9to5Google.com has reported that this new device, codenamed “Hendrix”, will plug into existing speakers via a 3.5mm auxiliary cable.
So it won’t work with your standard passive speakers out of the box, however it could potentially plug into an integrated amplifier, for example, to expand the capabilities of your hi-fi system.
Chromecast Audio will reportedly have multi-room support, so several devices could power multiple speakers. It’s also possible that it will play audio from a Chrome browser or Android smartphone.
Google claims it will support “high-quality audio” and also Spotify. Again, it’s unclear if this is high-res audio, or just the highest quality that Spotify offers, which is currently 320kbps.
More after the break
The new device is expected to be unveiled by Google on Tuesday 29th September. A new generation Chromecast 2 streaming dongle and Nexus smartphone are also rumoured to be set for launched.
The Chromecast 2 is expected to come with faster wi-fi and the ability to add "feeds" to the Chromecast homescreen.
What Hi-Fi? will be at the Google event to bring you the news and hands-on reviews of the new products.
MORE: Google Chromecast review