Looking for an inexpensive LAN device that can play sound files from Hubitat local storage

I've finally started playing with audio alerts, but my Google devices have one critical flaw... They play their own "bloop" noise before playing the audio file of interest. This apparently cannot be worked around. It's a little thing but it is also intolerable, haha.

I've looked around the forum for other ideas and this is what I have found so far.

  • Google Home Mini - You cannot defeat the system's "Yo! I'm about to play a sound!" sound
  • Amazon Alexa/Echo - playing your own sound files is not supported per this community app
  • DLNA devices - May work? There is a DLNA app from the community, but it's old now.
  • VLCthing can send a file to a running VLC instance but man, I do not want to rely on yet another computer for this. I have so many computers. So. Many.
  • Sonos -- apparently it's easy to play your own files via Hubitat commands. Unfortunately the cheapest such device seems to be $100 via Ikea. It still may be the way to go if it works properly. Can anyone confirm that the Sonos integration will play my mp3 or wav files without any extra sounds?

If you have anything else to add, I would appreciate the input.

I don't have any from Ikea; but my Sonos do not play any extra sound.

1 Like

Great to hear, thank you.

I use Echo Speaks for audio alerts. No extra sounds, but have to use the Alexa voice. If you really want just sound effects, not a solution. But I find it works great for my purposes:

"You've got mail!"
"The freezer is too warm!"
"Someone is at the front door."
No beeps, boops or additional sounds. Just the notification. But, you can't play prerecorded sound effects and such.

Oh and the latest Echo Speaks thread is this one: [RELEASE] Echo Speaks V4. You linked to a really old one.

If you don't want to pay for a Heroku server, you'll need a tiny VM on docker or a Pi to run the cookie server. So that might not thrill you. For me, I have many different Echo devices all over my house and the ability to target notifications where they are needed, or blast everywhere, is a no-brainer. Adding $120 Sonos speakers from Ikea in every room isn't practical for me, nor would it have acceptable WAF.

Last edit. The ability to send voice alerts via HomePod is also a possibility. There are other issues with it - specifically if you're streaming music on the HomePod, it stops to do the announcement and doesn't restart the stream. Where the Echo speaks works like you'd want. It ducks the current audio, plays the announcement, and then raises the music back to the same level without ever stopping it. I would really like to use the Siri /HomePod version, but the stop/start is unacceptable to me. But, cheap refurb HomePod minis would be more subtle and cost effective dedicated audio notification solution than $120 Ikea Sonos speakers. IMHO.

@Horseflesh My Homepod mini's do well..

Do these solutions require a subscription fee?

The Ecolink z-wave chime/siren I use doesn't require a subscription.
It works well for me.
Record your own sound files as well as built in ones, like for smoke and CO.
editL ooops, it's not LAN it's HUB.


1 Like

The Ikea ones work the same. They’re made by Sonos and use Sonos firmware. I have a Symfonisk picture frame speaker connected via Ethernet and it works well with the Sonos integration or it can be used with the Airplay integration. Homepod Minis also work well and are a less expensive option if you are in the Apple ecosystem.

Thanks for the info, everyone.

I'm definitely dedicated to using my own sound clips which rules out the Echo I guess. The need for an additional server is also a killer. I can do it, I just don't wanna, apparently this is where I draw the line in my life's ever-increasing complexity. The Echo feature set is very cool and practical, though.

For TTS voice, I can use the Google speakers I already have. (They will bloop but I don't mind the bloop for a generic spoken alert as there is no custom sound effect to ruin.)

Looks like open box/refurb Home Pod Minis are under $60 so that is more appealing than a Sonos price tag, especially since I do not need to play music on these devices. (I have an iOS device but I don't really use Apple lifestyle features like Siri.)

The Ecolink seems to be about $70 but a Home Pod would be more convenient if sound files need to be stored on the Ecolink.

I'll consider adding a Home Pod, and I will keep an eye out for cheap Sonos gear.

1 Like

There is no solution that meets all your criteria. Echos are cheap, particularly when Amazon wants to sell off its inventory. Previous generations are even cheaper - you don't need newer features, right? Consider the lowest possible price for a powered speaker - like a bluetooth speaker. Add a microprocessor with wifi and enough storage space for any mp3 file you throw at it? Makes the echo a smoking bargain. You will require an always on system but if you have enough computers to complain about then you probably have one.

I believe that the previous generation of Sonos amp will work fine when connected with a speaker and allow you to play a mp3 file. Used are going for around $50:


Good option, thanks for pointing it out.

Is this a recent issue? I don’t recall this occurring when I used a mini for my Halloween setup the other year. Iirc I used the chrome cast integration.

Halloween Fun 2022

I don’t use my mini for anything else but these sorts of things.

I don't know if it is new because I have only recently tried using sounds at all.

All I know is this:

  • I am using the Chromecast integration
  • Every time I play a sound with the playTrack command, it bloops. Unless a sound JUST played... But after a short delay, it bloops again.
  • I found a lot of posts by other people with the same complaint on other HA forums, plus a couple of "weird doesn't do that for me" posts too.

This is how I am playing a sound. If you are doing something different that does not bloop, I wanna know!

lol, I re-watched my own video and you are 100% correct. :man_facepalming:

I’ll try AirPlay on my HomePods in a few days and see if they do it too (I’m away interstate ATM).

I'll tell ya, I wish you were right.

This is a little thing for sure, but it irks me!

A HomePod test would be great data when it is convenient, though others have vouched for them so far.

1 Like

You could look for some used or refurb Samsung Radiant 360 R1's. A quick search shows them available (at least on ebay) for $45-70.

I do not use them for that, but, they supposedly will play mp3's as tracks. They also do speach (which is what I use them for). There is a an app on Hubitat Package Manager for them. I do have to occaisionally clear the queue and refresh them (have a RM rule set up for it).

I have Amazon Echo devices and in the settings you can turn off the pre-beep. Have you checked the settings for your speaker?

@wiegout said the Echo devices cannot play our own sound clips. I haven't tried one myself yet.

Thank you for the Samsung idea @tray_e.

1 Like

The Echo devices cannot play HE sounds. I was just curious if your device had a similar setting.