Our Verdict
If your space is looking for even more sound, there are a good amount of speakers that could suit you perfectly. But Google’s latest creation is one of the smartest around for the purchase price and its own clever design lifts it above your competition.

For
Sounds incredible
Works together with Google Cast products
Bluetooth-compatible
Against
Google Home software isn’t always responsive
Quite heavy
If you’ve been looking forward to a high-end smart speaker to arrive which has built-in Google Assistant support, and you’re against the low-sonic prowess of the Google Home, Google Home Mini or Chromecast Audio, then your Google Home Max could possibly be the next best friend.

The $399 / £399 / AU$549 plus-sized speaker comes bearing Google’s minimalist aesthetic and gives a resounding punch to your wallet – although premium sound available is merely what you’d expect the price.

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It’s not clear initially who the Google Home Max will be best suited to. It could not tempt true audiophiles, given you can bunch on a high-quality receiver plus some bookshelf speakers for near to the same cost, but Google’s commitment to excellent sound delivery and support for high-fidelity file types – FLAC, LPCM, and HE-AAC, amongst others – is second-to-none.

As always, everything falls back to the foundation to dictate the way the final result will sound. But despite having music streaming over Google Play Music, the Google Home Max sounds luscious enough to justify its cost.

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Google Home Max price and release date
The Max debuted in america on December 11 2017 for $399 / AU$549 (around £300) and by 16 May 2018, it has finally made its way to Canada. Australia was another stop on the Google Max world tour, launching a couple of months down the road August 9, before hitting the united kingdom on August 30.

It was an identical story when the initial Google Home was initially announced. Just like the Max, the speaker was at first exclusive to THE UNITED STATES, prior to making its way to other territories after around half a year.

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Design
THE HOUSE Max is something that appears like it comes straight from Libratone or Bang & Olufsen’s catalogue. In a few words, it’s massive and nondescript. But between your muted mesh grille and off-white chassis, the almost total lack of style here, strangely enough, helps it be super stylish.

Sitting next to the Google Home and Home Mini, the Max is massive. At 11.6 pounds (5.3kg) and to arrive at how big is, well, a major speaker, you can tell that the house Max is obviously the largest, most effective speaker in the family.

It could stand vertically oriented or horizontally without concern with scuffing your furniture because of the included magnetic resting pad, an excellent proven fact that brings surprising versatility to the Max in the event you have to shift it around your living room.

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Cleverly, the speaker’s touch controls adjust to the orientation that you’ve selected. Sitting horizontally, moving your finger left to right escalates the volume. But if it’s sitting upright, it flips the motion in order that moving your finger down toward the top will quiet it.

Just like the other Google Home products, the Max contains a range of lights that presents when you utter “Hey Google” or “OK Google”.

If you’re looking for other showy design elements, you won’t see them, aside from the six far-field microphones planted around the Max, and also its rear-facing ports – the latter which you will find in spades.

Around the trunk, you’ll discover a switch to toggle the microphone and an extra USB-C port for charging, say, your Pixel 2 or any other compatible device.

As we saw at Google’s October 2017 event, the house Max may use a USB-C to Ethernet dongle to construct a far more reliable wired connection. There’s also a trusty 3.5mm jack to meet anyone who has analog devices to attach.

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Performance
Google has seemingly satisfied the audio-hungry masses using its Home (with the capacity of surprisingly good audio tracks throughput) and Home Mini (decent, but ties in best alongside other Cast-enabled speakers), but with a name like “Max” it’s new speaker is gunning for a specific crowd of music lovers.

To ensure that the Max to be worthwhile, it should never only manage to deliver the same Google Assistant that people know and (mostly) love, nonetheless it then must get loud as heck while sounding good along the way.

The good thing it that, so long as you have the physical space and cover it, this speaker passes with flying colors – sound comes through with a rich, layered quality as soon as that it’s plugged in.

But how about those folks who are in smaller apartments? May be the Max too powerful for all of us? Small spaces are actually an ideal spot to try Smart Sound, Google’s algorithm which allows the speaker to automatically tweak equalizer settings to push out the very best sound depending strictly on what the layout permits, as found by its internal microphones.

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If this been there as well, it’s because it’s similar to what Apple talked up using its Apple HomePod. Though, it’s worth mentioning that there’s no audio tracks chime to inform you when the speaker has been calibrated, just how does one tell if so when Smart Sound has triggered?

We haven’t figured it out, but as long as the tunes are sounding right, it appears to did its job.

Both at quiet and loud volumes, it’s expertly tuned so that the highs and lows in the mix never trip over one another.

The sound fills the area, particularly if you have other Google Cast-enabled speakers to greatly help out. But even alone, it’s plenty strong enough to bring the party – regardless if it’s unable of 360-degree appear to be the Apple HomePod.

Using the house Max requires your voice to contact the tunes, or you are able to do things strictly on your own iPhone, Android device or tablet by tapping the Cast button in your selected streaming app.

Thankfully, with it being truly a Google Assistant-driven product, we’ve had success issuing commands to the Max at normal speaking volumes while it’s piping loudly.

Image Credit: TechRadar
Verdict
Is it possible to ever overdo Google Home devices, regardless if your home is really small? The Google Home Max has proved that the answer is currently.

Although massive, the Max produces a surprisingly versatile addition to an area of any size, because of its balanced, awesome sound delivery and Smart Sound function, which helps it adapt to any environment you arrange it in.

Actually, Google’s big speaker is a lot more elegant than it has any to be, what with clever touches just like the moveable resting pad and orientation-friendly touch functions. It’s also appreciated that its looks stick out if you tend to see it, but blend in to the scene during everyday use.

The primary point working against the Max is its price. At $399 / £399 / AU$549 many will be better off investing in a Google Home and supplementing it with a soundbar built with a Google Chromecast Audio or Chromecast Built-in.

On the other hand, if you’re seriously interested in audio, you’re already aware that price isn’t anyw