The Google Chromecast was one of the most popular media streaming devices last year. A small HDMI dongle that delivered all your content to the big screen, but audio wasn’t its strong point. That’s where Google Cast for Audio comes in, a new service and technology integrated into speakers that was just revealed this morning by Google.
Essentially taking the same technology from the Google Chromecast and embedding it into speakers, soundbars and more, Google Cast for Audio will let you stream all your music in high quality right from the cloud to speaker.
Read: Google Chromecast Review
This morning CES 2015 is fully under way Google took a moment to announce Cast for Audio, but the details are somewhat unclear. For those looking for more details about the new Google Cast for Audio, when it will be available, and how to get it, read on for everything you need to know.
While the Google Chromecast was a $35 dongle that changed the way millions of users streamed content, games, and more to their HDTV’s, the new Cast for audio isn’t the same. Many users, myself included, expected it to be some sort of dongle you can connect to speakers, A/V receivers, or bluetooth speakers to stream your music, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Instead, Google Cast for Audio will be built-in (for now) to many speakers from major manufacturers in the near future. Set to be released later this year. Here’s what we know so far.
Google Cast for Audio Release
The Chromecast was released and went on sale for buyers to purchase and connect to their HDTVs after it was announced, but that won’t be the case for Google Cast for Audio, at least from what we can tell. According to Google this will arrive in select “Google Cast Ready Speakers” later this year, starting out in the Spring of 2015.
This means that users won’t be able to immediately buy this technology, or get a dongle for existing speakers, at least not yet. For now it appears that Cast ready speakers, A/V receivers (like Denon) Soundbars, and other devices will have this built-in.
How it Works
Cast for Audio works the same way as Google Chromecast works. Using your Android or iOS device to access audio and hit the “cast” button to cast it to your device, then it takes over and casts it from the cloud. Saving the smartphone or tablet from draining the battery streaming music, cuts down your data usage and likely will use in-home WiFi for speakers, and lets you use your iOS or Android device to do other things, all while music is being cast.
Here’s the words right from Google themselves.
Google Cast Ready speakers pull content directly from the cloud, so you’ll get the best audio quality and can freely multi-task on your phone, tablet, or laptop, all without straining the battery. These speakers will work with a growing list of apps including Deezer, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, NPR One, Pandora, Rdio, TuneIn, and many more.
Of course casting works from laptops and iOS too, not just Android smartphones and tablets, which makes this technology extremely powerful and useful once it arrives. Being able to buy a new Denon A/V Receiver for your home theater with Cast built-in will allow for easy, seamless, HD audio streaming from multiple apps right to your living room and home.
Google Cast Products
Again, Google Cast for Audio won’t be out until later this spring, but many users are likely already interested in the technology and are wondering where they can get it, and who from. According to what we’re hearing today from Google’s official news post, buyers will have plenty of options soon.
Sony, LG, and HEOS by Denon will all produce the first Google Cast Ready speakers and A/V receivers, which are due out in spring 2015, then we can expect many other brands releasing compatible products later this year. Mainly many of those in the Bluetooth speaker market like SONOS, Braven, JAMBOX and some of those other smaller yet popular manufacturers. They’ve yet to make announcements, but surely more hardware partners will be on board as the release nears this Spring.
Google Cast for Audio was just unveiled this morning, so surely more details and release information will arrive in the coming weeks, as well as more hardware partners. The quote above had many of the app and music streaming partners listed as on board, and more will likely join in time for the release. For now this is just the initial release details, so stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.