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Google Home Mini Speakers Recorded all Audio back to Google Servers

Google Home Mini Speakers Recorded all Audio back to Google Servers

Your home should be synonymous with safety. Privacy must be at its maximum state. But imagine if someone was sly enough to enter your home and record everything you say near it. It sounds worse than the Peeping Tom, right?

Sad to say, Google’s Home Mini speaker happened to be that kind of all-listening and all-recording, new generation tom.

Don’t fret! Google wasn’t that purposely evil.

According to The Verge report, the Home Mini speaker recorded all sounds due to a fault in the touch sensor of the device. To ease this mishap, Google issued a software patch to halt the constant recording.

The company was happy that the speakers could be fixed remotely with a software update rather than a recall.

Users owe this discovery to the reporting about ‘near constant’ listening and recording of Artem Russakovskii of Android Police. It received a quick response from Google. It’s a good thing that the touch sensor fault is limited to Home Mini speakers distributed at Made by Google.

An estimate of 4,000 devices was affected. If you haven’t acquired your Home Mini from the said event, your unit is safe. Also, the Google Home Max won’t suffer from such mishap since it’s not launching until December.

As Google tries to demonstrate that they uphold privacy seriously, all queries and activities created through a long press at the touch sensor on Home Mini speakers between October 4 – 7 have been wiped out. That information will no longer show up on the owner’s My Activity Page.

The Google support page gives further information for those affected users. It advises software update to fix the problem. If the issue isn’t settled through the update, Google will send out a replacement of the Home Mini.

Google’s new Home Max Smart Speaker to take on Sonos One

Google is about to release its newest premium speaker, the Google Home Max. Unlike the Sonos One, the Home Max is ready to level up your speakers at home with its latest features.

About Google Home Max

Google’s Home Max has more impressive features which will outsmart other wireless speakers. This smart speaker includes an adaptive “Smart Sound” audio system. It can adapt to the noise of its environment by adjusting its volume. The Home Max’s sound level will go louder in noisy surroundings, and at night time, it’ll reduce its sound automatically.

Critics are expecting that the Home Max wireless speaker will be a direct competitor with other premium smart speakers such as the Sonos and the Apple HomePod.

Price

The $399 smart speaker will be out in the market this coming December. During this period, the Home Max speaker may be exclusively available across North America.

Design and Specifications

Although the speaker is simple, Google has successfully made an 11-pound speaker device to look elegant and well-engineered.

Drivers are hidden under a mesh fabric which allows the device to have a smooth and decent effect. An option like a touch-friendly sensor is also available for adjusting the volume and skipping songs. A small line indicates the sensor which is situated at the topmost part of the speaker.

The power switch is located in the middle part of the wireless speaker while the plug for the power supply is located in the near left corner side.

Google’s Home Max also has a USB-C port and a 3.5mm audio jack to play tracks using a wired connection with other non-Bluetooth devices.

What are your expectations about the upcoming Google smart speaker? Comment below!

The speaker is supported by a Chromecast built-in protocol which is ideal for Wi-Fi music, made of course by Google itself. This makes the speaker a suitable audio device for people who love movie marathons.

Other specifications are listed below:

  • Silicone Base
  • Acoustically transparent fabric available in two colors: Charcoal and Chalk
  • Two custom tweeters (0.7 inches)
  • Two high-excursion dual voice coil woofers (4.5 inches)
  • Six onboard microphones ideal for far-field voice control

The premium Google Home Max continues to gain critics even though it’s not yet released. Soon, users will embrace a new generation of smart speakers that’ll bring you to another level of enjoyment.

Amazon Echo vs Amazon Echo Dot

2014 was the limelight of Amazon’s ingenuity and innovation, the Amazon Echo. Even after more than three years from its release, the Echo is still considered as one of the best smart speakers for any household in the US.

The release of its compact version, the Echo Dot gave the opportunity for some speakers to adapt the Alexa voice assistant. Having Amazon’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) in their systems transforms their usual audio functionalities into voice-responsive smart speakers.

If you’re wondering about the differences between these two Echo series, let’s make a good comparison between the Amazon Echo and the Echo Dot.

Design and Build

The most obvious difference between the Echo and the Echo Dot is their design and build. Amazon’s Echo is a 9.3-inch cylindrical tower with a diameter of 3.3 inches. The smart speaker’s bottom half has a speaker grille, while the top has a ring of light that illuminates when you say the wake word ‘Alexa.’

You can use the Alexa voice assistant integrated with the Echo smart speakers to manage your audio settings, tell your current time and weather.

