A final doubt before buying: Spotify, Heos and google assistant integration

Hi all,

I’m still in doubt if I should go for Home Assistant or Homey Pro, also considering the high price of the Homey. However, I have one annoying issue in my smart home that I would like to get solved, and I think Homey is massively in favor here vs HA due to the spotify connect and cloud integration, but I would like to confirm before making a final decision.

Goal: I would like to voice activate Spotify to play song X on my Denon multiroom speakers

-Denon HEOS multiroom setup with Spotify connect
-Google hub 2

Current situation:
My Denon speakers have a very basic google assistant integration. So no integrated microphone and are not accepted as speakers in google home. They do however accept some basic google commands like “play on heos bar”, which switches the output of Spotify connect to Heos. As it lacks a mic, to give the voice commands, I use a google hub 2.

Now the puzzling part. When I ask the google hub 2 to “play X on spotify”, it moves the music output from by heos back to the tiny google speaker. Then, after it’s done processing, I have to give a second command “play on Heos speaker” to get the spotify output back to Denon. This is infuriating, especially with 3 small children shouting different songs, and a wife completely lost as the music output keeps getting pulled back to the tiny google speaker…

What I would like Homey to do:
Whenever I call out to google hub “play X on spotify”, that the spotify connect output remains on the Denon speaker. Basically Homey should act as a remote for my denon speakers and uses the microphone from the hub for the input command. I do realise Homey has a spotify, HEOS and google assistant integration, but I cannot find how these work together especially:

  1. is homey claiming the spotify connect and streams the data through to Denon or can it act as a spotify connect remote (prefered to maintain bitrate) like on my phone? See also this topic.

  2. Can homey work with flows that have an open input? E.g. when I give the command to google “Homey Play X”, that homey starts a flow based on “Homey Play”, searches the song/artist “X” which is mentioned, and pushes the spotify connect output to Denon. All in 1 go?

  3. Any other ideas from your side?

Thanks in advance!

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Im not familiar with google integration as i have alexa.

But with alexa i can’t “Alexa, play {artist-title} on livingroom” where artist-title is passed through to the homey flows. In Alexa i have to make so called routines which start Homey flows but all it can is kick off the flow no variable input is send through.

The other part is possible with spotify connect. As long as all devices you want to play on are selectable in the Spotify app with spotify connect. It wont work for google cast devices.

You can create a flow that is started by the voice assitant that holds a specific device (pixel 7 pro in my case) to play on. But that only works with predefined playlists.
Or predefined Track Artist or Album

I would personally love the feature to pass on speech2text from voice assistants, this would make homey so much more powerful with flows.

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@Jepke Thanks a lot for your extensive answer, I appreciate your effort.

How is your experience with Alexa, is it also taking over the spotify connect output or only remote controlling spotify? Maybe I should trade-in assistants…

So it seems Homey is also limited here, if I understand you correctly those “…” after every command is something that should be predefined when creating the flow. So it always plays the same playlist every start of the flow. That’s a bit disappointing tbh, quite limiting on the usability of the spotify plugin. I agree with you a speech2text would be very usable here!

Maybe there is an ‘inbetween’ solution though. Can you confirm if google assistant (or Alexa) can run the command, where Homey is listening and taking over when google is completed? In this case I could 1) ask google to play file X, 2) let it find and select the file, 3) let Homey take over and change the Spotify output to Denon.

I don’t think that is something for Homey… (but you probably find 1000’s other things you can do With Homey :wink: )


But this is imho something default in Google, only I don’t use Spotify often so I don’t know if Spotify always respects the options from Google speakers.

Got to your Speaker, Settings, Audio, Default Music speaker (or Default TV)

In my opinion using the Default music Speaker and change that to the Denon … it should already work.

Homey with the Alexa you’ll have 2 parts.

  1. The voice assistant integration, this will just make all devices on homey available for Alexa to be voice controlled. This works the same for Google.

  2. The Alexa community app from Jamie makes all Alexa devices eg echo devices available to homey. This makes it very powerful but it lacks the voice function which I believe is available in the amazon Alexa API. With this app you can create flows to let a specific speaker say something whisper announce or run a voice command. Beside features to play pause next and set a specific volume. There’s even a soundboard flow card to play things like a doorbell sound.
    To my knowledge there’s no such thing for Google speakers only the google cast app which is limited to text2speech.

Is it worth the change for you I can’t answer. I had a bunch before I moved back to a country which language Alexa doesn’t speak. Glad I had as I’ve tested a few borrowed nest minis on homey few weeks ago and I was unsuccessful in porting flows I had for Alexa to the google speaker.

If it’s google vs Alexa for audio quality Alexa is a clear winner but likely nothing compared to brands like Sonos. My wallet just goes a little above my audiofiel being.

Thanks @Dijker , appreciate your response and help. I’m aware of this functionality within google, their support team once sent me through these steps. I can select the speakers but that changes nothing unfortunately, the output is still the hub. As you can see the hub itself also does not accept those Denons, only the chromecast in my bedroom. Most likely because the speakers have no google cast integration… I think Denon is just lazy and coding the bare minimum so they can put “works with google assistant” on the box :frowning: .

Thanks @Jepke! I had a brief check with Alexa, it seems to be quite complete but also a bit chaotic in UX, I may need some more playing time here. Though it did put me on a new path with the denons when I connected them to alexa instead of google. When I asked Alexa to play a song, one of my newer denon speakers suddenly woke up, verbally agreed to the command and played the song :exploding_head:. So it seems Denon did put time in the Alexa integration, while lacking a proper google setup. Even the Denon Support team has never told me to try this.

One downside is that Alexa is not available in my language but who cares, that might get solved with their AI integration soon. For now you helped me solve a multi year issue, many thanks! This also means that I can use my speakers with Homey/Alexa announcements.

Good thing english starts at a young age at school for the Dutch.

Alexa lacks good automation options, before i got homey i had to combine alexa routines with automations in other apps. Now with my homey i dont have any automations in alexa anymore just a bunch of routines that simply trigger homey flows directly. So when i say “Movie night” it triggers the movie flow.

Recently im forced into google home because its the real only way to integrate my android auto. Google does have more automation options especially with the new script feature. But i feel Alexa will go that route too with the AI integration they announced. The AI conversational sounds kinda creepy tho :smiley: