Google released its range of new products and upgraded existing ones during an event held in San Francisco last month. One of the new products Google launched at that event is the Google Home; an AI-powered voice-activated speaker. The Google Home is the company’s latest take on in voice-activated smart speaker market, which is currently dominated by Amazon’s Echo series of smart speakers. While the Google Home and Amazon Echo are both, no doubt, excellent pieces of tech, it would be interesting to find out how they stand against each other in a head-to-head comparison. So let’s find it out what both speakers have to offer in a comparison, shall we?
First, let’s start with the recently released Google Home speaker. The Google Home is an AI-powered smart home speaker from Google and just like Amazon Echo, it can perform a variety of tasks such as playing music from a range of music services, giving latest news, traffic updates, weather forecast, and answering questions. Not only that, it can also act as a central hub to control all your smart home devices as well. Design-wise, the Google Home is almost the half the size of an Amazon Echo speaker; it measures 5.62 inches in height and 3.79 inches around. The Home features a sort of modular design in which, the upper part is made of polycarbonate, while the base is user-replaceable. Moving on to the specs, the Google Home houses two microphones to capture user’s voice from almost every direction, while a high excursion speaker with 2″ driver and 2 passive radiators are sitting in the bottom of the speaker which delivers immersive 360° omnidirectional audio. The Home has a touchpad on top which can be used to control the volume output or to trigger Google Assistant, while a physical mute button is placed on the back side of the device to stop the Home from its always listening state. The Google Home works with Google Assistant, an AI-powered virtual assistant developed by Google, which can be triggered by saying “OK Google” to carry out voice actions. Also, Google Assistant is capable of two-way conversations, meaning you can ask follow-up questions to the Assistant. In terms of integrations with third-party services and devices, the Google Home works with the only handful of products and services compared to the Echo; currently, the Google Home works with the Google Chromecast, Nest, Phillips Hue, Samsung SmartThings and IFTTT. Connectivity wise, the Home supports WiFi 802.11ac standard with backward compatibility and works on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. The Google Home can be configured and controlled by the official Google Home app and it’s compatible with iOS and Android. The Google Home retails at a price of $129 and comes in a variety of colors: carbon, copper, snow, mango, marine, violet and painted steel.
Amazon Echo, on the other hand, was launched back in 2015 and has greatly evolved its ecosystem since then. The Amazon Echo measures 9.25 inches tall and 3.27 inches around; also, the Echo is heavier at 2.34 pounds compared to the 1.05 pound Google Home. Design wise, it features a cylinder-style design and comes with only two color options: black and white. The Amazon Echo sports seven microphones with beam-forming technology which can catch user’s voice from, all most, any direction in the room; it also has a mute button to stop Alexa’s always listening mode. The Amazon Echo responds to hotword “Alexa” and can perform various tasks including music playing, news updates and more. Unlike Google Assistant, the Alexa is not a two-way conversationalist so you wouldn’t be able to ask follow-up questions like you do with the Google Home. Just like the Home, the Echo also supports WiFi 802.11ac and operates on 2.4GHz/5GHz bands. When it comes to integration with third-party services and support for smart home devices, the Echo has a clear edge over the Google Home as being launched for more than one year now. It has a far bigger portfolio of integrations with more than 1000 third-party services, 400+ content providers and compatibility with a long range of smart home devices. The Echo can be controlled by the official Alexa app and it’s compatible with Fire OS, iOS, and Android. At $179.99, the Amazon Echo is costlier purchase when compared to the Google Home’s $129 price.