Google enters the field of WiFi speakers with Google Cast

Denon Google Cast canvasGoogle is kicking off CES with a major musical announcement. The company is launching new software called Google Cast that will stream audio content directly to speakers. The initial partnerships include Pandora, Rdio, iHeartRadio, NPR One, and, unsurprisingly, Google Play Music. More tie-ups are in the works, CNET reported.

The new product is certainly ambitious. The Google Cast could pose an interesting alternative to its Chromecast product, which streams both audio and video content to televisions. The initial investment seems higher on the consumer side, with quality speakers costing a pretty penny and Chromecast clocking in under $40. This move will also require both the audio services and the hardware manufacturers to sign on to the vision. So far, Google has brought Sony, LG, and Denon (seen above) on board, with the first compatible speakers expected to launch this spring. But it could be a tough sell to some speaker brands since many are creating music-centric products of their own; Sonos, Samsung, and Bose have competing speakers on the shelves already. It should be interesting to watch which company comes out ahead of the pack.

Anna Washenko