Beep. (similar to Sonos) Whole house audio at a FRACTION of the cost!


(Ryan Gallagher) #1

While playing around in the Labs section I noticed the Sonos connect section and some of the things that it offers such as notifications, audible alerts, etc. Sonos would be great but not at a price tag of $2K after getting all the speakers and bridges. My goal was to have an audio system that I could set alerts to happen if I was sleeping (ie, there’s a flood in the basement, or someone just opened the garage). I don’t know about everyone else but I silence my phone in the evening so I am not awaken by the multitude of iOS alerts that happen all the time.

I searched for awhile and came across a device from some former Googlers. Beep takes the synchronized whole house audio in a different direction, using the speakers you already have. Using a nice high-tech looking volume knob (which is the whole device) it is the source of the audio. I have been in touch with the company already and mentioned the integration SmartThings has with Sonos and passed along the idea of integrating this system as well. I purchased several of the units and am excited for their main use as a whole house audio system, but if they are able to integrate with SmartThings to play alerts then that is icing on the cake! The company is very open to ideas and even proactively reached out to me.

Check them out here:

They currently are in a pre-launch kickstarter style mode and offering $50 off each unit ($149 regularly). There are other alternatives such as the Samsung shape but you’re still looking at $300+. If you decide to buy as well, please use my referral link:

Beep.


(Different Computers) #2
I don’t know about everyone else but I silence my phone in the evening so I am not awaken by the multitude of iOS alerts that happen all the time.

While the direction Beep is going is cool, it’s entirely possible to set ST or IFTTT alerts as a “favorite” that rings through iOS sleep mode, or to have IFTTT send the critical message 3 times, which would also ring through the 3rd time.

At $149 these things will have a tough time in the broader market because their main ability (whole house audio) is in competition with Apple’s $99 Airport Express. AE doesn’t talk as such, but it is a Wifi extender and Airplay Audio for whole house audio.

Now, if there was some sort of ST bridge to ANY Applescriptable Mac OS app… now THERE would be some real superpowers! Including speech, since there’s quite a good speech synth in Mac OS.

Also: your referral link is missing.


(Ryan Gallagher) #3

I thought about the alert pushing through the sleep mode, however there is some bug in the hub that sends alerts multiple times. We have a sensor on a little library out in our yard (on the door). When it’s windy it goes off all night.

The airport express would work yes however this unit will function on it’s own. You can tap it to pickup your last stream. Another advantage is the hidden speakers, I can hide speakers in the kitchen for example above the cabinets or mask them in other ways. The knob passes the “wife test”, it’s easy and she can turn a physical object. Nothing pisses her off more than me saying “it’s simple, just do this, this and this”. With the airport it would be go into Pandora and select the speaker you want via airplay (and as far as I know you can only select the one airplay device) which does not truly make it whole house synchronized audio". I know it’s possible via a computer but once again that’s introducing more complexity than just tapping a knob. I have an Airport and three expresses, I played around with many variations but Sonos always looked so much more simple.

Airplay has to remain connected to function, I am wanting the gentle alerts that the Labs section offers with Sonos. Alternatively I want to scare the shit out of someone using the same system as apart of my (not at home) security triggers. I also backed UBI which has built in speakers for voice response which may eventually offer a good solution as well but it’s far off.


(Different Computers) #4
With the airport it would be go into Pandora and select the speaker you want via airplay (and as far as I know you can only select the one airplay device) which does not truly make it whole house synchronized audio”.

Airplay from a Mac (as opposed to an iOS device) can go to multiple destinations. And with the iOS iTunes remote, it works perfectly for me.

No idea what “Airplay has to remain connected” means. And of course there’s no reason AirPlay connected speakers can’t be hidden–I have a pair of in-ceiling speakers connected to an AE.

I get you about the wife test, though my wife is slowly warming to the Airplay, probably because it’s so simple, especially when we’re using Remote.


(Ryan Gallagher) #5
No idea what “Airplay has to remain connected” means. And of course there’s no reason AirPlay connected speakers can’t be hidden–I have a pair of in-ceiling speakers connected to an AE.

I was referring to the audible alerts that the Labs-Sonos integration offers. If my phone is in another room or dead, I would still want audible alerts.

One drawback to Airplay on an iOS device, once playing you cannot open any other app that takes advantage of airplay or the stream is stopped instantly. Candy Crush (not me, I’ve never played it) but if we are watching something on air play and the app is even opened it will stop the stream. Although I’m a huge Apple fan, they boned me with the airport express upgrades, the 802.11G units are a different setup app version then the 802.11N units and are not forward/backwards compatible.

Last think I liked about Beep is it’s iOS and Android allowing guests (or house sitters) to stream music in the room of their choosing.

We purchased so eventually people could speak smart things commands rather than have the app open. (Plus it’s one step closer to Star Trek.) :smiley: