Google’s Chromecast Audio beams music to multiple rooms

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chromecast Audio gets two new features.

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.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 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. Google writes on its Chrome blog, “Today we’re rolling out high-resolution audio support, which gives you even higher quality music playback using Chromecast Audio“.

Sort of how you control Sonos through its app, you can use the Chromecast app for iOS or Android to create groups for your Chromecast Audio-connected speakers, and then those groups will appear as streaming options when you press the cast button in supported apps and streaming services. 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. Now, your music will play in any room you place your speakers in, flawless for playing holiday music while decorating or throwing a party, or when jamming out during cleaning time. Admittedly, I don’t really have any use for a Chromecast Audio, but as I wrote a few months ago, it’s one of the cheapest ways your old school stereo wireless.

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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