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BeoSound Moment & voice control with Google Home

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Lyle Clarke
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Lyle Clarke Posted: Fri, Mar 30 2018 6:22 PM
Google made a nice little update to Google Home, so it can connect to Bluetooth speakers by default. I was quite surprised at how well it works together with the Bluetooth connection on the Moment. I made a quick video and uploaded here so others can see the basic setup and try.

Also note what happens on the display of the Moment. That even surprised me, so a bit of an Easter Egg Wink

https://youtu.be/X7STTbC7n7E

PS. Disclaimer. This is not an official B&O video and doesn’t indicate any promises about future work by the team or company.

beojeff
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beojeff replied on Fri, Mar 30 2018 9:20 PM

How is the sound quality streamed from the Google Home? Steaming Spotify via Amazon Echo to a B&O speaker is just horrible.

Lyle Clarke
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You will for sure not want to use this method for starting music that you want to spend quality time listening to.

I’ll leave it connected like this as an experiment and see if there are any times where it genuinely feels useful or becomes the go-to interface for anyone in our family.
Millemissen
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Hi Lyle - great....

Any idea if the same ‘trick’ could be used with the Essence MK2/Core?

If it works, it will be fun to see, if the app reacts just like the Moment ;-)

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

PeterBOBP
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PeterBOBP replied on Sat, Mar 31 2018 4:23 PM

Great! thanks for sharing the video. Seems to work quite well. 

I understand Deezer support for Google Home is available only in France and the UK at the moment. 

Once it supports Deezer  for the Netherlands I will certainly hook one up myself. 

Best, 

Peter

beojeff
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beojeff replied on Sat, Mar 31 2018 7:48 PM

It's great to see the potential of what can be achieved with voice control. I wonder how far off (and how feasible it is) when we'll see tighter integration with Alexa and Google Home so that we don't have to relay on poor audio quality streaming or IFTTT using a BLGW. After all, B&O is all about sound quality and we can't compromise that.

laseralex
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beojeff:

It's great to see the potential of what can be achieved with voice control. I wonder how far off (and how feasible it is) when we'll see tighter integration with Alexa and Google Home so that we don't have to relay on poor audio quality streaming or IFTTT using a BLGW. After all, B&O is all about sound quality and we can't compromise that.

 

Agreed.  Although playing a Google Home to a speaker over Bluetooth is a nifty trick, the same could be done by hooking a Chomecast dongle into the Line-In of a Moment.  Or by hooking an inexpensive Bluetooth receiver into an amplifier to drive the speakers without the Moment.

Ideally, I should be able to stand in the living room and say "Hey Google, play BBC Radio 1" and it will automatically start TuneIn radio on the Moment (or Core, or Essence) in the living room.  Meaning it initiates the stream on the device itself, not playing it over Bluetooth.  Then I could wander into the kitchen and say "Hey Google, join the living room stream" and the Essence (or Core) in the kitchen would join the active stream from the living room.

I know that the Google Actions is a relatively new system, and companies much larger than B&O are working hard to integrate into this new ecosystem.  I can only hope that Bang and Olufsen recognizes the importance of full native integration (rather than the simple Bluetooth connection now offered) and has a development team working on this.

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AnalogPlanet
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This is really well said laseralex. I find the Homepod attractive exactly for this reason, being able to just say for example “play some uplifting music” and voila! But I sense B&O has to be working on such native voice control support so I’ll rather wait and see (would prefer to have B&O audio at home). This “imperfect” bluetooth setup looks more like a proof of concept for the B&O team, but it does imply to me at least that something more substantial has to be in development - maybe a new voice controlled audio system... 

Lyle Clarke
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Like was publicly presented as a proof of concept at CES 2018.

https://vimeo.com/250350270

AnalogPlanet
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Well, there we go! ;) And as Google Actions become more comprehensively available for/with Deezer, I believe we will see more of Deezer integration on top of this Spotify example. This is cool, thanks for sharing.

Millemissen
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AnalogPlanet:

This “imperfect” bluetooth setup looks more like a proof of concept for the B&O team, but it does imply to me at least that something more substantial has to be in development - maybe a new voice controlled audio system... 

I am not sure that, what Lyle showed in his video can be seen as a ‘proof of concept for the B&O team’.

