16 Oct COMPARISON OF APPLE HOME-POD, AMAZON ECHO AND GOOGLE NEST
The world is getting smarter every day, be it phones, homes, or supercars. Well, this year has marked to be the year of smart speakers as people prefer to use voice search that really cares about their needs 24/7.
Though many smart speakers have flooded the market, here we are going to talk about the top three tech giants and cut-throat competitors namely, Apple, Google, and Amazon.
Certainly, Home-pod, Echo, and Nest are all brilliant and user-friendly voice assistants available in the market at affordable prices. However, they differ from each other on a few aspects discussed below.
Evidently, a sphere or “orb” is the most favored shape for a smart speaker now. In fact, Apple, Google, and Amazon have welcomed it in designing their latest models.
HomePod Mini stands 3.5 inches tall, while Amazon Echo measures up to 5.7 inches, both are spherical speakers. However, Google’s Nest Audio with a sop-bar shape happens to be taller than all with 6.9 inches.
The HomePod is covered in a type of net fabric, except the top panel which is touch-sensitive and glossy. It changes colors in response to different actions and also when the iPhone is in close contact with it. HomePod Mini is available in white and space grey colors.
The Nest Mini (second generation) is almost identical to Home Mini, except it is now covered with recycled plastic. It only has LED lights that mark the volume control touchpoints that keep changing colors as per the response, a mute button at the bottom. It also has a hole at back for wall mounting.
The Echo is almost the same, except the top panel which has 4 press buttons indicating mute and volume controls.
Voice Assistance & Recognition
The biggest unique selling point of a smart speaker is that it recognizes your voice and understands your commands, which happens to be pretty good in all three.
Each speaker is addressed in a different way like,” Hey Google” for Nest, “Alexa” for Echo, and “Siri” for Home-pod. After that, you can interact with it given that you are using proper phrases to be interpreted by it.
It completely depends on the way you interact with the voice assistant, what meaning it catches. Obviously, Google has an add-on advantage here due to its impact on search and a massive knowledge graph. Thus, Google is capable to cater to all types of queries of different subjects.
Google voice assistance is followed by Alexa and Siri. The latter two are also pretty good, but at times it can be frustrating to use the exact syntax.
Both Google and Alexa can operate with iOS and Android phones, and other devices as well. But, Siri is useless for a Windows PC and Android phone.
Smart Home Suitability
Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant are compatible with almost every smart home device at the present. The big companies mostly generate smart home products that are managed with all these. Still, many things are restricted to a particular smart speaker.
The smart lightings by LIFX and Philips Hue, smart home support by Samsung SmartThings, Switches by Belkin’s WeMo, Smart Lock by August, and many more are the devices that are functional with all three smart systems.
The security cameras, thermostats, and the range of products by Nest are only compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa. Thus, few appliances are only supported by one or two systems.
Even, there are ample of such devices which are only operated by one system. For instance, Alexa can only control Amazon Fire TV and likewise, Google’s casting technology can be operated by Google Home.
Siri is comparatively restrictive as it functions via Apple’s HomeKit system. Thus, smart home devices with HomeKit on the box will only be favorable for this.
HomePod Mini has very limited options in comparison to Nest Audio or Echo.
Music Streaming Service
One can cherish their favorite music on a smart speaker by just asking for it, but individually each differs as per the services. It can be streamed from and what and all can be played through it.
Comparing all three, Siri is limited to Apple music only, alongside Radio.com, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Recently, Apple has announced its collaboration with Pandora and Amazon music too.
Alexa is already ruling the market as it associates with almost every music streaming platform, including, Spotify, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Audible, and Amazon Music.
While Google Assistant can work with Pandora, YouTube Music, iHeartRadio, Google Play Music, Deezer, SiriusXM, and Spotify.
However, one can also play from a third-party platform too by connecting the phone on Bluetooth directly. HomePod Mini works with Apple AirPlay 2, thus music can be played from any app that supports AirPlay. Likewise, the Nest supports Google Cast, and with Wi-Fi and compatible apps, music can be streamed.
Speaker Quality and Hardware
On the hardware front, Google Nest Audio features a 0.75-inch tweeter and a 3-inch woofer. The Amazon Echo uses dual front-firing tweeters of 8 inches and a woofer of 3 inches. The HomePod Mini supports two passive radiators and a solo full-range driver.
If we compare Amazon Echo Dot and Google Nest Mini, they both have a powerful pace in sound quality, but because of a smaller size, they can’t be considered as music speakers at first choice. However, Nest Audio and the Echo sound remarkably better than other speakers in the price range from $100 to $200.
The Apple HomePod has notably the best sound quality in this category as per the highest prices to be noted. However, Echo Studio also gives the best value for money at a cost of $200 with audio as good as the speakers at this range.
Other Skills and Actions
Smart speakers influence your digital life in numerous ways. For instance, you can order pizza or uber and also get timely updates on upcoming calendar events.
Since Amazon was a pioneer in smart speakers, it has more skills than the HomePod, and Google Nest has to offer. However, now all cover the major areas. All three speakers can help in setting alarms, checking the weather, and making voice calls.
Earlier, Only Google Home was offering an intercom service, which is broadcasting a message on other Google Home devices at your home.
Currently, this is offered widely by all three ecosystems, providing the smart home devices that comply with it.
In the latest addition, HomePod Mini even offers an intercom in your cars, like you can ask Siri for a navigation guide for a place, and it will keep the map ready in your car for this route. This is really cool.
Regarding making calls, Alexa helps in calling your contacts who also own Amazon Echo devices. With Google Assistant, you can voice chat with your friends and family members over Google Duo. HomePod Mini is a bit restrictive and only requires the iPhone to make calls.
Thus, all the above smart speakers are really good in terms of the best quality and features they provide to the users. All serve the best at competitive pricing, depending on what kind of smart home devices you use in your home and the voice search assistant you are already feasible with. If you are planning to purchase smart speakers, you can buy any one of them based on your specific requirements and budgets.