Cheap, Simple Connected Speaker?

I’m looking for the cheapest speaker that will connect with SmartThings. Nothing fancy, just something I can use as an alarm and to play music. If a $200 Sonos/Bose speaker is the cheapest thing, so be it, but I just can’t help but feeling I’m missing a cheaper alternative. I’m sure the Sonos speakers are awesome, but the price is not.

I was hoping the Echo would fulfill that role, but from what I can tell it can’t be used as a speaker.

Any suggestions?

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The echo can definitely be used as a Bluetooth speaker. The issue is that it doesn’t support TTS ("text to speech), all it can do is act as a realtime streaming speaker for another device. So you have to set up some other device to decide what sound file to send to the echo and when to send it.

You can also just use any cheap android device for voice notifications, Among other things, that’s how LANnouncer works.

For other devices see the following list. It has both very cheap and very expensive speakers.

And this for just the cheap ones, but it hasn’t been kept as up-to-date as the master topic.


If you have a Mac, just use ObyThing. Have an old cell android phone laying around? Pick up Echo and connect it to your phone. You can do the samething with a Raspberry PI. Plenty of options. I personally would buy and Echo before I bought a sonos speaker.


Echo works great. I paired mine up to a Fire tablet running LANnouncer.
Android tablet just needs to be able to run 5.0 for LANnouncer. It can run in the background behind a SmartTiles dashboard or any other app you may have set up (maybe set it up as a smart mirror).

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I’m running Samsung Radiants The R1 is only about $100 and can be used as an alarm and for TTS. I have an M5, R5 and and R1. I’m mostly happy with mine.

Edit: BTW, this is a direct integration, not DLNA.



Good suggestion. So this is directly compatible?

Yes it is directly integrated. Having said that the integration is pretty limited in as far as controlling the speaker. Pretty much play and stop. You can’t command it to play a specific Pandora or Spotifiy station via Smartthings so you still have to use its Multiroom app. You can use the Sonos Smartapps to do text to speech. I use mine to announce that “Today is trash day” every Tuesday morning, Says goodbye when I run the goodbye routine plays the last Pandora station when the I’m back routine runs and plays an alarm sound at 100% volume when SHM is activated.

The only complaint I really have is occasionally, one of my three speakers will fall out of the group and not be recognized until I power cycle it. BTW smartthings will not play to grouped speakers, only a single one.

What I want is something that can play music from my iMac automatically, and maybe play other things like the trash day action you mentioned. Do I need Sonos for that?

Yes, you can download the Multiroom for Desktop for Mac from the Samsung radiant site to host your music including .aac to the speaker and then use your Samsung Multiroom mobile app to select music on your Mac. Music can play continuiously until SmartThings plays a phrase and the music will stop and not restart until something prompts it to restart. On small bug I have not found a way around, (not that I’ve tried that hard) you can have the phrase play at a specific volume level but your speaker will stay on that volume level until you manually set it back from the mobile app. It will not return to the previous setting. I’m sure there is a way around this, I just haven’t looked into it.

ObyThing. It’s in the mac app store.

Can’t find it in the AppStore. Checked iTunes store too. When I clicked the “Get It Now” link on their website, it said that the app was not available in the US store…

@obycode are you no longer doing this anymore?

We pulled it because as our user base grew, more users were confused with the setup process. We’ve had a major update (complete rewrite) in progress for a VERY long time, so I decided to pull the old version and re-release once the new version is ready. It will be much more user friendly and add new features as well. Still not able to give a release date, but it is back to the top of the todo list currently.

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well get to work on that!!! :slight_smile:

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hey @obycode, any ideas when we might be able to see ObyThing back in the App Store? or even available outside of the App Store?

It’s been a while :frowning:

samsung 360 r1…amazon used. You will not be disappointing :slight_smile:

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What about something like this connected to a set of “dumb” speakers?

like $50 or so right?

Same, I got my R1 used on Amazon for like $60. No hassle setting up at all, I use it for door chimes, announcements, siren alarm. It beats the tablet setup I had before and took 5 hours less to setup. ie big talker, lan notifier, custom apps, and read notifications text from smartthings with read it aloud app, and never sleep, always charging on the tablet. At the end of the day, what’s your time worth?

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Such a good replacement for a sonos. Issues are that it takes bloody forever for commands to get sent just because of the idiotic way st cloud works. I open door, close door, lay my keys down, “front door open!” Its quite amusing, but I hope when we get local processing in the future it will clear that up.

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