It used to be strange to see someone using a Bluetooth headset. We initially assumed the person was chatting to themselves, and when we noticed the earphone, we felt they appeared to be amusing.

It’s not uncommon to see someone chatting to their phone these days, whether it’s to check the weather, set an alarm, or send a text over Bluetooth in their car. We have all of these incredible tools that we can control with our voices, but what is the driving force behind them?

Personal assistants such as Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa are complicated pieces of software and hardware that can interpret voice, intentions, and more.

Companies like Google recognize the value of personal assistants and how they can be used in the home. Smart speakers such as the Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Apple HomePod make routine tasks like turning on lights, phoning friends, and setting alarms a breeze. We may now use our voices to control televisions and other devices.

Which option, out of all the possibilities, is the best? That’s what we’re going to try to do in this piece. You want to be sure that your hard-earned money is making your life simpler, not harder since you’re usually spending more than $100, and in some cases $300. We examine the price, search capabilities, speaker quality, physical device compatibility, and functionality (think smart lights, etc.) of each flagship smartphone and its accompanying personal assistant, as well as features unique to that device.

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Google Home

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Google is arguably the most well-known search engine of all time. Despite Microsoft’s best efforts, you don’t “Bing” anything on the same scale that you “Google” something. Because “Google it” is almost as ingrained in our culture as “Get me a Band-Aid,” it’s only natural that Google Home would live up to its billing as a fantastic smart home device. It also comes in a smaller, less expensive form, but we’re only talking about the normal, flagship Google Home in this post.

1. Price

The Google Home is now priced at $129 for the base model. When compared to the costs of competing devices, this is a reasonable price. It isn’t as inexpensive as the Amazon Echo or as pricey as the Apple HomePod. It’s the perfect balance of pricing and general functionality.

2. Perform a search

Google Search is used by Google Assistant. When it comes to contextual searching, there is no doubt that Google is the greatest. When you make a Google search, you’ll notice that Google’s search results are fairly accurate. You should be able to discover what you’re looking for rather fast, and on the first page in most cases.

While there’s no denying that certain search engines appear nicer or have more features than Google Search in a browser, you won’t see results when you search on a smart speaker, so your information must be correct the first time.

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3. The quality of the speakers

The speaker on Google Home is excellent. When listening to music in settings where you’re likely to have a smart speaker, such as the living room, it fills the room with good highs, deep bass, and a wide voice range. When speaking with Google Home, you will receive clear, concise responses that are easy to understand at both low and high volumes. The speaker works well as an alarm clock, and timers are audible.

Even without many of the personal assistant functions, it warrants the price it is given as a speaker. It’s worth noting that if you live in a tiny room with other people in the house or below neighbors, his speaker produces a lot of basses, even at low volumes. It could mean turning down the volume to the point where you can hardly hear yourself to avoid disturbing others late at night or early in the morning.

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4. Backwards and forwards compatibility with various devices

The Google Home app is well-designed and compatible with a variety of different home security and automation devices. The Google Home is compatible with products like the Ring Doorbell and the August Smart Lock for home security, allowing you to manage your doorbell and lock with your voice. For automation, the Google Home works with Philips Hue and Lifx smart lights, as well as your iRobot vacuum cleaner and many other devices.

For television, simply say, “Hey Google, play Stranger Things on Netflix,” and your Google Home will connect to the Chromecast, allowing you to operate apps like Netflix through your television. Google Home can also utilize the Chromecast to switch the TV on and off on most new televisions.

This allows you to watch TV completely hands-free. It’s also worth noting that the Chromecast can be utilized with smartphones, allowing you to increase your app options by using your phone as a remote. According to Google, approximately 5,000 distinct smart home items are supported.

5. Unique characteristics

One of the best features of Google Home products is how well they all operate together. Chromecast, Google Home, and the Google Home app on almost any smartphone allow you complete control over your favorite content from anywhere in your home.

The display is practically faultless, and while you won’t be able to manage every television app with your voice, you will be able to control a large number of them. Anything you can’t do with your speech, you’ll almost certainly be able to do with your smartphone.

