Google Home Mini - A great little tts speaker


#1

So, I got my first Google home mini today.
Using the chromecast connection native to Hubitat, I have to say I’m really impressed using it for tts
I really like the ability to turn off the microphone as I will never use it for it’s intended purpose.
We have a load of Amazon Echos for voice control etc but for TTS these little devices are brilliant!
I like them so much I’ve just ordered another three!

I have been using a couple of sonos speakers for tts up to now but I’m working on a little app to send tts only to speakers that have movement near them so these will be perfect for this as they don’t need to be too loud.
If everything works as I hope then I’ll probably get a few more.

Overall very impressed! :slight_smile:

Andy


#2

I really like them too although I do use Google Assistant for everything... Wondering, given you have Echo's already, is Alexa not able to do TTS similarly? I have never tried Alexa but it seems to be quite popular too...


#3

There is a community implementation but it has a few problems with cookies expiring every two weeks etc.
I like the idea of a natively supported app (even though it’s one of only a few I use as I generally write my own)

At the moment Google have them on offer at £30 each so they are almost as cheap as a bluetooth speaker.. couldn’t resist trying them out. :slight_smile:

Andy


#4

There may be a solution in place that auto generates the cookies for you now. I haven't tried it yet...primarily because I'm so happy with the Google Home devices as TTS speakers. I am slowly leaning towards google as my voice assistant as well. May end up selling off most of my Alexa collection. We'll see.


#5

Apple house here rather than Android so don’t really have much to do with Google (apart from using the search engine)
I can’t see me replacing my 2 echos, 8 echo dots & 2 echo shows as I really like them and SWMBO has finally gotten used to them.

But, as a tts speaker device, I really like the minis

Andy


#6

I have 8 minis in total - 4 in common areas and 4 in sleeping rooms.

They're so good for what they are.

I've created for them to work in Groups and flawlessly work with my Xiaomi sensors!

Also, will be considering the Hubs soon.


#7

LOL


#8

@mike.maxwell
I saw that Mike.. it’s what gave me the idea :slight_smile:

I’m hoping to add a few more controls like switches and contacts etc

Andy


#9

How come you didn’t port it yet?


#10

Just wait until I get the auto level device/integration working...
That's my latest peeve,...


#11

My bizarre collection of niche apps, being just that I just don't have the spare time honestly...


#12

Excuses... always excuses...
I think I’ve mentioned time management before.
LOL


#13

lol had to Google that.
Mine started talking to the Google Assistants after we switched from Alexa.


#14

I got that "free" Google Home Mini (GHM) via the Spotify deal and then Chromecast was released and I took it out of it's box and got it registered. Switched off it's mic and I use it ONLY for TTS. The Echo's continue to do what the family wants. I've had an Aeon Doorbell to make canned announcements for years. It did it so poorly it's been disabled for most of the year. It stutters and cuts off. Chromecast to GHM is the answer I didn't know I was looking for.


#15

Exactly!


#16

Just be sure to make a DHCP Reservation for your Google Home devices to prevent their IP address from changing. It was easy to fix when it happened to me (reran discovery process), but best to prevent it from happening in the first place. :slight_smile:


Chromecast audio not talking everytime
#17

Just doing that now.
My other 3 were delivered this morning.. playing now :slight_smile:


#18

I was thinking about that too but GH doesn’t support Sonos nor does it support Apple Music. Two must haves for our family. :cry:


#19

Luckily for me it wouldn't matter. My wife never adapted to using Alexa to launch playlists using the Alexa/Sonos integration. The commands were too specific and I had too many speakers. She always got confused with how to start and stop playback. That's why I ended up simplifying everything with virtual/physical buttons to launch everything. This of course needs predefined playlists but not too big a deal for my family. I also only play music through my sonos speakers. None of the other options ever sounded loud or rich enough for us.

Because of this, Alexa or google assistant, it doesn't matter....as long as they can flip a virtual switch, I'm good.

When/if google and sonos ever release their integration, things should get really interesting. The ability to truly customize actions and voice commands in google should allow us to be a bit more imaginative with routines.


#20

OK... I'm being extravagant now..
I couldn't resist ordering a couple more just now for different rooms :slight_smile:
These things really are brilliant for TTS

My little app seems to be working well...
I have some enabled by motion, some enabled during specific times, and one enabled/disabled by switch.
(using the 3 options I have in my app at the moment)

Seems to be working really well so far :slight_smile:

Andy