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  • Sonos announcement questions and Sonos Alexa support

    I used to have homeseer setup with the whole house connected to it's soundcard.

    I had various beeps and bloops to notify me instantly of a door opening or closing etc (like the beeps from a security system)

    I also had announcements that played over the whole house in sync (since it was only one audio source)

    Can Sonos even replicate either of those two things using announcements. I need multiple speakers to be in sync, and respond very fast... A door opening gets a beep or a bloop as it's detected, not 3-5 seconds later.

    Being in sync is very important to me, as I don't want the sounds echoing through the house.

    Question 2 is related to the Alexa support, does it work with multiple's units okay where the one that hears you the loudest answers? Or do you get the problem where multiple units are responding to the same command?
    Joe (zimmer62)

    BLSecurtiy, AC-RF2, RCS Serial Thermostats, RFXCOM SMarthome SwitchLinc, mcsXap, Global Cache GC100, SqueezeBox, TWA_ONKYOINTEGRA, BLLogMonitor, BLPlugins, BLRadar, BLSpeech, BLZLog.aspx, HSTouch (Windows, iPhone, iPod), USB Mimo touchscreens, VMWare Server, Vortexbox, Windows Home Server, MyMovies, Windows Media Center, X10, ZWave, and much much much more.

  • #2
    Sonos announcements are always in sync across all units. We have a dozen. They can play audio files and/or speak a text string or file. They are not going to announce quickly because the plug-in must 1) stop any audio that is playing, 2) unlink any currently linked clients, 3) create a new group for announcements, 4) send the audio from the proxy to the clients, 4) unlink clients, 5) relink the clients as they were before the announcement and 6) resume audio that was playing prior to the announcement. Steps 1-4 must happen before the announcement and will take 3-5 seconds to complete. We do not see a significant variance between the clients being idle before the announcement or if audio is playing. You should be able to count on 3-5 seconds delay, though with only a couple of clients it may be a little quicker. Be aware that each “speak” action must complete all 6 steps, so it is best (if not necessary) to take care that the entire announcement is handled within a single speak action.

    Echo units are very good about only responding with the closest unit. Amazon had put a lot of effort into analyzing the audio it receives at the servers after the wake word. I understand they are able to determine which audio is closer to the person speaking by delays in any other streams. In our house where there is an Echo device in almost every room, it has not failed to pick the most proximate unit.
    Randy Prade
    Aurora, CO
    Prades.net

    PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

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    • #3
      Originally posted by rprade View Post
      3-5 seconds delay.../

      In our house where there is an Echo device in almost every room, it has not failed to pick the most proximate unit.
      The 3-5 second delay isn't bad for many things, like announcing the mail has been delivered, or it's time to take your medication... etc. But it's way to long for a door notification, or a audio response to a button press etc.

      Specifically I want to know that that the Sonos speakers that work "like" an echo handle this appropriately.

      I have an echo in about every room too, and it used to work quite poorly. Now it's pretty good. I was reading that the ecobee4 which has Alexa built in, would not participate properly with other echo's and you'd have it and another device respond.

      I'm contemplating replacing all of my echo's with Sonos...

      I might end up with a wired audio solution for at least the chimes that I need to happen real-time "ish" Hmmm.
      Joe (zimmer62)

      BLSecurtiy, AC-RF2, RCS Serial Thermostats, RFXCOM SMarthome SwitchLinc, mcsXap, Global Cache GC100, SqueezeBox, TWA_ONKYOINTEGRA, BLLogMonitor, BLPlugins, BLRadar, BLSpeech, BLZLog.aspx, HSTouch (Windows, iPhone, iPod), USB Mimo touchscreens, VMWare Server, Vortexbox, Windows Home Server, MyMovies, Windows Media Center, X10, ZWave, and much much much more.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by zimmer62 View Post
        The 3-5 second delay isn't bad for many things, like announcing the mail has been delivered, or it's time to take your medication... etc. But it's way to long for a door notification, or a audio response to a button press etc.

        Specifically I want to know that that the Sonos speakers that work "like" an echo handle this appropriately.

        I have an echo in about every room too, and it used to work quite poorly. Now it's pretty good. I was reading that the ecobee4 which has Alexa built in, would not participate properly with other echo's and you'd have it and another device respond.

        I'm contemplating replacing all of my echo's with Sonos...

        I might end up with a wired audio solution for at least the chimes that I need to happen real-time "ish" Hmmm.
        I think I know what you are asking.

        I do not have any Sonos One's which have Echo built in, but I have spoken with others who do. It is my understanding that a Sonos One acts like an Echo device with regard to Amazon and separately as a Sonos client. Essentially a Sonos One is like a Sonos Play:1 with an Echo Dot on top.

        The only comment that has been related by both people is that the microphones on a Sonos 1 do not seem to be as effective as those on an Echo device. This has also been reported on forums.
        Randy Prade
        Aurora, CO
        Prades.net

        PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

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        • #5
          I have 14 Sonos units and I can say without a doubt that the more units involved in an announcement, the slower it takes to start the announcement. This is why I created an occupancy script that only engages certain rooms for announcements when they are occupied. This has streamlined the announcement process quite signficantly.

          Also, one other point. The plugin does not need to completely return to the baseline state before accepting another announcements. If an announcement is triggered and while it is playing and before it ends another announcement is triggered, it will play right after the first with literally no delay at all. This is actually a nice feature.

