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$7.99 USB-powered speakers with analog input works with Mycroft

Just spent a whole $7.99 on this pair of speakers on Amazon. They work fine with Mycroft on my Raspberry Pi 4, although I had to use alsa from the command line to turn up the volume to a comfortable level. Not deafeningly loud, but plenty loud enough to hear and understand from across the room. And bonus - they look like eyes! I want to wire up a MOSFET and have the Pi use a GPIO bit to turn the LEDs on when Mycroft “wakes up” and off when he goes back to sleep. :smiley:

[2021 Version] Mini Computer Speaker, PC Wired Desktop Speaker with LED Lights, 2.0 Stereo Sound USB Powered Laptop Speaker for Computer, Desktop, Mac, Pad, Cellphone and More (Black)
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Well, no reason why it wouldn’t work.

How clear is the sound though? In my experience the only way to get any kind of quality audio from a Pi is either a bluetooth speaker or USB port → USB isolator board → USB soundcard → speakers. Otherwise it just adds annoying buzzing and static, especially when the wifi is active.

On some speakers it’s less noticeable if you turn the volume down, but mostly the headphone jack and direct USB soundcard output is straight up complete garbage. There’s just so much interference on the board.

Just trying to add an option for people I see asking about what speakers to use. Sound quality is fine. This is on a Pi 4; I haven’t really tried audio on previous versions of the Pi, but I’m not hearing any buzzing or bus noise at all. And it’s running on Wifi. Volume is turned up all the way in alsa, and on the in-line volume control on the speaker cable.

Looks like you will have to open the speakers and hack the LED to have control of it. Looking at the Q&A on Amazon, the LED comes on automatically the speakers are powered. Did you mean that you intend to control the power to the speakers? That would entail modifying the Pi PCB, else using a custom cable with the MOSFET inline.

Yeah - that was kind of my conclusion. At first I thought I could just put in some code to turn the power off to that USB port when it wasn’t talking, but since the Pi 4 only switches them all on and off together, that would turn off the microphone too. >.< So I think I’m going to crack them open and stick a MOSFET in ahead of the LED, and have the incoming audio signal turn it on. That way they’ll light up when he talks and go off the rest of the time. Might try to work in a capacitor so they fade out after he stops talking rather than just snapping off. If I wanted to get fancy, I could put a couple of RGB LEDs in place of the blue ones they come with and add “moods”, but then we’re back to GPIO connections and code again.