What speaker options exist for TTS, minus internet assistants?


#1

So I have been researching speaker options for TTS, and I see there is a system driver for Sonos, but it is a little on the pricey side, so I was wondering what other speaker options existed for playing TTS messages? In my situation, I do not use any of the online assistants, so using Amazon's Alexa or Google Home is out of the question for me, so is Sonos my only option, and can someone point me to how I would set up the Sonos for usage with the HE? I'm pretty excited about the possibilities this might provide, I'm just not exactly sure how to get started.

Thanks in advance to any who can chime in! :slight_smile:


#2

Get a Chromecast with an HDMI to audio adapter, or an older Chromecast Audio (they don't make them anymore).

One thing that sucks about the TTS options on Hubitat is that none of them have the option of prepending or appending an audio file to your TTS announcement. On my Vera, I use Star Trek TNG sound effects for different types of alerts and I play them before the TTS speech. It's nice because the sound plays which makes your ears perk up so you actually hear all of the TTS announcement. Before I did this, I would only hear what the announcement was saying about half the time.

Also, when the dog hears the Star Trek doorbell chime that was used on personal quarters, he immediately runs to the front door and barks. If I watch an episode on TV and he hears that sound, he goes right to the front door. I use the red alert sound also for things that are critical, like water leaks.

Setting up voice alerts on Hubitat is more work than on Vera from what I can tell. On Vera, I have one scene called "Voice Alerts". I set up a trigger for each thing I want a voice alert on, and then put in the LUA to call Vera Alerts with the sound file and the text to speak, and it's wrapped in an if statement so it won't execute if the chime on my Elk alarm system is turned off, so it's super easy to mute non-critical alerts like the front door opening or someone entering the driveway.

Hubitat guys, please add a feature to voice alerts to prepend or append a sound file to TTS alerts. If I wanted to do this today, it would be a huge PITA.


#3

Using Samsungs here (4 of them). I find them very fast for TTS. Also use them to stream web radio via the dashboards.

https://www.ebay.com/p/Samsung-Wam1400-Wireless-360-R-Lite-Audio-Smart-Speaker/2121122914

And the driver here.


#4

I know you said no internet devices but are you aware you can turn off the mic on a Google Home Mini ?
That’s exactly what I’m doing and using 1 solely for TTS.
Very cheap and paired with a power point mount, convenient.

MSO would knacker me if she heard me asking Google anything. Lol.


#5

You should look into LANnouncer or the Fully Kiosk Browser app. Both should be able to integrate with HE using community-developed drivers/apps, and can turn any android tablet into a TTS device.


#6

Personally, I'm using Sonos, but I get your point, they are a bit on the pricey side, especially to use for TTS. I'm waiting for the IKEA Symfonisk (Sonos tech) speakers due out this late summer. I'm expecting them to come in around $99 each, and I'm going to use them for most of my TTS messages, and keep the Sonos for what they're good at. Music.

S


#7

Search the forum for Fabriq speakers.

I'm using G Home minis with the mic off.


#8

Agree with the other poster...get a google mini and turn off the mic...super easy to do and you can get them CHEAP. If you are really paranoid about google listening in...you could always just cut the wire to the mic...it won't be needed.


#9

I have 3 Samsung R1's, using them for the TTS. I got them from eBay for about $40 each, new or in great shape.


#10

Careful using old phones or tablets for this. I was doing that for a long time, and ended up having the batteries puff up and bulge. One of them even cracked the screen on the device. I stopped using them because I was afraid of batteries eventually catching fire and burning the place down. I ended up installing android on an old Raspberry Pi, and then sideloading the apps I needed for TTS. I had to sideload because if you install the Play store on a Pi, it grinds it to a halt for some reason.

I can't wait to move off of this and just use the TTS on Hubitat with a Chromecast audio plugged into my whole house audio system.


#11

Did you get those speakers from Ikea yet ?


#12

I did! I'm not presently using them for TTS though. I liked them well enough that I added two of them to my Living room in conjunction with a Play 5, and relegated a couple of the Play 1's to TTS duty.

Their nice and for the price, hard to beat if you want a speaker and not an Alexa or Google device.

S.


#13

Get the IKEA Symfonisk. Well worth the price and I cannot think of a better excuse for a trip to IKEA. Very pleased with them. They are in-between a Play:1 and Play:3 in terms of sound, with richer bass, but priced at less than the cost of a used Play:1 on average.

Much nicer style imo and it has two types of brackets available to turn it into a shelf if you want.


#14

How does it sound with TTS ?


#15

Brilliant! Smooth deep voice. Actually thinking I may switch from Alexa announcements because this sounds so good.

Which means I’ll have to get another Symfonisk for upstairs. Oh, the pain of it all! :wink:


#16

Hmm I guess this is on my xmas list now.


#17

Agreed. Only thing I've ever bought from Ikea that didn't pick me off as soon as I opened the box!

S.


#18

I have to agree on this. Purchased 1 google home and 1 symfonisk at the same time. But the Symfonisk is recognized as an audio player, not just a speech system.
So, it's far easier to play some mp3 audio files (play/symfonisk) or to ask symfonisk to speech some text. Ok, it's a little bit more expensive (150CAD vs 100CAD for the Google home), but the audio quality is better too.
And the Symfonisk has also ethernet AND Wifi. Worth the price, worth the choice (will send back the Google Home and purchase another Symfonisk for my GuestRoom).
Mike


#19

!00% These early one's are well made Sonos quality. I don't know how much IKEA put into these. Like maybe the bracket size and shape for their shelf idea. And the tag and box. For sure that's IKEA. Big contributions. Other than that, this is the quality Sonos build you'd expect, in a surprisingly light speaker for its size and sound capability.

I'm am very happy to buy more. $150 for this level of sound is very reasonable.


#20

Hi i wanted to refresh this thread to see if there were any more updates.
I have a sonos system that i connect through our home audio system. Sadly my wife likes using iTunes that is driven from her computer - so the sonos has gone unused for a while. So while this TTS works great - i may not end up having the option to use it as the main announcement system for the TTS.
I looked at the option for using An echo Dot.....likely past my skills to get this running properly.
Just wondering if there were any reasonably priced speakers i could connect that i could strategically place to hear these announcements.

I've been selecting different voices all morning....have my family quite annoyed.....but it's really awesome!