The Echo Dot smart speaker is a compact-sized device which resembles a hockey puck. This tiny speaker looks like a top cut-off portion of the Amazon Echo. It has the same diameter but stands at only 1.5 inches tall.

The Echo weighs approximately 1,049 grams while the Echo Dot which is about one-third of the Amazon Echo’s height weighs only about 250 grams.

The Amazon Echo Dot has the same light ring found on the Amazon Echo, which indicates when Alexa is listening. This ring has a twisting wheel that can be used to manage the volume of your audio. There are two function buttons on top which are the microphone off and action buttons.

Both speakers have micro USB port for charging. However, the Echo Dot can connect to an external speaker either by plugging it into its 3.5mm port using an audio cable or connecting via Bluetooth. This feature allows the compact speaker to improve its audio performance.

On the other hand, the Echo is just a standalone smart speaker that can’t be linked to other speakers. But its 2-way active speakers with bass reflex make the Echo loud enough to enjoy music and radio.

Both the Amazon Echo and the Echo Dot contain the same seven omnidirectional far-field microphones that can pick your voice up anywhere inside your house. But there are differences between the audio qualities of the two devices.

Sound Quality

Both smart speakers have a built-in microphone, but the Echo’s 360-degree speaker undersized the Echo Dot’s compact size and lower sound quality.

When it comes to the speakers’ audio quality, the Echo provides a decent level of bass and resonance for listening to your favorite tunes. The audio performance of the Echo is enough for an ordinary user’s ear unless you’re a major audiophile.

The Echo Dot has even less when it comes to audio quality. This tiny speaker wasn’t designed to blast out good quality sound. It’s just enough to hear an alarm or acknowledge a command. And because of its limited audio capability, Amazon recommends this speaker be placed at least three feet away from an external speaker.

The Echo Dot works fine for verbal interaction with Alexa, but you can notice the speaker’s tinny sound quality.

Functionality

When it comes to both speakers’ range of capabilities, the Echo and Echo Dot are pretty much identical.

Both devices get activated by saying the wake words “Alexa,” “Computer,” or “Amazon.” The voice assistant Alexa is intelligent enough to understand and respond to a long list of voice-activated commands. Some of the commonly asked questions that can be answered by Alexa include telling you the current date, time or weather, playing music, and answering silly questions.

Amazon boasts its Echo devices to have more than 130 app integrations which include Uber, Skyscanner, and National Rail.

If your smart home is designed with smart heating and lighting devices, Alexa can act as your personal assistant to help you control your smart home devices with apps like Hive, Netatmo, and Philips Hue.

Compatibility

While the Amazon Echo is created as a single speaker device, the Echo Dot’s audio performance is at its best when connected to an external speaker.

Amazon said that the Echo Dot’s compatibility with other speakers has been tested and certified with some Bluetooth speakers of Bose and Ultimate Ears. Other wireless Bluetooth speakers with 3.5mm audio port and audio cable may connect with the Echo Dot, but you may not get full functionality of the smart speaker.

Price

One of the significant factors when deciding which smart speaker to buy is the smart speaker’s price.

The Amazon Echo originally costs $179 while the Echo Dot is apparently much cheaper, about two times less expensive with a selling price of $99. But remember that the Echo Dot needs an external speaker to function better. So, you may need to include the cost of an external speaker if you don’t have one.

Regardless of their sizes and costs, these Echo devices still have all the same assistant capabilities.

Limitations

Though these Echo smart speakers have a built-in array of seven omnidirectional microphones, there are instances when the speakers’ responses are inconsistent. Common questions may not be answered correctly. Sometimes, the speakers are confused with similar sounding words which end up with poor or inaccurate responses to commands.

The speakers’ default location is Seattle, which is Amazon’s headquarters. You have to set your current location manually to get more accurate results on a weather forecast and current date and time. Smartphones also need to activate its GPS receivers so that their voice assistants will be able to identify the correct location, time, date, and weather forecast.

Interaction and communication with the Echo are currently available in English and German languages. But Alexa continues to learn better, and Amazon is working to improve their voice assistant’s capabilities.

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home vs. Apple Homepod

Apple was like a ticking time bomb when it unveiled its latest addition to the growing clash of smart speakers, the Apple Homepod.

“It’s not about being first. It’s about being the best, and giving users an experience that delights them every time.” Apple CEO, Tim Cook said during an interview.

By December, Apple promises to realize the idea that chronological order doesn’t define greatness. But still, you might wonder how Apple would sway the market that’s known to Amazon and Google.

Apple Homepod: Not your average smart speaker

‘Hit the enemy where it’s unprepared.’

