Google Says It Is Discontinuing the Chromecast Audio

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Google has announced that the Chromecast Audio will no longer be manufactured. The gadget debuted in 2015 as a cheap and simple means of sending audio from Chromecast-compatible apps to regular speakers via a 3.5mm audio cable. Support will continue for existing devices, however.

    …it’s probably a good time for Chromecast Audio to be discontinued, as the trend continues toward smart speakers being the default. Chromecast Audio as we know it could never keep up with today’s smart speakers, as it lacks Google Assistant capability. This could be a good opportunity for Google to launch a similarly affordable Google Home device that turns an older speaker system into a proper Assistant smart speaker, similar to the Echo Input.
     
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  2. GlowingGhoul

    GlowingGhoul Whines about Whiners

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  3. Shoganai

    Shoganai Limp Gawd

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    Well that sucks. It was extremely useful. Maybe they'll incorporate it into the next Chromecast.
     
  4. Disco_Stu_04

    Disco_Stu_04 Limp Gawd

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    These are great for receivers that do not have HDMI input.
     
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  5. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    So mad. I love these things and use them all the time! And I want like 10 more! Not sure if I'll even be able to get one come payday :/

    The next best alternative is a $400 option from Sonos.

    The Chromecast Audio devices are seriously awesome and Google cutting them has nothing to do with whether they sell or not, because they move like hotcakes!

    :( Sad
     
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  6. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

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    I got one for about £15 a few years ago. I've never really used it but it works really well and it's hand to have a device with that functionality. I was hoping someone would make a neat little clip on battery pack that would give say 6 hours use but never saw anything. Would have been a nice to have.

    I might buy another one.
     
  7. harbingerofdoom

    harbingerofdoom Gawd

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    i can see where some people might have a use for that.
    personally? id never wind up using it.
     
  8. ole-m

    ole-m Limp Gawd

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    I've been looking at using one but seriously too expensive.
     
  9. Shoganai

    Shoganai Limp Gawd

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    What’s too expensive?
     
  10. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I didn't even know this existed. I would have bought one.

    I would never buy a smart speaker under any circumstance though.
     
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  11. lazz

    lazz Limp Gawd

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    This is a real bummer. The Chromecast Audio supports really high bitrate streaming, and you can plug it into a stereo/amp via 3.5mm *or* digital optical. I've got the latter going into a DAC, then into my main stereo receiver - It has always sounded incredible for a streaming device.

    Really sad to hear this news, and probably going to go pick up a couple more just to have on-hand.
     
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  12. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Bummer. I just tried to order one and it is out of stock in the Google store. :(

    I wish I had heard of these earlier.
     
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  13. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    If anyone is trying to buy them, they are still available new on eBay (but without the $20 discount the Google store had before they went out of stock)

    I ordered one.

    Kicking myself over that I never heard of this product before. Would have been very useful over the last couple of years.
     
  14. Bigbacon

    Bigbacon [H]ardForum Junkie

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    never heard of it either....

    I wish you can could cast youtube audio to other devices but you can't.
     
  15. RPGWiZaRD

    RPGWiZaRD [H]ard|Gawd

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    I've heard from people it has pretty bad audio quality for something specifically design to stream that so that might be a contributing factor too.
     
  16. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I'd suspect that it probably doesn't have the highest end DAC considering its price, but it does claim to stream in a lossless format, and it has an optical out, so if the device you are plugging it into has an optical in, you can bypass the DAC all together.

    This is what I plan on doing.
     
  17. Jagger100

    Jagger100 [H]ardness Supreme

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    you can get HDMI to 3.5mm breakouts but nice ones will double the price of a chromecast.
     
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  18. Sabrewulf...

    Sabrewulf... Gawd

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  19. Disco_Stu_04

    Disco_Stu_04 Limp Gawd

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    Lots of options but I find it better in my setup to maintain a digital signal from a source all the way to the receiver. Chromecast audio has digital out and sounds great.
     
  20. Bootleg Usher

    Bootleg Usher Gawd

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    I have an awesome Sony boombox with a 3.5mm stereo input. With the Chromecast Audio I can turn it into a wifi boombox which makes it even better.
     
  21. lazz

    lazz Limp Gawd

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    Couldn't disagree more. I use mine with a toslink connection to a Schiit DAC but even before I had that it was just 3.5mm into my stereo amp and it sounded amazing. Much, much better than any bluetooth speaker/stereo.

    Here's a great review from What Hi-Fi that was published shortly after it launched:
    https://www.whathifi.com/google/chromecast-audio/review
     
  22. lazz

    lazz Limp Gawd

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  23. ole-m

    ole-m Limp Gawd

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    Same price as normal chromecast?
    35 bucks in my country.
     
  24. caddys83

    caddys83 2[H]4U

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    So many people living under rocks! I have 4 of these things.
     
  25. UnrealRG

    UnrealRG n00b

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    Really disappointed. I currently have a 10 speaker stereo (5L+5R) setup in my home office using these with a combination of receiver amp with traditional speakers and self-powered speakers. I setup the various Chromecast Audio (CCA) devices in a group so they all act as a single device. I love them and have plans to add them to my front porch and balcony, but need to rethink this now in case one dies and cannot be replaced. FWIW, the sound quality of CCA over my home network is so much better than Bluetooth, plus I can cast from my tablets, phones, and desktops. I also don't want any "smart" listening device in my home, but especially not in my office, so the CCA was perfect. I mostly use it with Plex for my FLAC music collection, but it can be used with pretty much any music service. Hope Google reconsiders, but I understand why they want to push "smart" devices.
     
  26. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I think it shows that Google kind of failed in publicizing these things.

