Amazon Echo v Google Home. Who's the daddy?

A question for all you experienced users out there.
I’m in the UK and do not have either.
Amazon have just started a TV compain for the Alexa and my wife said ‘wow that looks cool’.
Perhaps they are trying to steal Google’s thunder by pushing their product hard now.
I must admit I have been hanging back.
Now I have the green light I’m thinking do I wait for Google Home to be launched in the UK once you guys in the US have ironed out all the bugs for us, or do I get Alexa which has a proven track record.

I would be greatly interested in all opinions and also which would be best for future plans with both products.

Get both. That’s what I’m probably going to do.


Or maybe there is something better than both of the above.

What I did lol

That’s my plan. Probably not possible, but it would be fun to set both close to each other & somehow get them to start arguing with each other or have a trivia fight. :grin:

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Im struggling to see how Google Home will offer me enough benefit over Alexa to switch. If the upcoming integration with Sonos works like the community written integration here, then I dont really know what more I could ask for out of an “assistant”.

The Echo bridges with smartthings, sonos and my evohome.

Combine that with IFTTT and various community written stuff here and I think the Amazon device offers all I could really want.

The biggest thing GH has going for it, is the search engine.

Alexa uses Bing, which IMHO is horrible. It cant seem to find basic things to search for. Its frustrating.

Hopefully it integrates flawlessly. If the Echo and dot dont get updated to sync music streaming in the near future, Ill be converting to GH and gifting my dots and Echo to friends and family.

You don’t really need SONOS as Google has a cheaper way to get multi-room speakers. They have Chromecast Audio combined with any speaker and you have a cheaper speaker system than overpriced SONOS.

My 2 cents.

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I think it really depends what you want to use it for.

I mainly use mine for home automation with SmartThings and music playback via Spotify and Amazon Prime so I think Echo is the best option for me. Plus I have had it running for about 12 months now so Home was not an option.

If you want to use it more for internet searching then I expect Home to be better.

I can’t see me switching over any time soon as Echo does everything I need.

Ah Ha.
Very good point.
I already have 2 sonos speakers and was thinking about getting another.
A Google Home will do the trick and give me additional features.
Some good replies so far.
Keep 'em coming folks. :+1:

Thats true, however you would still require a powered speaker, or an amp and a method of getting power to it. For bathroom installations for example, I have a sonos connect amp and two ceiling speakers. The amps for each bathroom are located in rack in another room. They just have speaker cable to the ceiling speakers from the connect amp.

If you move to chromecast audio, then you will need to feed that audio from chromecast into some form of amp, which then powers the speakers. This of course could be done with a cheap stereo amp, and again rack mounted somewhere unless you want an amp in the bathroom. Not as neat as the sonos installation, but workable.

If you wanted to replace the single countertop play 1 in a kitchen for example, having a chromecast audio plugged into a powered amp and then a speaker would get messy. Having it sat on top of a simple powered speaker may be better, but still not as neat.

For casting audio to a single stereo hifi, then yes chromecast would be fine. For true multiroom audio and neat installations, sonos still takes some beating imho. Its also infinitely more wife friendly and acceptable to she who must be obeyed. All imho off course.

Right now I can walk into my house and do the following:

say “Alexa, ask sonos to play Elvis Presley in the Kitchen”.

If I want to I can say “Alexa, ask sonos to join Lounge to the Kitchen” - it now plays in both rooms. Or “Alexa, ask sonos to change room to Lounge”, and it starts playing in the lounge and stops in the kitchen.

Will Google home have that ability with chromecast audio - almost certainly. But it will still require some thought put into getting powered speakers and connecting them to a chromecast audio unit. It will also require decent wifi coverage as they dont create their own mesh network separate from the home wifi.

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Since google home is still in the pre-release stage everywhere, there really isn’t any way to compare it because we don’t know exactly what it’s going to do or how well it’s going to do it once it’s actually available on November 4. We know what they announced, but that’s not the same thing. :wink:

As for the echo advertising, that’s understandable as they only released it in the UK last month. They probably gave it a few weeks to make sure everything was working well and now it’s time to promote it. There may, of course, also be some desire to point out that it’s available now with lots of reviews and working well as opposed to google home which is still largely unknown and won’t ship For a few weeks.

Just read this post and as if by magic the Alexa advert appeared on TV. Again. Very impressive if it knows what you’re reading. :wink:

Seriously though, I’m assuming I don’t need a hub for the Echo or the Dot.

It depends on what you want it to do.

If you just want the echo to give you the weather, news, sports news, and play some music sources, you don’t need a hub.

If you want it so you have voice control over home automation equipment and that equipment has its own IFTTT channel, you don’t need a hub. Or if it’s one of the Wi-Fi pocket sockets that has a direct integration with echo.

If you want it so you have voice control over Phillips hue lights, you need the Phillips hue bridge.

If you want it so you have voice control over Lutron Caseta lights, you need the Lutron smartbridge.

If you want it so you have voice control over Z wave pocket sockets or in wall relays controlled by smartthings, you need the SmartThings hub.

Neither the echo nor google home have their own radios for communicating with Z wave or zigbee devices. So you need a hub to do that. Then echo/google home communicates with the hub and the hub communicates with the end devices.

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Thanks for the info.
I have a SmartThings hub and several lights, (hue strips and bulbs, WeMo bulbs), switches, motion sensors, Sonos speakers, a humidity sensor, smoke sensor etc. All fuly integrated into ST using CoRE and working very well.
Echo or Home sounds like a natural evolution of my ‘Smart Home’.
Just wondering if ‘Home’ or ‘Echo’ is the best solution.
I appreciate ‘Home’ is very much in it’s infancy but I’m just trying to get a feel for what will be the better product.

See the existing active thread. In particular:

Then scroll back up in that thread to around 350 and read forward from there for staff comments as well.

Thanks @JDRoberts.
I’ve gone through the thread from around 350. Phew!!!
From reading it and with my limited knowledge on both products, I would suggest that the people who have commented in the thread are leaning towards ‘Home’. (Probably in anticipation of what they think it will do from day 1 and also it’s potential).
I think the best thing for me to do is to keep monitoring the threads and make an informed decision when Home is released in the UK.
Unless Home gets some serious bad reviews when you guys across the pond integrate it and find that it is not all it is cracked up to be.
It’s a shame though as they are even advertising the Echo on Sky Sports at half time in the football and my wife is now asking me when we are going to try something like it.
Seems like Amazon are really going for it.

I’m going to stick with both. But since I will have 7 echos and 1 GH I’ll take it by how well GH delvolopes over time

I love my Alexa and have a Dot on preorder. However, the multiroom audio thing is still a big miss. I’ve been saying for a while that Chromecast Audio is a Sonos killer. You can basically build 4 rooms worth of speakers for the price of 1 Play 1.

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You could definitely DO the Chromecast setup in multiple rooms, especially if you have a Google Home controlling it all somewhere. However, I do agree with you that a few Sonos would be significantly more elegant and simple. And YES, my wife is the choke point on what I “could” do and what I actually put in the house too.
It’s kind of a decision between being a tinkerer or wanting an Apple level of finished product.