The Puls Blog

Your one stop shop for everything home maintenance.

All Posts

Smart Home Assistant Comparison: HomePod vs. Echo

Since Apple unveiled the HomePod just over two weeks ago, there has been a lot of buzz as to how it will stack up against the smart home assistants by Amazon and Google that have heretofore been dominating the marketplace.

Between the price tag, the aesthetics, and the set of skills Apple is promising, folks have been trying to reconcile some pretty fundamental deviations from the smart home hegemony.

But, it seems, Apple isn’t trying to fit the mold – at least not for now.  


Audio Above All Else

Apple HomepodWith a focus on audio quality above all else, the inventors of the iPod are again promising to deliver a specialized device that does a few things and does them better. And offering smart technology that recognizes the shape of a room and automatically optimizes sound, along with speakers that blow the competition out of the water, Apple is letting consumers know what it thinks is a priority.

Looking back to the early millennium and the music player which launched Apple towards today’s ubiquity, one can see that the company has continuously branded itself as a purveyor of premium products. The iPod Shuffle came out to the relief of the cash-strapped crowd, but only well after the iPod was well-established – and even then, the Shuffle was short-lived. 

What distinguished the iPod from now-extinct products like the Zune was that it promised something better, something more, heck – it even felt heftier in your hand. That’s not to say that the Amazon Echo is going the way of the dodo anytime soon – in fact, Apple has an uphill battle ahead of it. But not confronting the products currently dominating the smart home market is without a doubt a matter of intention.


High Standards for an Even Higher Price

The most obvious iteration of this is sitting right up front – the price point. It’s the first thing you see, and right away customers notice that at $350 the HomePod is nearly twice the price of the Echo, and almost three times that of Google’s Home, which rings in at around $120.

But Apple clearly isn’t worried that this will be a problem – after all, users have historically paid more for Apple products. In fact, the Amazon Echo Dot, an add-on product designed to augment speakers with Alexa capabilities, looks downright cheap compared to the HomePod. Amazon is practically giving them away.

So what is Apple promising for all this? A more streamlined experience, it seems. While the HomePod can answer questions, tell you about the weather and traffic, and other such things that smart home assistants do, it is also taking a much more hands-off approach compared to its rivals.

The price says that Apple isn’t looking for consumers to place a HomePod in every room of the house, unlike its rivals – something that might be a bit of a comfort when juxtaposed with the always-listening Echo. That device is so invasive it’s even been subpoenaed by law enforcement to provide recordings of crime scenes.

But what people might not be taking into account is the fact that Apple is likely playing its cards close to its vest at this point. In terms of connectivity, Siri is already all over – and is it any coincidence that iPhone and iPad users were significantly more likely to go for the HomePod over the competition?

This is, after all, just the first-gen release of the HomePod. It’s interesting to imagine how the product might evolve further on down the line, and how Apple will make use of the synergy between other platforms that utilize Siri.


Other Smart Home Assistant Options

Puls smart home installationIf you would like to try out a smart assistant in your home today, we offer a free in-home demo for Google Home. Like the HomePod, Google Home is the perfect smart home device, that instantaneously answers any question and helps assist you in daily tasks.

Our free in-home demo is perfect if you are not in the mood to set up the device and don't want to fumble around with all the different features and options. Our Puls expert technician will optimize your experience for you, so you don’t have to go through the hassle. Click here to schedule a free demo today!

Jake S.
Jake S.
Jake Sherman is a professional writer with a background in journalism. He is fascinated by home appliances and how they work. He enjoys breaking down complex topics and explaining them in interesting ways. He has been a Puls staff writer for two years. When he's not writing, he enjoys trotting around the globe, trying unfamiliar foods, and testing unmarked doors to see if they're locked.

Related Posts

How Much Does Gutter Cleaning Cost?

Cleaning out your gutters is one of the most dreaded tasks of the fall, but it’s also one of the most crucial to get done. Though it may not seem like a huge deal to skip cleaning them out, failing to clean your gutters could cause a clog. And because your rain gutters are designed to move the flow of water away from your home, this could potentially cause damage to the roof, the walls, and even the foundation.

The Best TV Mounting Brackets for Black Friday TV Purchases

It’s that time of year again. You’d be surprised just how many great TV deals are going on this Black Friday, and, of course, when you get that brand new TV set, you’re going to want to mount it on the wall.

Is it Better to Buy or Rent a Pressure Washer?

Just like the inside of your home needs a good routine cleaning, the outside of your home can use an occasional rinse off to get rid of the dust, dirt, and algae that can build up throughout the changing seasons and harsh weather. The best way to eliminate all of this grime is to spend an afternoon using a pressure washer, which can get even the dirtiest patios, siding, and driveways sparkling clean.