Can anyone advise on a smart speaker please?

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Can anyone advise on a smart speaker please?

Postby Ratatouille » November 5th, 2018, 9:55 am

We usually listen to BBC radio on Mr R's Kindle. Except when the internet is down this works fine and we use a bluetooth speaker to make it clearer. Unfortunately his speaker , which is 5 years old has died.

If we bought an echo dot or similar could we get the BBC direct from the livebox so to speak? The signal is as good as it can get
in our bedroom. He did mention that the new Kindle has Alexa but that seems a bit ott.hold on modern technology!

Excuse the cluelessness but we are only just keeping a
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Re: Can anyone advise on a smart speaker please?

Postby Busybee » November 5th, 2018, 11:04 am

We have a Sonos speaker, I’m not a technical minded person but even I managed to set it up.

Beautiful sound, can be added to if you want a system which goes all round your house. Don’t know if it does anything else other than sound as that’s all we use it for.

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Re: Can anyone advise on a smart speaker please?

Postby StokeySue » November 5th, 2018, 11:26 am

I have the echo dot
I can’t be bothered with Alexa, so all I really use it for is to add internet radio to my aging but excellent Bose cd/radio thingy. It doesn’t need to talk to the Kindle (mine has been dead for months) but does need a power socket. I also use it to pick up other sound played on my phone or other device - podcasts, music streaming etc. For that I use the echo dot as s Bluetooth speaker (again doesn’t need the Alexa app on the Kindle) and the dot relays the sound via the auxiliary cable to the stereo.

If you have a decent sound system that will take an auxiliary input it’s a good solution

If you actually need a speaker and aren’t bothered with Madam then the Sonos or similar would be better I think
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Re: Can anyone advise on a smart speaker please?

Postby OneMoreCheekyOne » November 5th, 2018, 8:17 pm

We have Sonos set up around the house, it’s reliable and very simple to use. We use it to listen to the radio and Spotify mostly.
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Re: Can anyone advise on a smart speaker please?

Postby Amber » November 6th, 2018, 12:05 am

Oh doesn’t ‘do’ google for privacy reasons, so we have the apple home hub. So far, it is excellent! We also have a Bose speaker, but Apple Music is by far the best for sound quality. (Over Spotify, Deezer etc)

Plus the home hub can be used for lighting, security etc.

Radio 2 and others are available via airplay, certain other stations are direct access.
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Re: Can anyone advise on a smart speaker please?

Postby Ratatouille » November 6th, 2018, 9:38 am

We are really only wanting it to listen to BBC 3, 4 and World service. Mr R refuses to get rid of his beloved CD and vinyl collections and has very good "stuff" on which to do this.

Can't imagine using a hub for lighting as each of our floors is wired differently. I could just imagine the look on our electricians face if we asked him to do something like that :lol: For security we rely upon locks, neighbours and our ferocious guard cat.
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Re: Can anyone advise on a smart speaker please?

Postby PatsyMFagan » November 6th, 2018, 10:46 am

We use the Google thing-a-me-bob in the shop … I find it useful for listening to the radio and we also use it to turn the lights on and off. This is achieved by using a 'tp link' in each socket where the lights are plugged in .. (this for Rats info, as I don't think you need an electrician, but certainly Wi Fi, I should think) I hope this doesn't fool anyone into thinking I have the faintest idea how it really works ;) :lol: :? My business partner's son is will into technology and uses his at home for lots of others things (reminders for instance)
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Re: Can anyone advise on a smart speaker please?

Postby StokeySue » November 6th, 2018, 11:34 am

Yes, that’s my understanding of all these things Pat

They work with a minimum of wiring in as they use WiFi, anything plugged into a socket just needs an adapter that the hub can talk to wirelessly

However, if I wanted to control my living room lights using a hub I think I’d need an electrician to replace my existing manual dimmer with the WiFi one. But the wiring circuits woul remain untouched.
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Re: Can anyone advise on a smart speaker please?

Postby PatsyMFagan » November 6th, 2018, 12:31 pm

StokeySue wrote:However, if I wanted to control my living room lights using a hub I think I’d need an electrician to replace my existing manual dimmer with the WiFi one. But the wiring circuits woul remain untouched.


I don't know how they could be used to control ceiling lights ... we have them plugged into wall sockets round the shop.
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Re: Can anyone advise on a smart speaker please?

Postby Amber » November 6th, 2018, 10:16 pm

I think you need a ‘bridge’ and special light bulbs. There are plain white ones, variable white ones which you can (remotely) change from cold white to warm white and all shades in between, and ones which can change colour to hundreds(?) of different colours/shades.

Then you get to the price... :? .
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Re: Can anyone advise on a smart speaker please?

Postby StokeySue » November 6th, 2018, 11:37 pm

iI have 8 bulbs in four wall lights

I have dimmable LEDs and a special LED dimmer - the bulbs are quite expensive, the dimmer quite cheap. However the bulbs should last long enough and save enough electricity to work out as cheap or cheaper than the old filament bulbs or even fluorescent “low energy” bulbs. The light is much better and I can go from almost daylight to candle light just by turning the knob, and of course all stages in between. Love ‘em.
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