The Chromecast Audio was a staple of my smart home so I was disappointed when Google discontinued it without any good reason.
Whilst the Yamaha Wireless Streaming Adapter is a reasonable alternative for adding Spotify and other streaming services to your dumb speakers, it doesn’t work with all of the Chromecast enabled apps and its three-figure price tag is hard to swallow. However, I’ve finally found a better set-up!
The best Chromecast Audio alternative is a standard Chromecast with an HDMI splitter to isolate the audio. This replicates the exact features of the Chromecast Audio without costing too much.
In this article, I’ll share the exact device I purchased and how I set it up. Plus, I’ll share some alternative devices at the end too.
- What Can I Use Instead of a Chromecast Audio?
- Pros and Cons of Using an Audio Splitter
- Other Alternatives to Chromecast
- Related Questions
What Can I Use Instead of a Chromecast Audio?
The best device to use instead of a Chromecast Audio is a regular Chromecast and an HDMI splitter. I use a 3rd Generation Chromecast and this Neoteck HDMI audio splitter, although there are plenty of similar splitters available.
The one I purchased came with a USB power cable but no power plug, I recommend you purchase a power adaptor with two USB ports otherwise you’ll take up two power sockets.
What you need:
- Chromecast – any
- HDMI splitter – recommend the Neoteck device
- Power adaptor (if it’s not included with the splitter)
- RCA cable or RCA-to-AUX adaptor
How to set it up:
- Plug in the HDMI splitter and Chromecast near your speaker.
- Before you begin, it’s advisable to plug the Chromecast into your TV and set it up so you can follow the onscreen instructions.
- Then take the Chromecast out of the TV and plug it into the HDMI splitter.
- Now connect the splitter to your speaker:
– If your speaker has an AUX input, use the RCA to AUX adaptor to connect the splitter to the speaker.
– If it has RCA inputs, use a standard RCA cable between the two.
- You should now be able to use Chromecast with your speaker.
Pros and Cons of Using an Audio Splitter
Here are the pros and cons of using the Chromecast and audio splitter method instead of a Chromecast Audio:
Some final tips:
With this setup, you can also cast from video apps. This is a great way to cast from YouTube without a subscription to YouTube Premium which is currently required in the UK.
If you still want to use the Chromecast with your TV rather than buying a separate device, you can use an HDMI cable from the splitter to the TV.
Other Alternatives to Chromecast
The above method allows you to replicate the Chromecast Audio exactly as the devices used to work. Several other Chromecast Audio alternatives offer a similar function of streaming to dumb speakers but using slightly different methods.
Here are five other alternatives:
1. Yamaha Wireless Streaming Adapter
If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box device with the same features as a Chromecast Audio, the Yamaha WXAD10 Wireless Streaming Adapter is the closest you’ll get.
The device doesn’t totally replicate the casting experience you’d have with a Chromecast, however, their free MusicCast app allows you to stream the vast majority of music streaming services through integrations. It also has Airplay and Bluetooth should you need to use an unsupported service.
The downside to this device is the price. You’ll need to invest a three-figure sum to buy this device which could end up costing more than buying a dedicated cast-enabled speaker.
The Audiocast M5 from ACEMAX is the closest alternative in terms of looks with a small puck shape that plugs into your speaker to add wireless streaming.
It works with many of the popular streaming apps and can be used for multi-room audio like the Chromecast Adio previously allowed.
Whilst it also uses your Wi-Fi network for streaming, it works differently to the Chromecast Audio on your phone as you can only cast through the device’s app and not from within other apps such as Spotify, Amazon Music, etc.
3. Anker Soundsync Bluetooth Adaptor
Instead of streaming via Wi-Fi, you can use a Bluetooth adaptor to stream from your phone via Bluetooth. My top pick is this Anker Soundsync Reciever which can be left plugged in with a micro-USB charger so you don’t need to change the battery.
The benefit of this is that you can stream any audio from your phone regardless of whether the app is cast-supported. However, unlike a Chromecast Audio, you can only connect one or two phones at a time rather than any phone on the Wi-Fi being able to stream to it.
You’ll also be limited on how you can use your phone whilst it’s connected, any incoming calls and alarms will play through the speaker which can be annoying if you live with many other people.
4. Speakers with Chromecast Built-in
If you haven’t yet purchased your audio equipment, you can consider buying a speaker with Chromecast built-in so that you can cast directly to it.
Chromecast built-in isn’t the same as Google Assistant built-in so ensure you choose the right one, some devices will have both.
5. Amazon Echo
The Amazon Echo is often seen as an alternative to the Chromecast Audio although in my view it’s a very different set-up.
The Echo and Echo Dot have AUX outputs so you can connect them to traditional speakers. This allows you to stream music from supported apps using your voice. Supported services include Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music and Apple Music.
Although you can use Spotify Connect to stream from your phone, most other apps will not work in this way with an Amazon Echo.
Can I Use Chromecast for Just Audio?
No, the Chromecast only has an HDMI output so it cannot be used for audio-only by itself, However, using an HDMI splitter to isolate the audio, you can use the Chromecast for audio-only. The instructions in this article will help with this.