Mr. Locke is well known in this house for hosting what I like to call a “computer parts graveyard” in our basement. There’s old pc towers, keyboards, random parts – and speakers. While the speakers still work, we’ve upgraded to new machines and laptops with built-in speakers. Instead of tossing perfectly good speakers in the trash, I tested a well-loved pair with Google Chromecast Audio to see if I can bring them back to life. And, while I’m no Dr. Frankenstein, I now have an easy (and affordable!) way to stream my favorite music wirelessly. Here’s how.
Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. *please use #ad in your social media.
First Step: The Basement
Mr. Locke is my computer genius so he likes to save our old computers just in case he can pull a part from one to fix another. Dig? There’s no way I’m showing you a photo of our basement. Nope. So you’ll have to use your imagination.
Imagine a field of computer parts, components, towers, and laptops. There’s multiple sets of speakers including our old surround sound ones and pc ones as well. So here’s what I was looking for. I wanted a set of computer speakers that were small enough to fit somewhere inconspicuously. I didn’t really care about how they looked because they would be hidden so all that mattered at this point is that they sounded great and had a working electrical plug.
Second Step: How Easy Is It to Set Up Google Chromecast Audio?
It’s generally when Mr. Locke is at work that I need to test drive tech so I wanted to set up our Google Chromecast Audio all by myself. It was also to see just how easy it was to hook up and get to work. In a nutshell, if I can hook it up, you can hook it up.
The unit comes in a small box which made me make a happy sigh. Smaller box means less parts which means less pieces to get to work correctly. The output for the Google Chromecast Audio is a standard size headphone jack so all I had to do was plug in the cable that comes with the unit. We had our own cable that’s much longer so I used it instead.
After plugging in both the speakers and the Google Chromecast Audio (you can tell that the GCA has power – there’s a little white light that lights up on the side), I was ready to test drive it with my favorite 80’s music.
What Works with Google Chromecast Audio?
While you can use your smartphone or tablet wherever there’s wifi, I tried both. I downloaded both the Spotify and iHeartRadio apps and it was so easy to connect. The system also works with Pandora, YouTube Music, and GooglePlay music. If you’re looking to save cash, Spotify will only work with Google Chromecast Audio if you have a premium, aka paid, account.
If you check the bottom of the above photo you’ll see “Devices Available”. Click on that and you’ll see the Google Chromecast Audio available. Super simple to set up.
In a Nutshell
I’m seriously impressed by Google Chromecast Audio. We have several original Google Chromecasts in our home already and use them daily. Here’s what it’s good for:
Listening to My Favorite Music on My Own Speakers
Once the unit is set up and ready to go, all I have to do is open an app on my iPhone or iPad to have music playing. Some apps do require you to connect to the unit every time you use it, but that’s only a couple of clicks and done. My speakers are not new by any means, but you can absolutely go out and purchase new ones. I found the sound through my old pc speakers to be really good.
Really Good Sound Over Wifi Using the Cloud
There’s a much higher sound quality than using, say, Bluetooth to connect to your speakers.
So. Many. Apps.
Pandora, Spotify, YouTube Music, and Google Play Music are only a handful of the apps that are compatible with Goolge Chromecast Audio. for the entre list, head to the official site.
If you have more than one Chromecast Audio device, all you have to do is group the devices together to listen to the same song on multiple speakers – instant synchronous music!
Chromecast Audio is really affordable in by book. Each device MSRP is $35 plus tax, but there are sales going on right now at Best Buy.