During CES 2024, Google unveiled the upcoming integration of Fast Pair with Google TV, set to roll out next month. However, alongside this announcement, the company discreetly introduced a new audio switcher, addressing the inconvenience of transitioning between Bluetooth headphones and speakers on the platform.
While most Android TV and Google TV devices support audio streaming to Bluetooth headphones, the user experience varies across devices. For example, my TCL TV in the bedroom lacks seamless “automatic” audio switching when connecting Bluetooth headphones. This forces me to navigate through multiple layers of settings to change the audio output, proving frustrating when a quick connection is desired.
Google TV aims to alleviate this issue by introducing a user-friendly audio switcher integrated into the Quick Settings menu. This feature empowers users to effortlessly switch between Bluetooth headphones and TV speakers, and potentially other sources, without the need to delve into the complete Settings menu or interrupt their ongoing content. The CES 2024 demonstration showcased a swift and accessible interface, highlighting the simplicity of the solution.
The availability of this new switcher on various TV brands remains uncertain at this point. Although Google’s demonstration featured a TCL QM8, it is anticipated that other TV manufacturers will incorporate the feature in the future. Additionally, updates to existing Google TV sets are expected to include this convenient audio switcher, enhancing the user experience across a broader range of devices.