With the sheer number of music streaming services and the increasing popularity of smart assistants, you’re not wrong to want a smart speaker of your own. Bringing together the best of music streaming with the smartest of the smart assistants for optimum at-home listening, the smart speaker market has been absolutely booming. All of these different options leave consumers with a tough choice: which smart speaker is best? For many, it all comes down to the Amazon Echo versus the Google Nest Audio.
While you might already know that the ultimate smart speaker debate is between the these two titans of that industry, you might struggle to name the superior option. Amazon loyalists and Google supporters have their respective sides chosen, but what about those in the middle? Which smart speaker is truly the better option? In order to pin down an answer, we’ll need to compare and contrast the two. Let’s dive right in and find an overall winner.
Amazon Echo vs. Google Nest Audio: Full Comparison
When it comes down to it, Amazon Echo and Google Home are smart speaker royalty. Both provide great sound at an affordable price. What’s more, both deliver smart assistant support alongside Bluetooth listening capabilities. Beyond these similarities, both current models of the Echo and the Home are available for the exact same price of $99.99. While neither smart speaker is a bad choice in comparison to some of the lesser offerings from Amazon and Google competitors, there’s still one that’s superior to the other.
Comparing the two, the most obvious difference that leaps out at you immediately is their varying shapes and sizes. The fourth-generation Amazon Echo resembles a round ball, while the latest Google Home — the Nest Audio — looks like a gray rectangle with rounded edges. This makes the former a little bulkier and harder to display than the latter, which can easily be slipped in between other objects or appliances on a table, shelf, or counter.
While both the fourth-generation Amazon Echo and the first-generation Nest Audio were released in September 2020, the two boast somewhat different specs. For one, Amazon Alexa is the superior smart assistant over Google Assistant for its ability to integrate with third-party software. This is only in terms of capabilities, however. If you’re looking purely at which smart assistant is the easiest with which to communicate, Google Assistant would actually be the one to come out on top. Let’s take a closer look at the specs of Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Side-by-Side Comparison of Amazon Echo and Google Nest Audio
|Google Nest Audio
|November 6, 2014
|November 4, 2016
|Amazon Echo (4th gen)
|5.7 in. x 5.2 in. x 5.7 in.
|4.89 in. x 3.07 in. x 6.89 in.
Amazon Echo vs. Google Nest Audio – 5 Must-Know Facts
- Google recently rebranded to the Nest Audio name from Google Home, while Amazon Echo has retained its name for four generations now.
- The Amazon Echo arrived two years prior to the Google Home.
- Amazon Alexa tends to rely on Wikipedia for answers to questions, while Google Assistant gets to utilize Google search. This gives Google Assistant a slight edge.
- Both the Amazon Echo and the Google Nest Audio offer higher- and lower-end options that offer pricier or cheaper versions of the Echo and Home base models.
- The latest of both the Echo and the Nest Audio are two years old, meaning consumers can expect to see a new update sometime sooner rather than later.
The History of Amazon Echo
- Sound automatically adapts to any room
- Supports lossless HD audio
- Built-in hub to voice control compatible lights, locks, and sensors
- Privacy protection
First released in November 2014 alongside the debut of Amazon’s now-iconic smart assistant, Alexa, the Amazon Echo was the tech giant’s first foray into the smart speaker industry. In the years since, Amazon has released several updated models and various iterations of their flagship smart speaker. Each has its own distinct set of appealing features and specs. Across the suite of Echo products, the same basic bells and whistles remain: Amazon Alexa support, Bluetooth speaker technology, Wi-Fi connectivity, and multi-room setup capabilities.
In addition to the Amazon Echo base model, there are several other more or less expensive versions available to Amazon customers. For a cheaper option, there’s the Echo Dot. Released in 2016, the Echo Dot contains many of the same features as the Echo proper, just in a smaller size. The Echo Tap, on the other hand, is a slimmer version of the Echo base model. 2017’s Echo Look introduced a camera to the device. The Echo Show from the same year brought a 7-inch screen to the Echo family. There’s also the Echo Spot, the Echo Plus, the Echo Flex, the Echo Loop, and various other takes on the Echo technology with minor tweaks that raise or lower the price accordingly.
