Prime Day 2019 is going strong on its second day, with early reports of vastly higher sales volumes than past years, for Amazon and the roughly 250 additional merchants who joined in. Shoppers are buying smart home devices in record numbers. The increase in sales is likely due in part to Walmart and Google’s aggressive partnership for the summer sales event. By cutting prices more than two weeks before Prime Day began on Google Nest smart home products, the joint Walmart and Google effort may have given Amazon extra incentive for its Amazon Echo smart home deals.
Finding great deals isn’t only about looking at the lowest price – although that’s a huge part of the hunt. We also want to compare deals on the most popular products across platforms, and in this post, we’re looking at the Amazon Echo and the Google Home smart speakers. Earlier today, we compared the best Prime Day deals on the Google Home Mini versus the Amazon Echo Dot. We also evaluated the Google Nest Hub and Echo Show 5 smart display deals.
The Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers were the original products in their respective Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant smart home platforms. The Echo on sale today is the second-generation product that launched in 2017 with much-improved sound, appearance, and overall functionality than the original 2015 version. The Google Home is still the first generation in its line, having made its debut in 2016.
A year after the original Amazon Echo’s debut, the Echo Dot appeared on the market in the fall of 2016 with a smaller size and lower cost. The same thing happened with the Google line up when the Google Mini showed up in October 2017. In both cases the smaller-form-factor, rounded-hockey-puck-ish entry-level smart speakers took over from their larger brand mates. Neither Amazon nor Google is free with actual unit sales numbers, but the volumes of the Dot and Mini dwarf the stats for the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
So why do people keep buying the larger and still more costly “full-size” Echo and Home smart devices? Music. Neither device brings tears to audiophile eyes, and both lines have audio-enhanced models in the Echo Plus and the Home Max, respectively. The Dot and Mini are fine for background-listening when you’re sitting at your desk, but neither small speaker can fill a room with sound or rock even a small party.
So that’s the niche for the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. They’re not high-end music machines but for many people the Echo and the Home play music with all the volume, bass, and vocal quality necessary to keep shoppers buying. So what about the deals?
Amazon Echo (2nd Gen)— $50 off
The second-generation Amazon Echo has Dolby processing to dish out deep bass without buzzing and to serve clear vocals. The Echo has a 2.5-inch downward-firing subwoofer and a 0.6-inch upward-firing tweeter. You can configure the Echo to play music from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, and more. You can awaken to music alarms and ask Alexa to play what you want to hear. Like other Alexa-compatible smart speakers, you can use voice commands with the Echo to set times, ask questions, check your schedule, play the news, make Skype calls, and monitor and manage smart devices throughout your home. When Digital Trends reviewers evaluated the updated second-generation Amazon Echo and the Google Home, they unanimously agreed the Echo has better overall music quality.
Normally priced at $100, the Amazon Echo is $50 during Prime Day. If price and music quality are the only factors in choosing a full-size smart speaker, the Echo wins on both counts.
Google Home— $60 off
The Google Home has a secret weapon; it comes ready to work with Chromecast so you can stream content directly to your TV. Inside the Google Home’s high excursion speaker has a 2-inch driver and dual 2-inch passive radiators. You can use Google home with Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Pandora and link one of those accounts as your default player. When our admittedly demanding Senior Editor Caleb Denison evaluated the Home’s music production quality in comparison to the Echo, he said the Google Home over-emphasizes the bass and distorts sooner when the volume is turned up. Denison also said the most people would be happy with the sound, however.
Usually $129, the Google Home is just $69 during Prime Day and Walmart’s extended Google Week. Because we’re comparing the deals for the Google Home and the Amazon Echo solely on music quality and price, the Echo gets the nod because it sounds better and costs $19 less. If you’re building a Google Assistant smart home configuration, however, the Echo’s edge won’t matter, and both the Google Home music and price are close enough to the Echo that neither should be a deterrent.
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