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Wireless music streaming is easy, convenient, and fun! Unfortunately, some of our favorite products come and go, and we do occasionally need to find replacements for outdated and dysfunctional devices.
If you’ve been looking for a Chromecast Audio alternative, you’re certainly not alone, and you’ll be glad to know there are some very viable options out there. In this guide, we look at the best Chromecast Audio alternatives.
Google Chromecast – Best Overall
Google Chromecast is a perfectly suitable replacement to Chromecast Audio. It’s quite affordable, and it boasts more functionality… twist my rubber arm!
Setup is quick and easy. All you’ve got to do is plug it in, connect it to Wi-Fi, and you’re off to the races. Your TV instantly transforms into a smart TV – fun! All you need is an HDMI port to make it all work.
You can stream media from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and enjoy your favorite music, shows, and movies on the big screen rather than the small screen. It’s compatible with all your favorite apps, and you get up to 1080p quality too.
Also, no need for a separate remote control to adjust volume, pause, play, and so on. You can do it all right from your device.
As well, you can mirror your device’s screen and surf the web or do your work on your TV.
We think it’s not too shabby, and we think you’ll feel the same. Google Chromecast is our best overall pick!
Auris bluMe Pro – Best Premium Option
The Auris bluMe Pro is well worth a look if you love Hi-Fi audio (384 kHz / 32 bit). This device delivers lossless audio streaming wirelessly through the magic of Bluetooth. bluMe Pro is compatible with all major devices and apps.
It’s been designed for use with AV receivers, stereo amplifiers, and / or powered speakers. That means you can use it with your vintage Hi-Fi audio system, and that’s by design! If you’re looking to bring your classic sound system into the modern era wirelessly, then this unit is best in class.
While it is our best premium selection, overall, bluMe Pro is relatively inexpensive. Also, just in case. if you’re not looking to add a wireless component to your Hi-Fi system, this solution probably isn’t for you!
Donner Bluetooth Receiver – Best Budget Option
The Donner Bluetooth Receiver features a lightweight, portable design, making it easy to place anywhere in your home or office. Compatible with most speakers, you should be able to use it right alongside your Hi-Fi active speakers, home theaters, computer speakers, car stereos, multimedia speakers, and more.
The unit is effectively plug and play, and it has a 164-foot line of sight range, and 50- to 70-foot indoor range.
If you want to turn your speakers into a wireless sound system, you will get a kick out of the Donner Bluetooth Receiver.
We hear the audio fidelity wasn’t up to the standards of some customers, but you’ve got to keep your expectations reasonable at this price! This is our best budget selection because of its price point and the fact that it was developed by a reliable brand.
The WiiM Pro is very similar to the WiiM Mini, also seen elsewhere in this guide, except that it boasts some extra features. The manufacturer calls it an “audiophile grade” music streamer, though this will probably depend more on your speakers, and it ultimately streams at the same resolution as the Mini (192 kHz / 24 bit).
What’s unique to WiiM Pro is that you can stream from Chromecast enabled apps, use it as a DLNA receiver (so you can stream from a PC, cloud server, or NAS), and EQ features you can tweak to suit your tastes (26 preset EQs, 10-band graphic EQ, and even parametric EQ).
WiiM Pro doesn’t cost that much more than the WiiM Mini, so if you need the extra features, it might be worth springing for. So far as dedicated, cross-compatible wireless audio streaming units are concerned, this is probably one of the best out there.
The WiiM Mini is the perfect choice if wireless audio streaming is primarily what you need. This easy to set up unit is powered with hi-res audio capabilities (up to 192 kHz / 24 bit) and it works with all your favorite music apps, like Spotify, Deezer, Napster, Amazon Music, and TIDAL.
WiiM Mini also boasts multi-room, multi-channel streaming, Spotify Connect, TIDAL Connect, voice commands (Alexa and Siri enabled), automated routines (wake up and fall asleep to your music at set times), and more.
WiiM Mini is not for you if you don’t have an iPad, iPhone, or Mac laptop, as it does not support other devices. But buyers of this product generally get a lot of enjoyment out of it, so if you’re a Mac addict, you should get a kick out of it too.
