Google announced “Google Cast for audio” at the start of this week. If you’ve used a Chromecast before to cast video content to your television (or mirror your handset) then you’ll have a good idea of what “Google Cast for audio” does. Instead of casting video, it allows you to stream your favourite music to a “Google Cast Ready” speaker, sound bar or AV receiver.
Simply access one of your favourite music apps, say Google Play Music, choose a song and cast. The advantage over a Bluetooth speaker solution is that as the content is pulled from the cloud, once the music is cast, you’re free to multi-task on your phone. It should have less dropouts compared to a Bluetooth solution, which typically requires continual line-of-sight to work effectively.
One of the disadvantages is that you will need to buy a new set of speakers to take advantage of this. Right now there isn’t a solution that easily plugs into an old Hi-Fi system (although we imagine this has to be on the cards?) Sony is one of the first manufacturers on board with Google Cast Ready speakers along with LG, and HEOS by Denon.
Sony ‘Google Cast Ready’ speaker products
The new Sony SRS-X99 wireless speaker features Hi-Res audio, with powerful, dynamic sound (154 Watts, 2.1ch, 4 super tweeters, dual passive radiator, DSEE™, and Clear Audio+™) combined with a stylish design. TheSRS-X99 supports Google Cast, Spotify Connect and multi-room capability via Sony SongPal link, similar to Sony’s new sound bars and AV Receivers, rounding out a family of Sony products that all work together throughout the home. Additionally, the SRS-X99 supports Bluetooth with LDAC and NFC. The SRS-X99 also supports Hi-Res audio up to 24bit/192kHz (AALC, FLAC, AIFF, and DSD4 playback).
The new SRS-X88 provides the same Hi-res capability as the SRS-X99 in a slightly smaller form factor, providing the same easy listening music experience, with support for Google Cast and multi-room via the Sony SongPal Link app, and full Bluetooth capability with LDAC and NFC support.
The 7.1 channel Sony HT-ST9 premium sound bar with wireless subwoofer incorporates 9 independent speakers and 7 discrete amplifiers to provide incredible acoustic detail and clarity, including support of Hi-Res audio. The HT-ST9 is a networked multi-room capable sound bar with the ability to stream Google Cast ready music and audio apps and Spotify Connect to multiple speakers throughout the house via the Sony SongPal Link app. Featuring for the first time in a Sony sound bar HDMI with HDCP 2.2 capabilities, consumers can now enjoy 4K content from the major studios with the highest audio/visual quality. Further, this product features the convenience of Bluetooth streaming with LDAC and NFC one- touch connectivity.
The HT-NT3 also supports 4K content from major studios via HDCP 2.2, Google Cast, Spotify Connect and Multi-room capability via the SongPal link app. The 2.1 channel premium sound bar with wireless subwoofer features a thin design that fits seamlessly with the sleek design of today’s television designs.
The new STR-DN1060 and STR-DN860 A/V receivers continue Sony’s tradition of class-leading sound quality while fully embracing support for 4K content from major studios with HDMI with HDCP 2.2, multi-room audio connectivity, and support for Hi-Res audio, including DSD. With built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, AirPlay, Bluetooth and now Google Cast and Spotify Connect, access to music is more accessible than ever. The Graphic User Interface provides quality design with simple set-up features and an easy-to-use remote.