Here’s how to use a Google Chromecast as a cheap Sonos alternative. This solution works with Android and Google Play, and costs around $50 per room or installation.
Paired with a set of powered speakers or a receiver, the setup makes a great cheap alternative to spending hundreds on a Sonos setup. (See my previous post here on how to use Apple AirPlay as a cheap Sonos alternative).
What you’ll need:
Once you have the parts above, setting the system up is extremely simple. The first thing you need to do is plug your Chromecast unit into your TV to connect it to your wireless network. This is easy – just follow the instructions on your TV and you’ll be connected in two minutes.
Next, plug your dual USB charger into the wall, and connect both the Chromecast and the HDMI converter to the charger for power. Finally, plug the Chromecast unit directly into the HDMI converter, and use an RCA cable to connect the HDMI converter to an audio receiver, amplifier, or some powered speakers. That’s it!
Once your system is up and running, simply tap the Chromecast button from your Android device or Chrome browser to send audio to your speakers. Remember to name your Chromecast units appropriately if you have more than one to ensure you’re sending audio to the right place.
You can connect your Chromecast setup directly to an audio receiver or amplifier, but I find it works best with self-powered speakers. M-Audio AV 40s kick out surprisingly good sound for their $120 price tag, or for better quality check out the Dayton DTA-100a desktop amp and some unpowered speakers like the Energy CB-5s.