Google axed production of Chromecast Audio devices in early 2019 and shifted its focus towards smart speakers. Despite its shortened lifespan, Chromecast Audio enjoyed a wealth of fan loyalty and plenty of disappointment in reaction to Google’s announcement. Turning speakers into smart devices was a productive selling point. Now that it’s gone, similar products yearn to fill the void.
Amazon, Google, and a slew of lesser-known production companies—whose devices are high-quality but lack the brand name of industry giants—offer several alternatives to Chromecast Audio, such as the Audiocast and Muzo Cobblestone.
An unfortunate caveat of IoT, smart TVs, soundbars, and smart speakers, is the reliance on Bluetooth and the complexities of setting them up. Understandably, many still prefer the simplicity of Google Chromecast Audio. However, alternative devices still have much to offer users; we’ll explore what they are and how they differ from the Chromecast Audio below.
Best Alternatives to Chromecast Audio
Audiocast, Avantree Priva III, and Muzo Cobblestone offer devices that are simple, easy-to-use alternatives to Chromecast Audio. In the case of Audiocast, their device is almost an exact copy of Chromecast Audio with a different name and logo.
|Audiocast||Avantree Priva III||Muzo Cobblestone|
|Ports||3.5mm / USB / RCA||3.5mm / USB / RCA||3.5mm / USB / Ethernet|
|Compatibility||Spotify / Tidal / iHeartRadio / Airplay / Napster / Pandora / Internet Radio / Plus More||Hooks into smart TV / Everything your TV supports||Airplay / Tidal / Spotify / iHeartRadio / Plus More|
Avantree Priva III works just like the Audiocast and Muzo Cobblestone, except for the fact that it plugs directly into your smart TV or your smart-enabled TV via Roku, Fire Stick, etc. Instead of casting from your smartphone, you’ll cast from your TV or streaming device.
The Audiocast and Muzo Cobblestone operate in much the same way as the Google Chromecast Audio. Both Mufo and Audiovast have their respective apps from which you’ll cast your music. Plug the devices into your speaker, download the app, and you’re ready to go.
Amazon Echo Input
Amazon practically made their name with online shopping and their lineup of Echo devices. The Echo Input is similar in many ways to Chromecast Audio. Outside of the Alexa assistant, there’s very little to differentiate between the two.
The Echo Input turns your speaker into an Amazon Echo. Like the Chromecast, it plugs into the 3.5mm jack—although it can also connect via Bluetooth—converting your speakers into a smart speaker system that can connect with your smart home or any other compatible smart device.
It’s a simple device, with a 3.5mm port and a USB port for power. Like the Echo Dots, its diameter is small, and it resembles a squashed version of the dot, without the speaker.
The familiar Echo buttons are located on the top, and once it’s plugged in, everything operates just like a standard Echo. It’s also compatible with every streaming app (Amazon Skills) that is supported by Amazon devices.
Google Chromecast Built-In
You can see Google’s thinking when it pulled the plug on the Chromecast Audio, even though it alienated a large segment of its customer base. New Google smart home devices now have built-in Chromecast, except for the Chromecast, of course.
Not only will the built-in Chromecast allow you to cast your music to specific speakers, but it will also cast multiple speakers added to your network at the same time. With some decent Wi-Fi tuners, that would also include any non-smart speakers you own.
To take advantage of this feature, download the Google Home app, add the devices you want to cast to, and create a Speaker Group. Most apps, such as Spotify and Pandora, are compatible with Google Home. Choose your app, select the Cast icon, and start casting to any devices added to your speaker group.
Sure, it’s not as simple as the PnP nature of Chromecast Audio, but if you’re wedded to the idea of having a Google integrated smart home, utilizing the built-in Chromecast feature is a great alternative.
These are just a few alternatives. The Amazon Marketplace is full of different devices that cast music to various speakers. Whether you want to cast to a single speaker, multiple speakers, further integrate your smart home, or just plug-and-play, there’s a device for that.
IoT (Internet of Things) is an ever-growing industry and smart speakers, unfortunately, shuttled Chromecast Audio devices to the side. However, Google’s self-inflicted loss is an open door for other brands and manufacturers to step in with similar products of their own.
Google Chromecast Audio was a great product, and although it’s discontinued, Google continues to support it. If you weren’t able to get your hands on one, an alternative to Chromecast Audio might be just the device you’re looking for.