Tech

The $399 Google Home Max finally arrives in stores

  • With the release of the Max, Google now has a whole line of smart speakers. Here are the mini, the original Google Home, and the Max.
  • The Google Home Max.
  • The foot on the bottom comes off…
  • …so you can use the speaker vertically.
  • Inside you'll find a lot of speaker hardware.
  • A top view shows off the microphones.
  • The side.
  • A view of the back.
  • A closer look at the ports on the back.

The biggest Google Home is finally on its way to stores. The $399 Google Home Max was announced at Google's October 4th hardware event alongside the Google Home Mini, Pixel 2, and tons of other hardware. The Max doubles down on the Home's music capabilities, offering a more powerful sound system in a form factor about the size of a bookshelf speaker.

With pretty much zero fanfare, the Google Home Max has started popping up at stores. Online listings are live at Best Buy and Verizon, with both showing a ship day of "today." The Google Store doesn't seem quite ready yet, and still shows a "join waitlist" button instead of a an actual "buy" link. Don't bother checking Amazon, which refuses to sell Google products like the Google Home and Chromecast, in part because they don't support Amazon Prime Video.

The Google Home Max features dual 4.5-inch high-excursion woofers and custom 0.7-inch tweeters. Google claims it is 20 times more powerful than the original Google Home. The speaker can sit horizontally or vertically, has an auxiliary input jack, and a "smart sound" feature will measure the sound profile of the room and adjust itself accordingly.

With the release of the Max, Google now has a pretty comprehensive family of smart speakers. The Max slots in above the $50 Google Home Mini and the $129 Google Home. Third parties are allowed to make Google Assistant speakers too, with Sony, Panasonic, JBL, and Sonos all on board to eventually ship Google's smarts in their own speakers.

Eventually the $399 Google Home Max will have to do battle with Apple's Siri speaker, the Homepod. The $349 Apple Homepod was originally scheduled to come out in time for the holidays, but it has been delayed until next year.

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