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Google Home Max review

8.3/10 AVG.
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Google Home Max
Google Home Max
Google Home Max
Google Home Max

Delivering powerful, booming audio, Google’s newest smart speaker is large and in charge.

- Mike Prospero, Tom's Guide 

No other smart speaker sounds this good.

- Nathan Ingraham, Engadget 

Specs / Features

Wireless Inputs Bluetooth
Warranty (Months) 12 months
Release date 11-December-2017
Size 34 x 19 x 15 cm (13.4 x 7.5 x 5.9 in)
Weight 5300 grams
(187.09 ounces)
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Reviews summary section

What's good

  • Excellent sound quality even at higher volumes
  • Great voice recognition
  • Contextual searches provide for better smart assistant
  • Can pair with multiple devices

What's bad

  • Expensive
  • Heavy and large
  • Slides off surfaces that aren’t 100% flat

Looking to compete with the larger sound of Amazon's full-sized echo, Google has released the Google Home Max.

But are there enough improvements over the standard Google Home to justify the higher price tag? Find out below!

Google takes the term max seriously. The Home Max, when compared to the Home and Home Mini, is a behemoth—weighing in at almost 12 pounds and measuring 13-by-7.5-by-6 inches. Reviewers don’t consider it portable as it requires a wired connection to work.

Design-wise, Google kept with a subdued appearance. The speaker features a boxy design, fabric front, and minimalistic touch panel. The subtle aesthetic is to help it blend into its surroundings, but many found it stood out due to its sheer size.

Speaking of size, they also note you need to secure it properly. It has a tendency to slide off surfaces that aren’t perfectly flat.

Google hopes the included "Smart Sound" feature will help the Max stand out from its competitors. It adjusts audio equalization based on its proximity to walls. The internal mics will listen to the bass as it bounces off walls and adjust the sound settings. The changes are very subtle. In fact, almost too subtle for many critics, making it difficult for them to discern whether it works.

So how does it sound? Critics were pleased with the audio quality. They described it as loud and clear with excellent bass—thanks to a pair of 4.5-inch woofers. Reviewers enjoyed a wide range of music genres from classical to hip-hop.

It got loud enough for most to fill the entire room without distortion—even at top volume. While impressive, some reviewers question the value, especially when comparing to similarly priced speakers.

The speaker supports multiple audio formats including MP3, WAV, and FLAC. It can also stream via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. If you don’t have a strong signal, there’s an auxiliary port in the back to connect to an MP3 player and a USB-C port that allows you to connect an Ethernet dongle.

The smart portion of the speaker comes in the form of Google Assistant. Its AI and machine learning offer what reviewers consider better contextual search than the Echo. They add that voice recognition is solid as it heard commands even over music at loud volumes. Aside from controlling music, it can also control smart home gadgets, make voice calls, help keep track of lists, and pull reminders and calendar items.

Overall, reviewers consider the Home Max one of the best sounding smart speakers on the market. Engadget notes, “It’s simply the best-sounding smart speaker available right now... music fans should definitely take note.” CNET adds, “[It's] now the leading speaker we’d recommend at this price.”

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