You no longer need a Chromecast streamer to control your personal speakers with a Google Home.
The Google Home will now let you listen to music on your own Bluetooth speakers -- no Chromecast streamer required.
Starting Wednesday, you can pair your Google Home with a Bluetooth speaker of your choice using the Google Home app. Make that speaker your default for music playback, and the next time you ask your Google Home smart speaker to play a song, it'll play from that preferred speaker. You can even group that Bluetooth speaker with any others you have synced with your Google Home for simultaneous playback.
Google announced the change in a blog post on Wednesday. You could previously control other speakers using a Google Home, and you could group other speakers, but you needed a separate Chromecast Audio streamer plugged into any speaker you wanted to control. Google's doing away with that barrier to entry, making it much easier to make the Google Home the center of a whole home audio setup.
The Google Home is a voice-controlled smart speaker that can play music on its own. You can also ask it to control your smart home, check the weather or update your calendar. It uses Google's digital assistant (just called Google Assistant) to respond to a wide variety of voice commands. After this update, you'll still need to issue your commands to your Google Home, but if you have a speaker that suits your listening preferences better, you can play your music on that speaker with a voice command to your Google Home.
The blog post does specify that it needs to be a "compatible" Bluetooth speaker, but a Google representative assured me that compatibility is broad and not limited to Chromecast-enabled speakers.