Google is launching its own streaming audio solution, which is designed to let hardware partners embed Chromecast audio capabilities into their speakers, soundbars, receivers and other sound-producing devices. Google launching Cast for audio means that its streaming solution is now more directly analogous to AirPlay, but it also allows you to use Android, iOS and even web-based sources via Chrome to stream your music, podcasts and more.
The ‘Cast Ready’ speakers that are launching today include devices from Sony, LG and Denon, and there should be lots more coming later this year. Google also intends to integrate its general Cast capabilities, including both audio and visual, to stuff like set-top boxes, television sets, consoles and more.
Already, there are lots of apps that support Cast audio streaming, including Google Play Music, Deezer, Pandora, Rdio, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and more. It works just like the original video and app-streaming Casting, via an in-app button you tap to select your destination device.
Google had already offered audio Casting from compatible software on mobile device that used its API, but now we’ll start seeing dedicated audio hardware devices that provide the same support that has been available via Chromecast streaming dongle and Android TV. It’s much closer to what Apple has offered for AirPlay, which has helped them expand their third-party device ecosystem even further since its introduction.