A few years ago (2015) I was inspired by a presentation about Internet Of Things. For me this marked the start of developing connected devices and improve existing solutions in the field of audio. My goal was to develop a simple solution to stream music from your phone (or other music storage devices) in HiFi quality to your own speakers. A not-so-common solution at the time.

The first product I developed was the IOM1: a Wi-Fi connected audio device based on the Raspberry Pi with an in-house designed DAC board connected to a Hypex amplifier. This worked fine, we sold some units, but this was not the perfect solution I was aiming for. Drawbacks for example:

  • Not that user friendly, you had to flash/use a SD card
  • Not simple: difficult to integrate into a home Wi-Fi network; threshold technical knowledge level needed
  • Low penetration of needed software solutions in popular music streaming solutions (like Spotify)
  • Relatively expensive

Then the Google Chromecast audio was launched. I was blown away: what a technology for so little money!

Characteristics of Google Chromecast audio:

  • Wi-Fi network for first time use
  • Integrated in lots of music streaming services (like Spotify)
  • Very good HiFi quality
  • Compact
  • Cheap (about €35)

I had to do something with this. Therefore I stopped IOM1 and developed the  IOM Chromecaster. To match the high quality sound level of the Chromecast audio we decided to use a top level amplifier: the Hypex Ncore. This is an excellent solution because it delivers high-end sound quality but is also very compact and energy efficient. Perfect for an Internet-Of-Things solution.

The IOM Chromecaster has become a nice, usable and affordable product to stream music from different streaming services and storage devices without compromising audio quality.