Who won the battle of the smart speakers 2019? In the right corner is Google Assistant, and the left is Amazon Alexa. Waiting patiently for her time in the Sun is Apple’s Siri and long forgotten is Bixby, Cortana and ThinQ – relegated to machine interfaces.
The battle of the smart speakers 2019 is a two-horse race unless you are an Apple user – then you chose Siri and play ever so slow catchup.
Who won the Battle of the smart speakers 2019. GadgetGuy looks at the devices and capabilities for Google Assistant and Amazon Alex and declares the winner.
Battle of the smart speakers 2019
The battle is no longer about which speaker does great music and offers voice assistance. Note that no Wi-Fi smart speaker offers hi-res audio although a few have Bluetooth aptX/adaptive/LL/HD, AAC and LDAC codes. The battle of the smart speakers 2019 and moving forward is what they can do for you.
Google Nest, Sonos, Bose, JBL, Lenovo, Klipsch, Sony, Panasonic, Polk, House of Marley and a raft of other brands not seen at retailers have an excellent range of Google Assistant Wi-Fi/BT speakers. Click here to view all our OK Google speaker reviews.
On the soundbar front, you have JBL Link Bar (Android TV), Bose, Sennheiser, Sonos, Samsung, LG, Sony, VIZIO and a raft of lesser-known brands.
Many 2019 TVs now have Google Assistant inbuilt or can use an inexpensive Google Next Mini speaker to add voice support. For example, Samsung’s Bixby and LG’s ThinQ are machine interfaces between Google Assistant and the device – as they should be.
On the car front – well Android Auto is really Google Assistant on wheels, and companies like JBL have add-ons like its Link Drive. Although the main advances here are closer integration with the car operating system.
On the home front, we are seeing Google Assistant in mirrors, scales, fridges, microwaves, fans, thermostats, kitchen appliances, security cameras, door locks, doorbells, robot vacuums, garage door openers, watering and IoT home automation. Brands include KitchenAid and GE.
Oh, and every recent Android smartphone, tablet and many wearables has Google Assistant! In Australia, that is roughly half of all devices – iOS has the other half. Globally that is nearly 90% of mobile devices.
Yes, the Google Assistant ecosystem is growing, and pundits say that if a device does not have voice capability in 2020, there will be plenty of competitors that do. You can read what Google Assistant can do here.
First an apology to Alexa. Thomas Bartlett is GadgetGuy’s Alexa expert, and I am our Google Assistant expert. We need to keep the testbeds separate to ensure objectivity. Our (out-of-date) Guide to Alexa 101 is here and Amazon’s guide is here.
Amazon has its own Echo range including Dot/Clock, Input, Show 5/8 (display), Echo/Plus and Studio and a sub. Ultimate Ears has the Blast and MegaBlast and brands like Sonos and Bose support either Alexa or Google Assistant.
In the home automation area is has its Ring security range and many devices work with Alexa or Google Assistant – there is a significant crossover of major brands like Philips, LIFX, Logitech, Arlo etc.