Apple won’t be the Apple we knew without its subtle yet straightforward marketing strategies.

It aimed to perfect the aspect where it’s competitors lack power. The Apple Homepod aspires to free the speaker from audio mediocrity.

During the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple boasted on Homepod’s dynamic features.

It goes with a 7-tweeter, beam-forming array. Beam-forming or also called Spatial Filtering is a technique to sensor arrays for directional signal transmission or reception.

Also, it has a 4-inch, forward-facing subwoofer that allows the Homepod to produce excellent sound quality.

With its iPhone A8 chip, the HomePod scan the room and optimize sound quality to fit the space it’s situated.

Superb sound quality is Apple’s priority. The Amazon Echo and Google Home are programmed to be smart speakers first and then speakers.

The fine line lies between the manufacturer’s primary target.

Amazon Echo: The home-buddy

For more than two years of being in the market, the Amazon Echo has garnered over 10,000 third-party skills. These skills allow you to do almost everything from ordering pizza to hailing a cab.

The Echo reshaped the smart home. Before it came, setting up a family-friendly connected home was a bugger. Users needed to use various apps to control different types of devices. Now, Echo’s assistant, Alexa, does everything for you.

“Alexa, turn my living room lights off.”
“Alexa, remind me to fetch mom at the airport by 5.”
“Alexa, play Adele.”

You just had to say the wake word ‘Alexa’ and voila! You got your answer for your needs.

Although at some point, speaking to Alexa isn’t that easy when it’s playing some music. This drawback demands you to shout or go nearer to Alexa if you need her to listen.

Apple has the HomeKit app. This feature is its ace against Alexa’s prowess. It works with Siri and your smart home. Ideally, the HomeKit will threaten Alexa’s supremacy with connected controls.

As of now, developers are yet to work with the HomeKit app. It requires them to install an MFi chip for security.

Major smart home developers like August and Ecobee are creating specific HomeKit versions of their devices. For smaller developers, this factor might be a challenging task to continue.

Once a device starts working with the use of the HomeKit app, it’ll cater extra security for homes. This factor may sound reassuring for some smart home customers.

Also, the HomeKit app offers more flexible commands than the Echo via customizable ‘scenes.’

The ‘scenes’ lets you say ‘good night’ to Apple’s digital assistant Siri. Then, the HomeKit app will turn your lights off, set the temperature you like for bedtime, and lock your doors.

Apple might beat the Echo in the smart speaker market, but users are yet to discover how far it can go.

Google Home: Your entertainment buddy

Google’s rebuttal to the brewing battle of smart speakers isn’t your average assistant.

The Google Home has Google Assistant. It has its version of the ‘scene’ functionality. It’s called Shortcuts.

Compared to Amazon’s Alexa, the Google Home can respond to more complex commands. It’s vast array of information challenges Alexa.

Just like Apple and the HomePod, the Google Home didn’t seem to threaten the Amazon Echo in the smart speaker competition. Google focused on being your best-friend in the entertainment hub.

If your TV has built-in Chromecast or a plugged-in Chromecast streamer, Google lets you can control your TV with the Home. Now you can stream Netflix and Youtube with just the command of your voice.

Also, one of Google Home’s amazing features is its ability to recognize different voices. With this feature, the Home can respond with personalized answers. If you ask about your schedule tomorrow, it won’t give you your mom’s salon schedule.

As of now, this feature can’t compete to Apple’s target of reinforcing home security. Its voice-recognition ability isn’t made to verify purchases or to unlock the door. But who knows when Google would level up and
level to user’s expectations.

Ideally, your choice of the smart speaker depends on your standards of a ‘smart assistant’ and a speaker. Check out the detailed comparison of Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple Homepod. Happy shopping!

Amazon Echo Dot vs. Google Home Mini

The war between home speakers is at hand. Google just released their home speakers. Introducing, the Google Home Mini, a fair competition with Amazon’s Echo Dot. What’s with these two home speakers? Let’s make a comparison of two of the best home speakers on the market today. For us to judge the right way, we’ll look into these categories to be able to understand which is the better home speaker.

  • Main Features
  • Other Cool Features
  • Price

Amazon Echo Dot


1. Main Features

Amazon’s Echo Dot is as small as a hockey puck. You can stream with all major streaming sites like YouTube and Spotify Premium.

