- By Fiza Pirani The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Of all the top-notch Amazon Prime Day deals rolling out for the big 2017 sale, the Amazon Echo with its limited $89.99 price tag is arguably the best bargain so far.
But just before Amazon Prime Day’s official launch on Monday, July 10 at 9 p.m. ET, Google slashed its own smart speaker price to $99, down from $129.
And when it comes to Apple’s HomePod, tech experts say the anticipated smart speaker is gaining interest.
So, which device is right for you? We’ve compiled prices, expert and consumer reviews and more to help you make your decision.
Usual price: $180
Amazon Prime Day deal: $89.99 (Amazon)
The e-commerce giant’s voice-activated smart speaker is one of its most popular products, offering consumers the ease of playing music, making appointments, getting reminders, reading news and much more through its virtual assistant, Alexa.
One of the product’s biggest perks is its compatibility with dozens of smart home devices, such as Belkin smart outlets and Honeywell Smart Thermostats.
Experts at CNET describes the Echo as an “undeniably futuristic” smart speaker “that can control your whole house.”
Consumers and experts alike have noted the Echo’s sometimes lackluster sound quality.
Overall, CNET editors rated the product at an 8.3 out of 10.
Amazon’s smaller Echo Dot, normally priced at $49.99, will also be available for the low price of $34.99 for Prime members starting Monday.
Additionally, Amazon is offering the following Echo bundle deals:
Usual price: $129
One-week bundle offer with Chromecast: $99.99 (eBay)
Ahead of Amazon Prime Day, Google paired its smart speaker ($129) with the popular Chromecast streaming stick ($35) for a $99.99 bundle on eBay. The deal is marketed to last one week.
Though not as widely popular as the device that started the smart speaker trend (Amazon Echo), Google Home is gaining traction as the speaker with the “bigger brain,” due to its integration with Google’s search engine.
According to TechRadar, if the Google Home keeps up its pace, it might catch up to the Amazon Echo.
Other perks: High sound quality and more personalized virtual assistance than the Echo and integration with Chromecast makes for easy, high-quality digital entertainment, according to CNET.
Still, Google’s smart assistant does need some help, consumers and experts say, arguing that changing your tone and using different words to ask a specific question often trips the virtual assistant up.
CNET editors also gave the Google product a score of 8.3 out of 10.
Price: $349 (Apple)
In addition to providing Alexa-like information on news, weather, reminders and more, Apple’s HomePod (and virtual assistant Siri) features wireless access to Apple’s Music library and a stellar musical experience.
According to experts who played around with the HomePod at June’s big developer conference (the product won’t actually hit the market until December), “Apple has done a remarkably good job finding ways to get its speaker to feel like it’s filling a room with sound.”
The tiny speaker, according to The Verge, manages to put other smart speakers like the Amazon Echo or Google Home to shame.
But experts can’t attest for the smart speaker’s “smart” qualities just yet. The integration with Siri didn’t seem to work at the June conference.
Unimpressed by the malfunctioning Siri integration, Tech Radar experts described the HomePod as “the wildcard from Cupertino.”
Still, experts are waiting to fully weigh in until the speaker hits the market in December.