As I understood it, it was just Lyle observing and showing what a system with integrated bluetooth playback (as the BS Moment has it) can do.

(Something that was made possible with a recent GoogleHome update ).

And the observation that the screen of such a system/the Moment also gives feedback/cover and infos of what it ‘thrown’ at it - which is nice, I think.

As for ‘imperfect’ - bluetooth nowadays is perfect for what it is....a convinient possibility for several users to utilize a setup 

with acceptable sound quality without having to deal with home network and passwords.

 

Sure things like integrated chromecast allows for better sound quality and it can’t be secret,

that B&O works on this - with GoogleHome/Assistant integretion etc.

Petros (Belimpasakis) also showed an example recently.

 

However, on one hand it will be different for a company like B&O to survive (means to keep on offering their speakers/sound systems 

and integrated sound systems) without playing by ‘the rules’ of the big companies in the content/streaming world

(Lyle also stated alike in another post (about the Moment) this morning).

One the other hand they will have to decide whether to support one or more of these ‘big players’.

And they will have to find out, how far voice control will be accepted as the go-to way and only-way of intergrating with music for their costumers.

(I - for my part - does not see this as progress for my way of listening....just as little as I liked the ‘RandomPlay’ function of the BS9000 

and the PatternPlay/MoodWheel way of consuming music on the BS Moment.)

Besides this like things like GoogleHome isn’t available in every country - not every dane will want to talk english to their BS2!

 

Interesting times - eagerly waiting for which new functions the current products will have and also how 

the interface of a - possible - new product will be (which includes the interface of the Bang & Olufsen app, I suppose)

Personally I hope that there will be different ways to interact there - not just via voice control.....one size does not fit all.

 

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

AnalogPlanet
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That is a very interesting reflection MM, especially the “one size does not fit all” part. I can imagine that B&O and all other vendors need to address different preferences and different use patterns when it comes to design of a new product and that can’t be easy (not sure is it possible at all).

Besides, I find it amusing that voice control, Mood Wheel and PatternPlay are exactly three things I want the most from the sound system - that said, I can totally get your listening habits are different, hence the need for a different UI.

Now could above examples be called or not a POC - I leave that to the B&O team. :) Time will tell.

mbee
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mbee replied on Mon, Apr 2 2018 8:02 PM

@All :

Before being compatible with bluetooth, Google home was already compatible with Chromecast... Sooo... It was already possible to control any Beoplay/Essence/Core device with "better than bluetooth" audio with your voice. I'm sending deezer/TuneIn to my Essence MKII and my beoplay A9 (and "joining" from the BV8-40) from my Google Home mini without any kind of problem for weeks (since I got the home mini in fact)

Millemissen
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This original post was just an observation from Lyle, which he thought could be usefull for some users.

And sure, we can use a built-in Chromecast/GoogleHome combo instead for better sound quality.

But what also is being discussed in the thread, is different - it is about integrating this feature directly in the B&O products.

See this newsletter/announcement from earlier this year

https://www.bang-olufsen.com/~/mediaV3/Files/press-releases/bang-olufsen/google-assistant/bang-olufsen-google-assistant.pdf

We can expect something coming, yes - but what....and how will it work is the interesting part.

MM

 

 

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beojeff
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beojeff replied on Mon, Apr 2 2018 11:51 PM

Thanks for sharing that press release, MM."The next step is talking directly to your Bang & Olufsen products. This development will be implemented in 2018 through updates in selected product lines and in collaboration with the Google Assistant." Hmm. Which B&O products have a microphone? Are there some products with hidden microphones? Could we be seeing new features for the BeoPlay A1? Perhaps this will be an added feature the the next generation of the Core?

beojeff
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beojeff replied on Mon, Apr 2 2018 11:51 PM

Thanks for sharing that press release, MM."The next step is talking directly to your Bang & Olufsen products. This development will be implemented in 2018 through updates in selected product lines and in collaboration with the Google Assistant." Hmm. Which B&O products have a microphone? Are there some products with hidden microphones? Could we be seeing new features for the BeoPlay A1? Perhaps this will be an added feature the the next generation of the Core?

beojeff
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beojeff replied on Mon, Apr 2 2018 11:56 PM

I'm examining my BeoSound Moment and see three tiny holes on top of the Jukebox when positioned with the wooden side up. Could those 3 tiny holes be a MICROPHONE? Lyle?????

