Google just announced their 2nd generation of the Chromecast, and I for one am thrilled for it! Although I did not buy the 1st generation of Chromcast, I am really excited about it, especially since they have an audio version of Chromecast too!
So far it looks like it will run on the 802.11ac 2.4GHz/5GHz wireless, and will natively support 24-bit, 96kHz playback, but with up to 5GHz for wifi, maybe up to 11.2MHz DSF in the future? With the Chromecast app also getting an update, who knows what the future will hold for this versatile device.
Why I Anticipate the Chromecast
The main thing I like about Chromecast other than it is handy and portable, but mainly one thing: affordable (note I am not using the word cheap). The SONOS system has been the high-end go-to system for you wireless audio needs, but honestly I don’t think I can afford a system like that soon. So here comes in Google with a great affordable alternative that is wireless and high fidelity. The SONOS possibly has a better quality in terms of sound, but again its the price range that is out of mine and possibly yours.
I will plan to buy a new Chromecast for video and possibly 2 Chromecast Audio devices. I might just regulate the two as surround speaker hubs, since I also hate wires running everywhere, but that is for a future project (a project where I have set my basic home theater system aiming for affordability and the using a minimal number of components, whereas the Chromecast Audio will be for my back speakers).
One last thing: Bluetooth absolutely sucks for music, especially Hi-Res. Using the Wifi for music transmission is much better than Bluetooth, and both SONOS and Chromecast uses this.
Edit: I forgot about the Gramofon, which came out earlier and also does the same stream over local Wifi to your speakers.
Chromecast Audio image taken from Google Store