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A few years ago Amazon has released their home speaker Echo, and then they followed up with newer and more enhanced models, like the Echo Dot and Tap. Their line of speaker line was a massive success, and seeing that, Google decided to give Amazon some competition and released their Google Home. Black Friday is getting closer day by day and these two gadgets are all the rage right now and they will go head to head during the Black Friday deals. Right now we are going to compare them both so the readers can get an idea of which fits their needs the most.

Amazon Alexa and Google Home are going to be a great addition to anyone’s house since they can control smart home products like the garage door or light, smartphone and many more. The smart speaker is voice activated, and it can do about everything from answering silly questions to playing a song. The user can use the home speaker to set up an alarm or a reminder and if he wants to know any additional information he can just say the “wake” word and then ask the smart speaker.

These devices go along really perfectly with other smart home gadgets, and if you own more smart home products you can sync them up and control them only by voice commands issued to Amazon Alexa or Google Home. The smart speakers are permanently on and they get activated if they hear the “wake” word. For Amazon Alexa the wake word is Alexa and for Google is “Okay, Google”. The Amazon speaker glows blue when it’s awaken and Google Home activates its LED lights when its awaken.

The deciding feature to make you buy one of them is of course going to be the price it sports. We still have to wait for Black Friday offers to pop-up before we can make any decision, but we should expect at least $10 to $40 dollars cut off their initial price. The Google Home is priced at $129 right now and Amazon’s Echo Dot is priced only $41.67 and its contains the bundle of six.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Now that Google is vying for dominance here, any word on whether they will pull Google Calendar integration from Alexa devices? That’s a biggie for me b/c my Google calendar is the only one I use and it would be an important feature to have.

  2. Alexa is still the best on the market for now as they can leverage off their head start. Google does have the software know how to help people do things, so they might be able to catch up quickly. But Alexa’s ecosystem is growing by the day and it seems like more and more devices are able to work with it.

  3. I think Google’s biggest advantage so far is it’s ability to copy what’s already been a hit, They just need to work on copying the Echo better. Google should have waited another year to perfect it so that writers could brag about how great it is without having to throw out crutches like it’s just a baby and the Echo couldn’t do it either when it rolled out. If your going to play baseball with the kid’s who have been doing it for a couple years, don’t bring a wiffle ball bat. The Echo blazed the trail… OK Google, now try and keep up.

  4. Need data to improve quickly and why Google probably released. What is interesting is everyday the Home will get smarter and imagine next year it will be that much more incredible.

    It is going to be hard for the next player to compete.

  5. Is there one good reason we can’t just do the same thing w/ a phone and regular bluetooth speaker??

  6. Well, I can talk to Alexa from 30 feet away…in another room…with ease. But my phone has to pretty much be in hands to be useful.

  7. So first, you just said Bluetooth speaker, which implies you are using the mic in the phone.

    Second, I actually have a Bluetooth Speaker that supports audio conferencing (i.e. has a mic in it), and I can assure it doesn’t perform anywhere close to Alexa, especially in terms of ignoring background noise or working from extreme distances.

    Before we added a second Echo in the kitchen, we only had one in the Master Bedroom on the first floor and I could easily talk to it from the Living Room which was approximately 35 feet away around a wall and down the hall.

  8. Pretty much all average Bluetooth speakers these days have a mic for hands-free phone use, so my implied use thereof should’ve been self-evident and gone w/out saying.

    The performance you describe heavily depends on the quality of the voice-recognition software, which can easily be run on the phone.

    Admittedly it would also depend on how sensitve and high-quality that mic were, but most are plenty great for use in an apartment, and many others are more than capable in-home. Especially if supported by good voice-recognition software.

    For folks who wear those little earpieces, those will work just as well also.

    In fact, such is already the case with any phone running the Amazon Alexa app, or Google Assistant and Siri.

    There’s no reason why it can’t all be done using the phone as the processor, and any of the myriad high-quality hands-free input/output devices.

    Why use an Echo when you can just put the Alexa App on your phone and pair it w/ a bunch of JBL speakers, for instance?

    Or heck, get a good bluetooth mic and run audio-out through your home stereo??? FAR better sound quality with those options.

  9. “Pretty much all average Bluetooth speakers these days have a mic for hands-free phone use, so my implied use thereof should’ve been self-evident and gone w/out saying.”