OSDTKRU Wireless HDMI Display Dongle
The OSDTKRU Wireless HDMI Display Dongle was designed to wirelessly stream 4K HRD audio and video to a TV from practically any device.
And I’m not joking, they literally say you can stream from your camera, laptop, cable box, projector, or monitor. I’m not sure if that’s true, but most customers were very happy with this product, so that means they’re very likely telling the truth!
Its plug and play design make it easy to set up. You don’t need Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or even an app to operate this dongle. It has a mirror or extend mode, but apparently it does not work with any apps that have video copyrights protection, so it may not work with Netflix, as an example.
This product has a reputation of being very easy to use.
NAMCIM Wireless HDMI Display Dongle
The NAMCIM Wireless HDMI Display Dongle is another easy to use, plug and play screen mirroring dongle. You don’t need a Wi-Fi connection or network to use it, and it works with all devices – Android, MacOS, Windows, and more.
Other than that, this dongle appears to be a repackaged version of the OSDTKRU product seen elsewhere in this guide. It can’t be helped, given the popularity of Amazon FBA businesses. But it is also highly rated, suggesting that you’re still getting a high-quality product.
Topbuy Wireless HDMI Display Dongle
The Topbuy Wireless HDMI Display Dongle may seem like a sketchy no-name brand for a Chromecast Audio alternative, but it’s a very popular, very highly rated product. Does it need a better name? Absolutely! But does it get the job done? Yes.
The dongle is effectively plug and play, and it doesn’t require an app. Plug it into an HDMI port, and you’re ready to use it with your phone, tablet, or laptop computer. Topbuy says their product is compatible with all major devices – Android, Mac, Windows, Harmony, and more.
As with many other solutions, you can mirror your device’s screen and use your TV with your device any way you want! You can even choose from landscape or portrait mode.
This dongle doesn’t require a Wi-Fi connection or network. Once plugged in, it will walk you through the steps required to connect with it using your device. The Topbuy Wireless HDMI Display Dongle has a 1080p resolution.
Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter
The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter can be used to take whatever’s on your device and display it on a monitor or HDTV. While you don’t need internet access to use the wireless display adapter, it is only compatible with Windows and Miracast enabled devices. It will not work on Mac or Android devices.
With the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, you can stream your favorite tunes or movies, look at your photos, or share presentations. This is a great option to consider for Windows users.
Esinkin Bluetooth HD Music Receiver
The Esinkin Bluetooth HD Music Receiver is a great solution if you want to be able to stream music from your smartphone or tablet to your favorite sound system. The Bluetooth connected device is easy to set up and is compatible with most speakers.
The Esinkin device apparently has a range of up to 50 feet, which means you should be able to connect from anywhere in your home. This unit is also very budget friendly.
What To Look For In Chromecast Audio Alternatives
It is unfortunate that Chromecast Audio was effectively discontinued with the introduction of Google Home, but if you loved the convenience, affordability, simplicity, and experience of the original product, you’ll be happy to know there are still some worthwhile alternatives (also seen above).
It’s only natural, though, that you’d have some questions about which product is right for you. From wireless HDMI adapters to Hi-Fi, hi-res wireless audio streaming solutions, they’re all a little different and bring different features to the table.
So, in this section we focus on the main criteria you should be thinking about when shopping for a Chromecast Audio alternative. They are as follows:
- Audio quality
If you’re ready, let’s take a closer look at each.
Since you’re probably looking to stream your music wirelessly first and foremost, audio quality is something you should be thinking about.
It’s important to set reasonable expectations. You can’t buy the cheapest unit and expect it to perform at the standards of the most expensive one. You may experience delay (latency) or end up having to make some compromises in terms of sound quality if you buy a cheaper unit.
Not that you can’t turn to a budget option. It’s not a bad idea if you can’t afford more expensive units right now. But if you want to ensure you’re getting better quality audio, it would be advisable to explore the options carefully before deciding on a specific product.
Most product descriptions include notes about sound quality, but we do suggest scanning customer reviews too, because you just never know! Also remember that the speakers you’re using play a part in the equation.
Some Chromecast Audio alternatives offer more than just wireless music streaming, and also let you mirror your device’s screen on your TV, or stream your favorite TV shows and movies. Effectively, they are more holistic multimedia solutions, though they can obviously stream music too.
