Amazon Echo vs Apple HomePod vs Google Home: the battle of the smart speakers


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Feb 4, 2016
Who's the better fit for your home?

Smart speakers are the best first step if you want to try out smart home technology. Many are affordable, they are fun to play with and even if you decide you don't want to talk to a disembodied voice, they still work as music speakers.

There are three smart speaker tribes you need to choose between, though: Amazon, Google and Apple.

Google has the most natural-feeling virtual assistant and you have three sizes of speaker to choose from. Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo range is the most popular, helped by being forever splashed across the internet's biggest retailer.

Apple makes just one smart speaker, the HomePod. It’s not cheap and is not as smart as the others. However, it sounds divine and is the one to pick if you’re worried about privacy or your personal data being thrown around like casino chips.

Let’s start with the basics.

Smart speakers are a home for voice assistants. Just like Siri on your iPhone or Google Assistant on your Android, you can almost treat these assistants like a person. Ask it to play a specific song, about a bit of pop culture triva or to set an alarm, and it will.

Although it's often embarrassing to start talking to your phone in public, the same social pressures don't exist in the home where you can be as weird as you like with your new robot pal.
So which one should you buy? Here's the low down on the various digital assistant speakers on offer. Let's find out which is right for you.

How big a speaker do you want? Google and Amazon offer plenty of choices. Small, affordable, puck-shaped speakers like the Home Mini and Echo Dot let you try out digital assistants without spending too much. But you wouldn’t use them as a hifi.

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