Lyle Clarke
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No. There is a small speaker behind the three holes that make the click sounds for the aluminum and wood wheels.
elephant
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Lyle Clarke:

Google made a nice little update to Google Home, so it can connect to Bluetooth speakers by default. I was quite surprised at how well it works together with the Bluetooth connection on the Moment. I made a quick video and uploaded here so others can see the basic setup and try.

Also note what happens on the display of the Moment. That even surprised me, so a bit of an Easter Egg

https://youtu.be/X7STTbC7n7E

PS. Disclaimer. This is not an official B&O video and doesn’t indicate any promises about future work by the team or company.

Thanks for the video Lyle ... nice to hear your accent Wink

The funny thing is ... I played your video on the BV8 ... and the Google mini next to it started playing Lana Del Ray ... which confused the heck out of me ... video ended and music continued !!!

Big Smile

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elephant
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laseralex:

beojeff:

It's great to see the potential of what can be achieved with voice control. I wonder how far off (and how feasible it is) when we'll see tighter integration with Alexa and Google Home so that we don't have to relay on poor audio quality streaming or IFTTT using a BLGW. After all, B&O is all about sound quality and we can't compromise that.

Agreed.  Although playing a Google Home to a speaker over Bluetooth is a nifty trick, the same could be done by hooking a Chomecast dongle into the Line-In of a Moment.  Or by hooking an inexpensive Bluetooth receiver into an amplifier to drive the speakers without the Moment.

Ideally, I should be able to stand in the living room and say "Hey Google, play BBC Radio 1" and it will automatically start TuneIn radio on the Moment (or Core, or Essence) in the living room.  Meaning it initiates the stream on the device itself, not playing it over Bluetooth.  Then I could wander into the kitchen and say "Hey Google, join the living room stream" and the Essence (or Core) in the kitchen would join the active stream from the living room.

I know that the Google Actions is a relatively new system, and companies much larger than B&O are working hard to integrate into this new ecosystem.  I can only hope that Bang and Olufsen recognizes the importance of full native integration (rather than the simple Bluetooth connection now offered) and has a development team working on this.

Re my bolded text ... I have set up the Google mini to go to:

== Google Cast video into BV8 ... this is with Spotify as a source as I don’t have Google Music nor YouTube subscriptions

== Google Cast audio line in to BeoSound 4 AUX

== Google Cast to Essence mk 2

== Google Cast to Core

== Google Cast to a Google Home group of the Core and the Essence

However right now the setup is too complex for it to become my family’s “go-to” method as mentioned by Lyle

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elephant
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@mbee

Sorry ... I had not got to your post when I made my list.

Not sure what you meant by “better than Bluetooth” ... although I will confess I don’t understand the various data (commands and signals/status) and audio flows in both of our setups.

I need someone like Philippe to dumb it down to my level Sad

mbee:

Before being compatible with bluetooth, Google home was already compatible with Chromecast... Sooo... It was already possible to control any Beoplay/Essence/Core device with "better than bluetooth" audio with your voice. I'm sending deezer/TuneIn to my Essence MKII and my beoplay A9 (and "joining" from the BV8-40) from my Google Home mini without any kind of problem for weeks (since I got the home mini in fact)

Re my bolded text ... I have set up the Google mini to go to:

== Google Cast video into BV8 ... this is with Spotify as a source as I don’t have Google Music nor YouTube subscriptions

== Google Cast audio line in to BeoSound 4 AUX

== Google Cast to Essence mk 2

== Google Cast to Core

== Google Cast to a Google Home group of the Core and the Essence

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beojeff
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beojeff replied on Thu, Apr 5 2018 1:20 AM

Now that Deezer is supported on the Amazon Echo, I enabled Deezer and streamed Deezer music to the Moment via bluetooth. It worked. However, it did not show the metadata on the Moment like it does when you (Lyle)  streamed from Google Home. Why is that?

