You don’t need to throw out your good old speakers to add streaming audio to setup. All you need is a streaming audio device. They’re easy to use, and they’re not too expensive.
There are a lot of audio streaming products on the market, though, and they all have different quirks and features. Some are specifically made for Amazon and Google smarthomes, and others are made to add streaming features and whole-home audio to large hi-fi setups.
Lucky for you, we’ve taken the time to find the best streaming audio solutions, for all speakers and audio setups.
Amazon Echo Input ($35)
If you simply want to add streaming audio to your speakers, then the Amazon Echo Input is a cheap, easy option. The Echo Input connects to your speaker via aux cable, and you use Alexa voice commands to control it (even the volume).
Since the Echo Input is basically a miniature, speaker-less Amazon Echo, it works great in an Amazon smarthome environment. You can pair the Echo Input to other Echo devices around your home, or install a few Echo Inputs around your house for whole-home streaming audio.
Google Chromecast Audio (Discontinued)
Really, the Chromecast Audio is a great device for streaming audio to speakers. It’s inexpensive, small, and it works with Google Home products. Sadly, Google recently discontinued the ChomeCast Audio, but you might be able to find one at a local Walmart for as low as $10 bucks, or on eBay for a bit more. (The original price, for reference, was $35.)
Should you go out of your way to find a Chomecast Audio? Well, if you want to save a lot of money or control streaming audio through your Google Home setup, then the answer is a resounding “yes.” Otherwise, it may be easier to look for a different product. The Echo Input is comparably cheap and tiny.
There are some rumors that the next Google Home will have ports to make audio streaming easier, but your patience may not pay off. Wireless audio is the new standard, and the Google Home isn’t marketed as a hi-fi component.