Sonos, Chromcast, or DLNA for audio

I see a lot of you use Echo's and GH devices for TTS. I'm a Bells & Whistles (as in dings & chimes) kind of guy. I like audio notifications to be sounds, instead of creepy robot voices. I have one PC (Intel NUC) hooked up to some nice speakers that I currently use. Works ok, but very bulky and a lot of cables. I'd like something smaller and all-in-one that I could use in more rooms. 100% local is preferred.

Sonos is pricey but the added whole home audio would be nice.

Does anyone have a suggestion of what I can use?

The Aeotec Doorbell works great for this. Throw the button in the trash and use the chime.

I see the Gen6 is out, I have the Gen5. Load it with the sounds you want and call them by number (in the "play" field, use 1, 2, 3).

The sounds are numbered based on which was loaded first. A bit wonky, but the device is reliable.

These are contenders. Until you brought it up I didn't realize I could load my own .mp3 files. It's not as flexible as Sonos but half the price.

I think you can use mp3 with Google Home, so it's not a robot.

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Just use Message Central and you can do either robot voices or MP3 chimes (or both) to any music playing device (GH, Alexa, Sonos, Samsung, etc). No need to go reinvest in a bunch of speakers just to get a ding ding..


Right, but I believe the tone and "Broadcast from [GH username]" after it reconnects it still present, is that right, or has that now been eliminated?

Mine still make the tones unfortunately.

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:-1: This is why Alexa does all my announcements now. No clue why they won't allow that to be disabled. It's completely unnecessary. Sure, some people like it, but to force it on everyone is so Google.

There is no, "Broadcast from [GH username]" from my Google Home Mini.
I have the mic turned off and use it only for TTS via "BigTalker App or tones.

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Let's expand my question a bit. I see there are four "Audio Video Receivers" on the supported devices list; from Onkyo, Denon, Pioneer, and Marantz but those companies have huge product offerings. Has anyone any experience with those; which ones? Can they be used for notifications or is the integration just remote control?

Didn’t you want “something smaller, all in one, for more rooms”
That really sounds like a smart speaker, aka Google or Alexa device as an “always on” device.
In fact it was the added need, to have to power up the stereo system in my sunroom, that lead me to trialing a Google Home Mini.
I’ve not looked back.

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I did start by asking about something small. That is true.
I'd like a device that plays sounds. I'm not interested in text to speech.
I'd rather it not be a cloud connected something-or-other. Or require setting up cloud services or an rpie.
A purchasable audio device that can be remote controlled like a DLNA media player would be cool. I'm old after all and it's something I understand.

So by chance have you or anyone else reading this thread have any experience with music devices like a Sonos? Are they worth the price?

I absolutely love my Sonos devices. They are pricey. But, I've not found many other speakers that have the same features along with the size and sound quality. Further, Ikea is coming out with their Sonos capable speakers in August. They should be cheaper than the actual Sonos speakers and are supposed to be comparable in terms of features and sound quality.

You might want to take a look at the Fabriq speakers as well. They lack the good sound quality, but they are DLNA capable WiFi speakers that are inexpensive and can be used as you have described. They DO come with Alexa built-in, but you don't have to enable it if you don't want to.

That's the second recommendation for Fabriq, previously in another thread where I was looking for alternatives to dots and such. Thanks, I think I'll be giving one a try when I return from my travels.

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They're great little speakers for TTS. I just demand higher quality for music :wink:

I'm looking for local-only HE speakers for TTS announcements only (ditching the GH Minis). I'm confused about the Fabriqs. Can they be set up for local-only?

Yup. You don't have to setup Alexa with them. You can, but it's not required.

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This works on Hubitat too:

Using the MediaRenderer app and DLNA Player driver here:

The sound is pretty weak (could be a problem with volume as I use Bose speakers and these speakers both for announcements, and the Bose are pretty loud but only one area to define volume) but still works well for TTS. Note that I had to set up with Alexa before the installation would complete, but I keep the microphone off.

Wow, this is exactly what "I think" I was looking for. A DLNA player that I can use to play sound effects and is inexpensive enough to put one in every room. There are a lot of great responses in this thread. I hope more will be added as new devices are found.


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