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Google Home vs Amazon Echo vs Apple HomePod: What Is the Best Smart Speaker?

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Three smart speakers side by sideHow do you want to use your smart speaker? Do you plan on using it with other apps, having your own personal DJ, learning a wealth of knowledge or something else? Your answer to this question will determine the best smart speaker for you. We’ve taken a stance on which one we think is best, but that doesn’t mean the other speaker might not be a better fit for your household. Read our Google Home vs Amazon Echo vs Apple HomePod comparison and decide which speaker is best for you.

View Amazon Echo at Amazon | View Apple HomePod | View Google Home at Best Buy

Amazon Echo vs Apple HomePod vs Google Home

Below are the factors we reviewed to choose between Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod. Be sure to read below the table to see why we chose a particular one as the winner for each category.

A quick note, we have included Apple HomePod in this article, but until it is released in December 2017 and we can get some user feedback, we don’t feel comfortable labeling them as a winner in any category. However, this product does look promising, so be sure to check back for future updates of this article.

 Google HomeAmazon Echo PlusApple HomePod
Best Price PointCheckmark
Best FeaturesCheckmark
Best User ExperienceCheckmark
Best Equipment QualityCheckmark
Best for PrivacyCheckmark
Overall WinnerCheckmark

Best Price Point

Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod are priced differently. Google Home is priced at $129, Amazon Echo is the least expensive at $99.99 and Apple’s HomePod will cost $349. We were shocked to see such a large difference in pricing between three products that are so similar, but in the end, the Amazon Echo price was lower than its competitors.
Amazon Echo logo
Winner: Amazon Echo

Best Features

The table below shows some features for Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod. Unfortunately, there are some unknowns for Apple’s HomePod because it has yet to be released. Be sure to read the sections after the table for further clarification.

 Google HomeAmazon Echo PlusApple HomePod
Voice ActivatedOk Google, Hey GoogleAlexa, Echo, AmazonHey Siri
Smart Home IntegrationsNest, Honeywell, SmartThings, Wink, Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, Lifx, Lutron, August, Logitech Harmony, Anova, IFTTT and moreNest, Ecobee, Honeywell, SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, Lifx, Lutron, August, Logitech Harmony, Anova, Big Ass Fans, IFTTT, Control4, Crestron and more devices via skillsUnsure at this time, but most likely Apple's established partners: Ecobee, Honeywell, Chamberlain, D-Link, August, Kwikset, Philips Hue, Lutron, iDevices and more
Search EngineGoogleBingGoogle
Music Streaming OptionsGoogle Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneInAmazon Prime Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, othersApple Music, Spotify, Pandora, other options unknown at this time
Order Items on AmazonCheckmarkUnknown
Integrates with AudibleCheckmarkUnknown
Integrates with YouTubeCheckmarkUnknown
Pair with Bluetooth Speakers/HeadphonesCheckmarkAirPlay 2
Tell it to "Stop listening"CheckmarkUnknown
Microphone Mute ButtonCheckmarkCheckmarkUnknown
Audio Specs2" driver + dual 2" passive radiators
1 microphone
2.5" Dolby woofer
0.8" Dolby tweeter
7 microphones
High-excursion woofer with custom amplifier
7 tweeters, each with a custom amplifier
6 microphones
Price$129$99.99$349

IFTTT stands for “if this, then that,” which means if you command for something to happen another command will occur. For example, if you adjust the smart thermostat to a certain temperature, then all the smart lights will be shut off. Of course, this is only possible if these devices are connected to one another.

Home, Echo and HomePod each have their own apps. Apple HomePod is unavailable at this time (release date is planned for December 2017), so we are unable to share any app ratings with you. The Google Home app and the Amazon Echo app (or Amazon Alexa app) are used to mirror interactions with your smart speakers. For example, if you use the speakers to manage your music you can see this displayed through the app. In the iOS App Store Google Home has 3.8/5.0 stars, and Amazon Alexa has 2.5/5.0. In Google Play, Google Home has 4.2/5.0 stars and Amazon Alexa has 3.5/5.0 stars.

Overall this is a tough category to pick a winner. There are a lot of unknowns for Apple HomePod, so we don’t feel comfortable ranking them. Amazon’s app was rated a bit lower than Google’s in the app stores, but has a ton of integrations. Echo has been around two years longer than Home, so it has had time to develop those third-party integrations. We do expect Home to have more third-party integrations in the future. For now, we give Echo the blue ribbon for this category.
Amazon Echo logo
Winner: Amazon Echo

Best User Experience

Both Echo and Home are easy to use, but which one responds to your requests better? From our research, Google is smarter and is less confused by questions than Amazon. What do we mean by this? If you ask both devices to play Thai music, Google will begin to play Thai music and Amazon won’t know what you’re talking about, and you’ll probably get a “Sorry, I can’t find Thai music.”

