension installed (Mac OS X 10.7 or greater, Windows 7 and Higher)
Plug the device to the power using charger, and connect other side of audio jack to your speakers. Install the Chromecast Audio App and setup for the first time by logging in using your Wi-Fi credentials. You can also enable Guest Mode if you need in this device. Once the setup is done, the app will recognize the speakers. Go to a music App such as Google Music, Pandora or Spotify, start playing your favorite music and enjoy the high quality sound from your speakers. (You can see the supporting Apps for both Chromecast and Chromecast Audio here.)
You can use your smartphone as a remote control. You can forward, backward a song, pause, play, stop and control the music listening.
Coming to performance, this device supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands. So there won’t be any lag while streaming your music from your smartphone to your speakers.
Do You Really need this Device?
Unlike Chromecast 2015, this Chromecast Audio is only limited to stream music. Music streaming can be done using multiple ways, like using your Bluetooth connection. If you already have Bluetooth speakers or If you have a Chromecast and a TV with fair sounding experience, or a laptop or a mobile with some good speakers then you probably won’t need it, even though it’s not that much expensive. This device only comes handy when you have analog speakers which can be connected using an Audio jack.So consider buying this device if you do not have any means of streaming music available to you already. Even though this device is not available in India yet, it’s priced at $35.
You can find more info regarding this device here.
What do you think of this device? Do let us know in comments.