Bose smart speakers and soundbars are getting Chromecast built-in

We’ve been pretty impressed with Bose’s collection of smart speakers and soundbars, especially their ability to connect seamlessly to Apple products via AirPlay 2. But because these products haven’t included Google’s Chromecast Wi-Fi audio streaming protocol, Android users have gotten the short end of the streaming stick. Well, that’s about to change. In the coming months, all Bose smart speakers and smart soundbars will be getting a software update that adds Chromecast built-in. The update will be available to those who live in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K., and U.S.

Diagram showing Chromecast built-in on a Bose Smart Soundbar.

The announcement was made by Google as part of its virtual “Better Together with Android and Beyond” presentation at CES 2022, which included improvements to Google Fast Pair and other Android-specific advances. Bose was the only company Google mentioned by name, but it promised to also bring Chromecast built-in “to more brands.”

If you own a Bose Wi-Fi connected speaker, like the Bose Home Portable Speaker or Bose Home Speaker 500, or one of Bose’s smart Soundbar series (300, 500, 700, and 900) and you mainly use them with the streaming services that Bose supports from the Bose Music app, you may not realize that Chromecast offers a lot more flexibility, especially for Android users.

Chromecast lets you stream audio over Wi-Fi, losslessly, at up to 24-bit/96kHz (hi-res audio), which is considerably better than what you can do with Bluetooth. This is ideal when you want to listen to music from a streaming app on your phone that isn’t supported by the Bose Music app, like Tidal, Qobuz, or Apple Music, but it also works from tons of Chromecast-enabled apps like Netflix, Disney+, and Plex.

On an Android phone, this gives you very similar capabilities to Apple’s AirPlay 2 feature, so you can watch your favorite shows and movies on your phone or tablet (or in Chrome browser tab on a computer) and hear the audio on the best speaker in your house.

You won’t need the Google Home app in order to stream to your Bose products using Chromecast built-in, but you will need it if you want to take advantage of Google Home’s multiroom speaker capabilities.

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