Google Home Max sets its sights on the Apple HomePod with ‘smart sound’ and a lot of power

We thought we knew all about the two second-gen Pixel phones, single refreshed Daydream View VR headset, all-new Pixelbook and pint-sized Google Home the search giant planned to unveil at today’s #MadebyGoogle event, but it turns out the Siri-powered Apple HomePod has competition.

Meet the gargantuan Google Home Max, billed simply and suggestively as El Goog’s “biggest and best-sounding Google Home ever.” This bad boy’s volume is purportedly 20, yes, 20 times more powerful than what the original Mountain View-designed smart speaker was capable of.

With dual 4.5-inch “high-excursion” woofers in tow, as well as custom 0.7-inch tweeters, this clearly targets audiophiles that like to sit on their living room couches and… terrorize their neighbours. But it wouldn’t be a smart speaker without “smart sound”, which is how Google advertises the device’s ability to adapt to its surroundings.

Specifically, some automatic fine-tuning goes on behind the scenes to make everything sound as natural and as pleasing as possible when the big guy is positioned near a wall, on a shelf or in some other setting that could normally mess things up.

Spotify (both free and paid tiers) and YouTube Music headline the list of supported services, with an ad-free 12-month subscription to the latter included in the regular $399 price. Official availability is set for December, and in addition to a long list of upgraded Google Assistant skills, the Google Home Max has Bluetooth and Google Cast support going for it, not to mention a traditional headphone jack and natural-feeling fabric coating.

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).