When it comes to smart speakers, there is no shortage of options. However, two devices currently reign supreme: Amazon Echo and Google Home. While Amazon Echo enjoyed an early market dominance by virtue of being released first, its major competitor, Google Home, came late last year and has earned a voice in the world of digital speakers.
Performance-wise, these two speakers are the trailblazers but not equal. When one speaker is superior in one aspect, its competitor is stronger in another. As such, making a choice between the two can be a daunting task.
To make it easier for you when making a buying decision, we’ve analyzed the key parameters that matter most to consumers in both speakers. Here’s everything you need to know about Amazon Echo vs. Google Home.
Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Design
In the battle for supremacy between Amazon Echo and Google Home, looks cannot be ignored. This is partly because Google Home takes the shape of an air freshener, and one would be forgiven for thinking its indeed an air freshener. However, this design integrates seamlessly into any space in your home. While the top half is narrow and solid white, the base casing can be swapped out with a number of different options.
The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, sports a classy design that makes it look more superior. Unlike the first generation of Echo that featured a more industrial design, the second generation is more attractive and offers a choice of six finishes: two wooden, three material, and a metallic option, so you can choose the product that complements your home decor the most.
Features-wise, Google Home comes with only one button for muting which comes in handy when you don’t want it to listen to you. Most of the other features are voice-controlled, thanks to the capacitive touch panel at the top. Amazon Echo has adopted a more mechanical approach, with physical buttons for mute and volume control.
Winner: Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Calls
Both Echo and Google Home have built-in call features, so they can be used for communication purposes. With Amazon Echo, you can make calls to your friends over the Internet, and that could turn to video calls with the Echo Show. There is also a Drop-In feature that you can activate to listen in to another Echo.
Google Home, on the other hand, comes with a broadcast feature that can send recorded messages to all the speakers in your home. Though not as handy as the calling feature for Echo, it’s more secure. Google says they’ll also roll out the call feature in the UK, though there is no specific date for this feature.
Winner: Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Music and Video
Amazon Echo and Google Home are small speakers, so both can play music. Echo, as expected, can stream music directly from Amazon Play Music. Google Home, on the other hand, can play media from Google Cast and Play Music. Both devices feature TuneIn Radio and Spotify. However, Google has the upper hand in that it offers Pandora for US consumers.
Both speakers will let you create groups if you want to stream to multiple devices. Though the controls might not be as seamless as with dedicated systems, the likes of Sonos, both speakers can give you multi-room audio too.
In this parameter, Google Home has the advantage in that it offers Cast support. This means you can send a video to a Chromecast (YouTube and Netflix) and use your voice to control playback. While its possible to link an Echo to a Fire TV device, it’s not as convenient as it is with the Home’s Cast support.
Winner: Google Home
Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Smart Home
Smart home control is the most important aspect for most people. Letting you control your thermostat temperature or turn on the lights using your voice is not only revolutionary but a concern for many people.
Both speakers have partnered with some of the biggest names in the smart home world. While Google Home is still in the minimal stage of this interaction, Amazon Echo has spread its roots everywhere and is widely supported by many devices including Philips Hue lights and the Nest Thermostat.
Echo has also been made better by its amp revamp, which not only lists the smart home devices you have but also lets you control some of the devices through the app. With a variety of control options and more supported devices, Amazon Echo carries the Oscar when it comes to smart home control.
Winner: Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Voice Assistant
Alexa is Amazon’s digital assistant built into smart devices such as Amazon Echo. The digital assistant in Google devices, such as Google Home, is called Google Assistant.
When it comes to the voice assistant, Google Home is the king, owing to Google’s dominance in search. Google Home can answer complex questions such as “how much plane tickets cost,” or when a movie will be released. Plus Google Home is also better at understanding your voice.
Alexa’s default search engine is Bing. One of Alexa’s limitations is that it can only respond to simple commands. Also, with Echo, you’ve to be very careful with how you phrase your requests.
Winner: Google Home
Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Price
The Amazon Echo family has a list of devices, all priced differently. The Echo is the original speaker which costs $84 down from $99. If you want a more affordable option, you can go for the tiny Echo Dot that goes for $39 on Amazon. The Echo Spot adds more functionality, including the ability to show music lyrics and costs $114. Lastly, there is the Echo Show ($149) that adds a display to your Echo so you can interact with it fully.
Google has just two smart speakers: Google Home and Google Home Mini. The original Google Home goes for $99, slightly higher than Amazon Echo, while the Google Home Mini goes for $49.
Based on the parameters discussed above, Amazon Echo seems to have an edge over Google Home. However, when buying, you should choose the one that’s better in the key parameters that matter most to you. Also check our article on five Amazon Echo alternatives with smarter features.
Which one do you think is more superior, Amazon Echo or Google Home? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.