Three major brands are currently fighting for the title of the best smart speaker on the market. We are talking about Google, Amazon and Apple. The intelligent speakers Nest Mini (2nd gene), Echo Dot (4th gen.) and HomePod mini have a lot in common visually, but anyone who thinks they have comparable technologies and features behind them is wrong. We provide them Smart speaker comparison to the test, uncover their strengths and weaknesses.
Smart speakers in comparison: what is important?
A smart speaker is an intelligent loudspeaker that transmits musical and spoken information via an internet connection. The highlight: the speakers can be controlled by voice command. A keyword such as “Hey Siri” is then required to carry out an action in order to start the smart gadget.
The smart speaker contains an artificial intelligence that, with the help of machine learning, can respond more and more consistently to user commands and questions. They can play music requests, predict the weather using a weather report or present the latest news from world history.
Which voice convinces?
In a large comparison of the three best-selling and best-known smart speakers, top-class names such as Apple, Google and Amazon are in the fighting ring. All three speakers offer their own voice for every home with their own voice assistants Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa. IMTEST tested the three assistants and came to the conclusion: Alexa is by far the clearest voice of the trio.
Apple’s Siri is also impressive. Only the Google Assistant stays a bit behind the other voices in terms of quality. The Google Nest Mini smart speaker sounds distorted in the test. Meanwhile, there are negative points for Apple due to the lack of a function to easily turn off Siri. If you don’t feel like the voice, you have to go through a complicated step-by-step guide until Siri’s voice goes out.
Who delivers the smartest results?
The special thing about Siri, Alexa and the Google Assistant: they all help in everyday life with questions that arise. If desired, further information can be forwarded to the connected smartphone. IMTEST tested the smart speakers Google Nest Mini, Amazon Echo Dot and Apple HomePod mini with the following question: “Can dogs also eat pineapples?”
- Google Assistant: Cites briefly and concisely and provides a quick, correct result.
- alexa: Alexa only spits out three correct hits on the smartphone. She says that a vet visit would be a good idea.
- Siri: Only three links are sent to the smartphone, which should provide answers to the question.
Smart speaker in the sound test
In the smart speaker comparison, the Amazon Echo Dot and the HomePod mini show clear strengths in terms of sound. However, buyers should not expect too much. If you want to throw a party, you won’t get far with the smart speakers. Because: If the volume is turned up, the two speakers ultimately reach their limits. IMTEST does not have such positive words for the Google Nest. In the treble, tones sound rattling and rattling. An advantage: the boxes can be coupled with other network-enabled loudspeakers for more boom. To date, only Apple has dispensed with this feature.
Hassle-free smart home integration
On the other hand, the integration of other smart home systems with the smart speakers works without hesitation. The installation of the smart lighting Philips Hue is particularly quick with the products from Amazon and Google. Apple doesn’t make it that easy for owners: If you rummage through the instructions for use, you can also enjoy “Siri, turn on the light”.
Google vs. Amazon vs. Apple: Which smart speaker wins?
For the IMTEST consumer portal, one thing is certain: Amazon’s Echo Dot is crystal clear in the race among smart speakers. The intelligent loudspeaker boasts an excellent Alexa, whose intelligence is clearly superior to the other two language assistants on the devices. Because: She is smarter, gives adequate answers and is perfectly suited for different life situations.
Apple comes up with a typical Apple problem: the Homepod mini is stylish, but doesn’t have that many features ready. And that only applies to iPhone users. Apparently, Apple doesn’t want to be integrated into another ecosystem just yet. Read here how to connect the Homepod to the iPhone. These 3 tips for Alexa users are also interesting.
Sources: IMTEST, own research
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