Google’s Chromecast streaming stick is best known as a tool to bring video services like Netflix and YouTube to the TV, but there’s also a number of music apps that can be used with Chromecast. A new Kickstarter project dubbed JoyDrone now wants to make it easier to bring these Chromecast-compatible music services to any stereo system and loudspeaker.
JoyDrone, which sells for as little as $19 on Kickstarter, is at its core a simple HDMI adapter that’s optimized for Chromecast audio streaming: Users just have to connect it to a Chromecast streaming stick, and then use JoyDrone’s audio cable to connect to their home stereo system. After that, they’ll be able to select audio from apps like Pandora, SoundCloud, Rdio, and 8tracks on their mobile devices, and initiate playback on their home stereo just by selecting the cast button.
JoyDrone isn’t the first attempt to bring casting to the audio space. Google partnered with Denon, Sony and LG earlier this year to introduce Google Cast for audio as a competitor to multiroom speakers from Sonos. However, these speakers still require a significant investment: LG’s cheapest cast-enabled loudspeaker costs $180, whereas a Chromecast adapter sells for just $35, and there’s no officially sanctioned Google Cast for audio adapter for existing stereo systems yet.
Chromecast users have also for some time been experimenting with other HDMI adapters to connect the streaming stick to their home stereo systems. However, some users had mixed results with some of these adapters, and JoyDrone’s makers claim that they have tested their adapter for several months to make sure it works well with Chromecast.
If anything, a Kickstarter campaign for a product like JoyDrone shows that there is demand for bringing streaming audio services to the living room. A recent study found that more than 50% of music listening happens within the home — and as music consumption is shifting from physical discs to streaming services, consumers are bound to look for solutions to connect their home stereo systems to the internet.