Google is making a major inroad into wireless multiroom audio with a $35 Chromecast Audio dongle. It’s also launching the first Google-built tablet and bringing more Nexus smartphone choices to consumers.
The company’s first music-focused Chromecast dongle, called Chromecast Audio, connects to stereo systems and powered speakers via 3.5mm input, RCA input, or optical input. It streams music only from Cast-enabled music-streaming apps, not from a user’s music library.
The company promoted its solution as better than streaming from a phone or tablet via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth because music is streamed from the Cloud, reducing the drain on a mobile device’s battery. It’s better than Bluetooth because music can be streamed through any speaker in the house, not just one speaker within 33 feet of the mobile device, executives said. Multiroom synchronization comes later this year.
From a Cast-enable music-streaming app, consumers press the Cast button and select one or more speakers for playback.
The dongle is already available at Walmart, Best Buy and the Google store.
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