Chromecast Audio

New toy, Chromecast audio, a great little device to connect an amplifier (and speakers) to your home network to enable music streaming all controlled from a phone, tablet or computer.

Works great and take only a few minutes to setup, then when you want to cast you tap or click the icon to connect to it. What’s great is that the Chromecast audio connects to your network or the internet to grab the stream, leaving your phone, tablet or pc as just a remote. So start playing on a phone, pause on a tablet and stop on a pc.

This ifixit article confirmed the internal DAC is an AKM4430ET (also used in Apple Airport Express), which Hydrogen Audio forums seem to think is reasonable and sounds pretty good to me. The device also includes an optical out so a 3.5mm toslink connector can be used to take digital audio out to go to a external DAC/AV receiver if required.

I have been using it to stream from the following:

To make it faster I have also written an NFC tag (cheap from ebay) with the trigger app to open the chromecast app (to make sure there connected) and then open player FM, one swipe and ready to go. Its easy to add a final tag to continue playing but I have lots of podcasts I dip in and out of so leave this bit off. I plan on writing some more to auto open BubbleUNPN and start playing next.

All in all its a great device for £30, thread on the AV forums here too.

Here’s the google product page link

New PSU for the Lepai Amp

So the little Lepai amp stopped working this week (original post here), after a bit of investigation which I originally assumed the amp has failed, but by swapping over the PSU for another one it appeared that the PSU had given up the ghost and not the amp.

What ensued was a quiet couple of days of quiet while waiting for the new PSU to arrive.I choose to upgrade the PSU to a 12v 5amp rather than 12v 2amp that I was previously using. The amp can work with both and will just draw the power it requires, some have concluded an improvement in sound quality when using a 5amp supply. The old was was a samsung one left over from an external hard drive and was already a couple of years old.

Anyhow hopefully this will last longer than 11 months!

Workshop Sounds – Lepai Amplifier

Lepai/Lvpin Tripath Amplifer

I had been looking for an amplifier for the workshop for a while and read about these small and cheap amplifiers on the DIYAudio forum [link to diy audio posts]. The posts suggested that although cheaply made the amps sound great and are very easy to mod.  So order placed and £19.99 later it arrived. My new version can badged as Lvpin, the new name for Lepai (apparently meaning “dependable product” in Mandarin”). I ordered one without a PSU, I happened to have an external hard drive PSU offering 12v DC 2 Amps output so I hooked that up first to check how this budget amp would fare.

Continue reading