What are People Using for Speakers?

I am currently using websink, and Hitachi Allplay/AllJoyn speakers for audio alerts from OpenHab.
I like everything about the Hitachi speakers EXCEPT that they drop off the wifi network every couple of days, and the only way to get them to re-associate is to press a button.

I’m looking at other alternatives, something in the less-than-$25 per speaker range. One of the many Chromecast speakers looks like it will fit the bill. What else are people using?


Google hubs, home minis, and Chromecasts. The now discontinued Chromecast audio works great with"dumb"v speakers as well.

super cheap, can it play a sound file? Alexa does not (or I’m I wrong?)
edit:is it a audiosink in OpenHAB?

I have a regular Chromecast, no audio out, don’t use it

You can do tts through the Chromecast binding. I’ve not had occasion to do anything more with them from openHAB. But I’m 95% certain it can play sudo files. I don’t know if it can be an audio sink, never used one.

It can play audio files. I’ve played .wav files. You need to place it in one of the openhab folder. I can’t remember it off the top of my head now.

In addition to that, I use it to play mp3 streams and text-to-speech message.

Probably $OH_CONF/html and the URL you would pass to the Chromecast would be http://ohmachine:8080/static/nameoffile.wav

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oh well… reinstalled my chromecast, installed chromecast binding and… my REST docs are trash
this is hopeless

Hmm I never use the REST end points. I just code it in Python and interface with the plugin directly.

Anyway, the sound file must be placed in /etc/openhab2/sounds (existing folder). You play sound like this:

from org.eclipse.smarthome.model.script.actions import Audio                    
Audio.playSound(sink, localFile)
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That method works for me :slight_smile:

I also use the playurl method (directly from rules or using the PlayURL channel) and push internet radio streams into any of my (1st generation) Chromecast units, Audio or HDMI out.

I use chromecast devices and binding. The devices are cheap and super simple to add, they work, and its very simple to control each device, (even though the chromecast binding is/may acting up, and may cause other problems, just like Andrew mention above).

I use rules to send audio files to chromecast devices… Like my halloween prank audio file:

	Item lydknap changed from OFF to ON

Halloween1.mp3 is located in the sound folder.

I also use GH devices in rules for text to speech with GoogleTTS, like this:

rule    "Voice TestRule"
	Item  Voice_Robot  changed from OFF to ON  
	 say("Det er tid til at gå i seng :-)", "googletts:daDKStandardA", "chromecast:chromecast:af8126e02c056c079c04f4f925fe4e47")

The TTS is setup to use danish, so the output will be (almost) the same as the typical female voice respons from Google.

This is very a effective way due to having full control of which device to send to. The above examples send to the same Google Nest Mini which is located in my office when testing… I have several others GH devices placed around my home. I can therefore controle each individually as I like.
It´s super simple, just as it should be - I would really hate if this will ever breake or change to become more complicated. I´m not aware of any other options/speaker doing the same, just as simple… Maybe a UPNP speaker could. I havn´t tried.

That has been fixed in 2.5 M5. It may have been fixed for 2.5 M4 but I can’t remember.

yeah, I haven’t done the upgrade yet but will do so in the next day or two. Get ready to help with testing M6 and hopefully next month 2.5 stable :wink:

An option that sometimes gets overlooked - don’t know whether it is an option for you: if your machine (Pi?) is running headless anyway, re-use your existing fine audio setup and connect your machine via HDMI to your AVR.

I poked around a bit last night looking for a Chromecast Audio. It seems that they are hard to find, and is a nice form factor for what I need.

Yes, Google discontinued them. I’m not surprised they are hard to find and will only become more difficult over time.

I ordered a Google Home Mini a couple of weeks ago, and so far, I like it. It pairs easily with OH and is reliable. The volume level is not as good as the Hitachi W50. There is a chime before each audio event, which delays the response, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem, and maybe that could be changed with a setting somewhere.
They can be bought on Ebay for less than $8USD. I’ve just ordered five more to replace the Hitachi speakers.

Side note: I just upgraded OH to 2.5, and now the alljoyn/allplay drivers complain to the OH log, so I’ll be happy to remove that problem child.

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