Google Fires At Sonos, Adds Multi-Room Support To Chromecast Audio

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chromecast Audio Now Offers High-Res & Multi-Speaker Playback.

Back in September, Google came out of no where with Chromecast Audio. 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.The Chromecast Audio was announced with the ability to basically replicate the functionality of a high-end Sonos system, but at a much cheaper price of $35. 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 WiFi-enabled smarts to any stereo system you’ve already got wired up in your house.

An update rolling out starting today further fulfills that with multi-room and Hi-Res audio support… Multi-room support was initially announced when the device was launched in September, with an end of the year launch date. It had one big weakness, though: 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. The other products Google announced at the event was the launch of a revised Chromecast, along with another sibling Chromecast which was specifically designed for audio, the aptly named, Chromecast Audio.

The second-gen standard Chromecast, is just that, an updated version which offers much of the same features and functionality as the original, albeit in a newly redesigned form factor. Okay, Google: now add this to the standard Chromecast, so I can play the same thing perfectly synced on multiple TVs without wires so I can feel like a futuristic space wizard. Meanwhile, Chromecast Audio also got support for a higher resolution audio stream: it can now handle audio up to 96KHz/24bit lossless, which is mindblowingly good for a wireless standard — better than CD quality, even. It won’t magically make a crappy pair of speakers sound great, of course — but if you’ve got high end speaker gear in your home already, Chromecast Audio can now keep up.

This has also been a cause for concern for some with the normal Chromecast when trying to stream high quality video, but when it comes to the audio side of things, it does seem that this is much more achievable.

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