In Home Assistant, the Assist pipelines are made up of various components that together form a voice assistant.
For each component you can choose from different options. There is a speech-to-text and text-to-speech option that runs entirely local.
The speech-to-text option is Whisper. It’s an open source AI model that supports various languages. We use a forked version called faster-whisper. On a Raspberry Pi 4, it takes around 8 seconds to process incoming voice commands. On an Intel NUC it is done in under a second.
For text-to-speech we have developed Piper. Piper is a fast, local neural text-to-speech system that sounds great and is optimized for the Raspberry Pi 4. It supports many languages. On a Raspberry Pi, using medium quality models, it can generate 1.6s of voice in a second.
- Home Assistant Operating System
For the quickest way to get your local Assist pipeline started, follow these steps:
Install the add-ons to convert text into speech and vice versa.
- Install the Whisper and the Piper add-ons.
- If you want to use a wake word, also install the openWakeWord add-on.
- Start the add-ons.
- Once the add-ons are started, head over to the integrations under Settings > Devices & Services.
- You should now see Piper and Whisper being discovered by the Wyoming integration.
- For each integration, select Configure.
Once the setup is complete, you should see both Piper and Whisper (and, optionally, also openWakeword) in one integration.
- Whisper converts speech into text.
- Piper converts text into speech.
- Wyoming is the protocol they are both using to communicate.
Setup your assistant.
Go to Settings > Voice assistants and select Add assistant.
Troubleshooting: If you do not see any assistants here, you are not using the default configuration. In this case, you need to add the following to your
# Example configuration.yaml entry assist_pipeline:
Enter a name. You can pick any name that is meaningful to you.
Select the language that you want to speak.
Under Conversation agent, select Home Assistant.
Under Speech-to-text, select faster-whisper.
Under Text-to-speech, select piper.
Depending on your language, you may be able to select different language variants.
If you like, pick one of the predefined wake words.
- You can even define your own a wake word. This is not difficult to do, but you will need to set aside a bit of time for this.
- Once you defined your own wake word, it will show in this pick list.
That’s it. You ensured your voice commands can be processed locally on your device.
If you haven’t done so yet, expose your devices to Assist.
- Otherwise you won’t be able to control them by voice.
You would like to tweak the configuration for better performance or accuracy? View some of the options in the video below. Explained by Mike Hansen, creator of Rhasspy, Piper, and Wyoming.
- Create your own wake word
- Expose your devices to Assist
- Whisper for speech-to-text
- Piper for text-to-speech