Chromecast Audio adds support for multiroom music and high-res files

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chromecast Audio Is Now the Super Cheap Way to Wirelessly Fill Multiple Rooms With Music.

, Google’s dongle that turns any speaker with an aux jack into a wireless speaker, has only been out in the world a few months, but it’s already getting some new powers that help justify the teensy dongle.Google’s recently-launched Chromecast Audio adapter is getting a major feature update this week: Consumers will now be able to group multiple Chromecast audio adapters to stream their favorite music simultaneously in more than one room, similar to the multi-room support available for internet-connected loudspeakers like the ones made by Sonos.Chromecast Audio launched as a cool little audio streaming dongle, but the features being added in the latest update could turn it into a powerful entry-level party machine. The idea: take the Chromecast concept (tap a button, send a video to your TV and control it from your phone) and make it audio-only, letting you add some Wi-Fi-enabled smarts to any stereo system you’ve already got wired in your house.

So if you’ve got one hooked up to the speakers in your living room and one connected to the speakers in your bedroom they can all play the same music—assuming they’re within range of each other. Unlike something like Sonos, you could only play a song on one Chromecast Audio at a time; even if you had Chromecast Audios throughout your house, you couldn’t play things in multiple rooms simultaneously for that lovely full-house sound. To start an audio group with Chromecast Audio, you switch from whatever app you’re using over to Google’s own Chromecast app temporarily, create the group, and then pop back into the other application and cast to the new group. Not bad for all the stuff it can do now, and with confidence that Google will keep improving the device down the line we’d say it’s not a bad pickup if you aren’t interested in a more expensive (and complicated) tool.

Meanwhile, Chromecast Audio also got support for a higher resolution audio stream: it can now handle audio up to 96KHz/24bit lossless, which is mind-blowingly good for a wireless standard — better than CD quality, even.

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