The Amazon Echo Dot isn’t only a Bluetooth speaker. It also contains a 3.5 mm audio output jack that enables users to connect to any speaker. Then, the Echo Dot converts the paired speaker into an Alexa-enabled device. Much more like a casting device but more intelligent. The Echo Dot has long range, far-field voice capability. It means that if you’re in the kitchen, the Echo Dot can hear as long as you’re in the line-of-sight, or if you speak a bit louder. A drawback for this speaker is that its audio quality is quite muffled.

The Echo Dot, like its big brother, is also a hands-free activated device. No need to go and turn the device on because it has a wake word like “Alexa,” “Echo” or “Amazon.” This feature gives you an Tony Stark feeling there.

2. Other Cool Features

Well, aside from having a cool assistant like Alexa, you can also order your favorite pizza through Alexa. Wait there’s more! You can monitor your health through Fitbit, and grab an Uber car.

3. Price.

You can grab your own Amazon Echo Dot for only $50.

Google Home Mini

Image of Google Home Mini

 

1. Main Features

Like the Echo Dot, the Home Mini is as small as a hockey puck and has a unique fabric-covered aesthetic. This smart speaker has touch controls on the top panel for volume, and a switch that mutes the microphone. The Home Mini, is a device supported with Bluetooth. You can connect any gadgets and control the speaker with your voice.

2. Other Cool features

You can connect other Google gadgets with the Home Mini. Play music directly from Google Play or stream with Spotify Premium and other streaming networks. Since the Home Mini is a product of Google, its very own Google Assistant can navigate your way through the device. Expect intelligent answers and maybe cheesy jokes in the end.

3. Price

You can have the Google Home Mini for only $50.

The verdict on who’s the best?

Both the Home Mini and the Echo Dot are good when it comes to its prices. However, judging on the categories stated, the Google Home Mini has an advantage over the Echo Dot. Not only that the Home Mini is practical, portable and intelligent, the smart speaker actually helps you in tons of ways since it’s tied to Google’s database. The Home Mini provides flexibility which what we all need.

Think we made the right verdict? Let us know what you think.

Thiel Audio to Open Nashville Retail Store and will Customize Wireless Speakers

Nashville, TN – Thiel Audio opens their first retail store at The Pinnacle at Symphony Place. Their retail showroom displays custom-designed AURORA wireless speakers along with their sample components. From earthy to contemporary, the Aurora Home and the Aurora LifeStream Tour’s interchangeable faceplate designs can accommodate various home decor styles. These customized faceplate designs are open for pre-order this month of October.

In addition to the available trim kits, customers can download 3D files from Thiel Audio’s website. Users can create a personalized 3D design for their AURORA wireless speaker.

Thiel Audio’s first wireless speakers, the AURORA Home and the battery-powered AURORA LifeStream Tour, benefit from Thiel Audio’s high-performance wireless audio streaming.

With the company’s 40-year heritage of outstanding sound and design, users are assured of a remarkable music experience.

These wireless speakers also have incredible wireless connectivity features. Users can connect seamlessly from their devices to up to 16 speakers simultaneously through DTS Play-Fi®, Apple Airplay®, and Bluetooth technologies. Soon, these high-performing wireless speakers will have an Alexa® compatibility upgrade upon the release of the DTS Play-Fi® software update.

Thiel Audio’s 3,000-square-foot studio space isn’t only a showroom for their incredible wireless speakers and accessories. The retail store includes a Thiel Audio demo room, entertainment area, meeting space, and performance stage. With the store location’s proximity to other musical venues, the company hopes to fascinate passers-by to witness their speaker’s notable audio performance.

“I think really it’s an experience space,” Thiel Audio’s CEO Grant Halloran said. “I think what makes our space unique is the fact that we built in a performance stage.”

Music enthusiasts can now directly purchase these high-performing wireless speakers at 150 Third Avenue South of the Pinnacle at Symphony, Nashville. Thiel Audio’s AURORA Home is priced at 899, while the battery-powered AURORA LifeStream Tour costs $599.

Everyone can now witness exceptional sound quality of Thiel Audio speakers. And if you’re lucky, hear them along with your favorite musical performers. The retail store opens Tuesdays till Fridays from 10 am to 5 pm. But, Thiel Audio’s retail store continues to operate for events happening at night.

Brookstone® Gronkball Wireless Speaker: Where Sports and Music Blend in Together

Music and sports have a lot of things in common. First, both fields have different genres. Second, they both have a different set of rules to follow. Third, they both have a variety of fanbase. Fourth, they bring people together.

We can never deny the truth that music and sports bring people together. No matter how different and diverse they are. One other thing that connects people is technology. The technology combines almost everything. May it be from communications or entertainment. But, how about sports, music, and technology blending in one picture? Is that even possible? Yes. It’s entirely possible because Brookstone already did that.