Now in its fourth generation, the Amazon Echo proper remains Amazon’s most appealing smart speaker of all. Sporting a new round look and boasting great sound in addition to state-of-the-art smart-home capabilities, the fourth generation of Amazon Echo might not be as portable or as subtle as some of the other speakers in the Echo family, but that’s all right. The Amazon Echo wasn’t made to be the portable Bluetooth speaker you carry around with you everywhere. It’s intended to be at the center of your smart home setup, and it’s more than capable of the task at hand.
The History of Google Nest Audio
Released almost exactly two years after the Amazon Echo first made its debut, there’s simply no denying that the Google Home smart speaker family was made to directly compete with Amazon’s very popular smart speaker lineup. That’s not to say that the Google Home is merely a cheap imitation, however. Thanks to Google‘s own proprietary technology — including Google Assistant — the Google Home line of products definitely proves its worth against the Amazon Echo.
Also referred to as the Google Nest because of its recent line of smart speakers brandishing the Nest name, the Google’s smart speaker similarly broad in its offerings. The Google Home was followed up by the Home Mini and the Home Max in 2017, and the Home Hub in 2018. 2019 saw the release of the Nest Hub, the Nest Mini, and the Nest Hub Max. Clearly, every time one smart speaker brand makes a move, the others quickly follow with their own take on the tech.
Above all these variations, the Google Nest Audio presides as the Amazon Echo’s closest rival. Complete with Google Assistant support, a large Bluetooth speaker with excellent audio quality, and the ability to pair two together to create a more immersive listening experience, the Nest Audio does a good job providing an alternative to the Amazon Echo. It offers many of the same features, just with a distinct look and feel.
Pros and Cons of Amazon Echo vs. Google Nest Audio
|Pros of Amazon Echo
|Cons of Amazon Echo
|Pros of Google Nest Audio
|Cons of Google Nest Audio
|Comes equipped with Amazon Alexa
|The many different iterations of the Echo can be confusing for some consumers
|Comes equipped with Google Assistant
|The name change from Home to Nest may confuse some consumers
|One of the first smart speakers on the market, making it the more innovative choice
|The Amazon Echo is overdue for an upgrade after two years without one
|Smaller in length and width than the Amazon Echo
|The Google Home is taller in height than the Amazon Echo
|Amazon offers several other smart speaker options in addition to the 4th-gen. Echo base model
|The Amazon Echo’s audio quality leaves something to be desired compared to rival speaker brands
|Recently rebranded to Nest Audio, making the technology appear newer
|The Google Home’s audio quality is not as high as other rival speaker brands
|Costs less than $100
|Somewhat awkward to store with its strange spherical shape
|Available for less than $100
|Arriving two years after the Echo makes the Google Home a little late to the party
Amazon Echo vs. Google Nest Audio: Which Smart Speaker Is Best?
So, the question remains. Amazon Echo versus Google Nest Audio: which smart speaker is the best option? Well, let’s think about what we’ve learned so far. The Amazon Echo came first, making it the smart speaker pioneer. Google recently changed the name of their smart speaker to Nest Audio, making it the fresher brand. Both come equipped with smart assistants, and both deliver quality Bluetooth audio playback. Clearly, the two are pretty neck-and-neck.
At the end of the day, the top spot belongs to Amazon Echo. With its Prime features, its Alexa integration, its affordable price, and its trailblazing status, Echo can’t help but best Google Nest Audio. Of course, the Nest Audio is still an exceptional smart speaker. The two really are very close competitors. Ultimately, though, the Amazon Echo edges ahead by a hair. Of the two, Amazon Echo is the true winner.
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