Photo Credit: Google
Google is discontinuing the Chromecast Audio, a tiny device that allows users to wirelessly stream music to their regular speakers. The dongle was launched back in 2015 to enable users to convert their dumb speakers into smart, wireless ones by simply plugging in the Chromecast Audio via a 3.5mm headphone jack. Chromecast Audio also support multi-room configurations, letting users stream same content across different rooms, a feature largely seen on premium speakers.
You can still grab Google's Chromecast Audio at $15 (roughly Rs. 1000) until the stocks run out on Google's online store in the US. The company claims it will continue to offer support to existing Chromecast Audio devices, but hasn't revealed the exact timeline the support may last. The dongle initially went on sale at $35 (roughly Rs. 2,400).
But if you're in India, you're out of luck. The Google Chromecast Audio appears sold out on online stores such as Flipkart, Reliance Digital, and Croma. You could still try your luck at physical retail stores though.
Google still doesn't have an alternative to backup its Chromecast Audio offering yet. The affordable dongle was a useful way for many to convert their old regular speakers into wireless. Amazon's Echo Dot does a similar job but costs nearly double the amount, but it does bring in a virtual assistant to the table as well.
It seems like Google will be focusing more on smart speakers than standalone products such as the Chromecast Audio. Confirming the discontinuation to CNET, a Google spokesperson said, "Our product portfolio continues to evolve and now we have a variety of products for users to enjoy audio and we have therefore stopped manufacturing our 'Chromecast Audio' products... We will continue to offer assistance for 'Chromecast Audio' devices, so users can continue to enjoy their music, podcasts and more."
However, if you're looking to convert your old speakers into wireless, there are a number of Bluetooth adapters available in the market such as this one.