Alexa vs Google assistant for home control?

Hi, I have several Sonos speakers around my home (2 sonos one,1 play:3, 3 amps, 1connect), with both sonos connect:amps in my kitchen and living-room. I am using home assistant for home control and finally Google Assistant is working here in Spain in Spanish. Alexa is also about to work in Spanish soon. So I am deciding for my living-room and kitchen between the echo dot and the google home mini. the echo dot has the advantage of its line out to connect to my amp and to do so with the mini I would need a chromecast audio and even then it will only be useful to listen to music through my sonos but not the spoken audio.

What would you recommend? Alexa or Google assistant?, echo dot or home mini? I think the best option would be a mini with line out but it does not exist: I know someone has managed to do it but it doesn’t seem easy enough for me.
What do you think??

You can still have your TTS audio come out of a ChromeCast Audio and therefore to the Sonos. Although cant you have that directly to the Sonos from HA anyway? I guess you are referring to the Google Home responding to voice requests…? I know you can link Google Home’s to a Bluetooth receiver and have all audio directed to that

Hi, yes I am already using TTS to all my Sonos without issues and you’re right, I was referring to Alexa or google home responding to voice requests. Your BT sugestion will be fine but unfortunately for me Sonos does not support BT. Thank you anyway sparkydave!

Personally think Alexa is the better platform for HA, they show far more commitment to moving things forward and their support for ‘doing your own thing’ is much better eg Haaska etc.

Google have, for the most part, been playing catch up, the one place they were always better was TTS but now you can do it with Alexa that advantage has gone.

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there are small devices that you can put in the audio port to make none BT devices a BT device

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I’ve both and agree with @Bobby_Nobble.

The biggest advantage regarding Google Home is that you can tell him to play something from Netflix to Chromecast and that’s awesome, but I prefer the way Alexa interact with HA.

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That’s a great tip I didn’t think of, thank you very much Rene. I’ll investigate it.

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I knew the convenience for using Chromecast with GA, but could you please @Ulisses_Nogueira and @Bobby_Nobble elaborate a little on how does Alexa interact better with HA than GA?? This is what I’m really interested to know. I mean, I’ve tried from my mobile GA and I know how it works and its limitations(i.e. everything works only with turn on and off unless I create shortcut actions for open.close etc) but I didn’t have the opportunity to try Alexa with HA yet, so I don’t know the differences and which one will seem better for home control.

I was being more general and should’ve said home automation rather than an ambiguous HA. If you look at smart devices supported by each platform virtually everything is supported by Alexa but it’s not difficult to find things not supported by Google.

On my phone I tend to use Google Assistant more because I find it better for the type of things I do on my phone, eg consuming media, general questions etc. I don’t use HA for that type of thing so Alexa is used mainly for home automation which means the two coexist quite happily doing different things.

Obviously the biggest thing Alexa has over GA is you don’t feel such an idiot asking Alexa to do something as you do saying OK Google, think it’s because the name feels a little more personal. Same reason i always use the Home button to invoke GA even if I’m going to speak to it.

My answer assumes by “Home Control” you mean Home Assistant.

I’ve tried both and I find them both less than ideal. If you have one main user of the device, I would choose google. If you have multiple users, I would go Alexa.

If you can make you own, I would try that over Alexa or Google.

I have a few Amazon Dots and I would say her recognition has about a 50% success rate.

If you roll your own, you could probably get 90% success and better phrasing.

You could try elocution lessons :wink:

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Yea. It’s true. Talking like a robot does help.

Neither are perfect, but figuring out which is right for you is difficult without knowing the exact use cases you will be using. I’ve tested both and for my purposes, I liked Alexa and the Echos more. But if you are using an Android phone and love Google Assistant and Chromecasts and all Google apps (Gmail, calendar, Keep, Maps), then you should stick with Google Home since it integrates with those apps very well. If you have an Amazon Fire TV and don’t care for integration with Google apps, then maybe Echos should be your choice.

After writing this list, I realize all my comments are about the media capabilities of the two, and not much else. Here are my thoughts:

  • The 1st gen Amazon Echos have better quality audio than Google Home (but you’re using Sonos, so this is a moot point)
  • Amazon Echo Dot is affordable and has line-out, to hook up to receiver or speakers. After a recent update, Google Home Minis recently can connect to bluetooth speakers, but no line-out. Chromecast Audio is needed for that.
  • Alexa integration with Logitech Harmony to control TV and media center is great. You can say ‘turn on TV’ and it works, though ‘watch TV’ doesn’t work. On Google, you have to say, “Okay Google, ask harmony to watch TV”. Not as intuitive.
  • Multi-room audio with Spotify works GREAT with Amazon Echo. The devices are displayed on the Spotify devices list in your phone app or Windows app instantly. For Google Home/Chromecast devices, you cannot cast music from the Spotify Windows desktop app. Spotify plays instantly on Echo vs. several seconds loading on Google Home.
  • Voice recognition is slightly better on Echo Dots vs. Google Minis. I find myself yelling at the Minis a lot, and waiting seconds for a response. I yell at the Echos, but not as much.
  • You can use Alexa, IFTTT and Home Assistant to create automations from Alexa timers/alarms. You can’t do this with Google Assistant yet.