Introducing Brookstone® Gronkball Wireless Speaker.

What’s the real fuss about this wireless speaker?

Good question. It’s undeniable that there are a variety of wireless speakers on the market today. That’s true. With that fact, it’s hard to find the right one. Like finding a needle in a haystack. The Gonkball is different. It’s a football-shaped wireless speaker.

Yes, you can play ball while streaming your favorite barbecue playlist on a Sunday cookout.

Combining entertainment, music, sports, and technology into one picture. Genius, isn’t it?

But, is that all that there is?

Well, there are also a few things to consider in finding the best wireless speaker for you. So here’s a checklist of why Gronkball deserves your attention and curiosity.

Sound Capability and Quality. The Gonkball is a mono speaker. It means that audio signals are mixed and routed through one audio channel. This means that you’ll have better sound quality because the audio signal is routed into one.

The Gonkball has 5 watts of both RMS and nominal output. The RMS and nominal output are responsible for releasing decibels or sound from the device. We, humans, have our own limits when it comes to hearing. 5 watts or is equivalent more or less to 75 decibels which are the recommended levels for the human ear.

Range. The Gonkball can reach up to 90-foot range. This means that you can pass, throw deep and still stream your music. There are no interruptions to your entertainment. Of course, not unless you forgot to pay for your Spotify subscription or drained your phone battery.

Other Unique Capabilities. The Brookstone® Gronkball Wireless Speaker is weatherproof and splashproof. So even when it’s raining outside, you can still play football while you’re on a DJ mode.

So there you have it, and it did catch your attention. Now, if you haven’t got one of these, it’s best that you get one now. After that, tell us about your experience.

Google Home Voice Activated Wireless Speaker Review

Table of Contents:

Google Home might not have its physical makeover since its release date on 2014 but who cares. It recently acquired advanced software updates, and it makes consumers want to try them on.

On Google IO 2017, Home took the center-stage with its four major changes. It’s now packed with Pro-active Assistance, Hands-free calling, Bluetooth and Visual Responses.

Hands-Free Calling and Bluetooth

As Google rolls out this feature later this year, you can expect a revamp of your regular phone call experience. Hands-free calling allows you to import contacts from your phone.

If you want to make a call, there’s no need to lift a finger. You can just ask Home to do it for you.

The Home can make a call via a private phone number. If you have a Google account tied to your cell number, it can use your number. All you need to have is an active internet connection and no landline or smartphone is necessary to make calls when you’re home.

Another Home’s notable update is its use of Bluetooth to sync up other devices. It’s a feature of Home’s fierce competitor which is the Amazon Echo.

In line with this update, Google proudly announced that Home will now support free versions of Soundcloud, Spotify, and Deezer. All these and more with its other current music streaming services.

Visual Responses

This new feature of Home allows the speaker to send visual information to your phone, tablet or TV. This update parallels Amazon’s devices. However, Amazon only shows events on your calendar or what the weather outside looks like. Google Home sends data to whichever device you choose including Android Tv devices and Chromecast.

Pro-Active Assistance

This software update allows Home to check what’s happening in your day. It’ll try to bring you information before you need it. One practical example is that it can warn you about traffic delays on your way to work before you’d even ask for it. It can notify you ahead of time so you can leave for work early.

Google recently integrated a function that matches Amazon Alexa’s ability, the Voice Reminders. Now, English speaking Google Homeowners in Canada, UK, Australia, and the US can set recurring reminders using their voice. The reminders can be configured even months in advance.

All hands on Google Assistant’s ability to understand context. It has enough common sense that if you tell it to remind you to pick up your mom at the train station at 6 when you’re in bed, it’ll automatically remind you at 6 AM and not 6 PM. Sounds like not your average assistant, right?

All reminders set with your Google Home will also appear on your Android device if you use the software Android M. Also, even your Google Home has multiple users, you’ll only be reminded of your schedules.

Recent updates about Google Home include the smart heating companies Tado and Netatmo. The companies are bound to add support for smart speakers. This news means that you’ll soon have the liberty to use Google Home to control the temperature in your home.

Design

An ‘air freshener’ or a ‘vase’ is the blunt comparisons of Google Home’s frame.

Home has a full bottom and tapered top. Its standard design has a Gray fabric base with a rubber bottom that can be changed for a different color or material for around $20.

Google has two choices for the bases to match your home decor. They offer the metallic and the fabric.

The metallic bases are made of either polycarbonate or painted steel. They come in snow, carbon or copper colors.

