Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Which Voice-Controlled Speaker is Best for You?
Demand for smart speakers has exploded in recent years, with tech companies eager to make their name within this lucrative market. Two of the leading players are Amazon and Google, each offering a range of speakers with smart assistant services built in. Today we’ll be focusing on the flagship product in each range; Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)
Coming in slightly cheaper than Google Home, Amazon Echo has been a pioneering product within the smart speaker market. Consistently innovative, with excellent build quality, the Echo is the one to beat.
Alexa is your friendly assistant, happy to help out with an array of tasks, such as dimming the lights, arranging a takeout, ordering from Amazon, and calling an Uber. Alexa will also learn skills throughout its lifetime; simply download and open like smartphone apps.
As you might expect for an Amazon product, it’s a great choice for anyone with Prime membership. Not only will you have voice-controlled access to Prime music, but you’ll be able to take advantage of regular, exclusive deals.
Even if you don’t have Prime membership, the Echo will play music from other streaming services, and excels at smart home controls. The range of tasks it will complete is continuously evolving and improving, so there’s room for development over time.
Both speakers have excellent sound quality, although this feature is slightly superior with the Echo.
There are very few drawbacks to the Amazon Echo, although there is some room for improvement when it comes to Alexa. She’s certainly helpful, but not quite as intelligent and naturally friendly as Google Assistant. Not a deal breaker, but something to keep in mind.
So far the best deal in Canada for the Amazon Echo is at $129.99 ($69.00 for the Echo Dot and $199.99 for the Echo Plus). Be sure to check below for price drops between retailers:
If you’re not a Prime member, but regularly use a Google account for managing everyday tasks, the Google Home could be a better choice. It integrates beautifully with the various features of a Google account, including reminders, calendars, and managing journeys and traffic status via Maps. The best part? Google Assistant will automatically differentiate each user by the sound of their voice, so there’s no danger of booking an appointment in the wrong calendar!
Aside from integrated features, Google Assistant is a powerful and intelligent assistant, providing more insightful and accurate answers than Alexa. It’s also a bit friendlier, and allegedly tells better jokes! If you own a multi-room Chromecast audio system, Google Home will act as a convenient voice-activated controller.
There are drawbacks, however. As handy as Google account integration is in theory, in practice it can be cumbersome and long-winded. In addition, the range of smart home integrations is not as comprehensive as that of the Amazon Echo. It’s a great piece of kit, certainly, but there remain a few issues to iron out.
So far the best deal in Canada for the Google Home is at $179.00 ($79.00 for the Google Home Mini). Be sure to check below for price drops between retailers:
Image Credit: CC image courtesy of PCMag
Both devices represent the cutting edge of smart speakers. The Echo range has been innovative from the start, and shows no sign of slowing down. Google Home is a worthy contender, but the overall experience falls slightly short. On balance, we prefer the Amazon Echo, but we can’t wait to discover what the next generation of each device will bring!