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Chromecast Audio

Not a saver for your vintage $2000+ audio system...


I was super excited to hear about Chrinecast Audio, I thought it would be a perfect companion for my old fashion but great sound receiver and speakers.

However turned out it isn't that great yet... Here is my conclusion first:

Pros:

- Great feature, solid made and inexpensive

Cons:

- Audio quality isn't great (definitely not match with iPhone audio output)

- Not playing well with iTunes, Amazon (not a surprise)

Conclusion:

It's a great concept, however the current version's audio quality makes it not a saver for your vintage hi-FI audio system.

***

Chromecast Audio comes with a very nice package:

   

Inside the box: Chromecast Audio is a small well made device.

Hook it up with my audio system:

   
 

My audio system: Yamaha R-S700 receiver + Bose 901 speakers. I am not an audiophile, and my system is absolutely the nightmare from audiophile's point of view.

 

Setup the Chromecast, all you need is download the Chromecast app.

Google Home (Free)

The setup process for new generation Chromecast is much simpler, when I open the app it already find my device, setup is just one tap away:

     

Chromecast updated itself after setup, and during the firmware update the app played me an introduction video.

     

Now it's setup and working!

   

   

There are a few apps already support Chromecast cast audio, you can download direct from her. It also lost my installed Chromecast compatible apps.

   

However the first attempt for Spotify is depressing, I couldn't find anything related to Chromecast at all. The typical place in Spotify for changing audio device don't show the Chromecast at all...

 

After more research and especially confirmed it did work for Spotify iOS app, I tried one final thing: kill Spotify app and open it again... Now it recognized the Chromecast!

You need to make sure you are on Spotify Premium account to get all this works.

   

   

Everything works perfectly except ...

The audio quality !

The sound is decent, and I believe it sounds same or better than Bluetooth audio, however it's fairly notable the audio quality isn't great enough.

The audio quality is notably less good than connect my audio system with the iPhone's audio output. I compare the same song playback at same volume, honestly I think the gap is huge. The better your audio system is, the more different you might experience.

This is a big bumper.

For those who like me, expected the Chomecast audio to be a saver for vintage audio system, it's audio quality just make it incapable to do so! What a pity!

High Dynamic Range

Google claims you can enable High Dynamic Range to improve the audio quality... I actually enabled it already during the test... It's not that helpful at all.

   

Wish Google can improve the audio output quality in the future.

*** My system only support RCA analog audio input so I didn't be able to test if it sounds better with optical cable, but I guess the audio quality might related to the audio decoding chips in Chromecast, so it might not help.


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