The fabric bases come in three bright colors. They have Violet, Marine, and Mango.

Google Home’s minimalist design is intended to blend with your home’s surroundings. Its diameter is 3.79 inches (96.4 mm) and stands 5.62 in (142.8 mm).

With Home’s simplicity also comes its simple physical buttons.

Its top, flat and inclined surface is a touch-sensitive panel. It allows you to change the volume, play and pause music, and also activate Home with a single tap. You can also use the wake words ‘OK Google’ or ‘Hey Google.’

Once Home is activated, four multi-colored lights on its top will twist and twirl.

With the help of its two built-in microphones, Home does its job well in picking up your voice. It doesn’t work 100% all the time, so you have to speak clearly and loudly when you need Home to listen to you.

If you uncap the base of this smart speaker, you’ll find two passive radiators and a speaker. Considering Home’s size, its volume is quite impressive.

Audio Performance

Google Assistant, the voice and smart assistant inside the speaker is the main attraction. Surprisingly, Google Home can work effortlessly as an audio device.

Home has access to various sorts of streaming services such as Youtube Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, and Pandora. It works as a Wi-Fi speaker through its built-in Google Cast feature.

This feature means Home can play nearly all of the songs. Packed with more than 30 million catalogs, Google Play Music has the power to find even the oddest song you have in mind. And you can have unlimited access to music on Youtube. So far, Google seems to have the largest song library for any audio device.

Google Home’s drawback lies in its inability to recognize band names that sound the same with another.

Along with other Bluetooth speakers in its price range, Google Home comes off as the underdog. But to make up its disadvantages, Google Home boasts of its ability to both receive and send Google Cast signals. This feature means that Home is the only device that can stream music from your phone. It can send video streams to any Google Cast compatible devices as well.

Google Cast and Chrome Cast Performance

Google Home works well with your Hi-Fi and TV. You just have to set up a Chromecast with a name that’s easy to pronounce. You can command your Google Home to cast your favorite videos or songs.

This feature can be a bit tricky. If you pronounce your commands well, then Google Home won’t have any problem following you. If you fail to utter the words well, the process can fail.

Google Home as the Center of your Smart Home

Google Home can be connected to some devices nowadays. One of its highlights is the Philips Hue Lightbulbs, Nest Thermostat, and Samsung’s SmartThings platform.

Support for other third-party devices such as LG Music FLow and LIFX speakers will be coming soon.

Also, Google Home has plans for integrating with thermostats from Netatmo and Tado.

Recently. Google announced that Home would support new smart home systems including products from Wink, August, TO-Link, LIFX, Vivint, Rachio, Logitech, First Alert, Frigidaire, Anova, Geeni, and Best Buy’s Insignia brand. This integration gives more options in controlling how you develop your smart home.

Final Verdict

Google Home is branded to be the coveted center of the smart home. But it’s just not there yet. It has limitations in its language comprehension. Its list of smart home devices is still growing. Also, to cap the list of its shortcomings, it doesn’t allow many of Google’s core services.

Considering the attention Google Home receives, it’s not impossible that it’ll become a critical piece of the ever-expanding smart home.

As of now, Google Home is an advanced smart technology that has a built-in Google Cast, access to YouTube Music and the ability to save you time from switching the lights.

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home

The Amazon Echo has been the queen of Smart Assistants since November 2014. But its fame has been challenged two years after by the Google Home.

The two smart speakers have been the finest of their kinds, but if you’re new to the virtual world of Artificial Intelligence (AI),

it pays to know their respective strengths and weaknesses before acquiring one.

For you to arrive at a fair judgment, let’s examine the Amazon Echo and the Google Home under four criteria.

1. Design: Amazon Echo vs. Google Home

Google Home

At first sight, Google Home’s look might ring a bell. It might display a familiarity you can’t quite muster. Well, many publications say that it resembles an air freshener. We couldn’t agree more, but we all know Google Home is more than that.

While its aesthetics’ comparison might get you chuckling, it’s a notable advantage how the Google Home can seamlessly blend into your home’s environment. After all, Smart Assistants are meant to be kept at home.

Talk about minimalist design and the Google Home scores high.

The upper body of a Google Home unit is White. Its lower half leaves the users the option to change its color from various choices that Google provides. The smart speakers come with a Gray fabric, but you can also choose between Violet, Mango, Marine Fabric bases. Other designs are offered, such as Snow, Carbon, Copper Metal bases to help your Home fit into any room more naturally. The fabric options will cost you about $20, while the metal options are at around $40.

