The battle to be the best smart speaker in the market today has been narrowed down to two - the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. However, it is not just about the devices. A tussle between the two smart speakers also pits their voice assistants, Alexa and Google Assistant, against each other. A War of the Voices, if you will.
If you asked, "Which one is better: Amazon Echo or Google Home?" a few months ago, the answer would readily be the Echo. Fast forward to now and some may not be that sure anymore. CNET cited Google Home's significant upgrades as the reason why some people are now questioning Amazon Echo's hold on the top spot. To be fair, Amazon does have the inside track in this battle as it has been around longer and its artificial intelligence has already amassed around 10,000 skills thanks to a multitude of developers.
According to CNET, smart speakers have three major uses. These are entertainment, personal assistance, and smart home control.
As for the basics, the two smart speakers are equally capable. Both are always listening and will respond to their wake words ("OK/Hey Google" and "Alexa", "Echo", 'Amazon", "Computer") and voice commands though they can encounter some difficulty when music is playing too loud. The two devices can also stream and play music which is the most important factor since they are, well, speakers. However, their performance particularly sound quality is lacking. To make for that, Home can be plugged into speakers that are Google Cast-enabled or connected to Chromecast Audio streamer. As for Amazon, the Echo Dot can be connected to a speaker. Google Home owners can enjoy their playlist everywhere in their homes as the smart speaker can connect to multiple speakers. This is one skill Alexa hasn't learned yet. As skill sets go, Alexa has more, therefore, it can provide more entertainment in the form of jokes, games, and trivia among other things.
As a personal assistant, you need a smart speaker that knows the answer to everything. Alexa is still better than Google Assistant though the latter accomplished a major breakthrough recently after it got access to 5 million recipes. Plus, Google Home can now identify voices. In other words, it would know who's talking.
Among the other plus factors going for Google Home is its customizability, having an output to the stereo system, and synced audio playback to multiple devices. Google's smart speaker is also cheaper at $130 against the Echo's $180 price tag.
As mentioned, Google Home has made some astonishing advancement in the field. This is the reason why Amazon seems to be on its feet trying to recoup some of the lead it lost. It is this same reason why the e-commerce giant suddenly unveiled the Amazon Echo Look and is reportedly working on a smart speaker with a touchscreen. Fortunately for Amazon, it has so far maintained its dominance in the field but, as was said, the margin is gradually slimming.