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. On February 8, that changed, thanks to a software update delivered by Bose through its Bose Music app that adds Chromecast built-in. The update is available to those who live in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S.
The news that Bose products were slated to get this update initially came from Google in January 2022 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, the 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, or YouTube Music, and Plex. Here’s the full list of apps that support Chromecast built-in.
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 a 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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