The Google Home has only one physical button. It functions as Deafen/Mute button when you don’t want it to listen to you or to stop it from making a sound. Also, the touch activated top of the unit can also control volume adjustment, halting of timers and alarms.

Since the Home is voice activated, its all other features can be curbed by the user’s voice alone.

When you give your commands to the Google Home, Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow lights flash up and spin.

Also, its cable hides neatly under the base, and it’s long enough to allow you to position your Google Home in your desired location without producing too much clutter.

Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo stands taller at 9.3 inches and is cylindrical. It has speakers all around it and comes with Black or White variety. Most people opt for the Black model since it looks more discrete than the White speaker. But the White speaker also has its ace as it blends in nicely with some modern-day households.

While the Echo has its distinctive look among other appliances or particular furniture, its simplicity lets it disguise as any other home decoration. It makes it an excellent option for a countertop or shelving unit.

Like the Google Home, the Amazon Echo also uses only minimal physical dials. The Circular Dial at the topmost part of the Amazon Echo is for adjusting the volume manually. It also has a Deafen/Mute Button if you don’t want it to talk or listen to you.

If the voice assistant has trouble hearing you, you can press the button on top of the unit. It activates Alexa if you don’t want to use the ‘Alexa’ keyword.

In general, both Google Home and Amazon Echo has sleek and minimalist designs. Beauty is always subjective, so the verdict is yours for this criterion.

2. Amazon Echo vs Google Home as Personal Assistants

Voice assistants are developed for a universal purpose. It’s to make life easier for its users. With this, it’s important to note how good they are in doing their essence. It’s important to measure how ‘smart’ they are.

If you acquired your unit for practical reasons, both Google Home and Amazon Echo have the same features. Both of them can tell you the nearest shoe store for your upcoming party. But in this particular leg, the Google Home has its advantage of hooking into its Maps services. In other words, it can give you an estimated time by car. The Echo, on the other hand, can only tell you the distance of that shoe store.

Also, no worries about regular weather updates. Both Home and Echo speakers can give you detailed weather reports. If you’re a sports junkie, you can also ask both of them for updates about this topic. Expect that they’ll have a difference on the deliverance of their respective answers.

The Home owes its smart ability to its treasure trove of information. Compared to the Echo speaker, the Home speaker can understand context.

The Home and the Echo with Smart Home Appliances

It’s undeniable that having a personal assistant at home means you can control smart home appliances like lights. Both the Home and the Echo wireless speakers can be hooked with a variety of Smart lights like Phillips Hue and LIFX. All these can be controlled with your voice. If you say “Let there be light!” Voila! Your lights are on.

Both the Home and Echo work pretty well with lights.

Their primary difference is that the Google Home has a “Home Control” section built right into the Google Home app. The Echo needs you to install the specialized skill in the Alexa App.

The Home and the Echo app links

The Google Home takes advantage of various Google services such as Calendar. It allows you to set up events under your Google account. You can mark a time and place on your schedule. With the Amazon Echo, it can connect to services like Microsoft Outlook.

When it comes to some of the simpler tasks though, Google can still fail. The Home can’t create to-do lists and add reminders.

Good news for chef-wannabes! Both options can teach you thousands of recipes. Notably, Google’s Home speaker is almost made for this service. It can guide you to cooking at an utmost comfortable pace. If you miss a step, you can ask “what was that last step?” and the Home will lead the way. To top it off, the Home can let you browse up to 5 million recipes on your phone. On the other hand, the Echo needs to connect with AllRecipes before you can showcase your culinary expertise. The difference is pretty noticeable.

Another interesting feature added to the Google Home is its ability to recognize multiple users. You can also train your Home to identify up to 5 voices. This feature is pretty impressive since the Home can personalize answers depending on whose voice is asking.

Both the Home and the Echo can make orders to places like Dominos.

Google just recently added end-to-end payments in its features. Once you’ve set this feature in your Google Home app, you’re ready to go. You can now order from various locations at the tip of your fingers.

On the other hand, Amazon needs you to enable skills for each area that you wish to order from with your voice. This setup isn’t that much of an issue if you order in the same location again and again.

If you’re an avid Amazon shopper and value the ability to make orders with your voice, the Echo is the one for you. Also, Amazon puts on various promotions that give you discounts for ordering with your voice. Sounds like news for avid online shoppers, right?

If you’re going to get a personal assistant, you would want it to be as responsive as possible. So, we did a quick test to see which unit was faster to respond to voice commands.

Out of 15 trials, the Google Home won 10 times. 1.56 seconds is the average response time for the Google Home. With the Echo, it responded in 1.66 seconds. This factor might not affect the users too much, but it pays to know which unit can do it faster for you. After all, who wants their pizza delivered seconds late?

