Help Me, Tom's Guide: Should I Get Amazon Echo or Google Home?

Amazon Echo or Google Home? These two nascent voice assistants are both trying to get their virtual feet in the door of your home, and many consumers--our readers among them--are trying to decide which is best.

ThursdayFridaySaturday writes:

My partner and I are discussing which one to get. They have an Amazon Prime Account so the reason they want the Echo is not only because of the discount, but most of their music and content is also worked through Amazon.

First, let me clarify one thing: the $129 Google Home supports only a single account per device, so you wouldn't be able to switch between yours and your partner's Google account on a single Google Home. (There is a Guest mode, but that's not quite the same). Nevertheless, Google Home is still a great device; whether you go with it or the Echo comes down to how you're planning to use it.

If you have, or plan to control, a lot of smart-home devices, such as lights, locks, thermostats and more, Alexa and the $179 Amazon Echo are your best bet. The Echo currently works with a much wider range of smart-home devices than Google Home, though the latter is catching up.

Considering your partner has an Amazon Prime membership, getting the Echo may make more sense, as you can take advantage of a number of things, such as streaming music from Amazon Music Unlimited and making purchases online.

Google Home's search engine is more robust than Alexa's, as the former taps into Google to get answers to just about anything. You can also use it to look up nearby businesses and make reservations. Also, if you have a Chromecast device — or Chromecast-enabled TV — you can tell Google Home to start streaming audio or video using nothing but your voice.

You can also customize the look of your Google Home; its base can be swapped out for one of six different colors, each of which cost $20.

Despite these advantages for Google Home, the Amazon Echo looks like the best choice for your needs, as it will let you take fuller advantage of your partner's Prime account. Check out our in-depth head-to-head between the Amazon Echo and Google Home for additional comparisons.

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Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.