Chromecast Audio tipped to rival Sonos on a budget

Google is readying not one but two second-generation Chromecast media streamers for imminent launch, new rumors suggest, with one focused on music. While leaks earlier today indicated the new Chromecast would be a faster, more circular dongle than its stick-like predecessor, subsequent tipsters speaking to 9to5Google suggest it's actually one of two products in the pipeline.

The second is Chromecast Audio, sources say, and rather than a function of the Chromecast 2 it will be an entirely separate device.

As the name suggests, its focus will be on music streaming rather than the video streaming of the original Chromecast. A puck-like dongle, the leaked image shows it with a short 3.5mm audio cable.

That would presumably be plugged directly into powered speakers or into the aux-in port of an amplifier.

The device – internally known by its codename "Hendrix", supposedly – is said to support Sonos-style streaming from an Android device, Chrome browser, or other source. Multi-room abilities are also promised, so that one source could be fed to several speakers in a zone, or indeed several zones in a home.

Chromecast Audio is tipped to be part of Google's as-yet-unofficial September 29th event.

It's not a new idea, and though many of the currently available wireless streaming adapters use Bluetooth – Moto Stream, for instance, was Motorola's take on the idea back in 2014 – the Chromecast Audio wouldn't be the first to rely on WiFi.

D-Link launched a combination WiFi range extender and media streamer last year, the $50 WiFi Audio Extender, and all the way back in 2010 we tested Orb's version of the same idea.

SOURCE 9to5Google