How To Improve Chromecast Audio With External DAC

Chromecast Audio is an excellent device for streaming music or audio from your phone or computer to your home speakers.

However, there are instances where you may need an external digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to get better audio quality than the inbuilt DAC offers, such as when listening to FLAC files.

But how do you improve your Chromecast Audio’s sound quality with an external DAC?

To improve Chromecast Audio with an external DAC, connect Chromecast to a USB-C hub and link your DAC to the hub. Next, connect your phone or computer and  Chromecast Audio to the same Wi-Fi network. Finally, open the Google Home app and cast audio from your device to Chromecast. 

This blog post will describe how to improve Chromecast audio with an external DAC in a few easy steps. If that’s the information you’re looking for, then stay tuned!

1. Understand What a DAC Does

If you enjoy playing audio with Chromecast, you’ll know that there’s nothing worse than the dreaded black screen.

However, that’s not the only issue with Chromecast, and audio quality is a common issue. 

As the name suggests, a digital-to-analog converter is a device that converts digital audio signals into analog signals your speakers can understand.

When you stream music from your phone or computer, it’s usually in a digital format. 

However, your speakers need an analog signal to play the music.

That’s where a DAC comes in. Notably, an external DAC improves sound quality by processing digital audio signals more accurately and with less noise.

2. Choose a DAC Compatible With Your Chromecast Audio

Many DACs are available on the market, but not all will work with Chromecast Audio. 

To find a compatible DAC, you’ll need to look for one with a 3.5mm (0.14 in) auxiliary input or digital optical input. These are the types of inputs that your Chromecast Audio uses to connect to the DAC. 

Alternatively, you can pick a DAC with USB ports and connect it to Chromecast via a USB-C hub, as I’ll describe below.

For starters, consider this Fosi Audio Q4 Headphone Amplifier from It features USB, 3.5mm (0.14 in), RCA, and optical inputs, making it perfect to use with Chromecast Audio.

Extra Tip: You can also check the manufacturer’s website or product manual to see if the DAC is compatible with Chromecast Audio.

3. Connect Your Chromecast Audio to the DAC

Once you have a DAC that is compatible with your Chromecast Audio, it’s time to start setting everything up. 

  1. Connect your Chromecast Audio to a powered USB-C hub. 
  2. Connect your DAC to the USB-C hub using USB cables.

4. Connect the DAC to Your Speakers

Now that your Chromecast Audio is connected to the DAC, you’ll need to connect the DAC to your speakers. 

  1. If your speakers have a 3.5mm (0.14 in) auxiliary input, use a 3.5mm (0.14 in) auxiliary cable to connect the DAC to the speakers. 
  2. Use a digital optical cable if the speakers have a digital optical input.
  3. If they have a different type of connection, such as RCA or XLR, you’ll need to use the appropriate cable for those connections.

5. Set Up Your Chromecast Audio, DAC, and Wi-Fi 

Now that everything is connected, it’s time to set up your Chromecast Audio and DAC. Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Plug your Chromecast Audio into a power outlet and turn it on. 
  2. Turn on your DAC and set it to the correct input for the Chromecast Audio.
  3. Open your phone’s or computer’s Wi-Fi settings and connect to your Chromecast Audio’s network. 
  4. Once you’ve connected to the same network, you’ll be able to stream music from your phone or computer to your Chromecast Audio and DAC.

6. Download the Google Home App

To set up and control your Chromecast Audio, you’ll need to download the Google Home app. The app is free in the App Store for iOS devices and the Google Play Store for Android devices. 

Here’s how to download the Google Home app in an iOS device:

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. Tap the search icon in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Type “Google Home” into the search bar and tap the search button.
  4. Tap the “Get” button next to the Google Home app.
  5. Enter your Apple ID password or use Touch ID to confirm the download.
  6. Once the app has finished downloading, tap the “Open” button to launch it.

Similarly, here’s how to download the Google Home app on an Android device:

  1.  Open the Google Play Store app on your Android device.
  2. Tap the search icon in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Type “Google Home” into the search bar and tap the search button.
  4. Tap the “Install” button next to the Google Home app.
  5. Accept the permissions request.
  6. Once the app is installed, tap the “Open” button to launch it.

Extra Step: After opening the app, follow the prompts to set up Chromecast Audio. Here’s a quick video demo on how to set up Google Chromecast:

7. Cast Music to Your Chromecast Audio

Now that Chromecast Audio, your DAC, and your Google Home app are set up, you’re ready to start streaming music. To do that, you’ll need to “cast” the music from your phone or computer to Chromecast Audio. 

You can use the Google Home app or the “Cast” feature in music streaming apps, such as Spotify or Pandora.

8. Adjust the Volume and Sound Settings

Once you’ve started streaming music to your Chromecast Audio and DAC, you can adjust the volume and sound settings to get the best possible audio quality. 

To do that, simply use the Google Home app or the volume controls on your speakers. You can also use the app to adjust the equalizer settings and enable any special audio features that your DAC may have.

Extra Tip: Experiment with different streaming services to find the one that works best for you. Some services may have quality audio or a more extensive music selection, so it’s worth trying out a few to see which one you like the most.


This sums up how to improve Chromecast audio with an external DAC. It may seem confusing initially, but with some patience and the right equipment, you can easily create an amazing home audio setup. 

That said, ensure you have all the cables and adapters you need before you start so that everything goes smoothly. And if you ever have any issues setting up your Chromecast Audio and DAC, don’t hesitate to consult the manufacturer’s instructions or call your local audio specialist for help.

Nelson Barbosa

I'm an engineer in love with smart home tech. On my website, I share useful tips and tricks to help my readers get the most of their devices and make their lives simpler by adding just a drop of technology in everyday routines!

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