Specs Showdown: Google Home Vs Amazon Echo Vs Apple HomePod

Image: From supplied

Now that Amazon's Echo has been launched locally, we have a full set of premium speakers that can be used as home assistants that can listen to our commands and pander to our beck and call. So, how does it stack up against Google's Home and the Apple HomePod, which hits the stores tomorrow? Let's take a look.

The Specs

Google Home Amazon Echo Apple HomePod
Dimensions Diameter: 96.4mm, Height: 142.8mm, Weight: 477g Diameter: 88mm, Height: 148mm, Weight: 821g Diameter: 142mm, Height: 172mm, Weight 2.5kg
Colours White with slate fabric base Black Black or white
Connectivity 802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5Ghz) Wi-Fi (WPA2-Enterprise not supported), Bluetooth 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 and 5 GHz) networks. (Ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi not supported), Bluetooth 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO, Direct guest access and Bluetooth 5.0
Speakers High excursion speaker with 52 mm driver + dual 52 mm passive radiators 63.5 mm woofer and 16 mm tweeter High-excursion woofer and seven horn-loaded tweeters
Audio format support HE-AAC, LC-AAC, MP3, Vorbis, WAV (LPCM), FLAC, Opus MP3, AAC, WAV/PCM, Vorbis, Opus HE-AAC (V1), AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV and FLAC
OS Support Android 4.4 and higher and iOS 9.1 and higher Fire OS, Android, and iOS devices iPhone 5s or later, iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation), iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later, or iPod touch (6th generation) running iOS 11.2.5 or later
Price $199 $149 $499

What's that all mean

In lots of ways, these three devices look to deliver similar functionality. But they differ in several ways.

The most obvious difference is price. You can buy two or three Echos or Homes for the cost of a single HomePod. Apple's big play isn't to compete to compete with Amazon and Google. The HomePod is another element in their walled garden (which brings its own customer base) but they are really competing with the likes of Sonos, pricing the HomePod straight between the Play:3 and Play:5 speakers.

Apple is charging the premium price because they've loaded the HomePod up with a bunch of powerful speakers and, well, because they're Apple.

The Echo and Home are also far more open. Both support Android, as well as iOS, with the Echo throwing in Amazon Fire support as well. And you'll find the Home and Echo also support lots more home automation gear with the HomePod only playing nicely with HomeKit compatible gear.

And while Apple is all about making the HomePod play nicely with their Apple Music service, you'll find the Echo and Home are a better choice if you're a Spotify user.

Pulling all that together, if you live and breath in Apple's ecosystem, using HomeKit, Apple Music and have a homogenous environment of iOS devices, deep pockets and are looking for a multi-room music solution, then the HomePod is worth considering.

But if you live in a world where not everything comes from one service provider, and you're happy with "good enough" rather than premium sound, then your choice narrows to the Amazon Echo, with it's tie-in to the Amazon store, or the Google Home which plays well with almost everyone and everything.


    Important to remember when it comes to sound quality, you can also pair the Google home or home mini with other audio equipment. For example I have a mini in my family room paired to a sonos play 5 which is attached to a Chromecast audio and I have another home mini pair3d to my pioneer receiver which also has a Chromecast audio device attached. So the Google home setup can match and surpass the Apple device for sound quality quite easily and cheaply.

    For me the Google Home isn't just "Good enough", I've also got three Chromecast Audio's which allow me to connect to speakers well beyond what you'll find in any of these products (most people don't realise but it also does optical out, someone recently turned their nose up at a potential quality loss with the CCA being the DAC and having to put the audio over a 3.5mm cable... That's not the case)

    Multiroom audio in +3 locations, leveraging the speakers I already have, using the provider of my choice (Spotify) for $59ea on top of the Google Home. I'm very happy with it.

    Important to remember that the Sonos Play 5 is $749AUD and the HomePod is $499AUD and the sonos is giving you the sound quality

      And Sonos will be giving AirPlay 2 to all existing devices soon, so it will respond to Siri, further narrowing the functional difference between Sonos and HomePod. With the Play One and play:3 undercutting the HomePod while delivering great sound, the HomePod will have it's work cut out in this market.

    Ummmm is siri Cough Good eneough, i dont think so and the vast majority of the web agrees as well, plain fact. So apples sound is good but siri still Sucks

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