Chromecast Audio Discontinued

Time called on Chromecast Audio

by Andy Bassett Jan 14, 2019 at 8:48 PM

  • It started as a Reddit rumbling when a poster mentioned that they had had their Chromecast Audio order cancelled before Christmas due to ‘discontinuation.’ Things have moved on now.
    Everything has a finite life span and, as most tech heads know to their cost, that includes gadgets and gizmos. At some point, along comes something smaller, better, faster, cheaper that catches the public imagination and your beloved device is out of the window. Or, it could be that the company behind the product decides to halt production/go in a different direction/cut their losses. In the case of the Google Chromecast, it looks like this is what has now happened.

    Google have confirmed that the Chromecast is officially over. Manufacturing has ended and Google’s own stocks are now depleted - hence the Reddit poster’s circumstances.

    Google Chromecast Audio

    The Chromecast was introduced back in 2015, well before the current smart speaker boom, as a way of streaming audio over Wi-Fi to ‘dumb’ speakers that had a 3.5mm headphone input. The regular Chromecast dongle could already stream audio but could only connect to devices with HDMI inputs - normally a TV. The Chromecast Audio streamlined the whole process and meant you weren’t tied to your TV installation in the lounge. It was cheap enough at £30 to enable you to invest in a couple to spread around your house so you could stream to the bedroom, office or kitchen with a couple of cheap speakers.

    In a statement to TechCrunch, Google stated they will continue to “offer assistance for Chromecast Audio devices, so users can continue to enjoy their music, podcasts and more.” though quite how ‘assistance’ differs from ‘support’ is not clear.

    What is clear though is that Google will concentrate on their current (and future) crop of smart speakers, the Home, the Mini, the Max and now the Home Hub which have now effectively picked up the successful tech DNA to evolve onward, leaving the Chromecast Audio languishing in a technical dead end.

    The Chromecast Audio may well continue to be available online for some time until stocks finally empty - prices are low at the moment too. After that, its eBay and the second-hand market.

    The Chromecast Audio remains a cheap and easy way of getting music to somewhere if you already have a Wi-Fi signal and appropriate speaker - they have the ability to pair with a Google Home for multi-room playback too - so it may still be worth a look before it becomes a technical fossil.

    Has Google pulled the plug on the Chromecast Audio too soon? Or does its lack of Google Assistant render it pointless compared to the 'Home' range of smart speakers? Let us know.

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