Should I buy the Amazon Dot, Google Home or the Apple Speaker?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by CatherineVeraGat, May 14, 2017.

  1. CatherineVeraGat Suspended

    Joined:
    May 6, 2017
    #1
    I really do like the feature on my iPad that deals with Siri, like saying "Hey, Siri" to my device when it is charging and talking to the personal assistant from across the room.

    I'm thinking of buying an Amazon Dot, but I know that I can buy an Amazon Echo, Google Home or wait for the Apple speaker that will have Siri built in and will also have a high-end price tag. But in many ways Siri is dumb when it comes to complex tasks.

    I'm leaning towards the Amazon Dot because it will be my first Echo-like speaker, & I really don't need a high-end Echo-like speaker, I will be using it for doing some simple things like asking questions, listening to music at Low-ish/Medium-ish volume and things like that. My budget is around $100. It will mostly be used in one room.

    What are your thoughts about which one should I buy?
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #2
    I'd go with the Amazon one, as its a known product, and as you said. Apple's version will most likely be priced fairly high.

    I'm also not sold on Siri's features/abilities compared to other voice assistants.
     
  3. imaccooper macrumors regular

    imaccooper

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    May 29, 2014
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #3
    The echo dot is good for a lot of general tasks. I use it for timers, different types of conversion, quick math stuff and most importantly control of my harmony hub and lutron lights. With that said, it's not great at general questions. It hears your question correctly every time, but it basically just searches the web for something. The exception for that is asking it to Wikipedia something but anything more than that it's not very good at.

    I do not own a google home, but I have seen/heard them work and they are definitely superior in contextualizing questions and giving good answers. I went with the echo dot based on price and the fact that they were the only one that could sync with my harmony and lutron stuff. That has since changed so it isn't something to consider now.

    The echo dot also doesn't have a very good speaker for music. If you are particular about sound, then you won't like it very much. With that said, I thought I would hate the speaker for music but I ended up not minding it for playing soft background music or something like that.

    In the end it comes down to what you are doing. I think the dot will be good for what you said and the google home would be good, if not slightly better for what your thinking about doing. Price is important but also consider things you might want to do in the future such as additional units for other rooms, adding a speaker or speaker system for music playing, and smart home integration (lights, outlets, blinds, cameras etc.).
     
  4. smallcoffee macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Wait to see what Apple comes out with. I'm still amazed that people use these things anyway.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #5
    I would be shocked if the Apple device is anything under $200, so that eliminates that one.

    Of the other two, I'd say it depends on what you plan to do with it. At this point I think the Amazon device is more extensible in that it integrates with more third party products than Google.

    I have the Echo and bought a couple Dots for family members as gifts and they love them.
     
  6. Relentless Power macrumors P6

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #6
    For me, Alexa's voice annoyed me. But the Echo is a great device. I really liked Google Home and its sound was outstanding, the dictation and deciphering was also very good. Google Home can also be customized with different body casings for colors.

    I await Apple's version, but as others have stated, it will be listed as a premium in price.
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #7
    OP > Here is a new Echo model you might like. :D

     
  8. huperniketes macrumors regular

    huperniketes

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    #8
    Get the Amazon Fire TV ($89.99) or Fire Stick ($39.99). You'll get Alexa functionality along with the visual cards that will be on the recently announced Echo Show, and you'll be able to hear your tunes in stereo through your TV. Oh, and they also can stream videos; 4K with the Fire TV, and 1080p with the Fire Stick.
     
  9. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    Jan 1, 2011
    Location:
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    #9
    We are an Alexa household, with the big speaker and Dots in almost every room. I love being able to tell Alexa to turn on/off lights from anywhere. Weather and news? Totally. But the lights are the big thing for me.
     
  10. daijholt macrumors 65816

    daijholt

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    Jun 14, 2013
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #10
    For the first speaker I'd say splash for a full size echo. I tried the google home, but It doesn't feel as fluent for a 100% apple user.

    The echo dot is great as an AI, but as a music player its awful; the sound is tinnie and weak. The bigger echo has an incredible sound output.