3. Amazon Echo vs. Google Home for Music and Entertainment

Both Google Home and Amazon Echo has the power to stream major audio offerings like Pandora and Spotify from your connected account. But in this leg, Echo seems to ace the game.

The Home is limited to Pandora, Spotify, Youtube Music, and Google Play while the Echo is more than this. It can have iHeartRadio, Spotify, TuneIn, Pandora, Audible, and Amazon Music unlimited.

The Google Home speaker benefits from its cast feature by streaming various apps like Pocket Casts and all Chrome tabs. On the other hand, the Echo benefits from Amazon.

Familiarity to a particular virtual ecosystem can be a dealbreaker when it comes to choosing the best personal assistant for you.

The Home and the Echo as Speakers

Both Home and Echo speakers can get quite loud. Technically, the Amazon Echo gets 4.5db louder. It makes use of the multi-directional speaker.

The Google Home utilizes passive radiators on the side and one driver on the front. Objectively, the Home has better bass response compared to the Echo.

One common problem that both speakers have is their inability to hear keywords when playing music or other audio. During tests, the Home listened a bit better than the Echo.

Home and Echo with TV

Via Chromecast, the Google Home can control the video on your television with the usage of your voice.

The Chromecast can make use both Netflix and Youtube with Hulu, HBO Now, and many more for the upcoming season.

On the other hand, Amazon’s Fire TV doesn’t have this integration. This feature means that you can’t Echo can’t let you jump quickly to your favorite show.

In the realm of the virtual world, which AI reigns supreme?

Both smart speakers have a high set of advantages and disadvantages. Although the Amazon Echo remains to be the bearer of the widest level of device support for smart home setups, the Google Home continues to battle its way to being better in any other way.

Powered with free hands-free calling, the Chromecast support and more, Google can’t be a bad choice if you’re accustomed to the Google ecosystem.

If you want to get both the Amazon Echo and the Google Home cheap, you can always opt for the Echo Dot. The Dot gives you all the same benefits of the larger model. Although there may be a slight difference in the audio quality, the Echo Dot is a good alternative.

For better audio experience, you can link the Echo Dot to a Bluetooth speaker to get a better audio experience. In the high-tech world of AI, there is always a way through everything.

Bose to Launch New Neckband Wireless Speaker

Carrying a stereo on your shoulders may sound ‘old school.’ But Bose has come up with a revolutionary wearable technology that offers an incredibly convenient audio experience – hands-free and ears-free!

The new SoundWear Companion wireless speaker is Bose’s latest audio development which is perfectly designed for everyone’s enjoyment. This wireless speaker is a great music buddy that offers the best of both worlds – connection and convenience. Music junkies don’t need to keep their ears occupied with a pair of headphones, and completely muffle themselves away from their surroundings.

The innovative neckband design rests comfortably around the neck giving comfort and better audio experience for everyone.

Every part of the SoundWear Companion wireless speaker is carefully engineered for better sound transmission. The flexible, weather-resistant wireless speaker is made with the finest and lightweight materials, like a bend-and-stay steel wire enclosed in medical-grade silicone that has enough low-spring torsion to stay securely around your neck. It’s so comfortable to wear. You might forget you’re wearing it the entire day.

The SoundWear Companion wireless speaker doesn’t compromise its sound quality with its fashionable design. With Bose’s incredible waveguide technology, this wireless speaker produces full and clear sounds to your ears yet minimizes the sound for others.

This wireless speaker is music experience at its best. The SoundWear Companion speaker’s wireless connectivity is capable of having a relatively stable operating range of up to 30 feet (9 meters) without obstruction. It also can maintain a relatively secure connection to two devices simultaneously.

The SoundWear Companion speaker has a built-in microphone for taking calls when connected to a smartphone that supports the Bluetooth® HFP profile. In addition to regular calls, the speaker seamlessly works with many Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications, such as Skype or FaceTime.

Immerse yourself in an all-day music engagement with the wireless speaker’s 12-hour battery life. Walk around and do your tasks with ease while listening to your favorite tunes. Virtual assistant Siri can assist you through your preferred audio settings without the need of adjusting the sound manually. Voice prompts give cues on Bluetooth pairing with other devices while haptic alerts (vibration notifications) indicate incoming calls.

The SoundWear Companion wireless speaker is the latest audio development from Bose which is selling at a reasonable price of $299.95 (MSRP). This wireless speaker includes a black cover with other trendy colors available, such as gray, blue and purple.

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