Are Sonos and Echo ($180 or more) the only audio speaker options? I just want a cheap "doorbell" speaker

Hi everyone!

I’m new to SmartThings. I see that it definitely supports audio alerts with its hefty “Audio Notifications” action options. But I don’t see any speakers sold on the SmartThings site per se, and over on SmartHomeDb there only seems to be the Sonos line of speakers that starts at $200. I also independently realized that the Amazon Echo ($180) may be able to be used (but I’m not completely sure on that).

I don’t want to play symphony quality music. I just want to hear “You’ve got mail” if the mailbox is opened, etc. - short phrases or maybe alarms. We all know that decent low-fidelity speakers are a bulk commodity, $5 to $25. We all know ST products demonstrate smart home connectivity for $40 and up. So why isn’t there a $50 speaker available?

I am guessing that I simply didn’t know the right thing to look for, or right place to find it. If someone could tell me a better place to find compatible devices than the ST and SmartHomeDb site, that would be great. Or if I was using those sites wrong.

Or just some line of speakers to look for, or whatever.

Thanks very much if you can help!

Potentially this will work for you. Reviews are not great, but I have it and works fine for me. Recent device driver should allow you to do some of what you want. I also have an Alexa and using some of the SmartApps and a Android device you could have the Alexa respond to you.

I found the novelty to e neat, but do not use it that much now.

AEON DoorBell

Here are a few links

Also I believe the popular smartapp Rule Machine can also be used to send custom messages to dlna / sonos devices but the guys over there would have more info.

May thanks for your reply, Ed. Yes I see that doorbell. Hmm… reviewers say they greatly increased its functionality by installing some separate driver(s). I haven’t tried that at all yet, it seems a little daunting. Hmm.

When you say you liked the novelty, you are talking about talking to Alexa on your Echo, right? I have a friend who has one, so I know what you mean there… maybe I will find the Echo itself interesting, maybe not. It might be worth a try. But you are otherwise definitely saying it can be used as a general ST speaker, right?

Hi Schapper, these are all really great on the software side, it might be really handy if I need to increase a speaker’s functionality. But I am not really seeing a cheap speaker in what you posted, am I missing it? I don’t want to re-use some old laptop since it’s overkill in one sense (running and maintaining a whole dedicated laptop just to hear a doorbell) and underkill on the other (not a good loud whole-house speaker). I can see how that might work for some folks in some situations - pretty clever even - but not my big house.

I really do appreciate your post and hope it will come in useful once I have the speaker. Big Talker sounds especially intriguing. But there isn’t much on where or what actual hardware to buy in your post, right? Thanks.

Good Point, This was litterally the Missing link =D

Actually what I meant to convey (sorry about that) was that having my echo or a speaker tell me when events happened got old after a time. It was fun to do, but I personally found it not at all that useful. I had Alexa tell me when family arrived or when UPS dropped off a package. But, if you were not there you would not hear it of course. I am sure that I could find some items that would be beneficial to me, but having a sounds or voice pop out when you are reading or focusing throws me off. So, I did not find voice responses useful outside of the novelty.

I LOVE my echo, turning on and off lights and getting news, weather, stock info. I use it for timers, alarms and playing music or reading books. Love it.

Me too btw. I didn’t bring it up because it didn’t seem like it would fit your budget… but nothing HA has increased my WAF as much as echo. She wants 2 more…

We have 3 in our house. One for each bedroom. Plan to purchase one for the Living room or maybe the kitchen. Will figure out the winner when I have the money saved (SMILE)

IF you are a Mac user, there’s nothing cheaper than @obycode’s Music Thing. It supports all sorts of notification options as well as being a music player. For the grand price of $5.

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You may want to skip the audio speaker options and go with the Aeotec Doorbell. It’s $50 and can run 100 different MP3 files that you can load. You can record whatever messages you want and load them to the device.

Yep, pointed him that way as well. However he felt that it might be too hard to implement and so the discussion as to how to help goes forward (BIG SMILE). Yes I know about emoticons, I just feel that they do not convey my wonderful smile (Don’t you think) (GRIN)

Ah. Yea. Sorry, I missed it. I didn’t see any preview text so I missed your link all together while I was scrolling to see what was suggested to him.

Not a problem, we are all just trying to help. I seem to be helpful today for some reason

LANnouncer is an android speech app that is a cheap way to make smartthings announcements with BigTalker, or non-ST-announcements via IFTT. A lightweight/ old/ leftover tablet or phone can work.

[quote=“theedpope, post:12, topic:40761”]
However he felt that it might be too hard to implement
[/quote]I thought I should mentioned that I just released a new version of the Aeon Labs Multifunction Doorbell device handler that no longer requires Rule Machine to play mp3s by track number.

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How do you get Smartthings to tell echo to speak something?


I do it with an Android tablet running LANnouncer. That tablet is connected to Echo via Bluetooth so all audio is directed to Echo.

Big Talker and Lan Announcer. Do a search for both, there are FAQs on how to set it up.

+1 for VLC Thing and Big Talker. I’ve installed them on a C.H.I.P ($9 computer) and I get all the voice notifications I could stand!