The Google Home Max is the most recently released device that features Google AI. It has the exact same Google assistant functionalities as its two less-expensive counterparts, the Google Home and the Google Home Mini. Sound quality is one of the characteristics that set the Max apart from the other two devices. It is also significantly more expensive, coming in at a $400 price range in comparison to the Google Home which is $130 and the Mini, which is only $50. So, is the Max worth the additional expense? Let’s evaluate this product and find out.
The Max is much larger than the standard Home and Mini. It is heavy, sturdy, and well-made. It only comes in two colors, black or gray. These color choices are fine for the standard Home and Mini because they are small and inconspicuous. But for a device this large, it feels a bit institutional and plain. The speaker can sit vertically or horizontally, making it easy to find appropriate placement for it in a room. It has a small rubber pad that sits underneath it to deter rattling. There are no threads to mount the speakers on a stand or wall, which may be a deal breaker for some people. It has one audio input and a USBC jack. It has easy touch controls, and obviously it is voice activated as well.
As previously stated, the Max can do everything that its smaller counterparts can do. The primary feature of the Max is the enhanced sound quality. Without question, it produces a much richer audio experience than the other two Google Home devices. But is it worth $400? It depends on your priorities. The Max is designed for audiophiles. It has a very high volume capacity, but tends to distort sound at around 75% volume level. It can get remarkably loud, so there is likely no reason to ever have it up to 100%.
One unique feature of the Google Home Max is its microphones. Even when music is playing quite loud, the mics can recognize your voice and follow commands. It also features “smart sound” technology, which allows it to adjust itself to the room.
The Google Home Max is far superior to current Amazon devices on the market. However, it was not intended to compete with Amazon products. The Max was created to go up against Sonos Play 3 and 5. It falls a little short of reaching Sonos sound quality, but it is close. The Google Max has better AI capabilities than Sonos at this point. However, the sound quality is probably the most important characteristic of smart speaker products and Sonos wins that battle.
Like most gadgets in the Google ecosystem, the Max is very easy to set up and use. Simply download the app and follow the prompts. You can also control some of the speaker settings, like base, etc.
So, does the Max warrant its $400 price tag? If you just want an intelligent device, there are cheaper gadgets with the same smart technology. If sound quality is your priority, less-expensive speakers are available that provide similar or better audio quality. However, if you want great sound in combination with incredible smart technology, Google Max is the best option.