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I have this awkward space above the cabinets in my kitchen as is common in places with taller ceilings. I still can't figure out anything to do with it from a decorative perspective, but since my cabinets span the width of my living area, it seems like the perfect spot for some speakers for ambient music. Sonos would be an easy choice but, alas, they're too expensive.

I already have a Chromecast (second version) connected to my AVR for my main speakers. I've read you can sync the audio on these similar to the way that Sonos does. So the idea is I could get some bookshelf speakers, an amp, hook up a Chromecast and effectively have a Sonos-like setup for hopefully cheaper than I could get two Sonos speakers for.

The amp is the only part of this setup that I haven't figured out. Since my cabinets make an "L" shape, and there is an open space at the corner of the "L", it will be easy to route a power source above the cabinets (I'm in an apartment so dropping wires isn't an option anyway). But I don't want to have an AVR sitting on my kitchen counter top. And I don't want to have an extra remote to turn said amp on and off; I'd like it to power on/off automagically if the input source (Chromecast) is streaming audio. The Chromecast can handle volume.

Does such an amplifier exist? Not talking super high end here, just something with 2 channels, RCA input, auto power control, and good enough to power two mid-level bookshelfs. Or, if such an amp doesn't exist, are there speakers that already have an amp built in that I could connect a Chromecast to?

Thanks.
 

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There are a lot of amps that would fit the bill. The need you describe -an auto switching amp - is a common need for whole-house audio systems, so there are lots of options from Russound, Niles and Sonance. The Russound P75 is a better quality option for about the same money.

There have been a number of posts about quality control and reliability issues with Dayton. Dayton is a Parts Express brand.

The Audiosource AMP100 has been often suggested in the past, but the current version, the AMP100VS, is priced a little higher and it's not clear whether the build quality is noticeably better than the Dayton (though I haven't heard many complaints).

Anyone who wants to hunt around eBay can look for a Sonance ASAP1 (inexpensive, small, less power) or any number of other Sonance or Niles amps.
 
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