Amazon Echo

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For people who are already familiar with Alexa or have a large number of Amazon products, the Amazon Echo was an excellent choice. While Google makes a strong case for being a jack of all crafts, the Echo narrows its focus and focuses on specific tasks.

1. Price

The Echo Gen 2 costs just $99, making it one of the most affordable flagship smart speakers on the market. Some sacrifices are justified by the cost, but whether or not you consider them sacrifices is highly dependent on the ecology with which you are associated.

2. Perform a search

Since Google owns its popular product line, not every smart speaker can use Google. As a result, the Echo speaker makes use of Bing. Whether you consider Bing to be a disadvantage is a personal choice, but there is no doubting that Google provides more accurate search results in most circumstances than Bing.

Now, while Bing is fantastic for photos and has a great-looking interface when you speak to your smart speaker, it won’t display you an interface; instead, it will simply deliver an answer to you. As a result, many people prefer Google, but it depends on your preferences. It should also be mentioned that you may ask Alexa to Google something using Alexa Skills, but this is optional and not included in the out-of-the-box capabilities.

Finally, a word on voice interaction. Consider modifying the wake phrase if you have a friend named Alexa. Unlike the phrases “Hey Google” and “Okay Google,” the Echo merely needs the word “Alexa.” If you’re encountering problems, altering the wake phrase to something less often used is an easy solution.

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3. The quality of the speakers

The speaker’s quality isn’t quite as good as the Google Home’s in that it doesn’t sound as clear at higher volumes, but for $99, it’s hard to complain. The Echo will not disturb you if you are not an audiophile.

4. Backwards and forwards compatibility with various devices

The Amazon Echo is compatible with almost as many devices like Google Home. You’ll be able to complete the same activities on Lifx, Philips Hue, and smart vacuums as you can on Google Home with little difference in how you engage.

In my opinion, the interface on smartphones is a little more clunky than the interface on Google Home; but, if you use it frequently, you will grow used to it.

The Echo is also compatible with the Amazon Fire TV and works similarly to the Google Home. This means you can operate your television with your voice while watching TV from the comfort of your couch, without requiring much input from your Cheeto hands. (Okay, I’m referring to my Cheeto hands.)

5. Unique characteristics

The Echo offers several capabilities that allow you to customize the device to your preferences and needs.

6. Purchases made by voice

Because the Echo is powered by Amazon’s massive shop, you can use your voice to make purchases. This means you can instruct your Echo to order or reorder something from any location in your house. You must be a Prime member to use Amazon’s One-Click Checkout function.

If this makes you feel uneasy, you’re not alone. Amazon is aware that some people have children or naughty friends. As a result, Amazon lets you add a voice passcode if you want to. Amazon also recognizes the risk of ordering the wrong item or mishearing you, so it has enabled free returns for purchases conducted by voice on an Echo device.

7. Alexa Abilities

Amazon has also introduced the opportunity to use apps created by third parties, which is a very great feature. These are known as Alexa Skills, and they may be downloaded through the Alexa app on your smartphone. After downloading a skill, all you have to do is say the activation phrase that the skill instructs you to use when you download it, and voila! Before you can say Alexa Skill, you’re hearing the soothing sounds of rain on a tin roof.

8. It’s compatible with Fire TV.

As previously stated, the Echo is compatible with the Fire TV and allows you to control your TV with your voice if you have one.

9. Audible

The option to listen to your audiobook library on Audible directly from your Echo device is possibly one of the nicest features of the Echo for audiobook enthusiasts. If you’ve looked at e-readers like the Kindle Oasis or the considerably less expensive Kindle, you’ll notice that Amazon has built-in Audible functionality.

You must connect to a Bluetooth device such as a speaker or headphones, and the amount of books you may download at one time is restricted by the internal storage. The Echo solves these problems by allowing you to use the built-in speaker by saying “Read [title],” “Read the book, [title],” or “Read the audiobook, [title].”

