Streaming media is the future of music consumption, and while your stereo may be from the ’90s, there’s no reason you can’t keep your music “in the cloud.” In the past 18 months one of the most interesting audio developments has been in the form of something called Spotify Connect. It’s a system that enables Spotify subscribers to use their phones (or other devices) to easily listen to music on their home stereo systems.
You don’t even need to buy a whole new hi-fi to do it, just an inexpensive adapter. Interested? Here’s what you need to know.
What is Spotify Connect?
Spotify Connect was announced in September 2013 as way to give users “effortless control of your music across your phone, tablet and now speakers with millions of songs built right in.” Spotify Connect devices started filtering into the market in 2014 (see below).
Spotify Connect is one of several competing methods enabling you to listen to music on your phone through a stereo system. Others include Bluetooth, Apple’s AirPlay and Google Cast.
The biggest difference between Spotify and popular streaming option Bluetooth is that it uses higher-quality Wi-Fi connectivity, which is less susceptible to dropouts,sounds better and has a much wider range.
If you use a standalone Spotify Connect system, the app will automatically turn the device on and set the volume as soon as you press Play — very convenient!
Spotify Connect lets you set up a connection between the hi-fi and the Internet so it streams music from Spotify directly, rather than via the phone. The phone then acts as your remote control.
By comparison, AirPlay — which also uses Wi-Fi — and Bluetooth stream music directly from the phone to the receiving device, which can wear down the battery more quickly.
Google Cast, available on devices like the Chromecast, Android TV devices andsome audio gear, notably from Sony, also streams from audio services directly.
While its competitors work with multiple cloud music services as well as local music files, it’s important to note that Spotify Connect only works with Spotify. Spotify is also one of the few audio apps that doesn’t doesn’t work with Google Cast. >more