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In 2015, the Amazon Echo — a smart speaker that obeys your commands, controls your smart home and provides entertainment — revolutionized the way people use and interact with speakers in their homes. Not long after, Google released the Google Home, a smart speaker that rivals the Amazon Echo in numerous ways. While both devices have their pros and cons, the question is, which one is better?

Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo was among the first smart speakers to be released. While the Amazon Echo has a higher price point than the Google Home, it includes an advanced feature set. One highlight of this smart speaker is its ability to control your smart home devices. This smart speaker uses the Alexa Voice Service, which allows you to perform functions such as turning off the lights or opening your garage door using only your voice. In addition, the number of smart home services it works with is exceptional. The Amazon Echo is compatible with services, including Nest, Ecobee, Philips Hue, SmartThings, Honeywell and several others.

When it comes to the entertainment aspect of the speaker, the Amazon Echo provides 360-degree omni-directional audio, which fills rooms of all sizes with plenty of sound. You can stream music from numerous services, including Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn. Unfortunately, you cannot sync audio playback to multiple devices, and there is no stereo output on the device.

This smart speaker features seven microphones, which helps it respond to your commands with accurately. To wake up the speaker, you use trigger words, such as “Alexa,” “Amazon” or “Echo.” You can also ask numerous questions, such as the time of a TV show, information about current events or about the weather forecast. Furthermore, Alexa can be your personal assistant, all by using your voice. She can add events to your calendar, set reminders and create your to-do list.

Google Home

The Google Home offers many similar features and capabilities, including its ability to control your smart home devices. It connects to smart devices such as Nest and Philips Hue. However, it is much more limited in the companies it works with than the Amazon Echo. This means if you want smart home controls, you need to carefully look at what devices this smart speaker will work with.

When it comes to music, the Google Home has all the basic features you need. It streams music from Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora and TuneIn. You can also sync audio playback to any Google Cast device and, using Chromecast, you can stream audio to any speaker that has Chromecast built in.

Google is hard to beat when it comes to its search-engine capabilities, and the Google Home makes searching especially easy. You can ask a myriad of questions and the Google Home will quickly respond to your voice. It can also be your personal assistant. You can have it set alarms and reminders, create to-do lists, and even suggest easy driving routes to avoid traffic.

A standout feature of the Google Home is the ability to customize its appearance. You can customize the base of the speaker, allowing it to more easily blend into the decor of your home. There are also touch controls located on the top of the speaker where you can manually adjust the speaker and turn off the voice recognition capabilities if you desire.

The Verdict

if you are looking for a product to control your smart home, the Amazon Echo is compatible with more smart home devices. Google Home is compatible with fewer devices so you will need to ensure it will work with your specific smart home service or devices.

Both the Amazon Echo and the Google Home offer exceptional entertainment features. They both stream music from multiple sources, although the Amazon Echo is compatible with more services. However, with Google’s Chromecast capabilities, you can easily sync audio and stream to other devices.

The Google Home stands superior in its appearance. You can customize the base of the smart speaker to better reflect your mood and aesthetic taste. The Echo does not offer any type of customization feature.

While both smart speakers offer many similarities, the Amazon Echo has had more time to work out the kinks, which is likely to make it a better purchase for many consumers. Google Home has several negative consumer reviews regarding its entertainment features and its limitation in compatible smart home devices. However, before jumping too quickly into purchasing one type of smart speaker, read through consumer reviews to ensure the smart speaker you are looking at — whether the Google Home or the Amazon Echo — will meet all your needs.

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