Google Home is a Wi-Fi-connected speaker that’s powered by Google Assistant, the same almost-all-knowing digital assistant that runs the show on Google’s Pixel phones. With a user interface driven entirely by voice prompts, Google Home ($129 on the Google Store) can tell you about traffic and weather conditions, the latest news headlines and sports scores, and thousands of other informational tidbits. Basically, if a factoid is available via Google Search, there’s a good chance Google Home can find it, and read it back to you.
Google Home also lets you control other gadgets with voice commands. The list of supported devices is currently short, but includes the Nest Thermostat, Philips Hue smart bulbs and Google Chromecast. The little speaker also streams music from Spotify, Pandora, and Google Music, as well as internet radio via TuneIn.
Relative to the Amazon Echo, its direct competitor, we think Google Home looks better, has a better-sounding speaker, and is powered by a more intelligent digital assistant. Indeed, Google Home even has a remarkably accurate language translation engine. Overall, Google Home is the best overall Wi-Fi-connected speaker, but the Amazon Echo can’t be beat for its support of other smart home gadgets.
Our review of Google Home ran in early November.