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Amazon Echo 4 vs Google Nest Audio: Which speaker is a smarter choice?

Google and Amazon are once again set to throw down with the two companies’ new Nest Audio and Echo 4th Gen smart speakers scheduled to hit the market in the very near future.

With both on paper featuring very developed features sets, more upgrades than you can shake a stick at and on paper targeting the same customer base, even the most tech savvy of buyers may be struggling to know which new smart speaker is best.

We haven’t tested either device yet, so it’s too early to offer a definitive verdict. Instead we’ve created this guide detailing key factors you need to consider when picking between the Nest Audio and Echo 4.

Related: Best smart speakers

Both have very different designs

The most obvious difference between the Nest Audio and Amazon Echo 4 are their designs. The Nest Audio has a neutral grey/charcoal, woven speaker finish with a much narrower 3.1-inch profile that’s designed to slot against walls and on shallow surfaces. The Echo 4 meanwhile has an atypical spherical design with a glowing LED light along its front side and physical controls on its top.

If you’re a fashion conscious buyer, the difference is worth considering as the designs mean both products will fit into certain settings better than others.

Despite their physical differences, both speakers are being marketed as having eco-friendly designs. Specifically, Google claims the Nest Audio’s woven grill and chassis is made of 70% recycled plastic while the Echo 4 carries a Climate Pledge Friendly badge on Amazon.com.

The two are also fairly different under the hood. Google’s Nest Audio delivers audio using a 75mm woofer and 19 mm tweeter. By comparison the Amazon Echo 4 features a 3.0-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters and Dolby processing. Both are being marketed for offering “significantly” more powerful and accurate bass than past smart speakers. Though without testing we won’t be able to truly know which sounds better.

Related: Nest Audio vs Google Home

But fairly similar smart features and a near identical price…

Despite this both feature a fairly robust portfolio of smart speakers. You can use both as digital assistants and to act as the nerve centre of your smart home.

The list of third party compatible devices is also fairly similar with both Echo and Nest working with most big name smart home brands, including Philips Hue, TP-Link and the ilk. They also carry identical price tags, with the Echo 4 and Nest Audio set to retail for £89.99.

The big question: Are you team Amazon or Google?

Still confused which to get? At a technical level that’s understandable. Based off the specs sheet alone, the answer to which is better will depend on what ecosystem you’re in.

Both the Echo and Nest have been optimised to work best with tech from the same family. So if you use Chromecasts, have other Google speakers or use Nest cameras and thermostats the new Nest Audio will likely be a better bet. It’ll be easier to set up, via the Google Home app and generally offer a more streamlined experience.

Equally, if you favour Amazon smart tech, which includes the Ring brand as well as the Echo and Fire lines, then the Echo 4 will likely be a better option.

We’ll update this comparison when we’ve reviewed the Echo 4 and Nest Audio and can sensibly compare the two speakers on key factors like audio quality, stability and ease of use.

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