You won’t necessarily pay more for these added features, though you will generally pay more for better streaming quality (audio and video).
You may only be looking for an audio streaming solution right now, which is fine. But just know that there are both types of product options in this guide, and you’ll want to take care in selecting the one that’s right for your situation.
While I find most people like to listen to music relatively close to their speakers, depending on what they’re up to (exercising, cleaning, making dinner, etc.), as well as how many rooms they have set up with speakers in their home, they may want to have greater range.
A minimum of 50-foot indoor range is standard for most devices, which should cover most applications. But if you think you might need better coverage, or have other considerations, don’t forget to examine this criterion in more detail.
Compatibility is a crucial factor to consider in buying a Chromecast Audio alternative, and there isn’t just one thing to be thinking about here! So, read well, and don’t ignore this criterion. Here are the key pieces you need to know about compatibility:
- Device. Some wireless adapters and receivers work with all device types. Some only work with macOS products. Some only support smartphones and tablets. It may seem like a small thing, but it can end up becoming a big deal down the line if you can’t use the unit the way you hoped you’d be able to. So, don’t forget to make this a part of your buying criteria!
- Apps. Some units may not allow you to use certain apps (like Netflix). There are usually workarounds, but if you don’t want to have to problem solve later, it would be in your best interest to buy a Chromecast Audio alternative that works with your favorite apps.
- Speakers. Depending on the Chromecast Audio alternative you choose, it may only work with certain types of speakers and sound system setups. Or, it may only be intended to be used with Hi-Fi systems, as an example. You don’t want to buy a wireless music streamer only to have to return it for compatibility issues. So, choose well!
In this case, “performance” basically prompts the questions:
- Does the product do what it has been designed to do?
- Are there any latency or dropout issues with the wireless connection?
- Does the product hold up to repeated use? Does it get worse with time, or does it work just as well a few months or a few years down the line?
There aren’t necessarily easy answers to these questions, but customer reviews often do provide some important clues. So, if in doubt, be sure to check the reviews.
Assuming you’re good with money, there aren’t any products in this guide that should seem exorbitant in cost. Nor do you need to spend a lot to get a quality replacement solution to Chromecast Audio.
This still comes with the warning that we do recommend consulting your budget before any purchase, especially if you’re buying multiple items at once. Also, do not go into debt for entertainment related purchases. It will suck the joy right out of your new toys!
Best Chromecast Audio Alternatives Brands
Here are some of the top brands to follow in the category!
The best competitor to Google is not surprisingly Google. They often outdo themselves in developing new products, and whenever something doesn’t work or isn’t up to their standards, they kill the project (just look at Google+).
Chromecast (found earlier in this guide) is a perfectly respectable replacement to Chromecast Audio given the simplicity of its design and affordability. They offer other products that might be a good fit for you as well.
Microsoft obviously has different intentions than Google in terms of their focus on software and hardware. And their audio streaming / HDMI wireless adapter solutions are catered more towards business use than personal use.
That said, their products will be the right fit for certain types of users. And while Microsoft may have been notorious for launching unstable products (especially certain versions of Windows) in the past, their standards are higher than they’ve ever been.
WiiM obviously knows what they’re doing when it comes to developing products the market wants. Their solutions look remarkably similar to some of the others out there, but the quality of their products is hard to argue with.
As of this writing, WiiM is focused exclusively on WiiM Mini and WiiM Pro, which means they’re dedicated to perfecting their product range and delivering quality goods at a more than reasonable price.
They may be relatively new to the scene as a company, but they will be one to watch.
Donner initially found traction as a bargain brand for all things music and audio, and true to form, their prices were always competitive. The thing is, they kept leveling up their game, and they’ve gotten to the point where their products are amazing bang for buck.
It’s fair to say Donner is an “instant gratification” brand because they put many solid quality products well within reach for consumers.
Top Chromecast Audio Alternatives, Final Thoughts
We hope you found what you’re looking for and you’re able to get back to streaming your favorite songs and media wirelessly! Sometimes it can be hard to let go of what’s familiar and embrace something new, but with Chromecast Audio alternatives this good, you can’t go wrong.