“Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Which Prime Day deal is better? - Digital Trends” plus 1 more

“Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Which Prime Day deal is better? - Digital Trends” plus 1 more

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Which Prime Day deal is better? - Digital Trends

Posted: 16 Jul 2019 05:17 PM PDT

Prime Day 2019 is going strong on its second day, with early reports of vastly higher sales volumes than past years, for Amazon and the roughly 250 additional merchants who joined in. Shoppers are buying smart home devices in record numbers. The increase in sales is likely due in part to Walmart and Google's aggressive partnership for the summer sales event. By cutting prices more than two weeks before Prime Day began on Google Nest smart home products, the joint Walmart and Google effort may have given Amazon extra incentive for its Amazon Echo smart home deals.

Finding great deals isn't only about looking at the lowest price — although that's a huge part of the hunt. We also want to compare deals on the most popular products across platforms, and in this post, we're looking at the Amazon Echo and the Google Home smart speakers. Earlier today, we compared the best Prime Day deals on the Google Home Mini versus the Amazon Echo Dot. We also evaluated the Google Nest Hub and Echo Show 5 smart display deals.

The Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers were the original products in their respective Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant smart home platforms. The Echo on sale today is the second-generation product that launched in 2017 with much-improved sound, appearance, and overall functionality than the original 2015 version. The Google Home is still the first generation in its line, having made its debut in 2016.

A year after the original Amazon Echo's debut, the Echo Dot appeared on the market in the fall of 2016 with a smaller size and lower cost. The same thing happened with the Google lineup when the Google Mini showed up in October 2017. In both cases the smaller form, rounded hockey puckish, entry-level smart speakers took over from their larger brand mates. Neither Amazon nor Google is free with sharing  actual unit sales numbers, but the volumes of the Dot and Mini dwarf the stats for the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

So why do people keep buying the larger and still more costly "full-size" Echo and Home smart devices? Music. Neither device brings tears to audiophile eyes, and both lines have audio-enhanced models in the Echo Plus and the Home Max, respectively. The Dot and Mini are fine for background-listening when you're sitting at your desk, but neither small speaker can fill a room with sound or rock even a small party.

So that's the niche for the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. They're not high-end music machines but for many people the Echo and the Home play music with all the volume, bass, and vocal quality necessary to keep shoppers buying. So what about the deals?

Amazon Echo (2nd Gen)— $50 off

The second-generation Amazon Echo has Dolby processing to dish out deep bass without buzzing and to serve clear vocals. The Echo has a 2.5-inch downward-firing subwoofer and a 0.6-inch upward-firing tweeter. You can configure the Echo to play music from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, and more. You can awaken to music alarms and ask Alexa to play what you want to hear. Like other Alexa-compatible smart speakers, you can use voice commands with the Echo to set times, ask questions, check your schedule, play the news, make Skype calls, and monitor and manage smart devices throughout your home. When Digital Trends reviewers evaluated the updated second-generation Amazon Echo and the Google Home, they unanimously agreed the Echo has better overall music quality.

Normally priced at $100, the Amazon Echo is $50 during Prime Day. If price and music quality are the only factors in choosing a full-size smart speaker, the Echo wins on both counts.

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Google Home— $60 off

The Google Home has a secret weapon; it comes ready to work with Chromecast so you can stream content directly to your TV. Inside the Google Home's high excursion speaker has a 2-inch driver and dual 2-inch passive radiators. You can use Google home with Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Pandora and link one of those accounts as your default player. When our admittedly demanding Senior Editor Caleb Denison evaluated the Home's music production quality in comparison to the Echo, he said the Google Home over-emphasizes the bass and distorts sooner when the volume is turned up. Denison also said the most people would be happy with the sound, however.

Usually $129, the Google Home is just $69 during Prime Day and Walmart's extended Google Week. Because we're comparing the deals for the Google Home and the Amazon Echo solely on music quality and price, the Echo gets the nod because it sounds better and costs $19 less. If you're building a Google Assistant smart home configuration, however, the Echo's edge won't matter, and both the Google Home music and price are close enough to the Echo that neither should be a deterrent.

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We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

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Democratic debate: Tulsi Gabbard and the simmering curiosity about her candidacy - Vox.com

Posted: 27 Jun 2019 12:00 AM PDT

At the first Democratic primary debate, it was clear the main goal for several candidates was to merely get their name on the national radar.

The crowded stage of 10 made it especially difficult. But a few candidates found a way to stand out.

During the debate, several tweets noted the massive spike in Sen. Cory Booker's search traffic. But by the end of the night, two other candidates emerged from the crowded field — enough to get Americans searching their name.

One was New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. This isn't a huge surprise; de Blasio tried to run to the left of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was clearly the frontrunner onstage. And he did so by trying to upend the debate format and interrupting fellow candidates.

The other, though, was more of a surprise. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who served in the Iraq War, sparred with Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan over foreign policy — and eventually won the upper hand when she corrected Ryan for saying the Taliban, not al-Qaeda, was behind the 9/11 attacks.

These are the moments that caused search traffic for these candidates to skyrocket.

For most election watchers, the heightened interest in Gabbard was unexpected.

But that spike in interest might not be totally out of the blue.

Take a look at the number of views on each candidate's Wikipedia page from the past week. Aside from Warren, Gabbard generated the most views.

Now, as I've learned from doing this kind of analysis on debates over the years, Google search spikes are hard to maintain. In many instances, people are seeing these candidates for the first time and are just curious about who they are on the most basic level. Once Google provides a one-sentence answer, that's that.

But Wikipedia views tend to stay a little steadier. And we can see that for Gabbard when we look at the past month of page views on Wikipedia. Aside from massive spikes for the frontrunners, Gabbard is mostly keeping pace with them. If we compare her to another candidate polling in single digits, like Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, we can see Gabbard is more than doubling her totals.

Google Trends data can give us some hints as to why people are searching for Gabbard.

The past month of search data shows that, besides her home state of Hawaii, it's folks from New Hampshire and Iowa — the early primary states — who want to know who she is.

None of this means that Gabbard is a serious contender. She clashed with fellow Democrats by being critical of President Obama's foreign policy, saying that his administration "refuses to recognize" that "radical Islam" is responsible for terrorism. And ever since, she's branded herself as being among the most hawkish Democrats when it comes to terrorism. She's also been criticized for expressing support for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

What we can take from this is that this heightened interest in Gabbard might not have come from nowhere.


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