Google Home Max review: Hands-on with the big smart home speaker

The Google Home Max is a larger, more powerful smart home speaker, which offers twenty times the power of a regular Google Home speaker – making it an audiophile’s dream. But, with it only available in the US, will we ever see the big speaker in the UK?

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Google Home Max review: UK price and release date

At the Made by Google event that took place on 4 October 2017, the tech giant announced its latest addition to the smart home speaker line up – the Google Home Max. The new speaker will be available in December 2017 in the US-only for $399.

There was no UK price or release date. We’d expect it to come out in Q1-Q2 2018, though, with UK pricing to sit at around £399. We’ll be sure to update this article with any developments.

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Google Home Max review: Design and sound quality

The Home Max can be used in two orientations – vertically and horizontally. You’ll also be able to use two simultaneously to replicate a stereo sound.

The speaker has four dots at the front that are illuminated. These respond to voice inputs and indicate the speaker’s volume.

The front is covered by a fabric that is available in two colours: chalk and charcoal. Around the back, you’ll find a 3.5mm jack and an in-built power connector.

Inside the polycarbonate housing, you’ll find two 4.5in woofers and two custom-made 0.7in tweeters that deliver a much louder and clearer output over the regular Google Home, twenty times louder according to the company.

Of course, like the other Google Home devices, you’ll be able to use Google Assistant to help you throughout your everyday tasks. But, with the Home Max, Google include Smart Sound, a dynamic way of analysing your room and ambient sound, to adjust the volume and sound quality to match your environment.

With streaming taking a greater emphasis nowadays, the Home Max comes with a 12-month subscription to YouTube Music, an ad-free way of streaming music that’s on YouTube. The speaker also works with Spotify (paid and free), Google Play Music, Pandora, iHeart and TuneIn radio.

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Google Home Max review: Early verdict

At first glance, the Home Max looks like a relatively expensive offering. But given the price of rival smart home speakers, it’s actually competitively priced. With Google Assistant also built-in and streaming services a voice command away, it’ll be one to look out for if you’re serious about sound – but you’ll need to be in the US to get it, which means we’ll have to wait for it to hit our UK shores.

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