    No…, no they don’t. A very unscientific check of Amazon using “Bluetooth Speaker” and filtered on Prime to minimize redundancies shows 19,940 entries, then filtering on Built-in Mic returns 1,792 entries…that is less than 10% and while this isn’t well groomed dataset, it would take a massive margin of error in the data to even get the count to majority.

    “The performance you describe heavily depends on the quality of the voice-recognition software, which can easily be run on the phone.”

    I’ll agree the software is critical, but you should really research microphone technology. Most phones and even audio conferencing solutions are intentionally designed with a limited range in the mic to minimize interference from surrounding noise. The Echo has seven microphones and very sophisticated software for locating the physical source of the voice and focusing on it. One mic in a JBL Charge or Jabra Speak doesn’t even come close…I know, I have used all three.

    We’ll just skip earpieces because that is not what we are talking about here.

    As to the use of the stereo or external speakers, I do both using Dots because while the audio of the Echo is pretty good, I prefer to listen to music on better equipment.

    I am not disputing the use of Personal Assistants on your phone or other devices, I regularly use Google Now on my phone and Cortana on my computer and even Alexa on our FireTVs, but when I am in the kitchen or my workshop, Alexa provides the lowest barrier to use with the highest degree of functionality.

    That does not mean that Amazon has it all figured out. I really wish it did personal voice recognition to delineate between me and my wife and even used that as a form of security since this thing is getting more connected every day.

    They also need to step up their game on audio and casting. Being to push throughout the house or send it to a specific zone are not there and either they need to release an equivalent of Google casting products or open up their ecosystem and allow casting to Google devices.

    They also need to clean up their own ecosystem, we have 2 Echos, 2 Dots, a FireTV and 2 FireTV sticks and these thing simply don’t work together.

    Finally, the Alexa app is a mess, especially working with Skills. Time to completely redo that aspect.

    Look…I am not trying to convince you that Amazon has the best solution, just that it way exceeds what you get with your phone connected to a Bluetooth speaker.

  10. I’m talking about most common bluetooth speakers of comprable size and audio quality from the major brands. I’ve come across very few that don’t have mics for hands-free.

    Obviously the bajillion crummy tiny generic-brand speakers don’t count, nor would they be considered by a user.

    Of course also I get the mic quality & matrixing aspect. I’m just saying it doesn’t matter that much. A decent hands-free mic will work just fine from across the room. What’s more, a high-quality BT omni-directional mic would more than suffice, and you can use it for other things too, least of which is placing calls & dictating texts.

    (RE: that for Echo, last I checked: “Phone calls, text messages, and other notifications from your mobile device can’t be received or read by Echo, and audio from Echo can’t be sent to Bluetooth speakers or headphones.” Moronic’ly crippled fuctionality.)

    To avoid discussing the earpiece is shortsighted, bc this conversation isn’t actually about any particular solution–

    It’s that there are myriad ways out there to accomplish the same thing w/a hands-free phone solution, w/out having to buy some proprietary device that can’t do half of what a hands-free phone set-up can do.

    >”I am not trying to convince you that Amazon has the best solution, just that it way exceeds what you get with your phone connected to a Bluetooth speaker.”

    The only thing you’re getting that a hands-free phone setup might struggle with is… “be heard from farther away even while music is playing??” That’s it?

    While sacrificing audio quality, telecom abilities, driving directions, and GUI display of lists/instructions etc??

    AND IT CAN’T EVEN VOICE CONTROL A FIRE TV!?!?!?!? Inexcusable!!!

  11. No jazzlr, it wont. This is Handsfree voice control, which is the whole point. Turn on music, play a certain group, skip to next song, change the volume, adjust the lights, adjust the heat, tell me how far London is, tell me what the weather is, order an Über, tell me what’s on my calendar today, add an item to my shopping list, tell me how many ounces are in a liter, and a hell of a lot more without touching anything, and from thirty feet away.
    Tell us what Bluetooth speaker does all of that and more other than the Echo or Home. We’ll wait…

  12. Yes Kerl, it will:

    Amazon Alexa (which runs the Echo products) has a phone app version which can of course today do all the things you describe, via any hands-free device you choose for voice control of your phone.

    Most bluetooth speakers have a mic to support hands-free control. The rest of the features you describe are handled by software that can easily run on most phones.

    Just connect any hands-free bluetooth device to your phone running the Alexa app, and that’s basically an Echo.

    Google Assist and Siri work similarly.

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