Intelligent voice controlled devices are among the latest trends and deciding the one that suits you best is troublesome. Amazon echo and Google Home are major rivals in the battle with Apple HomePod being a new entrant. With so much information available on what each device can or cannot do, one is left overwhelmed.
Here is a comparison of these devices listing both similarities and dissimilarities and stating which stands out in certain areas and which needs work.
Amazon echo is priced at $179.99. However, the lowest amount that can get you Alexa, Echo dot, is mere $50, courtesy Amazon which always has been aggressive in pricing. Apple’s HomePod, like most Apple products, comes at a premium price of $349. An affordable alternative is Google Home at $129.
HomePod is stout , cylindrical with glowing area on top similar to the siri logo indicating when siri is listening.
Home has pretty plum like design,comes in various colors and finishes with upper section displaying google logo whereas volume and play/pause controls and speakers in the lower section.
Echo is longer cylinder with lower section as speakers. The top rim glows blue indicating ‘listening’ and two action buttons are also on top.
Music playback in HomePod limited to Apple Music only. On other hand, Home offers connection to Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer and more while Alexa can connect to Amazon Music, Spotify, Audible and Pandora. This shows limits of HomePod.
Echo and Home essentially are similar in intent. Both are mid range voice enabled virtual assistants.
Both have built-in mics to receive commands and respond intelligently via speakers. Also , they connect to other smart devices and operate them. However , as far as assistance is concerned Google is a leader in the area with it’s unmatched history with user and search data.
Contrary to these, Apple characterizes HomePod as a powerful wireless speaker that has Siri at it’s service, helping it carry out other smart operations and provide assistance.
The Echo has seven microphones waiting for trigger words while Home only has two mics with it and therefore, sometimes takes few seconds to awaken.
Home has only one 2in driver while Echo has two speakers; one woofer and one tweeter. The HomePod stands out with 4in upwards facing woofers. This will lead to an immersive sound experience with sound adapting to room space and layout.
The HomePod will definitely offer a better audio experience than Home or Echo.
Both Echo and Home offer similar services but their performance on Ground zero is relative and dependent on many factors.
Both can hear from a good 50 m distance without being confused with noise. However , Home’s voice recognition stands out. No much can be said about HomePod since it isn’t released yet.
According to a practical test conducted by Jay McGregor from Forbes , comparing Echo and Home, Home took home gold. You can read about it here.
Home is better with web results and Echo is better with shopping related queries.
Home is more conversational. It remembers context.
Google Home and Amazon Echo can easily work with iOS and Android devices. Application is needed to configure them and connect them to cloud.
Amazon steps up in Smart Home department since Echo supports large number of smart devices in comparison to other two, nearly 11k in contrast to 200 for Home.
The Home handles August, Belkin Wemo, Frigidaire, Honeywell, Insignia, Lifx, Logitech Harmony, Next, Philips, Rachio, Samsung, TP-Link, and Wink, along with anything with a Chromecast attached to it.
The Echo supports all of those except Chromecast, but adds Blink, Carrier, DigitalStrom, Haiku, Leviton, Lowe’s Iris, Lutron, Netatmo, and many other kinds of devices.
Home enjoys an edge by supporting streaming services like HBO now.
The Echo remains a popular choice as of now with reasonable prices and huge skill set. However, Home is fast catching up with better sound quality and assistance. HomePod is yet to be discovered but it is definitely promising.
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