Is Chromecast Audio no longer supported?

Chromecast Audio was an audio-only model of the Chromecast streaming device released by Google in September 2015 Wikipedia. It allowed users to stream audio content to speakers through a standard 3.5mm audio jack or optical out The Verge. Key features of Chromecast Audio included high-quality audio streaming, multi-room syncing capabilities, and integration with apps like Spotify, Pandora, and Google Play Music.

Google’s Announcement

On January 11, 2019 Google officially announced that they would discontinue the Chromecast Audio streaming adapter. Google shared this news in an email to Chromecast Audio owners which said “Our product portfolio continues to evolve, and now we have a variety of products for users to enjoy audio.” The email also encouraged users to continue using their Chromecast Audio devices normally, as they would still function after support ended.


Chromecast Audio Officially Discontinued

Why it was Discontinued

Although Google did not publicly state the specific business reasons for discontinuing the Chromecast Audio, some analysts speculate it likely had to do with declining sales and profits. The Chromecast Audio was released in 2015 to allow users to stream music to speakers, but sales were likely weaker than Google expected. According to one Reddit user, the Chromecast Audio was intended to compete with Sonos but never gained much traction.1

With the rise of smart speakers like the Google Home and Amazon Echo, there was less demand for a separate streaming music puck. People could just connect speakers to their smart speakers for whole-home audio. So the Chromecast Audio became redundant in Google’s product lineup. Discontinuing it allowed Google to focus on newer, more popular products.

Ultimately, while the Chromecast Audio had its fans, it likely did not have a large enough market to be profitable. As a business, Google decided it made more sense to discontinue and focus on more promising smart home products.

What This Means for Users

With Google discontinuing Chromecast Audio, users will no longer receive updates or new features for the devices going forward. Google confirmed that the devices would continue functioning indefinitely, but no additional support would be provided (source). This means users with Chromecast Audio connected to speakers can continue streaming music and podcasts as before. However, the experience will remain static, with no new capabilities added over time.

For those who already own Chromecast Audio devices, they will continue working with existing speakers that were set up. Since the device functionality is baked into the hardware and software, Chromecast Audio will not suddenly stop operating due to the discontinued status. Owners can go on using Chromecast Audio to stream audio to speakers directly from smartphones and tablets for the foreseeable future.

Recommended Alternatives

With Chromecast Audio no longer supported, there are a few alternatives to consider for whole-home audio streaming:

The Amazon Echo Dot is one popular option. While the Echo Dot is primarily marketed as a smart speaker with Alexa built-in, it can also be connected to speakers via a 3.5mm audio cable or Bluetooth to become a whole-home audio streamer like Chromecast Audio. The Echo Dot starts at just $49, supports streaming from various music services, and can be grouped with other Echo devices for multi-room playback.

Another alternative is the WiiM Mini streaming device which starts at $99. The WiiM Mini is purpose-built as an audio streaming device and closely matches the Chromecast Audio’s functionality. It can connect to speakers via optical, coaxial, or analog outputs and supports Chromecast, Airplay 2, Spotify Connect, and other streaming options for flexible whole-home audio. The WiiM Mini lacks a smart assistant but focuses solely on audio streaming.

Using Chromecast Audio Today

Even though Chromecast Audio is discontinued, existing devices still function as of early 2023. Users report the Chromecast Audio continues to work for streaming audio from compatible apps and services.

In terms of audio quality and performance, the Chromecast Audio is capable of streaming high resolution lossless audio up to 24-bit/96kHz based on technical specifications and user reports. According to users on audiophile forums (Source), this makes the Chromecast Audio sufficient for high quality music streaming for most listeners, though it does not support the absolute highest fidelity formats.

Overall, while no longer officially supported, the Chromecast Audio remains a very capable streaming audio device in 2023, providing good sound quality for the price point.

The Future

While Google has discontinued active development and support for Chromecast Audio, existing devices are not expected to suddenly stop working. Based on Google’s previous end-of-life timelines for other devices, Chromecast Audio will likely continue functioning for 2-3 more years.

According to Google’s support page, “Chromecast devices receive software and security updates for at least 5 years from when the device first became available in the Google Store.” (source) The original Chromecast Audio first launched in 2015, meaning it should continue working through 2020 at a minimum.

However, without continued firmware updates, there is a risk of potential security vulnerabilities or compatibility issues arising over time. Users relying on Chromecast Audio for critical applications may want to start considering replacement options as the device ages.

Finding Chromecast Audio Devices

While Google has officially discontinued manufacturing the Chromecast Audio, it is still possible to find used and refurbished devices for sale from various retailers:

On Amazon, you can find refurbished Chromecast Audio devices sold directly from Amazon for around $50-$60. There are also used Chromecast Audio units sold by third-party sellers on Amazon, with prices varying from $30 to over $100 depending on condition.

eBay is another source for finding used Chromecast Audio devices, with prices generally ranging from $30-$50. When purchasing used, be sure to closely inspect the seller’s feedback rating and listed condition of the device.

For a certified refurbished Chromecast Audio direct from Google, the Google Store has them available for $35. This comes with the standard 1 year warranty from Google.

When comparing prices on used/refurbished units, be sure to factor in shipping costs. Purchasing through reputable retailers like Amazon and directly from Google provides buyer protection if any issues arise with the device.

Our Verdict

In summary, Google discontinued manufacturing the Chromecast Audio in 2019 but existing devices still function normally. For audiophiles and users wanting multi-room streaming, the Chromecast Audio remains an affordable, high quality option. However, Chromecast Audio is limited to streaming single sources and doesn’t offer smart features. Users wanting voice control, multi-room synchronization, and smart assistant integration should look into alternatives like Sonos, Echo Input, or Bluetooth adapters.

Our recommendation is that the Chromecast Audio is still a great budget option in 2023 if you can find one for a reasonable price. It delivers excellent audio quality, is easy to set up, and works well for basic whole home audio streaming from phones, tablets or computers. Just don’t expect cutting edge virtual assistant or multi-room capabilities. For basic stationary speaker streaming, Chromecast Audio gets the job done.


Although Google has discontinued manufacturing and supporting Chromecast Audio, existing devices still function for streaming audio to speakers. Support and future updates have ended, but Chromecast Audio continues working with previously supported apps. Users with Chromecast Audio devices can continue enjoying music streaming until the hardware eventually stops working.

If you own a Chromecast Audio, continue using it as normal while it lasts. But bear in mind that problems and incompatibility issues will no longer be fixed. Consider eventually replacing it with a newer audio streaming device as support diminishes. The good news is several worthwhile alternatives exist to replace Chromecast Audio when the time comes.

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