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          • #6
            Can U give a example on how to set this up?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by prsmith777 View Post
              I have 14 Sonos units and I can say without a doubt that the more units involved in an announcement, the slower it takes to start the announcement. This is why I created an occupancy script that only engages certain rooms for announcements when they are occupied. This has streamlined the announcement process quite signficantly.

              Also, one other point. The plugin does not need to completely return to the baseline state before accepting another announcements. If an announcement is triggered and while it is playing and before it ends another announcement is triggered, it will play right after the first with literally no delay at all. This is actually a nice feature.
              I have found on my system that a single device linkgroup takes about 2-3 seconds to speak and a 8 client linkgroup takes only a second or so longer.

              As far as back to back speaking, on my system with a test linkgroup with only one client this event is 2-3 seconds for the first action and 2-3 seconds for the second. I normally use a script to setup announcements. For this test, I simply had it speak to a linkgroup with a single client twice in rapid succession. Making the linkgroup have 8 clients added a second or two to the first delay and a second or two to the second.

              Click image for larger version

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              Over the years, I have tested this a number of times and a second announcement always takes as long to initiate as the first. For that reason, I assemble all of my TTS (wave files and text) into a single string to be sent to the Sonos plug-in at once. I would be curious how you find "literally no delay at all" for the second announcement. Is this two separate announcements launched at once?
              Last edited by rprade; July 12th, 2018, 05:28 PM.
              Randy Prade
              Aurora, CO
              Prades.net

              PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

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              • #8
                Thanks Randy I'll give it a try

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rprade View Post
                  I have found on my system that a single device linkgroup takes about 2-3 seconds to speak and a 8 client linkgroup takes only a second or so longer.

                  As far as back to back speaking, on my system with a test linkgroup with only one client this event is 2-3 seconds for the first action and 2-3 seconds for the second. Making the linkgroup have 8 devices added a second or two to the first delay and a second or two to the second.

                  [ATTACH]69920[/ATTACH]

                  Over the years, I have tested this a number of times and a second announcement always takes as long to initiate as the first. For that reason, I assemble all of my TTS (wave files and text) into a single string to be sent to the Sonos plug-in at once. I would be curious how you find "literally no delay at all" for the second announcement. Is this two separate announcements launched at once?
                  prsmith777 is right, there should be hardly any delay, provided (!) the second announcement is generated before the firsts is ended. The PI was designed to queue announcements and will check whether the queue is empty before unlinking. Doing a one word test might not make that happen all the time. Try with a longer sentence

                  Dirk

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dcorsus View Post
                    prsmith777 is right, there should be hardly any delay, provided (!) the second announcement is generated before the firsts is ended. The PI was designed to queue announcements and will check whether the queue is empty before unlinking. Doing a one word test might not make that happen all the time. Try with a longer sentence

                    Dirk
                    Randy Prade
                    Aurora, CO
                    Prades.net

                    PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      There is an issue with multiple events in a single announcement AND consecutive announcement, in that you will have the announcements played twice. I have a fix for that but I seem to be a bit in plugin updater purgatory in that HS now has a mechanism that makes it easier for an author to update, but I'm still waiting for approval and doing it the old way (send an email) seems not to work anymore.
                      I tested it recently and it all seemed to work fine for me.


                      Dirk

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rprade View Post
                        I have found on my system that a single device linkgroup takes about 2-3 seconds to speak and a 8 client linkgroup takes only a second or so longer.
                        I'd bet the difference between our two systems is network speed rather than the plugin. If I try to play all units, it takes a good 6-8 seconds for announcements to play. When only a few units are involved, about 2-3 seconds.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by prsmith777 View Post
                          I'd bet the difference between our two systems is network speed rather than the plugin. If I try to play all units, it takes a good 6-8 seconds for announcements to play. When only a few units are involved, about 2-3 seconds.
                          It could be. My network is very stable and fast. My clients are all WiFi, no SonosNet.
                          Randy Prade
                          Aurora, CO
                          Prades.net

                          PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

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                          • #14
                            rprade You had mentioned above that you have a number of Sonos speakers, but none of the Sonos One's. Do you also have Echo units throughout the house that are used for voice commands? Could you comment on the pros and cons of your Sonos/Echo system? I am trying to decide on whether to go Sonos Play with separate Echos , Sonos One, or possibly hardwired speakers.

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                            • #15
                              I do not have any Sonos One speakers. I had Echos throughout the house, working very well. Unfortunately my wife is so resistant to the Echo, i had to quit trying. She is unconvinced that nobody could be listening in. Added to that was Alexa responding to TV commercials and piping in from time to time even when we weren't using the wake word. They are all stored away for me to try again sometime in the future. As a result I never set up the rooms for Sonos with the Echo rooms. It looked really straight forward. Echo support is becoming so ubiquitous, from smoke alarms to appliances, we may end up with it whether we like it or not I have read from a number of people that the Sonos One mic array is not as good as those on an Echo, so I would probably stick with separate Echo and Sonos devices. We may add a Sonos One or one of the new amps to get Apple Air Play enabled, but if I get a One, we may not enable Echo support.
                              Randy Prade
                              Aurora, CO
                              Prades.net

                              PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

                              Comment

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