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# 261339 21-Nov-2019 17:25
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With black Friday approaching we are looking at buying a fair bit of voice assistant based gear. We are looking at

 

3 x Echo Dots / Google Home Minis to add to existing speakers. Two of them have bluetooth and one does not

 

Echo or Google Home for the kitchen to use with an iPad. We're also toying with the idea of an Echo Show or Nest Hub Max.

 

We use Spotify, Netflix, Disney Plus and a bit of Amazon Prime Video (we live in Dubai and have Amazon Prime here).

 

We also have a fair bit of home automation. 

 

I really can't see a reason to but the google assistant based gear. It's more expensive and the google home mini doesn't have a 3.5mm output which would let us easily add it to existing gear.

 

What is others experience in a home environment?


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BDFL - Memuneh
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  # 2358804 21-Nov-2019 17:38
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Amazon Echo devices are readily available - not the case for Google in NZ. 

 

Also the Amazon Echo Studio has an amazing sound and the Amazon Dot Clock goes well in the kitchen (unless you want a screen).







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  # 2358805 21-Nov-2019 17:41
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freitasm:

 

Amazon Echo devices are readily available - not the case for Google in NZ. 

 

 

Not here in Dubai - which is ironic when there is a local amazon here...


 
 
 
 


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  # 2358828 21-Nov-2019 18:54
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I would say with your use-case that the Alexa gear would be best.

 

I tried out both several years ago and ended up with Google Home devices everywhere due to a better voice recognition and the integration with my Google music etc, also at the time Google supported seamless multi-room audio and Amazon didn't. 

 

In your case though I would use Alexa, as you already have other Amazon services and especially if you want to connect them to existing speakers - I use Chromecast Audio pucks to connect into my various existing amplifiers, but those have been discontinued, whereas Amazon are just more customer-focused and have a variety of connection options. 

 

As far as home automation, I use Home Assistant to control all that, which would work just as well if I swapped in Alexa devices.

 

I have found that the auto-brightness adjustment of the Google Hubs devices do a much better job of matching the room brightness, as well as integrating seamlessly with my existing Google library of decades of photos, but if your other items are Amazon I would stick with that.

 

 


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  # 2358949 21-Nov-2019 21:20
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Echo have devices with audio out on them. Google... well they have added support for bluetooth to some of them. Nothing says what codecs they support so assume for the worst.

 

My bluetooth reciever lights up SBC, which is the terrible quality mandatory codec that devices have to support. It sounds pretty bad. No aptx or aptx low latency, and it has frequent little skips in the audio despite going about 3 meters. It may do AAC if your speakers support it. My reciever doesnt so I dont know.

 

The DAC in the echo dots isnt fantastic and they dont offer digital out on them but its certainly better than the audio out on most computers, and way better than sending stuff over bluetooth.

 

 

 

Edit: same BT reciever works great with my phone, and with the echo dots bluetooth, and also works faultlessly sending to my headphones over aptx low latency, so I dont think its the receiver, but I dont really have the motivation to test with other stuff on the google home. Mine is the first gen white one with the ugly fabric bowl at the bottom.





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  # 2358991 22-Nov-2019 02:03
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Yeah the lack of a google cast device with a 3.5mm output is stupid. I really don't get it and bluetooth is just too janky for Mrs Handle and the kids.


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  # 2359006 22-Nov-2019 05:23
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Yep, I’m surprised that Google didn’t add a 3.5mm output to the new Nest Mini, as that would effectively make them an acceptable replacement to a Chromecast Audio.

 

We’ve gone down the GA route, but to achieve that full integration with stereos (as BT was never the answer for us either) we have Chromecast Audios connected to each one (five, soon to be six of them). We can still pick them up in NZ, second hand or via Kogan, but not a tidy or cheap option. We had a number before going down this path, and this was one of the things that pushed this decision.

 

Given this problem, I can’t see how the Minis will work for you, which seems to push you towards Alexa devices all round perhaps...

 

BTW, my favourite component of our setup is a Home Hub in the kitchen. Love having screen access to control devices, and it’s worth it just as a photo viewer. The only thing annoying about it is the microphone, which is astoundingly insensitive. Often the Mini in the room next door will pick up when the Hub doesn’t. Also mistakes voices a decent amount. 




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  # 2359132 22-Nov-2019 08:43
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I think I'm going to go the whole hog and get an echo show as well.

It just annoys me that I can't get all the streaming services on the echo show or nest hub. It's so stupid when I'm sure they are just running skinned Android.

 
 
 
 




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  # 2360256 25-Nov-2019 06:26
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We've decided to go down the Echo route. I've ordered a couple of Echo Show 8 and an Echo 3rd generation from the UK as their black Friday sales have started and they have the same plugs as in the middle east.

I'll be ordering some echo dots on Friday from the US. I'm also moving all my random sensors off home assistant onto Xiaomi hubs. I guess I'll put all my IKEA lights onto the Xiaomi hubs as well. The hubs are cheap enough to be able to have one on each level, which should deal with my mesh problems (all the houses in the middle east are solid concrete block).



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  # 2365235 2-Dec-2019 22:10
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So the first lot of echo dots from the UK arrived. The sound on the third generation is so much better than the 2nd generation echo dot I already had.

 

To be honest I don't know if we need any better sound in the kitchen than that. First echo show should arrive today, that'll be fin to play around with, especially as i bought a ring door bell as well. It pairs very nicely with the echo dots.


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