Lyle Clarke
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We would need to investigate to answer exactly and even then, the fix would lie elsewhere in the chain. Some Bluetooth implementations only have audio and control, others include text metadata. The ecosystem provider typically includes the text metadata if their device is intended to be app controlled. If they do this following the Bluetooth standards then we can pick it up and show it on our interfaces.
beojeff
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beojeff replied on Thu, Apr 5 2018 12:43 PM

Lyle Clarke:
We would need to investigate to answer exactly and even then, the fix would lie elsewhere in the chain. Some Bluetooth implementations only have audio and control, others include text metadata. The ecosystem provider typically includes the text metadata if their device is intended to be app controlled. If they do this following the Bluetooth standards then we can pick it up and show it on our interfaces.

I was prepared to add a Google Home if necessary even though I already have Amazon Echo. I was excited to learn that Amazon Echo now supports Deezer and hoped that maybe B&O would be partnered with Echo as well in the future features.

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beojeff replied on Fri, Apr 13 2018 1:38 AM

I just saw on the BeoIntegration site a rather enthusiastic and extensive guide on how to use voice control with Google Home. The guide was dated January 2018. The guide described ways to use Chromecast and to also have Google Home paired with a B&O device. However, what was absent was a discussion on the QUALITY of sound in various setups. As much as I like a good interface, B&O to me is all about the quality of sound. There are many considerations here: bluetooth, chrome, and Deezer FLAC. Lyle, perhaps you could make a suggestion to the author of that B&O guide to provide some suggestions as to how to get the best sound quality from these connections?

Lyle, you put SO MUCH hard work into perfecting the Moment interface. It's a travesty to see B&O now discontinuing it. For some people, an iPhone interface is fine. However, for me, I need to completely disconnect from my phone once I'm home. That's why I love the Moment interface. If the Moment interface is no longer being implemented in successor products, then the next best interface for me is voice control. I hope to see B&O develop this, but it's essential that the implementation is in a way that takes full advantage of the superior sound quality of B&O speakers.

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stampfki replied on Fri, Apr 13 2018 1:04 PM

I have now also a Goggle Home Mini and trying to start a cast (e.g. Spotify) on my Essence MKII, is set as the default speaker in the Hoogle Home app. Mini confirms my voice command but Essence is not starting the sound. Even though I can see in the Beo Remote app, that Essence is switching to Chromcast as source.

 

Has anyone a similar setup working at home?

elephant
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elephant replied on Sat, Apr 14 2018 5:36 AM
stampfki:

I have now also a Goggle Home Mini and trying to start a cast (e.g. Spotify) on my Essence MKII, is set as the default speaker in the Hoogle Home app. Mini confirms my voice command but Essence is not starting the sound. Even though I can see in the Beo Remote app, that Essence is switching to Chromcast as source.

Has anyone a similar setup working at home?

I have documented my setup and an experiment in your separate thread /... I hope that helps

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elephant
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elephant replied on Sat, Apr 14 2018 5:44 AM
beojeff:

I just saw on the BeoIntegration site a rather enthusiastic and extensive guide on how to use voice control with Google Home. The guide was dated January 2018. The guide described ways to use Chromecast and to also have Google Home paired with a B&O device. However, what was absent was a discussion on the QUALITY of sound in various setups. As much as I like a good interface, B&O to me is all about the quality of sound. There are many considerations here: bluetooth, chrome, and Deezer FLAC. Lyle, perhaps you could make a suggestion to the author of that B&O guide to provide some suggestions as to how to get the best sound quality from these connections?

Lyle, you put SO MUCH hard work into perfecting the Moment interface. It's a travesty to see B&O now discontinuing it. For some people, an iPhone interface is fine. However, for me, I need to completely disconnect from my phone once I'm home. That's why I love the Moment interface. If the Moment interface is no longer being implemented in successor products, then the next best interface for me is voice control. I hope to see B&O develop this, but it's essential that the implementation is in a way that takes full advantage of the superior sound quality of B&O speakers.

I could not find the beointegration google Home guide ...

Could you provide a link please ?

BeoNut since '75

CB
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CB replied on Sat, Apr 14 2018 8:29 AM

elephant:
I could not find the beointegration google Home guide ...

Could you provide a link please ?

Knowledge base / Help files / Bang & Olufsen and Google Home

 

elephant
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elephant replied on Sat, Apr 14 2018 10:47 AM
CB:

Knowledge base / Help files / Bang & Olufsen and Google Home

Wonderful !

25 pages :)

I now might actually understand all the intricacies of this wonderful technology :))

Thank you !!!

BeoNut since '75

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