Some of you may remember when I put the headphones on an Amazon Echo, so I could tell Alexa what to do or say through the house speakers. At that time Big Talker and Vlc Thing would whisper into Alexa’s ear and get her activated and talking. This project is an extension of that, where I’ve put speakers and microphones around my pool so I can talk to Alexa, listen to music, and hear any crucial announcements. I now use two Amazon Dots, they have a nice audio out jack. One dot is for inside the house, the other is for the back yard.
The microphones are inexpensive Shure 57 equivalents - DRI100… and they sound darn good. I connect them to an Art MX821S microphone mixer. If you turn up the individual mic volume half way, the mic works when your close like you see singers at concerts do…if you turn it up to 100% it covers an area very nicely. Talk in a normal speaking voice, and she hears you just fine. They have a cardioid pattern and are totally dead behind them (giving some privacy along the back tree line), and very lively in front. The speakers are indoor/outdoor from Best Buy and my outdoor amp is just an old boom box with an impedance matcher for multiple speakers. (not a crank up loud system, but just right if you’ve got neighbors!) Of course zwave power modules can cut the power to the system quickly, if the friends get a little to wild.