The rise of diverse smart speaker brands has created stiff competition between top products like the Apple HomePod and Amazon Echo with Alexa in terms of their features and price. The Amazon speaker is one of the earliest smart speakers, while the HomePod, released by Apple in 20218, is undoubtedly a great competitor even with its later development.
While they are both smart speakers with digital assistants, the Apple HomePod and Amazon Echo with Alexa have considerable differences in size, price, integration ability, connection type, and compatibility.
In this article, we will review the similarities and differences between the Apple HomePod and Amazon Alexa, and discuss which offers more to help you choose the right device for you.
How Are HomePod and Echo Alike?
If you are on the market looking for a speaker with unique smart features, chances are you are at a crossroads in your decision. For most audiophiles, the challenge may be between choosing an Apple HomePod or an Amazon Echo.
While they are both smart speakers with dedicated smart assistants—which makes it possible for you to play and control your speaker via voice commands—they are also similar in other features.
Below are some of the ways Apple HomePod and Echo are alike:
- They are both smart speakers. Alexa and Apple HomePod speakers are voice command devices with an integrated voice assistant—Siri, for the Apple HomePod, and Alexa for the Amazon Echo. Users can interact with their speakers and control it remotely via the use of a smartphone.
- They both have a control panel on the outer device body. Both the HomePod and Echo feature a control panel on its body that allows users to manually control its volume and other control functions without having to connect a cable or through a connected app or device.
- The HomePod and Echo both have a subwoofer. A subwoofer allows users to experience a better sound quality with excellent bass delivery.
- They both have noise-canceling microphones. This helps the speaker to filter background noise from the sounds, especially in a noisy environment.
How Are HomePod and Echo Different?
While the Apple HomePod and Amazon Echo speakers share several similarities, they possess more differences when compared to one another:
- The original Amazon Echo is far larger and heavier than the HomePod at 3.5kg compared to HomePod’s 2.5kg.
- The Echo comes in a large variety of models. Currently, there is only one model of the Apple HomePod.
- Echo speakers allow for Bluetooth connections alongside a Wi-Fi connection, while the Apple HomePod doesn’t.
- They allow different numbers of users. The Apple HomePod only allows a single user (one user per iCloud account), but the Amazon Echo speakers allow for multiple users.
- Both devices have different compatibilities. Amazon Echo speakers are compatible with both Android and iOS devices, while the HomePod is only compatible with iOS devices.
- The Echo offers you native support for most music streaming services except Apple Music, while the HomePod requires you to airplay with these platforms to be able to stream to the HomePod.
- The two smart speakers vary widely in price. Echo speakers can be purchased starting at $29.99, while the HomePod is available for $299.
HomePod vs. Echo: Which One Is Better?
Before deciding which smart speaker is best for you, it’s worth considering these factors:
If your reason for buying a smart speaker is solely for a good music experience, then the Apple HomePod is your best bet when compared to the Amazon Echo. The HomePod offers you with 360-degree sound and sound clarity. Also, thanks to its upward-facing woofer and dedicated amplifiers, the HomePod is the best speaker—in terms of sound quality—on the market.
Intelligent Digital Assistants
What makes a speaker smart is its ability to interact with users via their dedicated voice assistants and the Amazon Echo and the Apple HomePod is no stranger to this feature. For the Apple HomePod, we have Siri, and for the Amazon Echo, there’s Alexa. While Siri is useful, it is restricted to the Apple ecosystem, which makes the Amazon Echo better in this sense.
Alexa can do more and offer more controls with third-party systems due to its open access for third-party developers.
Both the Amazon Echo speakers and the Apple HomePod are compatible with several music streaming services.
While the HomePod only offers direct support for the Apple Music system, other streaming services like Pandora and Spotify can be accessed via airplay.
On the other hand, the Amazon Echo speaker allows you to stream music from every other streaming platform except Apple Music. However, you can stream Apple Music to Echo over a Bluetooth connection.
The Final Verdict
Both the Apple HomePod and the Amazon Echo devices are some of the best and popular smart speakers on the market. While the HomePod is pretty expensive at $299 when compared to the Amazon speakers that start at $29.99, they both offer some excellent smart speaker features.
Ultimately, if you are a fan of quality sound, then you should go for the HomePod. However, if you are a fan of portability and the easy integration of multiple systems, then the Amazon Echo with Alexa should be your best choice.