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My new Google Home

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My new Google Home
« on: June 16, 2017, 11:20:38 pm »
My new Google Home.  No, Monica, the USPS cannot find my GH I bought from Newegg,  I never expected them to find it; heck THEY lost it!  If it shows up, I may or may not keep it.  Meanwhile, since many stores have it for $109 for a few more days, I went to Bed, Bath and Bubbles and bought it.  They would not let me use a BB&B coupon for it either!  So, I paid $15 more for the darn thing over what it costs from Newegg.

First impressions.  It does not sound better than an Echo for music; nor does it sound worse; it just sounds different.  Compared to the Echo, it is treble shy and bass heavier.  None of these small speakers have REAL bass, but rather mid-bass, and on different music I preferred one over the other depending on the music.  The bass on the Home muddies the sound more that we like. Using my new Music Streamer app on iPad, I could easily and quickly change between Echo and Home by playing same song from my home network.  My wife preferred the Echo sound, I was not so sure I preferred one over the other in all cases.

The Home could not play a particular song on request; it wanted to play from a playlist of songs.  Alexa can.  Home cannot use Bluetooth yet, but it can use Chromecast to play, so my comparison of the two devices was with Alexa playing music from iPad via BT, and Home via Chromecast.  Using Tunein is less accurate than on Echo.

Traffic reports from Home were better than from Alexa since it gave a traffic report on any location.

The basic price diff is around $50. and Home is a better value, price-wise, but the Echo can do more tricks it appears.

I still need to figure out and get the Home working with Kasa app for smart plugs.

All for now.

Re: My new Google Home
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2017, 02:17:04 am »
Wow, what a contrast to my thoughts on GH vs Echo. I'm not an audiophile so I'm happy with the sound of the GH but realize it doesn't have the clarity of highend speakers.  I'm good with it.  I don't have any playlists (other than Amazon) and have no problems requesting music from Google Play Music or YouTube Red.  It's played every song I've requested.  Binged on The Monkees today and Les Miserables earlier this week.

Set up was so much easier and faster on GH. 
Can't comment on traffic since glorified cow trails aren't mapped on Google Maps or included in traffic reports ;)
In the beginning, I'd agree that Echo could do more "tricks" but I think they've pretty well evened the playing field now.  Soon GH can call any landline or cell phone in the US and Canada vs Echo to Echo calls.
My 3 TP-Link outlet minis work perfectly with GH. 
Mike, make sure both Kasa and Google Home apps are updated from the Play Store.  TP-Link didn't show up under the list of brands that worked with GH till I updated both.
THE ONE THING GH CAN'T DO THAT ECHO CAN IS READ MY GOOGLE CALENDAR!  :o :o :o  GH can only read the calendar associated with the email used to set up your Google account...right now.  They're workin' on that.

Oh, GH doesn't do reminders yet but does do named timers and alarms.
With GH you can create groups and link your multiple GHs for multi room audio.
GH has contextual conversations (a more natural conversation).
I find the voice recognition much better.
And of course the search engine is far superior.  Business opening and closing times, phone numbers, addresses are better with GH. 
And from the web because it can describe it better than I can...
Recently, Google updated the Google Home with true multiuser support and voice recognition. Multiple users can teach it their voices. Then when you speak the wake word, Assistant will recognize your voice and respond with information personalized for you, such as your upcoming calendar events, traffic for your commute to work and your preferred news sources.
You can adjust the volume from 1% to 100%.  Not just increments of 10.
It does morning updates like Echo's Flash Briefing.
I was watching a video earlier today about Google's "Remember" feature where you can tell Google to remember where you put things, etc.  When the narrator would say "ok Google" and give a command, MY GH would respond by saying she didn't recognize his voice and wouldn't carry out the request.

I can't believe BBB wouldn't let you use a 20% coupon.  How rude!

Their personalities are different too.  Alexa seems more polite an proper where GH is more chatty and casual.  I like them both.  I'm glad I have both but if I had to choose, I'd choose GH. 

Lastly, GH tech support is better imo.  And I'm guessing American based since I've always gotten an native English speaking tech.

Re: My new Google Home
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2017, 03:26:33 am »
Monica, thanks for all the tips, I will check them out. 

