Two years ago this month, Google unveiled the Nexus Q during Google I/O… and that was the last time many of us ever saw the media hub. While it was an interesting concept, giving users an Android-powered device to stream audio or video to their televisions, the $300 asking price was pretty steep, and Google quietly killed the Q off in the months that followed. Since then, we’ve seen devices like Chromecast rise to take its place, and today we see the launch of another model that takes a pinch of Q inspiration, as Motorola introduces the Moto Stream.
Moto Stream is a bit more focused than the Nexus Q was, concentrating solely on audio. It hooks up to a stereo system via analog cables, pairs with smartphones via NFC, and then uses Bluetooth to stream your phone’s audio. In that sense it’s very unlike the Nexus Q, as it’s more of a Bluetooth-to-analog audio bridge, with no ability to stream content independently of a phone.
It’s also worth pointing out that despite Motorola’s claims that the Moto Stream “turns any speaker wireless,” this isn’t designed to drive speakers directly like the Nexus Q was, and needs to be run through a separate amp or used with powered speakers.
Motorola’s encouraging a social component for the Moto Stream, allowing five users to connect at once and fight over who gets to choose the music: its “Heist Mode.”
Sales of the Moto Stream are open now, and at just a hair under $50, it’s a hell of a lot more affordable than the Nexus Q ever was. We just wonder if the colorful design and that limited social mode will draw shoppers away from existing Bluetooth-to-analog gateways.