Some things that Google Home does better

  • Google Assistant + Chromecast works really, really well. Say “okay Google, play Kimmy Schmidt” and it will load Netflix and start resuming the last episode you watched.
  • Many apps support casting, though I haven’t tested voice control with these apps
  • There are many Google Cast-supported soundbars that you can pair together with Google Homes for multi-room audio. No Amazon-supported soundbars for multi-room audio yet.
  • I’ve seen some cool Home Assistant integrations with Google’s multi-room audio solutions, like playing your obscure mp3 radio stations. Echos only support Spotify, Amazon Music, and a few others.

Both products are always updating and improving…so my review may not be valid months from now. Good luck!

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Thank you very much for your thorough response @dwinnn. Considering your points, I’m leaning now towards installing Google home minis with a BT line in adaptor to my sonos. In that way, I’ll take advantage of sonos audio quality and the good integration with Google apps, that I do use a lot.
Regarding the better home control in some cases with Alexa, like the better way to invoke harmony, I think this can be solved using Google routines.
Regarding running automations from Alexa, I think it’s also possible with Google assistant with the help of home assistant (i.e. turning on scripts) though, I’ll need to investigate it a bit more.
However, if I understood correctly, Alexa seems much better to play Spotify music. Will I be able to play whatever I tell Alexa from Spotify to be played and cast to any of my sonos players just because they are on the list of compatible Spotify devices on the Spotify app?? If this is the case, it seems really convenient and superior to Google home right now, and that makes me hesitate again between both platforms. :smile:
Thanks again for all your help!!

for a decision to decide on what platform you want to run your house on i would advice buying an echo and a goole mini and try both to see what you like best.
its not a big investment, and you wont get to the point where you have decided to go with 1 platform and after some time you like the other platform better (by a friend for example) but you never tried it, and just relied on comments here.

based on what i did read i said i would like to go with google. but they took way to long in our area and now i am with amazon. but if i would start now i would buy both small ones to decide.

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I would spend the extra and get the full size Google Home, not the Mini. The microphone on the mini is nowhere near as good as the full size. Using a bluetooth dongle to input into the Sonos is the way to go. Google Home is awesome but like I say, pay the extra. I’ve just bought another full size to replace a mini because I dont like the mini’s microphone performance

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The Echo Dot mics are excellent :wink:

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Hola @jolaca, yo estoy en la misma tesitura que tú. Ahora que es el BF no sé por cual apostar.
Mi caso es como el tuyo: tengo un Sonos base y dos Play 1, sonoff basic, y el netamo. Y todo integrado con HA.
Mi idea es ir ampliando y domotizando poco a poco, cuál es tu experiencia? Qué me recomendarías?

Muchas gracias, un saludo
Alberto

Sorry for not using English in this message!
Hola @snaider Alberto, como ya han sacado Alexa en castellano, (y tengo dos play One) y pusieron los echo Dot en el lanzamiento a 35€ (como ahora), de momento estoy probando con Alexa. La verdad es que funciona perfecto para manejar la domótica (solo hace falta instalar el skill de HomeAssistant y a funcionar: bueno, algún nombre he tenido que cambiar desde la app de Alexa para que no se mareara, pero, muy bien. Por ejemplo, puedo decirle “Ajusta persianas salon al 80%”, sin problemas). Pero, sobre todo, se integra muy bien con el control de los sonos. De hecho, al principio quería conectar un echo dot a la entrada de linea de un sonos Amp, pero no vale ni la pena, es mejor decir “Alexa, pon música acústica en Sonos salon” y las ordenes y mensajes por el echo dot y a funcionar. En cambio no sé si esto estará tan bien integrado en Google Assistant.
Por otro lado, como única nota negativa, he de reconocer, que de momento, Alexa es frente a consultas de IA, bastante más tonto que GA: por lo que aún sigo tentado en comprar algún Home mini y probar, pero lo haré cuando en los Sonos One activen GA, no antes (por tener la casa + integrada, como ahora con Alexa).
Espero haberte ayudado. Si quieres por privado con email podemos comentar más cosas (como hemos domotizado, etc,) Un saludo!

Muchas gracias Jorge, si quieres comentamos por correo o telegram.

Un saludo,
Alberto