    The TLDR, google home has a better AI but sounds like a beats pill (very bass focussed); the big echo is more customisable it's and sounds like a Bose (well balanced). Depends which of those sounds better to you.

    As for the Siri speaker, it'll be better than both (assuming Siri gets an upgrade) and will integrate beautifully with an apple household, but it'll likely cost around the 300 mark. Plus, the echo dot is cheap enough that you can dot them around the house for full AI-ability (sorry about the pun).
     
  11. GIZBUG macrumors 65816

    GIZBUG

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    #11
    If you wait on Apple, first generation devices are usually a) overpriced and b) full of bugs
     
  12. Denmac1 macrumors 6502a

    Denmac1

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    #12
    Besides that...wait is the key word..........
     
  13. kurticus macrumors newbie

    kurticus

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    Jan 8, 2016
    Location:
    Chicago
    #13
    I have 3 Echo Dots - one for each level/floor (basement, main floor, finished attic). I have them setup to respond to my Hue lights which are spread out throughout the house. I like walking down the stairs into the basement and saying, "Echo, turn on the basement lights" and before I'm down the staircase the basement lights are on. Love that.

    Other than Echo Dots - the other smart home devices I have are HomeKit compatible. Front and rear August smart locks, an Eve Elegato door sensor for the basement door, the Hue 2.0 bridge and around 30 Hue lights, and of course the 4th gen ATV service as the HomeKit hub.

    I've found that the Echo dots work well with the things I use most: the Hue lights, setting a kitchen timer, streaming Pandora (all 3 Echo Dots are connected by 3.5mm audio cable to AirPlay speakers).

    For the automation side, I've pretty much migrated to only using the Home App automation functionality but still use IFTTT for some one-offs. The other HomeKit smart home devices I want, but aren't yet available, are the Liftmaster/MyQ HomeKit setup for the garage door and the Kuna outdoor light/proximity camera combo for the front and rear entrances.

    Getting back to the Echo Dots- what I'm MOST impressed with is the minimal latency in it's response to questions/commands. The Echo dots blow SIRI out of the water in terms of response time. While Echo may not be the best device to answer complex questions - it definitely excels at being a tiny and fast responding device that plays very well with smart home devices (at least the ones I have so far). Plus the Dot is cheap - which is why I have 3.

    Best of luck in your Smart Home evolution.
     
  14. maccingandsnacking macrumors newbie

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    Jan 12, 2017
    #14
    Really? I'm not saying Apple are always first to the party but when they get there they do it right.
     
  15. techwarrior macrumors 6502

    techwarrior

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    Location:
    Colorado
    #15
    Ditto. If Apple hits the market with a competing product, it will not be acceptable for them to come out with something that is almost as useful. Besides, WWDC is less than a month away, and you should get some insight from that event.

    I suspect Apple is cooking up something pretty interesting. They have reassigned their Airport engineers to "other products", are buying AI companies, and know Siri, once the groundbreaker, is now behind the competition. I suspect when they do come out with a device, that it will do much more than Echo and Google Home. You may end up kicking yourself for jumping the gun.
     
  16. daijholt macrumors 65816

    daijholt

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #16
    Agreed. I have a feeling it'll be special.

    Either way, worst case scanrio, buy an echo from amazon.com and you've got 30 days to return it regardless if apple do announce something incredible on June 6th.
     
  17. PilotWoo, May 17, 2017
    Last edited: May 17, 2017

    PilotWoo macrumors regular

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    #17
    None of them are worth the money, and then there are the privacy issues.
     
  18. techwarrior macrumors 6502

    techwarrior

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    Colorado
    #18
    Privacy is generally not an issue with Apple products, but Amazon and Google, I agree.
     
  19. TheGenerous macrumors 6502a

    TheGenerous

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    #19
    My house is too big for having only one assitant. However, I haven't find a legitimate use for any of them. I don't use a smart phone to look at trivialities of life, I have the iPad for that and reading, and I like listening to music in the computer or in the living room with the high end equipment.

    I don't have anything smart at home, I just walk and turn things on/off. I like closing the curtains and sweeping or doing the dishes
     

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