Google Cast-enabled Speakers
If you had the opportunity to read about Google’s recent launch of the Chromecast Audio, then you might have some idea of what Google Cast-enable Speakers are. But if not, then you’re in for a treat. Sony, Denon, and LG have all announced Google Cast-enabled Speakers.
Google announced that several partners have integrated the Google “Chromecast” functionality into a couple of lines of stand-alone speakers. These speakers, unlike most Bluetooth speakers, operate from a connection to your home Wi-Fi and steam clear, digital audio directly from the Internet. The Google Cast element allows the user to control that audio stream from Google’s Play server, whether through Play Music, Play Movies, or from a host of other services like Pandora, Spotify, IHeartRadio, Slacker Radio, RDIO, and more.
Although these new speakers are not priced in the same ball-park as the Chromecast Audio itself ($35), they do offer a similar level of audio playback quality that you might expect from a high quality speaker.
The LG Music Flow speaker series begins with the Music Flow H3. A fairly small, vertically rectangular box that is slightly taller than a box of facial tissue. Atop the head of the speaker there is a iPod-familiar volume touch interface and a simple On/ Off switch. As most of your music will be controlled through whatever smartphone or tablet device that you use, there isn’t much need for controls on the speaker itself.
Other devices in the Music Flow line are the H4, H5, and H7 speakers. A unique feature of the H4 is that it includes a battery making your music more portable around the house. And if you’re really into the LG line of speakers, adding the Music Flow Sound Bar will allow you to play back the audio from your home theater system.
The flare one expects from Sony hardware is somewhat diminished in the SRS line of speakers. But where LG left off, Sony picks up. The SRSX77 isn’t just a Wi-Fi device, it doubles as a Bluetooth speaker. And adds all the support of the DLNA, Apple AirPlay, and a ridiculously long 100+ hour battery life.
In similitude to the LG line of speakers, Sony too has a line of speakers ranging in price from slightly more than the LG to a great deal more. You should expect to get solid performance from these speakers for the price, but don’t expect to pay less than $100 for any of them.
As of yet Denon has not released it’s line of Google Cast enabled speakers. But we can get a glimpse of what is to come via their website (Press Release).