Volume control for in-ceiling speakers?

Hi all -

I’ve just begun to use SmartThings in conjunction with my basement that I’m finishing off. I have wired (with standard speaker wire) two in-ceiling speakers for music in my bar area. Is there anything “smart-wise” I can do for the volume control? If not, I plan to throw in a standard old-school knob volume control, but would love suggestions for anything more interesting/fun/high-tech than that if it’s out there.


I am modifying an Echo to have an audio out into a normal stereo system for my bar area. You can just say Alexa Up/Down/Pause/mute etc. (in addition to all the normal Home control stuff)

You will not likely get enough power out of the Echo to drive in ceiling speakers though. I am setting my in ceiling speakers up with a Sonos Connect:Amp. That allows volume control via the Sonos app and a variety of other integration scenarios with ST.

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Nah, it actually works fine with a 220 ohm resistor into my stereo 3.5 mm in.

It is only in Mono, though. Your idea is probably more practical.

Oh, you have it as an input to a stereo, not directly powering the speakers?

Yes, I wish she would just do Bluetooth audio out though. Not having it in stereo kind of sucks, but having her voice through the overhead speakers is nice. The chip itself, actually ‘should’ support stereo (http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/tlv320dac3203.pdf) , but no telling until I actually try it. Maybe I have sometime this weekend to tap off of it and see. It is right on the bottom so it shouldn’t be too hard to tack a probe on. If anything comes of it, I will put it up on hackaday… or at least put up a slightly broken Echo up on E-bay for parts when I blow the whole thing up!

So…back to my original question - anyone know of a volume control that’s not so boring? :grinning:

Depending on what you are using to drive the speakers or where your signal source is coming from really. A lot of receivers already have Bluetooth audio and you would control audio through that. If you are using an older regular old stereo with an IR remote, you could use something like this to control it over IP http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C6FRPIC/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The Sonos solution I mentioned. It is not cheap, but there is a lot more you can do with it integration wise.

I use a Sonos Connect:amp to run my in ceiling speakers. Unfortunately, the whole house was wired up before Sonos existed. The amps are too expensive to run one per room, so they’re all on one connect:amp. Useful, but unfortunate. I’d rather have Sonos in each room!

Update: I’ve decided to try out this guy:

While not “smart” enabled, it has good reviews and can pair to any bluetooth device to take advantage of the in-wall speakers. I’ll update the post with a review once I have installed it.

With echo dot out that connect to bluetooth have you thought about trying combo out? Do you like that in wall module you got?

I actually love this in-wall unit. Works very well and has never lost connection. I might swap out a few more older volume controls with this same device!

Shane, thank you for sharing this. It may solve a use case for me. Do you find the 15W output is enough? Seems a little light. Any issues in frequency ranges like the highs and lows from the speakers?

Yes, I think it’s enough. It’s serving 15 year old “nothing special” in-wall speakers and it sounds great. Really impressed.