Tech giants Amazon and Google always save their annual hardware events for the fall, and in 2020, they fell back
Week in late September. While the Amazon incident was at least a dozen In the 45-minute time slot, Google was a bit more restrained In a half-hour presentation. But the two companies announced a new version of their signature smart speakers: The And spiritual successor in Google Home, .
We’re excited to get review units in the coming weeks so that we can make a proper head-to-head comparison of the speakers, but for now, here’s how their specs stack.
Amazon’s focus in 2019 was on hardware, rolling out half a dozen speakers and displays in a single year, but in 2020 Alexa is the star. Alexa’s improved home security features, more natural speech and predictive smart home controls can make it far more competitive with Google’s still-best Google Assistant. When those features roll out – and Google’s answer to them – the voice assistant between the two will keep the race tight-lipped.
The hardware of the new Echo likewise prioritizes home integration, which features a Zigbee receiver for connecting smart lightbulbs and the Amazon Sidewalk Bridge to connect home and near-home devices to a vast network of technology.
As a speaker, the new Echo will have slight improvements compared to the previous generation, with solid sound quality for the price of $ 100. It states that the 3-inch woofer appears to be the same as the previous generation, but adds a second 0.8-inch tweeter, meaning a better difference in mid-to-high range sound. Amazon also says that the speaker voice will automatically adapt to the acoustics of that room.
For the $ 100 price tag, the new Echo is a very sweet deal. Read our Amazon Echo 2020 first.
$ 100 Nest Audio 2016 is replacing Google Home, and Google says it will be 75% louder “with 50% stronger bass than original” [speaker]. “The performance will come from its 19mm tweeter and 75mm mid woofer, which are both slightly smaller than their counterparts in the new Amazon Echo (the Echo also has two tweeters). Generally speaking, the speak is better. With such a close margin, we’ll have to wait and see which smart speaker sounds better in practice. It’s safe to say that they are most likely, however, to be quite comparable.
The Google Assistant is still the more natural-sounding sound assistant, although Amazon is keeping the competition stiff with its recent upgrades. For most people, whether you like Alexa or Google Assistant will likely come down to use cases: Google Assistant works better with Google’s calendar, Gmail, and search services; Alexa works well with Amazon Shopping. Work will be found to vary degrees for different requests between the two.
When it comes to smart home connections, Nest Audio brings a solid array of integration with other Nest devices, with a larger hitter in the connected home space. That said, it is not Alexa’s wide reach with smart home developers – especially with more niche products. And while the new Echo has a Zigbee receiver, Google has also not confirmed this for Nest Audio (although this may change in the coming days). Read our Nest Audio first.
Best smart speaker?
It’s certainly too early to claim one smart speaker to be victorious over the other, but to get a slight edge over Nest Audio as soon as Amazon’s new Echo hardware (especially with its additional tweeter and ZigBee receiver) arrives. It seems. Google Assistant is impressive as always, but with Alexa’s improved speech patterns and clever features for home security and more active automation, Google might not last forever on its voice assistant leads.
Regardless of the results, one thing is certain: 2020 will be an important holiday season for Amazon and Google. For the first time since 2016, consumers will have two new value-for-money (both are $ 100), competing smart speakers to anchor their smart homes – and choosing between them will not be easy.