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Introducing The Googe Home Max
Google Home Max is built with advanced hardware for the ultimate in high-fidelity music with dual 4.5″ woofers, and crystal-clear highs from two tweeters.
Smart Sound inside By applying the power of Google to audio, your music will sound amazing in any room. Google Home Max analyzes, tunes and updates itself – automatically.
Play music from apps like YouTube Music, Pandora and Spotify by streaming over Wi-Fi.² Play, pause, skip, control the volume, and more with just your voice.
“Play Discover Weekly on Spotify.” “What song is this?”
Play music everywhere by creating a multi-room group using Google Home Max along with Google Home, Google Home Mini, or a speaker with Chromecast Audio plugged in.
“Ok Google, play party playlist on all speakers.” “Ok Google, turn the volume up to 8.”
Powered by the Google Assistant, you can control compatible smart home devices with your voice and do things like turn up the thermostat and turn lights on or off.³
Plus you can check traffic, get your daily schedule, the weather forecast, set reminders, or even make phone calls,* all hands-free.
“Ok Google, what’s the weather?” “Ok Google, dim the lights.”
Fits your style and fits your space
Google Home Max comes in two distinct colors – chalk and charcoal. And you can stand it on either end, so it’s easy to fit in anywhere.
Subscriptions may be required for some content
Controlling certain devices and features requires compatible smart device(s)
* Outgoing calls to most numbers in the U.S. and Canada are supported, excluding 911 and premium rate numbers
Design of the Google Max Home max
The Home Max is a product that looks like it comes straight from Libratone or Bang & Olufsen’s catalogue. In a few words, it’s massive and nondescript. But between the muted mesh grille and off-white chassis, the almost total absence of style here, oddly enough, makes it super stylish.
Sitting next to the Google Home and Home Mini, the Max is massive. At 11.6 pounds and coming in at the size of, well, a big speaker, you can tell that the Home Max is clearly the biggest, most powerful speaker in the family.
The Google Home Max is a beefcake of a speaker, with an enclosure measuring 13.2 inches wide, 7.4 inches high, and 6.0 inches deep. It tips the scales at a hefty 11.6 pounds. Google provides a generous 6.5-foot power cable with a diminutive two-prong plug at the end (death to wall warts!), which makes the speaker easy to place. You can orient the cabinet either horizontally or vertically, moving a magnetic silicone furniture pad to either the broad side or the narrower right-hand side (where the power cord attaches) that will become the speaker’s bottom. Two of the Max’s far-field microphones are on the left side, so you wouldn’t want that to become the bottom.
The Google Home Max connects to your Wi-Fi network via a dual-band (2.4GHz/5GHz) 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter. That’s a good feature, because the 2.4GHz spectrum is exceedingly crowded and subject to interference from home appliances such as microwave ovens. Alternatively, you can plug in a USB-C-to-ethernet adapter if you want to hardwire it to your network. You can use this same port to charge a mobile device (not at the same time, of course).
Setup and ease of use
As with every Echo except the Echo Plus (which has a ZigBee radio onboard), you’ll need a smart home hub in addition to the Google Home Max to control most smart home devices (i.e., anything that doesn’t operate over Wi-Fi). But I don’t see that as a shortcoming, and my opinion of Google Home for smart home control evolved—considerably—after my smart home service provider (Vivint Smart Home) changed the way it works with Google Home on January 8 of this year.
Sound Quality and Performance
Google has seemingly satisfied the audio-hungry masses with its Home (capable of surprisingly good audio throughput) and Home Mini (decent, but fits in best alongside other Cast-enabled speakers), but with a name like “Max” it’s new speaker is gunning for a particular crowd of music lovers.
In order for the Max to be worth it, it must not only be able to deliver the same Google Assistant that we know and (mostly) love, but it then has to get loud as heck while sounding good in the process.
The good news it that, as long as you have the physical space and budget for it, this speaker passes with flying colors – sound comes through with a rich, layered quality from the moment that it’s plugged in.
When it comes to stuffing an small apartment with Google Home devices, is too much of a good thing bad? As the Google Home Max proved to us, the answer is no.
Although absolutely massive, it makes for a surprisingly versatile addition to a space of any size, thanks to its balanced, awesome sound delivery and Smart Sound function that helps it adjust to any environment you set it in.
Google’s big speaker is more elegant than it has any right to be, what with clever touches like the moveable resting pad and orientation-friendly touch functions. It’s also appreciated that its looks stand out if you choose to notice it, but blend into the scene during everyday use.
The main point working against the Max? Its price. At $399, most people might instead be better suited purchasing a Google Home, then maybe supplementing it with a soundbar equipped with a Google Chromecast Audio. But then again, if you’re serious about audio, you’re already aware that $399 isn’t anywhere near the high ceiling set by audiophile-grade equipment.
Of course, sad as it is for our overseas audience, the Google Home Max is currently only available in the United States. That being said, we’d feel good about betting big on it coming to other regions in 2018.