At CES 2022, Google is making a handful of audio-related announcements across Chromecast and Bluetooth headphones, including auto-switching on Android and Chromebooks.

In the “next few months,” according to Google, Bose smart speakers and soundbars will get Chromecast built-in support. The company says more brands are set to adopt the tech for seamless audio Casting from Android and other supported platforms. This change also opens the door to more multi-room audio experiences. 

Meanwhile, Google is “building a technology” that allows Bluetooth headphones to seamlessly switch their connections between devices based on what’s actively being listened to. This includes Android-to-Android and Android-to-Chrome OS:

So if you’re wearing headphones to watch a movie on your Android tablet and you receive a phone call, the movie will pause and the headphone audio will automatically switch to your Android phone and then switch back to the movie when you’re done. 

The feature will be accompanied by pill-shaped prompts that appear at the top of both devices to indicate that a transfer has occurred. There’s also the ability to quickly cancel the switch.

This auto-switching capability is to arrive in the coming months, while spatial audio on supported headphones is also coming this year as Android 12L introduces OS-level support. Google is working with “spatial audio technology providers,” with tight integration allowing for reduced head tracking latency.

Spatial audio on your headsets will make you feel like you’re really there by adapting the sound based on your head movements, positioning the audio in the space all around you. 

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com