Chromecast Audio is the less famous “brother” of Google’s well-known streaming device. The name of the device already says it all: its goal is to transmit only audio to different types of sound boxes. Because it is such a segmented product, it is important for the user to ask himself/herself, is it worth it? It is important to know the device better before deciding on the purchase.
Let us analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the accessory, such as design, features, compatibility, and cost-effectiveness in order to determine whether Chromecast Audio is the right choice for you or not.
The Chromecast Audio design is similar to the Chromecast 2 and Chromecast Ultra models. It is quite compact, with dimensions of 51.9 x 51.9 x 13.49 mm and weight of 30.7 g, so it can be easily loaded into trips and is a good companion for parties as it can stay in safety in your pocket or backpack.
The body of the device is rounded, black and looks made to remember a vinyl record. That way, while having a visual identity that converses with that of your fellow brand, the product brings a unique look and makes it clear who your target audience: music fans.
It works much like the ordinary Chromecast. The device needs to be connected to a sound box through an audio cable. Then just download the necessary apps to run and start streaming. People can transmit music to it from their respective devices. Likewise, the device has features that allow you to play the same music in different speakers.
According to the manufacturer, Chromecast Audio can play high-resolution sound without loss and its definition is better than that of a CD. However, it is important to know that the device does not transmit video and therefore if you want a device of this category, it is better to invest in another member of the family.
Chromecast Audio works only via Wi-Fi, which can be limiting, and is compatible with many applications such as Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora, and iHeartRadio. If an application is not compatible, it is able to mirror the sound of a device, causing the connected box to play any audio that exits from your phone, tablet or computer.
The compatible speaker inputs are RCA, Optical and 3.5 mm. It can be used with Android and iOS (iPhone, iPod, iPad) smartphones and tablets, as well as Mac, Windows, and Chromebook laptops.
Prices for Chromecast Audio revolve around $35 in online retail, which is not so cheap for a product in the category. It is important to remember that it has a very specific purpose: to play music. Therefore, it may be more interesting to invest in a Chromecast 2, which will have audio-visual features and, on auction sites, can be bought for very similar values, although it costs around $35 in retail. There are also products like Bluetooth adapters, which can do a similar job, but not so much quality, and are in the range of $30.
If you are very aware of the type of product you are taking home, you know you’re targeting very well and think it will indeed be useful for you, so Chromecast Audio may be worth it. The product has quality, interesting features and is compatible with most of the relevant devices on the market.
Now, if you are not in the habit of listening to loud music or already have a Bluetooth sound box, it’s good to think twice. Maybe the device will not make so much difference in your music consumption habits. There is also the possibility to realize that the best option is, perhaps, the common Chromecast, which can transmit different types of media, including audio.