    My Denon receivers (two of them in a row) have always had trouble connecting to Spotify Connect. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't (and usually when I have guests over it seems to be the latter). Since my Denon receivers are the center of my multiroom setup (Zone 2 out to a distribution amp in the basement, and then analog runs to amps in a few different rooms) this is a huge bummer.

    I have on and off over the last couple of years been searching for some small streaming box like this I can use to add music input capability to the Denon receiver and not use its crappy built in Spotify Connect support, and in all my googling, I never came across the ChromeCast audio, and it lookes to be damned near perfect, with lossless audio formats, and the ability to use optical in on the receiver.

    Google really did not publicize this thing enough at all. I never heard of it, and even while searching never found it, until now, when the announcement of it being discontinued went out.
     
  27. choppedliver

    choppedliver Limp Gawd

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    Idiots! I have 4. I've got them connected to old a/v receivers in 4 different areas of the house. I can walk from one to room to the other and they play seamless in unison. It was by far the cheapest way to do what I wanted, and I have ZERO INTEREST IN FUCKING A SMART SPEAKER.. I also don't want to listen to my music on your shit speaker in your smart speaker.

    I've already got nice speakers
    I've already got nice receivers (without all the network enabled stuff of current generation electronics )
    All I needed was a SIMPLE, CHEAP, way of getting them to all work together, and didn't want to spend wasted money on a) your crappy speaker b) your electronics necessary to make a smart receiver. Not everything has to be a swiss army knife! A simple tool for a simple use.

    It was a gadget with a specific purpose, and if they are going to get rid of them, I can only hope they fold it into chromecast, which I have several of, but have always been very annoyed that my receiver has a chromecast puck and chomecast audio puck plugged into it. The chromecast already does audio and video, why not just make it capable of synching with the audio cast? They are always sending updates, surely that could be one
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  28. choppedliver

    choppedliver Limp Gawd

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    On the other hand guys... they are cheap enough to buy "replacements" for future chrome cast devices dying or just needing some more for your setup
     
  29. ablazhov

    ablazhov n00b

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  30. m00ndancer

    m00ndancer n00b

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    It's good enough to be used as a headphone amp. For exact spec and measurements go here: http://archimago.blogspot.com/2016/02/measurements-google-chromecast-audio.html
    But fair enough, can't compare with a dedicated DAC for $200. I use mine (all four of them) all the time both as headphoneamp and a source for my older analogue equipment.
     
  31. m00ndancer

    m00ndancer n00b

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    You can group CC and CCAs now. So I have a CC Ultra in the living room and a CCA in the kitchen and a CCA in the office at home. All of them belong to a speaker group.
     
  32. m00ndancer

    m00ndancer n00b

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    Yeah that's a bummer, you can however run music.youtube.com in audiomode and cast youtube videos (only audio no image) to a CCA. Great for podcast and music videos of live performances

    It would be awesome if you could watch a YT video and cast the audio (in sync), but that might never be enabled.
     
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  33. Dr. Righteous

    Dr. Righteous 2[H]4U

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    Yeah same here until found it was a feature on the Onkyo receiver I bought myself for Christmas. I assumed it was a wireless streaming feature. No wonder I never got it to work. Meh.
     
  34. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Just got mine. Hooked it up via optical cable to the back of my Denon AVR-x3300W. I set it up in the Denon as a CD player with optical input.

    Works like a charm. Sounds great. I wish I had discovered these years ago because I have been VERY frustrated with Denons built in Spotify Connect feature. It works sometimes, and sometimes it just refuses to connect. This just works.

    I was a little frustrated during the setup though. Google forced me to download the Google Home app and enable location services permissions for it in order to set up the device. It also refused to initialize with my home network connected via my VPN provider, so I had to create a special firewall rule for it to bypass my VPN. Jesus Christ, you can't do anything without being data mined these days. Really pisses me off.

    At least it works, and it looks like the Google Home app is only needed for the initial setup. Casting works without it afterwards.

    Current setup is as follows:

    Chromecast audio -> Denon Receiver (plays sound in Living Room)

    If I want multiroom, I enable "All Room Stereo" on the denon, and then it also plays on my speakers in the kitchen, on my speakers in my office and on the crappy Samsun soundbar in my bedroom, via my distribution amp in the basement.

    DYI multi-room setup. Got to love it.
     
  35. aokman

    aokman Gawd

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    Chromecast? Oh you mean Crapcast
     
  36. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    It works reliably, and with the optical output (bypassing the internal DAC in the thing) it sounds great on my setup.

    Just wish it didn't have to be tied to my Google account.
     
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  37. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    My only concern is that now that it is discontinued, that app makers are going to drop support...

    Well, it was cheap. If it stops working, I'll be disappointed, but it won't have been the end of the world.
     
  38. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Alright...

    Does anyone know exactly how an android phone connects to a Chromecast device? Because we are having weird shit happen.


    upload_2019-1-24_0-30-48.png


    So, "Living Room Speaker" is my new Chromecast audio.

    "My Dorm Speaker" on the other hand, is not mine. A check of all devices with DHCP leases on my network confirms that there is not some sort of rogue device on my network.

    This is my Fiance's phone. After failing to connect to my chromecast (Living Room), she tried the dorm speaker. And when she heard nothing, she cranked it up to 11 using the volume rocker.

    The only explanation I can think of here is that she was connected to our VPN via the PIA client (this explains why she could not connect to my chromecast) and some poor motherfucker who also uses PIA's Washington DC server (not sure why she chose that one, we live nowhere near DC) has a poorly setup OpenVPN configuration that allows remote connections in from the outside world, and thus their "Dorm Speaker" is discoverable and can play back music.

    So whoever you are in DC, if you got woken up by the Red Hot Chili Peppers turned up to 11 at 20 past midnight on a Thursday morning, you should probably check your firewall settings, because this shouldn't happen.

    That is all.