Google’s biggest, loudest, and hopefully best-sounding smart speaker is now available for purchase. Best Buy is selling the Google Home Max for $399. Verizon has it too (but the link to the product page doesn’t work at the moment so you have to search for it), and the Google Store… lets you sign up to join the wait list.

While the list price for a Google Home Max is about 3 times as much as the list price for a standard Google Home, it’s also a much more impressive speaker.

Google equips the speaker with dual 4.5 inch woofers and two 0.7 inch custom tweeters. The system has a quad-core processor, USB Type-C and 3.5mm audio jacks, microphones with support for far-field voice recognition, and WiFi and Bluetooth. It also supports wireless stereo pairing, allowing you to use multiple speaker for left and right channels, or set up a multi-room audio system by placing multiple speakers throughout your house.

It’s also designed to adjust the sound depending on the location in a room where it’s placed, so it projects audio differently if it’s in a corner than if it’s in the center of a room.

Basically, it’s a speaker for folks who want an always-available, voice-controlled digital helper like Google Assistant, but who don’t want to put up with listening to music through a dinky speaker like a Google Home or Google Home Mini.

Apple is taking a similar approach with its upcoming HomePod speaker with Siri support. The difference is Apple’s $349 HomePod will be the company’s only smart speaker at launch. There is no cheaper option. Amazon, meanwhile, offers a range of Alexa-enabled speakers including the Echo Dot, Echo, Echo Plus, and Amazon Tap. But what the company lacks is a high-end model to compete with the Google Home Max or Apple HomePod.

The Google Home Mini measures 13.2″ x 7.4″ x 6″ and comes in chalk white or charcoal grey color options.


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4 replies on “Google Home Max smart speaker now available for $399”

  1. I’ll buy one of these just as soon as I buy a $1,000+ Pixel phone. (Hint : Never.)

  2. With “far-field voice recognition”, they really should incorporate a wide angle webcam into these speakers so that when the software detects somebody talking thoughtcrime or perpetrating an act of terrorism, an image of the perpetrator can be automatically sent to MiniLove (or Department of State Security or the NSA). That would truly be doubleplusgood.

    And just think of the possibilities of Russian criminals hacking into these and being able to blackmail you for all that salacious talk …

  3. These expensive combo devices remind me of “Hi-Fi Consoles” of the 1960s, sold to people who didn’t want to plug a turntable, amp and speakers together. For the rest of us it might make sense to plug the audio output of a little Dot or Home Mini into the capable stereo or 5.1 system we already have.

  4. I wonder when they are going to make something like this but in a sound bar for a TV. It seems a bit obvious to me but haven’t seen one yet.

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