How do the Google and Amazon products compare?
Let’s start by looking at the Amazon products (Spoiler alert: Amazon Echo is my personal favorite)
Let me start by saying I absolutely love my Amazon Echo. We have also added a few Amazon Echo Dots around the house. We have one in each bedroom and one in the living room. Although my house if fully wired with stereo speakers, we all find it so much easier to simply say “Alexa, play…”. I cannot remember the last time I turned on my real stereo system. The new Echo Dot’s are fairly inexpensive and make a great gift. Let’s look at the three Amazon products: The Echo, The Dot and The Echo Plus.
Even though I’m convinced it’s not worth the money- I’m hoping Santa will be bringing an Amazon Echo Plus to my home this year!
Here is a picture of the Amazon Echo Plus.
Here is a picture of the Amazon Echo.
Here is a picture of the Echo Dot.
Here’s a picture of the Echo Show.
I love the fact that both the original Echo and Amazon’s newer products work together. As a family we now have the fun of selecting songs and having the Alexa in our room, play in each others rooms. Siblings bickering in 2018 looks something like this…”Alexa, tell a joke in Ben’s room”.
So, Amazon is great and gets a perfect rating from me. I love that I can hook it up to my phone and play my playlists. Also, they have the benefit of being the first in the market, so for those of you that already own one, its easier to add to the system with a new Amazon product than it is to start with Google. Hooking it up to Amazon shopping lists is also amazing- “Alexa, add eggs to my shopping cart”. As an added benefit Alexa knows exactly which eggs I like (Organic, free range in case you were wondering).
Go Big or Go Home
For those of you that prefer to go big or go home, check out the Echo Show, which adds a touchscreen to the Echo, so you interact with the assistant in a completely different way, and view visual content, such as a security camera’s feed.
Smart Speakers- Pricing
Amazon has the biggest range of smart speakers. The Echo plus is now selling for $149.99. While the Echo’s cost is $79.99. If you want a smaller speaker, the tiny Echo Dot costs $29.99 right now, making it an inexpensive option.
I have to be honest, the music quality from Alexa isn’t great (yet, I opt for it time and time again over my wonderfully hooked up Bose home speakers). This weekend I am going to set up my Echo to play on my Bose Bluetooth Speaker . The Echo also has the ability to be hooked up to any speaker via the 3.5mm audio jack. I’m told this is very easy to do but of course adds an additional component to the system.
Here are the features of the Echo Plus from Amazon’s website:
- Echo Plus is a simple way to start your smart home. It has a built-in ZigBee smart home hub, which allows for simple and direct setup of compatible ZigBee lights, locks, plugs, and in-wall switches from brands like Philips Hue, GE, and Yale. No additional hub required.
- Echo Plus connects to Alexa—a cloud-based voice service—to play music, make calls, set timers and music alarms, ask questions, check traffic and weather, and more—instantly.
- Just ask for a song, artist, or genre from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more. With multi-room music, you can play music on your Echo devices in different rooms. Echo Plus can also play audiobooks, radio stations, news briefs, and more.
- Call or message almost anyone hands-free with your Echo device. Also, instantly connect to other Echo devices in your home using just your voice.
- Improved speakers with Dolby processing deliver crisp vocals and extended bass to fill the room with immersive, 360° audio
- With seven microphones, beamforming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo hears you from any direction—even while music is playing
- Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new features and skills. Just ask Alexa to control your TV, request an Uber, order a pizza, and more.
