Home Speaker Quick Compare: Emergency calls, reminders, pricing & set-up dependencies

June 21, 2018


Are you considering a home speaker for hands-free emergency calls, med reminders, kitchen timers, or some other reason?  There are a few key differences you should be aware of before making a decision.  Beyond price, the most important ones are: 

  1. Device compatibility:  will you be able to set it up through a SmartPhone or tablet you already own?

  2. Will you be able to call 911 (if calling 911 is a priority)?

  3. Will you be able to call family, friends or other regular telephones?

  4. Will you get named alarms (if reminders are a priority)?


See the answers at a glance with the quick comparison charts below. 

Each chart compares 6 popular speakers:

  • The Echo Dot & Google Home Mini: Amazon & Google's most affordable Mini Speakers 

  • The Echo Plus & Google Home: Amazon & Google's combination Speaker/SmartHome Hub controllers with the lowest price tag 

  • The HomePod: Apple's only speaker, a combination Speaker/SmartHome Hub controller.



Click here for comparisons of products, features and pricing available in the U.S.





Click here for comparisons of products, features and pricing available in Canada.




Analysis:  Which Home Speaker is Best for Seniors? 

I'm often asked which speaker I recommend.  The answer changes based on your needs, priorities and the country you live in!  It can also depend on the devices you already own because we need a SmartPhone or tablet to set up the speakers and their digital assistant apps. 


For example, an iPhone 6 or higher is needed to make voice calling work with Alexa on the Echo speakers.  And you can only call 911 if...

  • you live in the United States AND

  • have an Echo speaker AND

  • add an Echo Connect to turn your Echo into a hands-free speaker for the home phone.


Google Home speakers, however, do not require a SmartPhone to make calling work! You have the option to do set up through a tablet or a SmartPhone.  However, Google has no way to make it possible to call 911 in any country (yet).  


More Resources

Which speaker is best for older adult needs?  Is there a checklist? 


 Click here for the post "The Best Home Speakers for Seniors:  Amazon vs. Google".

Click here to get a shopping checklist.



Wishing you the best, 



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