GOOGLE HAS CONFIRMED that it has discontinued its Chromecast Audio device, with stocks in the Google Store now exhausted.
The device has been on borrowed time since recent Chromecast devices were updated to allow them to be used as part of multi-room systems.
Unlike a standard Chromecast, the Audio environment has a 3.5mm jack plug instead of an HDMI port and was designed to turn a standard speaker system into a Cast-enabled version.
However, with the rise of Cast ready-enabled speakers, listening through smart TVs and compatibility with other smart speakers like Sonos, the need for a separate product had begun to dwindle.
A statement from Google confirms the news: "Our product portfolio continues to evolve, and now we have a variety of products for users to enjoy audio. We have therefore stopped manufacturing our Chromecast Audio products. We will continue to offer assistance for Chromecast Audio devices, so users can continue to enjoy their music, podcasts and more."
All Chromecast devices can also send music to any speaker over Bluetooth, meaning that the need for a "plumbed in" solution has decreased still further.
So it seems that few will miss the relative oddity that is Chromecast Audio, a device which fulfils a purpose admirably, but alas, has outlived its usefulness in a world where the sheer pace of change is unrelenting.
But for those that found it a great way to start their journey into multi-room audio, it feels though this is the end of an era, leaving a huge gap. If the 3rd-generation Chromecast, which was launched alongside the Pixel 3 had included a 3.5mm jack, making it a "cover-all" device, we would have understood a bit more.
Alas, however, Google has once again decided that the best way to handle consumer choice is with a big stick, and at some point, we expect that Chromecast Audio support will slip away into that good night. Hopefully not any time soon though.
In the meantime, as we've said, the best bet is to go into the Google Home app and set the default speaker for your Chromecast to your favourite Bluetooth speaker. μ
Source : https://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/3069273/google-has-killed-the-chromecast-audio