Compare Echo devices
|Price||$49.99 $29.99||From: $99.99 $79.99||$149.99||$129.99||$229.99 $149.99|
|Overview||Add Alexa to any room||Room filling sound with six fabrics or finishes||The simple way to start your smart home||Stylish and compact Echo with a screen||Optimized for visuals and room filling sound|
|Speaker size||0.6″ speaker||2.5″ woofer and 0.6″ tweeter||2.5″ woofer and 0.8″ tweeter||1.4″ speaker||Dual 2.0″ speakers|
|Screen size||2.5″ screen||7.0″ screen|
|Dual speakers with room-filling sound, powered by Dolby|
|Play video from Amazon Video and more|
|Built-in hub for simple setup of compatible smart home devices|
|Streaming Wi-fi music (including Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more)|
|Line-out with 3.5 mm cable or Bluetooth||Bluetooth only|
|Free audio calls to US, Mexico, and Canada|
|Control smart home devices|
|Device size (actual size and weight may vary)||1.3″ x 3.3″ x 3.3″, 5.7 oz. (32 mm x 84 mm x 84 mm, 163 grams)||5.8″ x 3.4″ x 3.4″, 29.0 oz. (148 mm x 88 mm x 88 mm, 821 grams)||9.2″ x 3.3″ x 3.3″, 33.6 oz. (235 mm x 84 mm x 84 mm, 954 grams)||4.1″ x 3.8″ x 3.6″, 14.8 oz. (104 mm x 97 mm x 91 mm, 419 grams)||7.4″ x 7.4″ x 3.5″, 41.0 oz. (187 mm x 187 mm x 90 mm, 1170 grams)|
|Size||9.2” x 3.3” x 3.3” (235 mm x 84 mm x 84 mm)|
|Weight||33.6 oz. (954 grams) Actual size and weight may vary by manufacturing process|
|Wi-Fi connectivity||Dual-band Wi-Fi supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 and 5 GHz) networks. Does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.|
|ZigBee connectivity||Built-in ZigBee smart home hub supports ZigBee light bulbs, locks, plugs, and in-wall switches|
|Bluetooth connectivity||Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) support for audio streaming from your mobile device to Echo or from Echo to your Bluetooth speaker. Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) for voice control of connected mobile devices. Hands-free voice control is not supported for Mac OS X devices. Bluetooth speakers requiring PIN codes are not supported.|
|Audio||2.5” (63.5 mm) woofer and 0.8” (20 mm) tweeter|
|Alexa App||The Alexa App is compatible with Fire OS, Android, and iOS devices.|
|Warranty and Service||1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year extended warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Echo Plus is subject to the terms found here.|
Google’s Smart Speaker System
Pieces of Google review Taken From: Cnet
When it first launched in November 2016, Google Home accurately responded to your voice commands, like the Amazon Echo. The built-in Google Assistant was able to take cues and the microphones were sensitive and accurate so you could say the wake words and give a command from the next room and Google would hear you and respond accordingly.
One thing you can do with the google product is stream Netflix on your TV with a voice command if you have a Chromecast streamer. Alexa cannot match Google’s TV streaming.
The list of Google’s smart home partners blew up in part because, along with introducing a .
Filling out the features of Google Home
Google’s done a lot of work in 2017 to make its Assistant better at controlling your smart home, but it also polished a couple of rough edges and debuted some cool new features. When the Google Home first launched, it surprisingly couldn’t do a few basics like set reminders or add entries to your calendar. You can now do both.
Beyond the basics, the Google Home and Assistant added a ton of useful extras, some of which followed Alexa’s lead, some of which forced her to play catch-up. Here are the highlights:
- (Google was first, ): You and your family can each train Google Assistant to recognize your respective voices. Google will then customize responses based on who’s talking when you ask about your calendar, your route to work or when playing your favorite music.
- (Alexa had this first): Using Google’s shopping service, Google Express, you can place orders from certain retailers. You can also verify your purchase if Google recognizes your voice.
- (each rolled out different aspects first): You can actually use the Home as a speakerphone. Ask it to make a call, and it’ll find the number from your contacts and dial. It’ll even show that it’s you calling on the receiving end.
- phones, and even available as an app on the iPhone) you can speak a message and have it play on your smart speakers. When it’s dinner time, tell the Google Home in your kitchen and it’ll broadcast your voice to the speakers in your kid’s room and den. ( ): Using any device with Assistant (which is also built into a number of Android
- (Alexa doesn’t have anything matching yet): A recent update lets you give two commands to your smart speaker at once. Tell Google to turn off the lights and play your music, and it can handle both.
- (Alexa doesn’t have anything matching yet): With the Google Home app, you can adjust the bass or treble on any Google Home speaker, so you can customize the way your music sounds.
- (Alexa had this first): You can even set the smarts aside and use Google Home as a simple Bluetooth streamer.
- (Alexa has a less robust version): Google Home will walk you through more than 5 million recipes. It’ll give you directions step by step and you can go back if you need to. We found Google’s cooking help quite useful .
Other niceties, such as being able to turn on your TV with your voice, help round out Google’s year of adding features, and it’s been a busy one. Google announced most of these features either at itsor at its .
I’d buy Amazon’s Alexa. I think the product is superior and would bet on Amazon to gain more of a competitive advantage in the years to come. I am finding that companies are planning to include Amazon’s Alexa into everything from cars to refrigerators. Google Home and its assistant seem to be an afterthought. My guess is this competitive advantage will be almost impossible to overcome but who knows. Based on the amount of partners they are gathering, I believe they are the one to beat. Although I like an underdog, in this case, I’d say Jeff Bezos wins again!
I hope this review was helpful. Please give me a shoutout and let me know your thoughts. Happy Holidays!
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products that I link to and recommend them because they are companies and products that I have found helpful and trustworthy.