Is it the perfect cheap alternative wireless speaker system?
For the past few years now, if you wanted a multi-room wireless sound system then you needed to look no further than Sonos. A reliable, perfectly designed and revolutionary system has meant Sonos has faced little competition, even from the giants such as Sony and Samsung who both have their own independent systems but have failed to make a real impact on the market. So although there has been little direct competition, the growth of wireless hi-fi adapters has meant Sonos’ market share has chiefly been threatened from alternative angles with companies such as Logitech and Jongo. What’s most worrying for Sonos is that the wireless hi-fi adapters cost a fraction of what Sonos offers which is extremely enticing for people who are on a tight budget. Google is the latest company to show their hand in the wireless adapter game by producing Google Chromecast Audio.
What does it do?
Based upon Google Chromecast which is used to connect smart devices up to the TV, Chromecast Audio allows you to connect smart devices up to old and new hi-fi systems, transforming them into a modern day multi-room audio control system. Chromecast Audio acts as a DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) to the sound system, with it being connected directly up to the amp for passive speakers or up to the speaker for the less common ‘active speakers’. Google have brought out a range of accessories so you can link the Chromecast straight up to a variety of stereos/amps. At the moment they have an RCA (Phono), 3.5mm stereo and optical output, however with constant development being applied to the product, it won’t be long till its capability is extended further.
Easy to set up?
I don’t know about you, but personally I always find the setup process for these type of things long-winded and extremely frustrating when you've followed the instructions word for word and the system is still not working. Well, I can confirm that for Google Chromecast Audio, this is not the case. When adding Google Chromecast Audio, it took me all of about 10 minutes to get it set up and working. The great thing about the setup process is that if you decide to move Chromecast Audio to another speaker, you don’t have to go through the setup process again - a perfect product for those with little patience!