Style Wire Selects: Amazon Echo v. Google Home

9:42 PM

Last month I talked a little about what you need to know before setting up a smart home and one of the things I mentioned was picking the right hub. I own both the Amazon Echo and the Google Home, and after playing around with them for a couple of months, I wanted to take a minute and talk a little about the ins and outs of each speaker assistant and which one I like best...

Price and Sound Quality: At $179 and $129 respectively, there isn't a huge difference in price. In my opinion, Amazon Echo has a smoother sound quality while I often feel Google sounds a bit muffled, especially when the assistant is speaking at higher volumes. If you're keen on the Amazon experience and have an existing speaker system or don't care about premium sound quality, the Echo Dot is just $50 and offers up the same experience as the Amazon Echo. 

Set Up: The set up process is virtually the same for both decives; download the app to your smart phone or tablet, sign in, and then plug and play. Straight out of the box the Amazon Echo was extremely simple to set up with no issues along the way (now, getting it to recognize my favorite Spotify playlist was another story). The Google Home on the other hand had some major connectivity  issues and took much longer to set up and connect. Online forums echoed my frustrations and ultimately I just kept rebooting and trying to connect until it eventually worked and I was able to pair and set up my device. 

Queries: To no great surprise, the Google Home is much more adept at answering questions, providing directions, and pulling information from the web while Alexa is often stumped by my requests for travel times or airport terminals. Both support "My Day" features which offer a run down of your day based on your calendar. While Google has the capability of adding news and traffic reports to it's "My Day" feature which I think I like, I'm still unable to tell you which "My Day" I prefer because I can't get Google Home to switch to the default email account to the one my calendar is connected to... 

Easter Eggs and Apps: Amazon Echo wins this one hands down. One of my favorite things to do on Amazon Echo is play Jeopardy; it's a fun interactive game with a new series of questions hosted by Alex Trebek himself and it's usually one of the first things I show off to guests. Google has a mere 2,000 "services" and third-party apps like these already available to access. In comparison, Amazon boasts over 10,000 "skills" and third-party apps that are available to install in their app. 

Smart Home Options: Amazon Echo again, the veteran speaker assistant, offers a wider array of compatible options if building a smart home hub is a priority for you. It pairs not only with the Nest and Echobee thermostats, but with the August and other smart lock systems, Hue lighting system, and many more devices throughout the home. The Google Home connects to quite a few as well, but not nearly as many as the Amazon Echo. 

Final Verdict: As long as you've got a solid, high speed internet connection like Verizon FIOS, both systems will serve you well. Ultimately though, I prefer the Amazon Echo due to its extensive collection of skills, clearer sound quality, and ease of use. So the Amazon Echo sits in the living room where we connect with our assistant most, and the Google Home lives in the bedroom, where I typically interact with less frequency.

This post was created in collaboration with Verizon FIOS and #BostonFIOS. All content and opinions created are my own. Thanks for supporting those who support!

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