With audio hardware specialists like Sonos and Harman Kardon now getting in the intelligent speaker space, users now have the option of getting their virtual assistants with great-sounding speakers. As such, it’s not surprising to find the early players in the space stepping up the quality of their speakers, too. That looks to be the case with the Google Home Max, a new intelligent speaker that promises “the ultimate in high fidelity.”
Measuring 13.2 x 7.4 x 6 inches (width x height x depth), the speaker is much larger than the early lineup of intelligent speakers from Amazon and Google, allowing it to accommodate larger drivers and audio hardware. That means, the same intelligent virtual assistant as Google’s previous speakers while producing a bigger and better sound.
The Google Home Max houses two 4.5-inch high-excursion voice-coil woofers and two 0.7-inch custom tweeters inside a sealed rigid housing that keeps the audio composed. According to the outfit, the driver combo produces crystal-clear highs and a deep balanced bass that more discerning listeners should be able to appreciate. It’s also equipped with Smart Sound, a machine learning technology that automatically adjusts the equalizer settings to match the acoustics of your room, ensuring it produces the most balanced sound no matter which room of the house you put it in. Whether you’re in a big room, a small room, or an odd room layout, this thing can modify its settings to produce the best sound experience.
It has onboard mics equipped with far-field voice recognition, allowing it to hear commands even from the other end of the room. Not only that, the same tech makes it possible to pick up your commands even while music is playing through the speaker. Like other Google Home speakers, you can use voice commands to play music, ask for information, and get a curated snippet about your day. Built-in Chromecast allows you to stream video content to any compatible TV, while enabling multi-room audio with other Google Home speakers, Chromecast speakers, and other devices with an attached Chromecast Audio. Of course, you can also use it to control your smart home, from turning on the lights and setting the thermostat to controlling your smart cameras and other connected devices.
The Google Home Max can pair with other Google Home speakers to enable a fuller stereo sound, while orientation sensors allow you to set it down vertically or horizontally without affecting the sound it produces. It comes with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so you can stream songs over either one, along with an AUX port for plugging in your music sources instead.
A switch in the back allows you to turn off the mic, essentially turning it into a traditional speaker for those times you don’t want Google Assistant mistaking your conversations for commands. While designed to respond to voice commands, it also comes with gesture controls for music playback, so you can simply tap and slide on top if you don’t feel like talking to a virtual assistant.
Available now, the Google Home Max is priced at $399.