Smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo aren’t the engine that makes smart homes go, but they are one of the most critical components to having a complete smart home. If there is one piece you want to add to your home to begin adding smart home elements to it, you NEED to start with the smart speaker. Smart speakers not only play music and tell you the weather when you ask, but they can sync with nearly every smart device on the planet and allow you to control everything without anything more than your voice. If you want to unlock the door because your kid is coming home in a few minutes, simply tell Alexa to unlock your smart lock. If you want to turn on the cool air, both Google Home and Amazon Echo can sync with your Nest thermostat and lower the temperature. But before you decide on which is right for your home, first let’s look at what makes them different.