Intercom system function; device recommendations

I am new to smart tech in general, brand new to smartthings.

My goal is to have a smart compatible intercom/speaker system through the house. Ideally, small flush mount speakers that I can install in ceiling or wall, and ideally low cost. Sound quality is not necessarily of huge importance; priority is function and cost.

– I would like to be able to speak to and listen in on the rooms from my smartphone/hub/whatever means. (Tell my teenager to come up for dinner and also serve as a baby monitor for my 2yo.)
– I would like to be able to use my smartphone to play music from a playlist or the radio to specific speakers. Ideally but not necessarily different sources in different rooms simultaneously. (Play classical music in the study room and dining room; play white noise in bedrooms A and C; play X radio station or X playlist in playroom and kitchen.)
–I do not need video capabilities, however I could theoretically use a cover on a camera lens for rooms I do not want video recording in, such as teenagers’ or adult bedrooms if this were to be the best/most cost effective option.
– **I do NOT want voice control to be automatically accessible to any of the speakers (unless needed at one hub location). I do not want my children to be able to control output, or stop or initiate listening in. I want to control this from an app or one central location that I can restrict access through.
– Remote access would be nice but is by no means necessary.

What I have already:
I have Smartthings hub that I acquired from someone; I am just now working to set it up. I have Wyze cameras that I have ordered and will be receiving this week, which could be a part of this system if that’s possible. I also have Lutron smart switches and hub for all my lighting, which I believe integrate with Smartthings.

The simplest least expensive would be the echo flex or echo dot devices from Amazon. They have excellent intercom systems built-in and you can usually get them for less than $30 per device if you wait for one of the frequent sales. The quality of the playback for music varies and you might need to get more expensive models to get better sound quality.

Where it gets complicated is on the controls that you are specifying. I’m not sure if Amazon’s parental controls would work for you or not. They have a kids edition of the dot which limits the content available, and I know you can set any individual device so that other devices on your account cannot drop in on it. But I don’t know if that would meet your needs.

Most of the models don’t require a subscription. There is a subscription available for the kids addition, but I’m not sure if you need that to get the parental controls or if that just provides additional kid friendly content. That’s one of the only models I don’t have.

At our house we have multiple echo shows, echo plus, regular echo, and echo dots with intercom capability in pretty much every room. we like it a lot. :sunglasses:

If that system doesn’t meet your needs, though, it sounds like you might need to just go to one of the regular baby monitors.


I’d second JDs suggestion for Alexa.

What I did was an Alexa flex in the room paired to a cheap Bluetooth in ceiling pair of speakers (look up Pyle Pair speakers on Amazon. About $50 USD.

There is a mode on Alexa devices that can essentially lock out the kids. So they can’t mess with stuff when you don’t want.

The alexa Drop in feature is essentially an intercom.

You add echo speaks to ST and it gives you advanced controls through ST

Add Amazon music and or Spotify and you have whole home music on the cheap.

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I considered Alexa speakers because it seems like they basically have every function that I want. My only issue (and admittedly there is a lot I don’t know about specific function) is that I care for emotionally disturbed children who cannot yet handle free access to media. Do you know if there is a way to turn off the wake up word and only control all the devices from a central location, and restrict voice control at the device location?

You’re looking for the FreeTime features.

This article has a pretty good run-through

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