After rebranding from Google Cast, Chromecast built-in has been making its way into an increasingly large swath of product categories. On Wednesday, Grace Digital announced its new Mondo+ internet radio, which it says is the world’s first to include Chromecast built-in.
Grace Digital’s products are known for their audio quality, and the Mondo+, featuring MaxxAudio technology licensed from audio pros Waves Inc, doesn’t look to be an exception. That tech is paired with a class D amplifier that should provide plenty of power, more than enough to wake you up in the morning. This is more than a simple clock radio, however — it also features a 3.5-inch color display that can show playlists, stations, and album art.
Thanks to the addition of Chromecast built-in, you can use the Mondo+ to stream music, podcasts, audiobooks, and other audio content from more than 100 services including Spotify, Pandora, NPR, Google Play Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio. If you own a Google Home device, you can even use your voice to play, pause, and skip on the Mondo+ by saying “OK Google” followed by your command.
The Mondo+ also features Bluetooth 4.1, allowing it to function like a standard Bluetooth speaker. A full-size USB port on the back allows you to charge your mobile devices, or play music files from a compatible media player.
Although Grace Digital has been around for some time and has shipped several successful products, the company has turned to Kickstarter for pre-orders. While the Mondo+ will retail for $200, those who back the campaign can nab it for a special Kickstarter price of $175. A total of 750 models are also available with early-bird pricing, bringing the total down even further to $150. Another package pairs early-bird pricing with a portable lithium ion battery pack for $174.
The Kickstarter campaign for the Mondo+ is seeking a relatively modest $50,000 in funding, and raised more than 10 percent of that goal on its first day. Grace Digital says it is expected to ship in April 2017. While there are always risks associated with crowdfunding, the Mondo+ actually coming out seems like a fairly safe bet, assuming it meets its funding goal, given that this is an established company. For more information, see the campaign page on the Grace Digital website.
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