The smart speaker from Amazon, the Amazon Echo, has been in the market for some time now. Currently, it is one of the best smart speaker options that money can buy, and its popularity is clear from the sales figures. Not one to be left behind, Apple launched its smart speaker some time back, the HomePod. While there are a lot of expectations from Apple, naturally, it is still being anticipated that the already existing giants in the market will give the HomePod pretty stiff competition. Let us see how the HomePod measures up against one of the greatest, the Amazon Echo.
The Apple HomePod is priced at $349 USD, which is fairly pricier than the Amazon Echo. In fact, it is being considered quite expensive even by the standard of Apple products, which are not exactly the cheapest options at your disposal to begin with. The Echo Dot costs $50 USD, and the Amzon Echo is priced at $180 USD. But, according to Apple, the HomePod has a range of features up its sleeve that the Echo still doesn’t contain, and that alone justifies the price. And there is also not much point in waiting fr the discount season; while Amazon is known for selling its products on fair discounts in specific times, Apple rarely ever slashes the price tag on its items, and even less on new launches.
The Apple HomePod plays the music in your library, and also streams music from Apple Music. But that is about all it does, which renders your listening range rather limited. The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, can play music from your library and Amazon Prime. Apart from that, it can also integrate itself with platforms such as Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Spotify, which is great when you don’t like the songs in your library or on Prime.
The Apple HomePod wins hands down in the sound department. While the Amazon Echo’s sound is pretty good- it is loud and clear- it is not comparable to the HomePod, if the demos are anything to go by. The HomePod uses spatial intelligence to understand the dimensions of the room, and o music is equally goo from each corner of the room. There is no spot where the music is too high or too low, and every instrument played in a song can be clearly distinguished.
Virtual assistant features
Amazon Echo’s virtual assistant, Alexa, can answer some basic questions about the music being played, such as, when it was recorded and who wrote the lyrics. The HomePod can do exactly the same things with Siri. Besides, the HomePod can also be integrated with other smart home gadgets, such as the Apple TV and the Hue lights. However, there is the issue of compatibility. Like other products from the house of Apple, the HomePod doesn’t do too well when taken outside the Apple environment. So, it is not likely that the system will be integrated with online shopping sites and other necessary websites, such as Uber. On the other hand, the Amazon Echo is fully integrated with Amazon shopping, which means you can place orders through Alexa. Besides, the Echo is also being made increasingly more compatible with third party applications such as Uber and Dominos.
Also read: Apple HomePod Siri commands
The Amazon Echo connects to other devices via Bluetooth and WiFi. The Apple HomePod, on the other hand, connects with WiFi, and the Bluetooth feature has not yet been shown in the demos. That might make it less desirable for many users who wish to use the HomePod in compliance with their android devices.
This is one of the biggest features of the Apple HomePod. The device can be used as a multi-room speaker by pairing it with other Apple devices, provided that the said devices contain the Apple AirPlay feature. The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, does not support that system.
Design is a pretty relative area. Both Amazon Echo and and Apple HomePod are pretty suave in design, and will look uber cool and very modern with their postmodern, minimalistic looks. However, some may say that Apple did fall a bit short on the design front this time; with only two colours available- space grey and white, not all users might wish to opt for the HomePod. The Echo, too, comes in only two basic colors- black and white.
The Amazon Echo has been in the market for some time, and is certainly making great strides in the field of sound technology. The HomePod, on the other hand, is eagerly awaited, even more so because it is from the stable of Apple. Since only the demo has been released so far, it is difficult to say exactly how the Homepod will measure up to expectations, but it can be safely assumed that it will be a true rival to the Echo and other smart speakers currently dominating the market.
Also read: Apple HomePod pros and cons