Home Max hands-on: Google takes aim at Apple's HomePod and Sonos

Randall Craig
October 5, 2017

Google Home Max is a larger smart home speaker focused on delivering a great music experience. It's both voice- and touch-enabled, similar to the larger Google Home. It comes in two colors: chalk and charcoal.

It is created to be used on its side, but thanks to some helpful magnets it can be stood up too.

What is Google Home Max? It's a large white or black slab with the same fabric covering that you'll find on the Home Mini, which Google says it created to be transparent to audio that passes through. You can also stream from a device to the speaker via Bluetooth, or plug in any device with an auxiliary input.

You can then ask it all many of questions, commands and more, from controlling various smart home devices such as lighting, Chromecast and thermostats to playing games, getting the news and weather and finding out the answers to question.

Google Home Max is a high-end smart speaker aimed at people who care more about sound quality than cost.


The new, larger Home speaker is clearly meant to be an answer to critics who suggested the original Home lacked good audio quality (myself included) by providing something for users who care more about sound.

Max will also automatically adjust to lower volume in morning, raise volume when dishwasher is running, and change volume if you're listening to news or music. Of course, you'll need to be pretty serious about your home audio setup to drop $800 on a pair of these speakers.

Google Home Max: How much will it cost and when can I buy it in the UK? Google Home gained the ability to support multiple users with voice authentication, reminders, and notification support and the ability to create calendar events and make phone calls. It will go on sale in December, priced at £399.

It also supports Voice Match, so it can play your own individual playlists and comes with a year's subscription to YouTube Red.

We were disappointed with Google Home's functionality when it launched a year ago, but the devices silently update themselves direct from Google, and the company has been steadily patching in new features over the months.

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