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2 Reasons Audiophiles Will Want the New Google Chromecast

What is the Google Chromecast Audio?

Chromecast Audio is a new Chromecast device from Google that allows you to send audio from the internet directly into either an amplifier or a set of powered speakers. The Chromecast itself is not sending the audio signal, it's simply directing the signal from the internet to go to the device which then feeds it to your amp or powered speakers. Since we've been streaming audio to speakers now for years, why is this an improvement over our current method?

Reason 1 - Why is Chromecast Audio Better Than Bluetooth?

First, the signal is coming directly from the Internet giving you the best audio signal your music service provides. Bluetooth compresses the signal to before sending it to a speaker, This further degrades the music beyond what the streaming music service may, or may not have already compressed it. Chromecast also offers the ability to send the signal via a supplied cable, RCA plugs, or an Optical cable. The optical cable should give you the best sound but all will be better than Bluetooth.
Your phone or tablet using a Chrome enabled app sends a signal to the Chromecast Audio to go to the internet and start playing whatever the phone is asking for. The signal comes from the internet to the Chromecast directly. The chromecast send the signal to the receiver/powered speaker via a cable.

This means you'll get better sound. Even if the newer bluetooth specs are doing a better job with audio, they are, they are still adding another point of transmission Chromecast skips.

Reason 2 - Choose Your Own Speakers

Possibly the biggest benefit to the new Chromecast is that it gives you the freedom to choose from a larger pool of seriously better speakers than your average Bluetooth speaker

Now you can choose to either 
  1. Hook it up directly to your home audio system
  2. Use a pair of bookshelf speakers you have lying around with an external amp
  3. Use a pair of powered speakers
And, you can now more easily hook up a subwoofer which is almost impossible with a traditional bluetooth setup. 

Why Powered Speakers are a Good Choice

An advantage of powered speaker is that the manufacturer is pairing an amp directly with the speaker. In theory, if done correctly, this should give you better sound quality than simply pairing any amp with a random set of speakers. Again, this is not a hard and fast rule, but should hold true for good quality powered speakers.

Here are some really nice powered bookshelf speakers you could use with your new Chromecast. 

If you already have a pair of speakers and want to get a small amp to work with them, click here for some options.

Though other TV based streaming sticks and pucks do offer streaming audio, Chromecast offers the ability to bypass your TV screen and control it directly from your mobile device. 

Other resources

Bluetooth audio is getting better

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