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How 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 comparison and decide which speaker is best for you.
Google Home vs Amazon Echo
Below are the factors we reviewed to choose between Google Home and Amazon Echo. Be sure to read below the table to see why we chose a particular one as the winner for each category.
|Google Home||Amazon Echo|
|Best Price Point|
|Best User Experience|
|Best Equipment Quality|
|Best for Privacy|
Best Price Point
Google Home and Amazon Echo are priced differently by around $50. Google Home costs $129, and the Amazon Echo price is Out of stock. We were shocked to see such a large difference in pricing between two products that are so similar, but in the end, the Google Home price was lower than Echo’s.
Winner: Google Home
The table below shows some features for both Google Home and Amazon Echo. Be sure to read the sections after the table for further clarification.
|Google Home||Amazon Alexa|
|Voice Activated||Ok Google||Alexa|
|Stream Music from Pandora and Spotify|
|Order Items on Amazon|
|More 3rd Party Integrations|
|Integrates with Audible|
|Integrates with YouTube|
|Pair with Bluetooth Speakers/Headphones|
|Tell it to "Stop listening"|
|Microphone Mute Button|
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 and Echo both have their own apps. 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 3.5/5.0 stars, and Amazon Alexa has 2/5. In Google Play, both Google Home and Amazon Alexa have 4/5 stars.
Overall this is a tough category to pick a winner. Amazon’s app was rated a bit lower than Google’s in the App Store, but has a ton of third-party 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.
Winner: Amazon Echo
Best User Experience
Both of these 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.
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 black or white and it’s a tall cylinder, it reminds me of the Canary that I have. Personally, I like the look of Home more than Echo because there’s an option to add a color to the bottom and it’s smaller so it’d take up less space on a table or shelf. 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 which is why this category is a tie.
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. 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.
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 isn’t also a great product. Echo is an amazing smart speaker and you may opt for it over Home depending on your preferences. You can learn more about Amazon Echo in our Amazon Echo Review and stay tuned for an individual Google Home Review.
Which voice-activated speaker is your favorite and why?