Google’s Chromecast adds high-res audio, multi-room play

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chromecast Audio gets hi-res music and multi-room support.

Google announced today that it is releasing a new update for the Chromecast Audio that will bring with it two major features: multiunit synchronization and support for Hi-Res 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.We’re inclined to agree with that comment, as the the update adds support for 24-bit/96kHz lossless audio playback meaning hi-res audio tracks can now be streamed to their full potential, not to mention CD-quality tracks and services such as Tidal.

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. 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. Through the Chromecast app, you can group multiple devices together and stream to it in the same way you’d stream to a single Chromecast Audio unit.

The latest Chromecast Audio update should be installed on your device(s) automatically, provided it’s left plugged into power and connected to a wi-fi network. 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. 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 mind-blowingly 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.

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