You can also ask Google a second question without repeating the keyword phrase. What we mean by “ask a second question” is that you can have a more natural conversation without repeating a keyword. For example, you should be able to ask Google Home “When was Abraham Lincoln born?” then after you receive an answer ask, “Where was he born?” without having to repeat his name, which would be a keyword. You could then continue to ask questions about Abraham Lincoln without ever repeating his name again as if it is in one fluid conversation. Google Home remembers the question you previously asked as if it was a conversation with a real person. Amazon Echo cannot do this.

It’s clear that the Amazon Echo’s intention is to get people to purchase more products from Amazon. If you ask Echo to tell you more about a product, Echo will say, “Do you want me to buy xyz?” The opposite is true for Google Home. If you ask to learn more about a product, you’ll get an overview of the product, some key features and other information you may find interesting.

When you do ask Amazon Echo to purchase a product for you, that’s all it can do. It cannot tell you the latest reviews or other prices, which is something most of us do when purchasing a product. Most of us probably won’t make a purchase through Amazon Echo without checking out the competition. However, Google Home doesn’t give you the option to purchase an item through Amazon, so it’s a catch-22.

Overall, we found that you’re more likely to get what you asked for the first time through Google Home than Amazon Echo. (We didn’t factor Apple HomePod into this category because users haven’t been able to test it out yet.)
Google Home logo
Winner: Google Home

Best Equipment Quality

When I first saw Google Home, I thought it looked like an essential oils diffuser. However, after reading consumers’ reviews, it looks like the majority of people compare it to a tabletop air freshener (size-wise too). You may look at this as a pro or con. Pro: it blends in easily. Con: it isn’t too fancy looking; however, you can change the color of the base to spice things up. Amazon Echo looks like your average smart gadget. It’s available in six different fabrics and finishes and it’s a 5.9″ tall cylinder, it reminds me of the Canary home security system that I have. Personally, I like the look of Echo more than Home because there’s different colors without spending extra money on a colored base. However, we all have our own tastes when it comes to equipment aesthetics.

As for how durable the equipment is, both the Home and Echo are built with quality equipment. Both devices are sturdy and don’t feel like they’re made out of cheap plastic. There have been few complaints about the equipment for either of these devices. However, reviews from customers say the sound for the Home is better than Echo, which is why it’s the winner for this category.
Google Home logo
Winner: Google Home

Best for Privacy

These smart speakers sound fun, but what about your privacy? Are your conversations going to be recorded 24/7? While both devices are always listening, they are not always recording. Each device listens for its key phrase (Ok Google or Alexa) and only records and connects to the company server when they are triggered. Both companies keep a log of every request with your voice recording attached. You can opt to delete what you’ve asked Home and Echo. Google Home has a “stop listening” feature, which is a nice added feature. Neither company goes out of its way to protect your privacy, but neither is intentionally trying to invade your privacy from what we can see either. It’s up to you to decide if this is too much to share.
Google Home logo
Winner: Google Home

17 Questions

The video below shows how both devices responded to the same questions asked. See which one performed better.

Which Is Your Winner?

Overall, we think Google Home is the best in this comparison. According to our research, users are able to get more of their questions answered and have realistic conversations with Home. Just because we chose Google Home as the winner doesn’t mean Amazon Echo or Apple HomePod aren’t great products. Echo is an amazing smart speaker and you may opt for it over Home depending on your preferences. If you’re a loyal Apple fan or are looking for a smart speaker with great sound, you may opt for HomePod. You can learn more about Amazon Echo in our Amazon Echo Review and stay tuned for an individual Google Home Review as well as our review of the new Apple HomePod. And, if you are looking to add to your smart home arsenal, read this smart home guide for lots of clever ideas to enhance your life.

Which voice-activated smart speaker is your favorite and why?

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Kimberly researches everything before she buys. She wants to make sure she is getting the best bang for her buck by purchasing the best product/service, which is why she loves her work. She has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and has been researching and writing professionally since 2013 to help consumers make more educated decisions.

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1 Comment on "Google Home vs Amazon Echo vs Apple HomePod: What Is the Best Smart Speaker?"

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I’ve been researching many articles and debating which to get and I suppose if I ask Google Home or Alexa which is better they’d be bias 🙂 I am leaning towards the Google Home though because in the video you shared it has a more natural voice tone and more accurate on the answers.

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