When it comes to smart speakers, I often get asked: “what is the best speaker for me?”. For those of you who don’t know what a smart speaker is, it’s a speaker that connects to your wireless home network and can play music and perform tasks like answering questions or controlling your smart home devices. In this article, I will talk about the two most popular options: Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
Amazon Alexa comes in many shapes and sizes. The prices range from $49.99 -$299. The setup is fairly simple through the Amazon Alexa app. It does a very good job at walking through the setup process. Once set up, Alexa can answer general questions that you ask, play music for you from any of the major streaming services, or perform any of the thousands of skills that you ask it to do. When it comes to controlling the smart devices in your home, this is where Alexa shines. Currently, I have 14 lightbulbs, my thermostat, and my home entertainment system all being controlled by Alexa. Yes, it takes a little setup to get it all working, but the payoff is well worth it.
Google Home also comes in different shapes and sizes. The prices range from $49-$299. The setup is also very easy via the Google Home App. Overall, the sound of this speaker is slightly better than Alexa. It is also a little smarter than Alexa when you ask it questions. However, the smart home side of Google Home is not nearly as friendly as the Alexa environment. There are not nearly as many supported devices. And the setup for the supported devices can be a little clunky at times.
Let it be noted that I played around with the $99 Alexa speaker and the $129 Google speaker. Both speakers are very smart and play music well. Both speakers also have a large skill set library. If you are looking for the best overall speaker, I would recommend Amazon slightly over Google. For me, the major difference is the smart home compatibility. Remember, a smart home is a happy home.