Three big names in technology – Amazon, Google, and Apple – now officially have smart home speakers available to purchase. Each speaker, at its core, has the same basic end goal: become a fully integrated part of the household. That being said, each brand is going about that end goal in a slightly different way. If you’re starting to research the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, here are a few of the more obvious differences to consider in your early stages:
Each smart home speaker brand has its own line of products. The Amazon Echo is the most robust, while the Apple HomePod line currently leaves a bit to be desired.
The Amazon Echo line offers six different models – some are just speakers, some have screens. The Echo is a speaker only, and is available in six different colors. The Echo Plus is also a speaker-only, but can serve as your smart home hub. It is available in three colors. The Echo Dot is a mini version of the Echo, and comes in two colors. There is also one Echo that is focused on being a camera, the Echo Look. There are two versions with screens, the Echo Show and the smaller Echo Spot.
Google Home comes in three models, the Home Max, the Home and the Home Mini. The Home Max is a serious speaker, with dual 4.5” woofers and custom tweeters. The Google Home is the flagship product – a standard smart home speaker that works on voice commands. The Google Mini is, obviously, the mini version of the Google Home speaker.
The Apple HomePod line currently has just that – one HomePod model. And it was the last to market. By all accounts, the speaker itself is great, but there is no variety for a buyer. If you want multiple speakers in your home, there is no “mini” option – you’d have to buy full version speakers (see the “Price” section below to see why this is a bad option).
Price. The make it or break it factor for many when deciding which smart home speaker to buy. If you’re on a budget, you can immediately cross the Apple HomePod off your list (sorry). The speaker retails at $350 – each.
Amazon, with the most available models, has the biggest price range. The Dot starts at $50, while the premium model, the Echo Show, runs about $230. You could buy the Echo Show, and a couple Dots for the price of one HomePod. If you go with the original Echo, you’ll pay about $100, while the Echo Plus runs around $150.
The Google Home also has options for any budget. The Min is on par with the Dot, priced at $50, while the Home is priced a little higher than the Echo, at $129. The Home Max, though, takes the cake in price – running at $400. I guess it is justified because the speaker is built for sound, and can replace your other home speakers. But, still. That’s a hefty price.
Good luck with your smart home speaker journey! Once you have your smart speaker let us know if you’re one of these 5 Types of Smart Home Users!