In the grand universe of IoT, you’d think that multiple audio output options would be a no-brainer for any casting device or smart TV. Chromecast with Google TV is finally catching on, but for now, it remains the only Chromecast device that allows Bluetooth headphone pairing without the addition of another device or app.
There are three ways to use headphones with Chromecast: All of these methods require a pair of wireless, Bluetooth headphones. Below, we’ll cover how you can start listening to your favorite shows, movies, or music through your Chromecast using wireless headphones.
Make Sure You’re Using the Right Headphones
As hinted above, you can only use wireless, Bluetooth headphones with Chromecast. There is a vast array of wireless headphones to choose from. As with most technology, however, you get what you pay for.
If you’re shopping on a budget, here are a few great selections for the price:
- Mifo O5 Plus Gen 2 Wireless Earbuds: Mifo is a Canadian company whose earbuds are outstanding and reasonably priced. They stand out from their more expensive competition thanks to a 7-hour battery and a charging case that provides 100 hours of listening time.
- Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Plus, True Wireless Earbuds: Samsung is known for its quality products, and the Plus version of Samsung’s Galaxy Buds lineup is no exception. They come with a charging case that provides an additional 11 hours of listening time on top of the 11 hours you get from the earbuds.
- Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro True Wireless Earbuds: Get 7 hours of playtime with these earbuds and an additional three charges. Six mics and increased bass set the Anker Soundcore apart and at a reasonable cost.
Download LocalCast for Chromecast
LocalCast is an app—available for both Android and iOS—that was designed to be used with Chromecast. The free version is an advertisement nightmare, like most free apps, but has a premium, $3.99 version as well.
With your Bluetooth headphones paired to your phone, launch the app just like you would Chromecast. Also, like Chromecast, choose the video, movie, or music that you want to cast. When you’re casting, your phone will display a Now Playing screen. From here, select Route Audio to Phone.
Keep in mind that the Android version is still in its Beta phase, so there may be problems with audio lag and disconnections. The version for iOS has a 4.1-star rating, and it has been updated with the “signing certificate” for Apple.
Use a Bluetooth Stereo Transmitter
This harkens back to the “as seen on TV” products and the commercials with questionable acting and extremely melodramatic reactions to loud TVs. While silly and typical for the industry, the products were effective, and Bluetooth has only improved them.
There are a ton of options as far as what transmitter fits your personal preference:
- Avantree Oasis Plus
- TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter
- Anker Soundsync A3341
- TROND Bluetooth V5.0 Transmitter Receiver
There are different sizes, connectors, digital display screens, and designs to choose from. With all of the different available options, it should be easy to find a device that fits your entertainment center.
As with the LocalCast app, Bluetooth transmitters require wireless headphones to transmit audio. As each transmitter is different, you’ll need to read over the instructions to pair your headphones. Mostly that’s to determine how to set the transmitter to pair mode. Once you have that set, your Bluetooth headphones will pair automatically.
Purchase Chromecast with Google TV
Google got with the wireless audio program when it released the Chromecast with Google TV in late 2020. Like Roku and Fire Stick before it, Google finally eschewed the smartphone version in favor of a physical remote along with the addition of Google TV.
To connect your headphones:
- Go to your User Profile on the Google TV home screen.
- Select Settings > Remote and Accessories > Pair Remote or Accessory.
At this point, you need to pair your headphones by activating pairing mode. On the Chromecast screen, your headphones will show up in the Pair Remote or Accessory window. Once you select them and complete the pairing process, you will be able to listen to your TV’s audio through your headphones.
When you pair wireless headphones to your smartphone, you control the volume with both the headphones and your smartphone’s volume buttons. With the Chromecast, the remote controls the volume.
Your best bet towards getting a high-quality listening experience is to go with Chromecast with Google TV. Using headphones with Chromecast—like any other streaming device—hasn’t yet reached the pinnacle of user-friendliness.
LocalCast is an acceptable option but is still in beta for Android users. Using a Bluetooth stereo transmitter will also get the job done. However, you may experience some lag or other audio problems.