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 and voice assistant needs.

 

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.

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

Price Point

Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod are priced differently. Google Home is priced at $99, Amazon Echo is the least expensive at Out of stock and Apple’s HomePod costs $299. 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

Features

The table below shows some features for Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod. 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 skillsEcobee, Honewell, WeMo, Philips Hue, Lifx, Lutron, August, Logitech, Denon, Onelink and many more
Search EngineGoogleBingGoogle
Music Streaming OptionsGoogle Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneInAmazon Prime Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, othersApple Music, iTunes Music, Beats 1 Life Radio, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Amazon Music
Order Items on AmazonCheckmark
Integrates with AudibleCheckmarkCheckmark
Integrates with iTunesCheckmark
Integrates with YouTubeCheckmark
Pair with Bluetooth Speakers/HeadphonesCheckmarkAirPlay 2
Tell it to "Stop listening"Checkmark
Make & Receive CallsCheckmarkCheckmark
Microphone Mute ButtonCheckmarkCheckmark
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$129Out of stock$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 connect to one another.

Home and Echo each have their own apps. (Apple HomePod does not have an app.) The Google Home app and the 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 4.4/5.0 stars
  • Amazon Alexa has 2.5/5.0 stars

In Google Play:

  • Google Home has 4.1/5.0 stars
  • Amazon Alexa has 3.5/5.0 stars

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. However, Google Home has caught up an included more hundreds more integrations. For now, we still give Echo the blue ribbon for this category.
Amazon Echo logo
Winner: Amazon Echo

User Experience

All three are easy to use, but which one responds to your requests better? From our research, Amazon is smarter and is less confused by questions than Google. What do we mean by this? If you ask both devices a question, you’re more likely to get the answer the first time from Amazon. You may have to rephrase your question to Google, and you may not get an answer at all from Siri.

We like that you can ask Google a second question without repeating the keyword phrase. What we mean 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 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 and Apple HomePod cannot do this.

When you ask Amazon Echo to purchase a product for you on Amazon, 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 and Apple HomePod don’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 Amazon Echo than Google Home or Apple HomePod.
Amazon Echo logo
Winner: Amazon Echo

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 see 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.

Apple HomePod looks like a modern speaker. It’s very simple and sleek looking. It’s available in white and space gray. It is 6.8″ high and 5.6″ wide and looks similar to a Sonos speaker.

We all have our own tastes when it comes to equipment aesthetics, so this one is up to you on which you think looks the best.

As for how durable the equipment is, all three are built with quality equipment. The devices are sturdy and don’t feel like they’re made out of cheap plastic. There have been few complaints about the equipment for these devices.

Concerning sound quality, the HomePod is the clear winner here. It was built with the priority of sound with its 7 tweeters, woofer, amplifiers and bass, which is why it’s the winner for this category.Apple Homepod Logo

Winner: Apple HomePod

For Privacy

These smart speakers sound fun, but what about your privacy? Are your conversations going to be recorded 24/7? While all three devices are always listening, they are not always recording. Each device listens for its key phrase (Ok Google, Alexa or Hey Siri), and Google and Amazon record and connects to the company server when they are triggered. All three companies encrypt the voice assistant recording, but Apple is the only one that doesn’t connect this recording to your identity.

Google and Amazon 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.

Apple HomePod is unique and offers the most privacy. When you ask HomePod a question, the request is not associated with a user’s account (like it is with Google and Amazon), instead, all questions are anonymous. Requests made to Siri will live with a rotating ID for 6 months, then another 18 months it will live without an ID. In comparison, you must request information be deleted with Google and Amazon.

Where HomePod falls short is that it’s connected to your phone. As long as you are home, people can send a text through the HomePod or read your notes without your okay. People may not think to do this though and it’s relatively minor compared to the privacy concerns with Google and Amazon.Apple Homepod Logo

Winner: Apple HomePod

Which Is Your Winner?

Overall, we think Amazon Echo is the best in this comparison. According to our research, users are able to get more of their questions answered and pay a lower amount of money.

Just because we chose Amazon Echo as the winner doesn’t mean Google Home or Apple HomePod aren’t great products. Home is an amazing smart speaker and you may opt for it over Echo 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, 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?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing products and services.

Kimberly has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering subjects such as home security and automation, identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems and more. In 2018, she had her first child, and that opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Security is a passion of hers, and she knows it isn’t a one size fits all category. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

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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.