I do want to say I compared music from GH and big Echo; neither are audiophile quality devices, but compared to music from a Dot, they ARE audiophile equipment!  A Dot really has terrible sound quality for music, and since you only have a Dot and not an Echo, you really cannot relate to my comparison of GH and Echo concurrently playing same music track in same room, I am sorry to say. My comparison described the tonal balance spectrum of the GH and Echo.  Both had the same quality, but they sounded quite different because the Echo is tweaked for more treble, and the GH is tweaked for more bass.  All this has nothing to say about audiophile quality.  Neither has a "balanced" sound spectrum.  The GH sounded somewhat like a Tap in tonal balance; the Tap is also bass heavy compared to the Echo.

I asked a few different ways to play specific tracks from GH and it would not cooperate.  If I ask for a specific song title it will not play and says, Since I cannot find this in you music library here is a radio mix from Google Play music.  Maybe it won't play it because I did not sign up for any of the imited-time freebees.  I ask Alexa to play same song title, and  it plays it.  ???  What's with this?  A game changer with GH being the loser here.  GH can't be this brain damaged can it?

Re: My new Google Home
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2017, 11:42:04 pm »
Do you have anymore thoughts about your GH Mike?  Can you play requested music other than playlist songs? 

Re: My new Google Home
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2017, 02:50:56 am »
No, when I request a specific song it is not served up. Nothing has changed about that.  I will call their help line early in coming week.

Here's some nice features recently discovered.  If I ask it what volume level it is set for it tells me. Alexa can't do this. Try it.

The fact that it can use Google chromecast feature (instead of BT) to receive music is great.  One does need an app on a phone or tablet with the "cast" feature, tho.  I played one of my randomly-generated, 100-song playlists on iPad that fetches music tracks from my NAS server to play on the Home this way for a few hours and it worked well.   The Google Home app can show what track is playing which is handy.  Another nice feature.  Echo can't do this if I cast the music to it via BT.

So, the GH is my go-to gadget player for playing my own music and not Echo anymore.  I also think Chromecast is a better quality transmitter than BT, because its signal goes through wi-fi to network and not a separate over-air BT wi-fi signal.  This makes Chromecast have greater range than BT, too.

Re: My new Google Home
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2017, 02:37:07 pm »
Just discovered that I can play music from my (Pandora like) Slacker app and can cast music via Chromecast to GH.  Very cool, since I had populated Slacker app with lots of artists to select from.  Chromecast is a great feature of GH and is a total scoop over Alexa that uses lesser quality BT.

Re: My new Google Home
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2017, 01:33:55 am »
I don't get it. There is nothing a google assistant on your phone can do that GH can't. I mean  :-X. Also I notice ALL the stores I went to, GH devices displays are not on or broken? I mean what the hell?

Personally, I don't see the point of GH. I am glad I purchase an echo. I held off this long for same reason - There is nothing an echo can do that my smart phone can't. Until I realize echo IS also a BT speaker and I have been wanting a BT speaker for a long time.

Then got lucky I bought it at best buy at the PERFECT time. With their price adjustment policy AND prime day sale - I get to have  my echo at $89 even when I originally bought it for $149! YAS!!

Re: My new Google Home
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2017, 02:23:27 am »
You are very lucky that Best Buy took care of you the way they did.  Some people get lucky when they don't really deserve to!

So, you don't get the Google Home? Maybe others do.  You just got an Echo, and some of us got one over two years ago when they were released.  Yes, I have one of those and also Dots and Taps.  They are great, but believe it or not the GH can do some things the the Amazon gadgets can not do.  Such as be cast to; you know like Chromecast?  I can cast music from my iPad by using a very cool app that can cast to cast-enabled devices like the GH.  The app can play music from my home server to the GH from anywhere in the house because it sends its signal through the home network, and NOT bluetooth which has limited range vs the home network, and the fidelity of the music signal is much better than BT.  Music played on a GH is better than an Echo, too, and miles better than music on a Dot.  So an Echo and a GH each have their strong and weak points.  GH also costs less than an Echo, and a little more than a Dot.  So, by having both platforms, I use the one best suited for the job I want it to do.  I liked the better sound of GH so much that I bought a second one on Prime Day and nothing from Amazon that day!

Re: My new Google Home
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2017, 03:13:52 am »
so you turned into a shill for google. 

Re: My new Google Home
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2017, 12:09:35 pm »
so you turned into a shill for google. 

