20 Aug Smart Apartments: Amazon Echo vs Google Home
As smart apartments become more mainstream, renters are faced with a decision: Amazon Echo or Google Home? Here’s an in-depth look at both systems to help you decide which is right for you.
Amazon Echo and Google Home are both smart speaker systems. Connect them to a wide range of other smart devices to allow voice control throughout your apartment. Amazon Echo’s voice assistant is Alexa. Google Home’s is Google Assistant. Use “wake words” to activate the assistants. Alexa’s wake words include “Alexa”, “computer”, “Amazon”, and “Echo”. In contrast, Google Assistant has one wake phrase: “Hey, Google.”
Let’s take a look at each system.
- The system allows for control of multiple devices, grouped by rooms.
- Amazon’s system is compatible with more smart devices than Google Home.
- Echo has strong wi-fi connectivity.
- Devices have an aux-out jack for connection to existing audio systems.
- Amazon’s system offers more third party skills, like ordering takeout or rideshare services, than Google’s system.
- Echo offers louder speakers than Google Home.
- Users can make outbound calls to regular phones and receive calls from other Alexa systems. The optional add-on Echo Connect allows users to receive calls to their home phone through their Alexa system.
- The system connects to multiple streaming services through Chromecast or Fire Sticks.
- Alexa responds best to a set group of phrases, as opposed to general questions.
- Speaker sound quality isn’t as good as Google Home’s.
- The system relies mostly on Wikipedia to answer general knowledge questions.
- Alexa must receive a verbal command to switch user accounts.
- System does not allow streaming of YouTube.
The Echo speaker is a short cylinder with a single ring on top that lights up when the system is activated. Multiple cover options are available for personalization. Styles are predominately neutral fabrics and woods.
Entry level Echo systems start at $49.99. Echo Plus systems are $149.99. Multiple add-on options are available for additional costs.
- Google’s system searches a much broader database than Amazon’s to answer general knowledge questions.
- Speaker sound quality is much better than Echo’s.
- Google Home devices allow users to upload their own music.
- Like Amazon, Google Home allows control of multiple smart devices, grouped by rooms.
- Google’s system supports the same streaming services as Amazon’s, with the addition of YouTube.
- Google Assistant automatically switches user accounts, based on voice recognition. The system is capable of remembering up to six individual voices.
- Google Assistant has more conversation capabilities than Amazon’s Alexa.
- The system allows users to make outbound calls.
- Google Assistant does not allow users to receive calls through the system.
- The system has slightly weaker wi-fi connectivity than Amazon’s system.
- Google Home offers fewer third party skills than Amazon’s system.
Google Home’s speaker is a tall, white cylinder with multiple base options. In contrast to Amazon’s neutral and wood tones, Google Home offers bright colors and metal finishes, with four LED color options that light up when the system is in use.
Google Home Mini starts at $39.00, whereas Google Home Max will cost $399.00. Multiple add-on features are available for additional costs.
Click here for a variety of smart devices you can connect to your chosen speaker system.