Apple HomePod

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The Apple HomePod is the newest and most difficult-to-pronounce addition to the smart speaker market. It’s made to function with Siri and is compatible with Apple HomeKit-enabled devices.

It’s well-built, looks beautiful, and costs considerably above the typical asking price for identical hardware, as are all Apple devices. The question is whether it delivers, or whether the price is excessive for no obvious reason, as was the case with the MacBook series before its last upgrade.

1. Price

The Apple HomePod costs $350, which is more than twice as much as the Google Home and more than three times as much as the Echo. This evaluation is not about any of the other Google Home or Echo models, however, both firms offer cheaper variants, but Apple does not. As a result, buyers have little choice except to pay a high price to keep their Apple integration across all devices.

Because of the high price and limited functionality compared to the competition, it’s tough to recommend this device as someone’s smart speaker if you don’t own many other Apple goods or aren’t a subscriber to Apple’s services like Apple Music.

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2. Perform a search

Because Apple isn’t attempting to compete directly with Google in the smart home space, the HomePod includes Google Search. When conducting internet searches, you will be using the world’s most popular search engine. This also means you’ll be getting the same search technology like Google Home for less than half the price. While I do not believe that price is everything, I do feel that when the industry cost norm is significantly lower, it will elicit greater criticism.

3. The quality of the speakers

In my perspective, one thing that Apple has always gotten right is the sound quality of its gadgets. I fell in love with the audio on my first iMac, and it’s a feeling I’ve carried over to my iPhone and MacBook.

The speakers are crystal clear and loud. I checked the speaker’s quality at a nearby BestBuy, where I’m sure I offended everyone in the store by being “that guy,” but it was necessary for science. On practically any music you will ever play on the HomePod, the bass is great, the highs are clear, and there is no distortion.

4. Backwards and forwards compatibility with various devices

Because of Apple’s closed environment, there aren’t as many HomeKit-compatible products as there are for Google Home or the Echo. That’s not to say the HomePod won’t provide you with the same capabilities as the competition. Just make sure that all of your current gadgets are compatible with HomeKit, as well as any new devices you buy in the future.

It’s also worth noting that the HomePod doesn’t truly offer genuine functionality with the Apple TV, which means that while you can use the HomePod as a speaker for your Apple TV via some convoluted techniques, you won’t be able to control your TV like you can with other smart speakers.

5. Unique characteristics

You’ve gotten Siri. It’s up to you whether or not that qualifies as a distinct feature. There aren’t many other things that distinguish the HomePod from the competition.

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Our Verdict

Even with all the information, choosing a smart speaker that fits your home may be challenging in a world with so many alternatives, so which gadget do we think is the most bang for your buck? To that question, there are two possible responses.

Get the Google Home if you don’t use Amazon often or simply want something open and easy to use with almost any device. It can be modified to fit the room’s colors, has excellent compatibility with any smartphone, is simple to use with a Chromecast, and has excellent audio quality. Get an Echo in all other cases.

Bing isn’t perfect, and smart home, home automation, and security technologies have their idiosyncrasies, but they work. Although the Echo does not have the finest speaker, it is the most cost-effective.

If you can’t find a function you want, Amazon has built Alexa Skills so that you can probably discover it in the Alexa Skills part of the Alexa app. Alexa Skills include a wide range of topics, from games to relaxing tunes. While “Alexa” can be a grating wake word, you can customize your wake phrase to whatever you wish.

With the greatest selection of audiobooks online and the ability to listen to them directly from the cloud in any room with an Echo device, Audible introduces the game-changing audiobook capability to the Echo.

Again, this isn’t about other devices, but I’d like to single out Amazon for providing a variety of devices for a variety of uses, ranging from visual clocks to larger screens for recipes and more.

It’s your turn, as always! The smart speaker industry, as well as the smart home sector in general, is the fastest growing in consumer technology.

Having said that, have you ever heard of smart speakers? Do you own one if you have one? Which one did you get and why did you receive it? Is it possible that you own an Apple HomePod? Are you delighted with your purchase and why did you buy it? Please let us know in the comments section below.

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