Not all devices need to be innovative to make an impact. Sometimes a product can simply be bred from commonsense and recognizing customer need. The pièce de résistance, however, is competitive pricing. All of these things are traits of the very cool Chromecast Audio dongle.
If you aren’t familiar, it is a $35 device which allows you to easily stream music from your devices to a speaker. It is hardly revolutionary, but exceptional in its execution. Today, Google announces new features — just in time for the holidays — which make the inexpensive product even better.
“Now you can easily fill every room in your home — bedroom, kitchen, living room, or wherever you have a Chromecast Audio connected –with synchronous music. Connect and setup a Chromecast Audio device for each of your speakers, then use the latest Chromecast app to create a group. You can cast to the group the exact same way you would cast to a single Chromecast device. Anyone with a phone can easily cast without pairing too, so throw a party, sync your home speakers together, and invite your friends to be the DJ”, says Tomer Shekel, Product Manager, Google.
Shekel further says, “close your eyes and imagine the musician is playing in the room. Today we’re rolling out high-resolution audio support, which gives you even higher quality music playback using Chromecast Audio. With support of up to 96KHz/24bit lossless audio playback, you can enjoy higher-than-CD-quality audio on your existing high fidelity audio equipment”.
While expanded audio support is appreciated, please keep in mind that this doesn’t really matter unless your source material is in that format. Low-quality mp3s that you downloaded from Napster a decade ago, or from typical streaming music services, will not be magically improved by this. The Chromecast Audio is not likely to be on the radar of many audiophiles, so this feature, while appreciated, will probably be very underutilized.
I am more excited by the ability to sync multiple dongles together. At $35 a pop, it is totally affordable to create an immersive audio experience throughout an entire house. This could be really useful when throwing a party, but it could have business uses too, such as transmitting a communication to multiple meeting rooms.
If you are still needing to buy Christmas gifts for people, the $35 Chromecast Audio is a great choice, made even better by the addition of today’s newly introduced features.