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Google Home Max review – huge speaker, huge sound and the smarts to back it up

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  • VERDICT

The Google Home Max speaker is a winner for those who want a solid and high quality audio output along with the ability to control your life and your smart devices with your voice.

The Google Home Max is appropriately named. It’s a big and loud speaker that delivers both on the audio side and on the smart side to provide information in instant.

This isn’t Google’s first excursion into smart speakers. The original Google Home was a game changer and introduced people to Google Assistant and the term “Hey Google”.

That was an interesting speaker but to be frank, the audio quality wasn’t the best.

Enter Google Home Max – a smart speaker that offers incredible audio quality.

And you’ll need a bit of room as well – the Google Home Max is a beast. It’s 33.7cm wide, 19cm tall and 15.4cm deep.

When it comes to speakers, size is good.

But for some customers, this imposing footprint might be a dealbreaker.

But you can turn the speaker and rest it on its end to reduce the amount of room it occupies.

Yet no matter how you place it, it’s still a big speaker.

Under the hood are two 4.5-inch high excursion dual voice-coil woofers along with two custom tweeters.

And it is all housed in a rigid chassis to contain the audio and eliminate vibration.

The result is an impressive and authoritative soundscape that adds real richness to your music.

If you’re into bass-heavy music, the Google Home Max will put a smile on your face.

But at the same time the custom tweeters can handle all those high and mid-level ranges quite capably as well.

So all up, you have quite a versatile speaker that everyone will enjoy listening to no matter what sort of music fits their taste.

Also onboard is Smart Sound – technology that uses machine learning to adjust the equalizer to optimise the audio quality in your room.

It might be in a corner, it might be against the wall or on a bookshelf but either way the speaker can match the acoustics and offer a balanced sound.

And even if you decide to move it to another position in the room, Google Home Max will automatically recalibrate in seconds to maintain that high audio quality.

Naturally, the advantage of this device is that you can control it with your voice so you could ask for your favourite songs to be played, see what your day is like and hear the latest news headlines.

Users can link their favourite music services including YouTube Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Deezer so you can request your favourite songs.

The built-in far field microphone can hear you from across the room even when the music is playing loudly.

On the smart side, users can link Google Home Max to their wireless devices from Nest, Phillips Hue Lights and the Ring doorbell just to name a few.

The speaker will also link with your Netflix and Stan accounts so you can ask the speaker to play specific shows on your TV to help you pick up where you left off in that series that you’re binging.

Setup is super easy through the Google Home app which helps you link the speaker to your wi-fi in seconds.

There is also an AUX IN port to connect other audio sources, like a turntable, to the Google Home Max speaker.

The top edge of the speaker has touch controls for those times where you’re near enough to adjust the volume with a slide of the surface left or right.

And for those who want an even bigger sound, it’s possible to link a second Google Home Max speaker wirelessly and form an imposing stereo pair that will more than fill the room with sound.

The speakers can be laid horizontally or vertically so you can maximise or save on the speaker’s footprint.

There is also Bluetooth on board so you can still listen to your other music services, like Apple Music, and to the music on your device.

You just can’t control these with your voice – they will need to be manually controlled from your phone, tablet or computer.

And if you have other Google Home speakers at your place, or speakers connected with Chromecast Audio, they can all be linked to create a multiroom audio system.

Google Home Max is available in two colours – Chalk (white) and Charcoal (black).

The Google Home Max speaker beside the Apple HomePod

The inevitable comparison will be made with the Apple HomePod speaker and the good news is the Google Home Max more than holds its own.

The Google speaker is twice the size of HomePod but not much louder at its maximum volume.

But the Google Home Max does have the advantage of the AUX IN connection which is missing on Apple’s HomePod.

Google Home Max is available now and is priced at $549.

VERDICT

The Google Home Max speaker is a winner for those who want a solid and high quality audio output along with the ability to control your life and your smart devices with your voice.