Which voice control hardware is the best for HA?


a few days ago a friend demonstrated how well Alexa is working for his needs. Therefore i want to control my HA now via voice control. As there a different hardware solutions (Alexa, Google Home, Apple Homepod, Snips.ai, etc.) i’d like to ask which one is working best with HA. It should be easy to setup and have a good voice recognition. Furthermore it would be nice if it is not so expensive (therefore Apple Homepod is not an option…)

P.S. It should be stationary, Homebridge is already working fine for me

I’m normally a fan of the Google stuff, but I got an echo dot when I added voice to my system because Google took so long to release their home devices in the UK that I got bored of waiting, and tbh, after seeing the trouble people seem to be having with the Google homes integrated I’m glad.

Apparently newer Google homes cannot use emulated_hue, they have only just got a routines function that Alexa has had for ages, they aren’t ‘room aware’ according to a post over on reddit the other day, and basically wouldn’t be much use for me.

That said, Google’s assistant is better at getting the right results for doing everything that ‘normal’ people use these devices for, so it’s a tough choice.

Eventually I’d like to self host snips, but that’s a lot of work.

I have no idea whether this post is helpful, it’s just my random observations spewed out in response to what you asked :sunglasses:

ok thanks! that confirms my guess! i just bought an echo dot from amazon and will give it a try.

As @anon43302295 says, Echos are way better for home auotmation, Homes for the sort of stuff you’d probably just do on your phone with Assistant anyway.

There’s always the option to add the dev skill on Alexa which let’s you say “Alexa, ask Google…”, quite a bit of work but worth it for the odd satisfaction of abusing both services :slight_smile:

Is it possible to make Echo say stuff, without being talked to first? Like “Garagedoor has been open for 10 min”. Read somewhere that this was only possible with Google Home, but I have neither of them yet…

That’s the only downside, with Google home you basically get an integrated chromecast audio so you can talk to homeassistant via the device, and it can talk to you via the same device.

I use chromecast audios for music anyway, so my system speaks to me via them.

Okay, thank you for the confirmation! With alexa skills you can tell Alexa to close garagedoors etc? Or do you need to use some special “syntax” like “Alexa, ask Home Assistant to close the garagedoor”?

Depends which way you go about integrating Alexa. I use emulated_hue to expose specific entities to it, and Alexa sees them all as lights. So if I had an automatic garage door, I’d expose that (maybe as an input boolean or whatever) and the syntax would be “Alexa, garage door on” (to close it) and “Alexa, garage door off” (to open it).

I think if you use the cloud it will accept ‘open’ and ‘close’ correctly.

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Ah I see, thank you. I’ll do some deeper research on this.

Yep, either the HA cloud or Haaska will do that.

I use emulated hue, and I can say open or close to open close my curtains

Wowzer, learn something new every day!

Confirmed here, open == on, close == off

@mLaupet FYI

There are a lot of words in Alexa’s vocabulary that you can use instead of the ‘correct’ ones. Most relatively sensible things with a positive/negative version will get a reaction, always amazed at some of the rubbish the wife spouts and gets the desired result.

The difference between emulated_hue and a proper skill though is in one they’re all dimmable lightbulbs, the other knows it’s a door, blind etc.