Google Home Max is a $399 smart speaker with room-filling sound

10 October, 2017, 00:44 | Author: Shannon Newton
  • All of the the audio controls are in a touchpad on the right earbud

Apart from announcing new additions to its Home family of smart speakers, Google also plans to introduce a bunch of new features for its Google Home range of devices.

The Google Home Mini promises 360-degree sound, while the Google Home Max claims to be twenty times more powerful than the existing Google Home speaker.

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It's been almost 18 months since Google announced Home, its entry into the exploding smart speaker category, which now includes the Amazon Echo (powered by Alexa), Apple HomePod (Siri), and Harman Kardon Invoke (Microsoft Cortana).

Both will happily play tunes, and on our first listen the Home Mini had the slight edge in sound quality. The Home Mini is, of course, powered by Google's Assistant rather than Amazon's Alexa, though. Introduced by Google Glass desinger Isabelle Olson, the Home Mini is created to integrate itself into your home decor and seamlessly operate without drawing attention to itself. Sadly unlike Bluetooth speakers which can operate without power you do have to plug it in two a power source just like the Google Home Mini. Google has announced a smart sound feature allowing the device to automatically adapt to the user's requirements. The Home Max will retail for $399 and will be available in the month of December. This is clearly the device that Google envisions competing with the likes of Apple's high-end HomePod and Amazon's Echo Plus. By offering a lower-priced offering, Google hopes to goose sales for voice assistant platform, much like Amazon saw with the Echo Dot. It has two 4.5-inch woofers for deep bass and two 0.7-inch custom tweeters for the highs. Also, there is a 3.5mm audio jack on the back next to a USB Type C port, if you need a wired connection.

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The Google Home Mini comes in three different colors: chalk (white), charcoal (black), and coral (red). A broadcast feature triggers the routines in all the Google Home speakers in the home.

The bigger speaker, Home Max, is meant for a more serious music enthusiast, Google says. Also, Google's free-of-cost Hands Free Calling is coming later this year to the United Kingdom as well. The puck-sized fabric covered speaker is priced $49 and will start retailing in USA stores from October 19 and is right now available for pre-order.

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