AudioCast M5 is a ChromeCast Audio Alternative with Local Audio Files and Multi-Room Support

ChromeCast Audio launched earlier this year together with ChromeCast 2.0 in order to bring ChromeCast experience specifically to audio files via your speakers or audio system. Wireless audio streamer are not exactly new, and I’ve reviewed a few including SoundMate WM201, and the company behind the SoundMate models, UyeSee, has launched a new AudioCast M2 wireless multi-room sound streamer that looks familiar…

AudiocastThe main features of AudioCast M5 are listed as follows:

  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n with WPS button
  • Audio Output – 3.5mm stereo jack
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
  • Multiroom streaming – Stream same song to all speakers, stream different songs to different speakers, stream same or different song to different group speakers using a single smartphone .
  • Streaming from phone’s internal storage, UPnP/DLNA server, online music service including Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and more coming with Tital, Dezzer, GoogleMusic, Tunein, etc…
  • Stereo Pairing – Turn two AudioCast M5 into separate left and right speakers.
  • Mobile Apps – AudioCast for iOS, AudioCast for Android.
  • WPS One Botton Click for WiFi Connection: Save complicated and trouble set up procedure.
  • Music Alam Clock with full alarm setting.
  • Auto-Power off with full setting.
  • App color just according to coverart color style.

The company also provided a comparison table matching AudioCast to other audio  streaming solutions like Sonos, Bluetooth Speakers, ChromeCast Audio, and AirPlay receivers.

Sonos Bluetooth Airplay AudioCast Chromecast Audio
Android Compatible Yes Yes No Yes Yes
iOS Compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Compatible with Airplay Streams(from Mac OSX,iOS and iTunes) No No Yes Yes No
Compatible with Laptops/Computers Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Lossless Audio Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Play from NAS Yes No No Yes No
Play from UPnP Yes No No Yes No
Play from Online Service Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Music Alarm Clock Yes No No Yes No
Sleeping Timer Yes No No Yes No
Software number Playlist No No No Yes No
Standard Wi-Fi,with Full Home Netoork Range Yes No No Yes Yes
Multi-Room,Expandable System(Synchronous) Yes No No Yes No
Multi Streams from Different Sources Yes No No Yes No
Multi-Zone Streaming from a Single Device Yes No No Yes No
Left/Right Stereo Speaker Pairing Yes No No Yes No
WPS Quick Connection Yes No No Yes Yes

I think they compare features out of the box, as ChromeCast Audio also supports local file streaming via various methods, more or less user-friendly. They also did not mention ChromeCast Audio supports 802.11ac and features an extra optical S/PDIF output to connect to “non-smart” amplifiers and AV receivers.

The device ships with an audio cable with a 3.5mm jack in both ends, a micro USB to USB cable for power, and a user’s manual in English.

AudioCast_M5_HardwareFor those of you that wonder about the hardware implementation, I’ve got a sample here that I opened. The design is interestingly comprised of a module with WiFi and storage, and a baseboard with all the ports.

Ralink_RT5350F_Audio_moduleIf you were expecting some brand new WiFi audio solution, you’ll be disappointed as the device is based on Ralink RT5350F WiSoC.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

The other side of the WiFi board has a Windbond 9825 series flash (256Mbit), and the baseboard features a chip that read JC AC1543CG4NIG-E, but I can’t find any reference to this IC on the web.

AudioCast M5 can be purchased on Amazon US, Aliexpress and DealExtreme for $36 to $40. More details can be found on AudioCast website.

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