(So, feeling snarky again today, eh?)  How am I a shill for either??  Just because I have one (er, two) GH's?  The OP said he didn't get it about the GH, and I told him I did.  They can cast and they play MY home-based music better.  They are not a complete sub for Echo, because they do not have as much free music as Echo, and BT is still on the drawing board. Since  I do not use Amazon music (or GH music) that much.  I have so much of my own, I don't pay any of them for music.  Everyone's
s situation is unique, but if someone would only have one big AI device, Echo is first choicel.  I still think the GH looks like an air freshener, but I got over that! 

Re: My new Google Home
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2017, 12:52:52 pm »
so you turned into a shill for google. 

(So, feeling snarky again today, eh?)  How am I a shill for either??  Just because I have one (er, two) GH's?  The OP said he didn't get it about the GH, and I told him I did.  They can cast and they play MY home-based music better.  They are not a complete sub for Echo, because they do not have as much free music as Echo, and BT is still on the drawing board. Since  I do not use Amazon music (or GH music) that much.  I have so much of my own, I don't pay any of them for music.  Everyone's
s situation is unique, but if someone would only have one big AI device, Echo is first choicel.  I still think the GH looks like an air freshener, but I got over that!

You got snarky at me too insinuating  I don't deserve to be lucky? LOL. You miss my point anyway. Best buy giving me back my money though has nothing to do with luck. It's me buying echo when it is still under best buy's price adjustment policy during prime day sale. You get it now?

You miss  my point again. As far as I know. Google assistant on your phone can cast whatever you want to cast on any device too.

Honestly if I were google, I would stop already with their GH product. I really think it's a fail. At least for me KNOWING full well google assistant on my phone can do MORE than that sorry of a product- GH.

Offline jwlv

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Re: My new Google Home
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2017, 03:46:32 pm »
You are very lucky that Best Buy took care of you the way they did.  Some people get lucky when they don't really deserve to!

I wouldn't call it luck. It's a marketing strategy for Best Buy to entice customers to buy from them. If you knew that Best Buy will match a lower price, would you feel better buying from Best Buy or Newegg (or some place else)?

Fair and easy return policies also influence where I buy from. I haven't bought anything in years from Fry's because of their ridiculous return policies. Maybe that's changed now but I haven't been back to find out.

Re: My new Google Home
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2017, 04:07:25 pm »
You were "lucky" because you were covered under the return policy of BB, and sorry for bad joke, you do deserve to be lucky.

Thanks for the heads up on Google Assistant.  I installed it and checked it out, and did not see that I could cast to "anything", it must be a cast-able device. but even  so it could not cast from iPad to Home or Chromcast unless it was "Google stuff".  So, for casting from my iPad app, I need to use that app and also use Google Home app, not Assistant for other things.

If you do not have a Google Home you really ought not pass judgement on the product; Google Assistant can NOT do all that "sorry" product can do.  It seems like it can do some things Alexa or Siri cannot do, although Alexa should be able to do the things I see from GA. Alexa app only helps configure the devices, and cannot respond about the time, weather and other simple things GA and Siri can.

Re: My new Google Home
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2017, 10:35:45 pm »
You are very lucky that Best Buy took care of you the way they did.  Some people get lucky when they don't really deserve to!

So, you don't get the Google Home? Maybe others do.  You just got an Echo, and some of us got one over two years ago when they were released.  Yes, I have one of those and also Dots and Taps.  They are great, but believe it or not the GH can do some things the the Amazon gadgets can not do.  Such as be cast to; you know like Chromecast?  I can cast music from my iPad by using a very cool app that can cast to cast-enabled devices like the GH.  The app can play music from my home server to the GH from anywhere in the house because it sends its signal through the home network, and NOT bluetooth which has limited range vs the home network, and the fidelity of the music signal is much better than BT.  Music played on a GH is better than an Echo, too, and miles better than music on a Dot.  So an Echo and a GH each have their strong and weak points.  GH also costs less than an Echo, and a little more than a Dot.  So, by having both platforms, I use the one best suited for the job I want it to do.  I liked the better sound of GH so much that I bought a second one on Prime Day and nothing from Amazon that day!

Hey Mike, I don't get what he doesn't get.  Sheese!



Re: My new Google Home
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2017, 11:52:27 pm »
His quote:
"I don't get it. There is nothing a google assistant on your phone can do that GH can't. I mean  :-X. Also I notice ALL the stores I went to, GH devices displays are not on or broken? I mean what the hell?"

He thinks that Google Assistant app can do what the Home can do (he is mistaken) and he doesn't see what the attraction of the GH is, so he bought an Echo. Do you want to set him straight?