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Last updated: 26 September 2017

Google and Amazon are leading the way with their smart speakers bringing voice-activated digital assistants into Aussie homes. Google Home is available officially in Australia and the Amazon Echo is not officially available here yet, but you can buy it overseas and use it here. 

We test and compare the Google Home smart speaker with the US version of the Amazon Echo. 

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Our expert testers give each smart speaker a thorough workout to help find:

  • which is the easiest to set up and use 
  • what services they connect into
  • which has the best sound quality.

Our interactive comparison tool helps you compare how well the smart speakers recognise voice commands, what features and services they offer and which third-party home automation devices they work with. Our buying guide tells you what to look for when choosing one for your home.

Did you know CHOICE tests much more than just smart speakers? Check out our Top 50 reviews.

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List of brands we tested in this review.

Price

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Price paid in July 2017 in Australian dollars (Amazon Echo was bought from the USA via a third-party shipping company, as it wasn’t available locally at time of testing)

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 199 and 265

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Test results

Ease of use score

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Based on hardware installation (15%), smart device set-up (20%), smart device control (15%), music playback control (20%), command structure (20%), and understanding of related commands (10%).

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 78 and 81

Sound quality score

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Based on the results of a listening panel, with the smart speakers compared to our reference portable Bluetooth speaker.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 47 and 53

Voice commands score

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Based on 30 people issuing the same commands to both devices from a distance of 3m in an office environment using their natural speaking voice; the score is based on how many times the person had to issue each command in order for it to be executed.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 97 and 97

Included in this review

Members-only access
  • Recommended
  • Overall score
  • Ease of use score
  • Sound quality score
  • Voice commands score
  • Yearly power consumption cost
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Comments
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Availability
  • Price
  • Speaker
  • Microphone
  • Indicator light
  • Mute button
  • Wi-Fi (single or dual-band)
  • Other physical controls
  • Bluetooth
  • Music services supported
  • Audio playback devices supported
  • Video services supported
  • Video playback devices supported
  • Photo services supported
  • News and weather briefings
  • Calendars supported
  • Set alarms
  • Create to-do lists and shopping lists
  • Translation
  • Smart LED light integration
  • Smart switch integration
  • Where is data processed?
  • Data that is accessed
  • What data is stored?
  • Can stored data be easily deleted?
  • Voice purchasing
  • Multi-user support
  • Cord length (cm)
  • Size (HxWxD, mm)
  • Weight (g)
  • Warranty (years)
  • Website
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