Because Google and Amazon were the first to create “all-in-one” units, this quick review will focus on just these two. I’ll talk about the two major aspects that most people are concerned with, sound quality and usability. Hopefully, this will help you decide which will work best for you.
After doing some research into the hardware side of both Google Home and Amazon Alexa Echo, they are both really just basic speakers that you’d find in any TV. They don’t qualify as hi-fi by any means, but that doesn’t mean they are without merit. So I set them both down on my desk for a few weeks to see just what the pros and cons of each one were.
Speaker setup – dual 2” drivers with dual 2” passive radiators
What it does right – I felt the highs and upper mids were clearer and sharper than the Echo and voices sounded better too. I really enjoyed having it at my desk, and I found the audio quality acceptable for listening to music for a few hours at a time.
What it does wrong – Major lack of lower mids and bass hurt its audio performance. It would benefit from separate woofers and tweeters. And it can’t play as loud as the Echo.
Speaker setup – 2.5” woofer with reflex port and a 2” tweeter
What it does right – Definitely has better lower-mids and bass then the Google Home, I also felt it lacked in the highs compared to the Home. However, when listening at a distance, it beats Google’s effort. And it can play louder than the Home.
What it does wrong – Up-close sound is inferior to Google Home. The Echo needs better quality in the upper-mids and high frequencies. It can play louder than the Home, however I don’t recommend it. I also heard some distortion at higher volumes.
I am using this as a broad term for the hundreds of features both units have to offer and how they interact and help you with daily tasks. Being able to answer your questions, play games, and turn on lights in your home are just some of the tasks I performed with each device.
What it does right – Home responds to most questions faster and with a better answer then Alexa. Complex math questions and song searches are two things that Google Home does far better than Alexa; which is why I felt it made a great device to keep at my desk during the day.
What it does wrong – Seriously lacking in apps, games, and home automation compatibility compared to Alexa. Not the best device for kids or smart-home use.
What it does right – The customizable wake-word is nice. For example, I have two Alexa’s in my home, placed about 20 feet from each other. I changed the wake word on one to “Amazon” and kept the other one with “Alexa”. This works very well and gives me few issues with day to day tasks.
What it does wrong – Not as fast or accurate as Google Home. For an office assistant, the Google Home cannot be beat.
Which one is right for you?
Buy Google Home if
- You need an excellent office assistant
- Want a personal music assistant
- Want custom colors for your device to match your home
- You like slightly better highs for music
Buy the Amazon Alexa if
- Want to use voice control for home automation
- Want a better app and games experience
- Like ordering from Amazon using only your voice
- You like slightly better bass for music
In closing, you can’t really go wrong with either choice; they both work great and have different strengths and weaknesses. I hope you enjoyed this quick review and if you have any questions, please leave a comment below!