Chromecast Audio and the Echo Dot are both great devices for people who enjoy streaming music at home.
While the Chromecast Audio device is no longer for sale, you can still pick it up used.
If you find yourself trying to determine which of these budget home music streaming devices is the right choice for you, then let us help.
Which Has Better Sound Quality?
As an audiophile myself, I know better than anyone how important quality sound is when you’re listening to music.
Without a doubt, the Echo Dot brings the better sound quality right out of the box – but that’s because the Echo Dot is actually a smart speaker that is designed to deliver crisp vocals and balanced bass for full sound.
So, comparing Echo Dot vs Chromecast Audio sound quality is a bit like comparing a coffee maker to a coffee cup because the Chromecast Audio device on its own has no speaker.
Of course, you can connect your Chromecast Audio device to some epic speakers and get superior sound compared to the Echo Dot. Though you can also connect the Echo Dot to external speakers.
But comparing device to device, right out of the box, only the Echo Dot is a speaker, meaning it delivers the best sound quality by default.
One important thing to note here is that older versions of the Amazon Echo Dot do not have as good of sound quality as the current fourth-generation Echo Dot.
Back in 2017, here’s what one audiophile noted on the AVS forum –
Streaming an average Spotify track via the Chromecast Audio and the Echo Dot showed that the Echo Dot has a noticeable roll-off around ~16.5kHz. The Chromecast Audio seems to have frequency response up to 22.05kHz, which makes me think that it’s streaming 48kHz audio, but I haven’t tested that myself. The Echo Dot also has slightly worse stereo pairing, with one channel being roughly 0.25dB louder than the other.psobot
Is The Echo Dot Worth It For Listening To Music?
Since the Echo Dot has better out of the box sound quality, you may be thinking that it is the ideal choice for listening to music at home.
You’d be wrong.
Unless you’re just a casual music listener and truly don’t care all that much about sound quality.
Let me be honest – for what it is (a compact smart speaker), the Echo Dot is good and the fourth generation model is a nice upgrade from the previous model.
For the casual listener or home music streamer, it’s likely a fine choice. Though it’s not even the best Chromecast audio replacement option.
Think of it as a great choice for playing background music at home.
But that’s really all it is.
However, if you truly want the best sound from you home audio setup to stream from Spotify or whatever, then this is not it.
Instead, you need to get yourself a decent integrated amp, speakers and a dedicated network streamer with a decent digital to analog converter (DAC).
As you can see, the Amazon Echo Dot offers the better sound quality right out of the box when you compare it to the Chromecast Audio.
Of course, Chromecast Audio is no longer available to purchase new as it was discontinued.
However, in July 2022 rumors started swirling that Google is working on a successor to Chromecast Audio, though no word yet on when we can expect that to hit the market.