Google is turning it up to 11 with its music-focused smart speaker Google Home Max.
Google Home Max at a glance
What is Google Home Max? A bigger version of the Google Home smart speaker geared towards audio playback.
When will Google Home Max be available? It will be released in December 2017 in the US, but there's no Australian release date as yet.
How much will Google Home Max cost? It will retail for US$399.
What is Google Home Max?
Google Home Max is an upgraded version of Google's original Google Home smart speaker. Designed for the more discerning audiophiles out there, Google Home Max is capable of a higher-quality sound output than its predecessor, boasting more powerful speakers along with Google's new Smart Sound technology that automatically optimises your music based on the Max's surroundings and current levels of ambient noise.
Like the original Google Home, Google Home Max packs a wide range of hands-free features. Thanks to Google Assistant, Google's voice-controlled virtual assistant, Google Home Max can respond to questions you ask it by looking up the answers on the Internet. It can read you the daily news headlines or the week's weather forecasts, and it can manage your appointments in your personal Google calendar.
App integration remains a core component of Google Home Max too, with the smart speaker capable of connecting to your Netflix account and streaming shows to your smart TV on command, as well as controlling a variety of smart home devices like Philips Hue lights and Nest smart home appliances. And thanks to its improved audio hardware, Google Home Max is especially tuned for connecting to music streaming services like Spotify, Google Play Music and YouTube Music, with the millions of songs in each of their libraries just a simple voice command away.
How is Google Home Max different to Google Home?
The differences between Google Home Max and the original Google Home all revolve around the Max's enhanced audio capabilities. Where the standard Google Home had a single 2-inch woofer powering its speaker, Google Home Max packs two 4.5-inch woofers combined with custom-designed tweeters aimed at producing deeper bass and clearer highs. The Max is also built to better detect voice commands, with far-field microphones that Google claims can hear you speak even while music is playing.
Google Home Max also integrates Google's new Smart Sound technology, which uses room equalisation to automatically adjust sound levels based on the furniture and other objects in the Max's vicinity. This same technology also adapts to the specific type of music you're playing, tweaking levels on-the-fly to produce better quality sound.
Wi-Fi streaming is no longer the only way to play music on the Google Home Max either. Unlike its predecessor, the Max supports direct streaming via Bluetooth, plus it has a built-in 3.5mm stereo jack for hooking up iPods, MP3 players or any other device with an auxiliary output.
When will Google Home Max be available in Australia?
Unfortunately, Google has not yet confirmed an Australian release date for Google Home Max. In the US, Google Home Max will launch in December 2017, with an Aussie launch likely to follow sometime in 2018.
How much will Google Home Max cost?
No Australian pricing is currently available for Google Home Max. It will retail for US$399 in America, and going by that figure, it's likely to cost somewhere between $520 and $560 Down Under.
Google Home Max specs
- 2 x 4.5-inch woofers + 2 x 0.7-inch custom tweeters
- 802.11 b/g/n/ac @ 2.4GHz/5GHz, Bluetooth 4.2
- Ambient light sensor, orientation sensor
- USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack