Google Home Max review

8.1/10 AVG.
RATING

  • Google Home Max
  • Google Home Max
  • Google Home Max
  • Google Home Max
  • Google Home Max
  • Google Home Max
  • Google Home Max

Delivering powerful, booming audio, Google’s newest smart speaker is large and in charge.

- Mike Prospero, Tom's Guide 


No other smart speaker sounds this good.

- Nathan Ingraham, Engadget 

Specs / Features


Specification

Brand Google
Warranty 12 months
Release date 11-December-2017
Size 33.5 x 18.8 x 15.2 cm (13.2 x 7.4 x 6 in)
Weight 5300 grams
(187.09 ounces)

The "1-Minute" Review

What's good

  • Excellent sound quality even at higher volumes
  • Great voice recognition
  • Contextual searches provide for better smart assistant
  • Can pair with multiple devices

What's bad

  • Expensive
  • Heavy and large
  • Slides off surfaces that aren’t 100% flat

Looking to compete with the larger sound of Amazon's full-sized echo, Google has released the Google Home Max.

But are there enough improvements over the standard Google Home to justify the higher price tag? Find out below!


Google takes the term max seriously. The Home Max, when compared to the Home and Home Mini, is a behemoth—weighing in at almost 12 pounds and measuring 13-by-7.5-by-6 inches. Reviewers don’t consider it portable as it requires a wired connection to work.

Design-wise, Google kept with a subdued appearance. The speaker features a boxy design, fabric front, and minimalistic touch panel. The subtle aesthetic is to help it blend into its surroundings, but many found it stood out due to its sheer size.

Speaking of size, they also note you need to secure it properly. It has a tendency to slide off surfaces that aren’t perfectly flat.

Google hopes the included "Smart Sound" feature will help the Max stand out from its competitors. It adjusts audio equalization based on its proximity to walls. The internal mics will listen to the bass as it bounces off walls and adjust the sound settings. The changes are very subtle. In fact, almost too subtle for many critics, making it difficult for them to discern whether it works.

So how does it sound? Critics were pleased with the audio quality. They described it as loud and clear with excellent bass—thanks to a pair of 4.5-inch woofers. Reviewers enjoyed a wide range of music genres from classical to hip-hop.

It got loud enough for most to fill the entire room without distortion—even at top volume. While impressive, some reviewers question the value, especially when comparing to similarly priced speakers.

The speaker supports multiple audio formats including MP3, WAV, and FLAC. It can also stream via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. If you don’t have a strong signal, there’s an auxiliary port in the back to connect to an MP3 player and a USB-C port that allows you to connect an Ethernet dongle.

The smart portion of the speaker comes in the form of Google Assistant. Its AI and machine learning offer what reviewers consider better contextual search than the Echo. They add that voice recognition is solid as it heard commands even over music at loud volumes. Aside from controlling music, it can also control smart home gadgets, make voice calls, help keep track of lists, and pull reminders and calendar items.

Overall, reviewers consider the Home Max one of the best sounding smart speakers on the market. Engadget notes, “It’s simply the best-sounding smart speaker available right now... music fans should definitely take note.” CNET adds, “[It's] now the leading speaker we’d recommend at this price.”

Critic Reviews


TrustedReviews

An amazing voice assistant and great audio

from TrustedReviews

Powerful audio, a flexible design and integration with Google Assistant make the Home Max a force to be reckoned with. However, a sky-high price and sub-Sonos multi-room capability mean that this one won’t be for all.

Read full review

Powerful audio, a flexible design and integration with Google Assistant make the Home Max a force to be reckoned with. However, a sky-high price and sub-Sonos multi-room capability mean that this one won’t be for all.

Read full review

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Tech Advisor

A huge lump but it will blow your socks off

from Tech Advisor

If you do have space and the wallet, then it will blow you away - especially compared to the much smaller smart speakers like the regular Home or Amazon Echo. The Max has impressively rich sound and you’ll likely find it to be very loud even at half volume.

Read full review

If you do have space and the wallet, then it will blow you away - especially compared to the much smaller smart speakers like the regular Home or Amazon Echo. The Max has impressively rich sound and you’ll likely find it to be very loud even at half volume.

Read full review

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The Inquirer

A year late and ruddy expensive but it still sounds spectacular

from The Inquirer

If you're baked into the Google ecosystem, it's actually very difficult not to praise the Google Home Max. Design, specs and implementation are all fabulous.

Read full review

If you're baked into the Google ecosystem, it's actually very difficult not to praise the Google Home Max. Design, specs and implementation are all fabulous.

Read full review

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Daily Express

Sounds brilliant but there's a reason not to buy one

from Daily Express

The Home Max is a good looking and great sounding smart speaker that will bring plenty of features to your home. With it offering 20 times the power of the standard Google Home there’s no question the Max will have your neighbours hearing every note. Sadly, even with all these great features w...More

The Home Max is a good looking and great sounding smart speaker that will bring plenty of features to your home. With it offering 20 times the power of the standard Google Home there’s no question the Max will have your neighbours hearing every note. Sadly, even with all these great features we can’t wholeheartedly recommend the Max. It just feels like that £399 price tag is way too high.

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Stuff

A ready-to-party smart speaker that doesn't quite hit the notes

from Stuff

If you want a smart speaker that can blow the doors off a party, the Google Home Max is the best you can get right now. All the smart of the cheaper Home speaker are here, naturally, and the larger drivers offer much more powerful bass, better sound quality all-round. Performance at high volume is better than a HomePod’s too.

Read full review

If you want a smart speaker that can blow the doors off a party, the Google Home Max is the best you can get right now. All the smart of the cheaper Home speaker are here, naturally, and the larger drivers offer much more powerful bass, better sound quality all-round. Performance at high volume is better than a HomePod’s too.

Read full review

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Good Gear Guide

Ends up being as bigger as it is better

from Good Gear Guide

The Google Home’s shortcomings as a speaker have been an Achilles heel that plenty of tech companies have looked to lean on in recent years. With the Google Home Max, Google themselves offer a solution for a problem of their own making. The Google Home Max hits a lot of the same notes as its m...More

The Google Home’s shortcomings as a speaker have been an Achilles heel that plenty of tech companies have looked to lean on in recent years. With the Google Home Max, Google themselves offer a solution for a problem of their own making. The Google Home Max hits a lot of the same notes as its more-affordable and affable predecessor. And, in spite of the higher price, that’s a tune that ends up being as catchy as it is resonant. As bigger as it is better.

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Alphr

Capable but costly

from Alphr

The Google Home Max is the best all-round smart speaker package you can buy thanks to its sound quality and smarts. But all that really proves is that the race for a top-end smart speaker worth the big bucks is still wide open.

Read full review

The Google Home Max is the best all-round smart speaker package you can buy thanks to its sound quality and smarts. But all that really proves is that the race for a top-end smart speaker worth the big bucks is still wide open.

Read full review

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Expert Reviews

The loudest, most expensive smart speaker

from Expert Reviews

The Google Home Max is the best all-rounder of the smart speakers produced by the big three: Google, Amazon and Apple. It’s the most flexible in terms of its connectivity; its digital assistant works extremely effectively; and there’s a good balance between the music services and devices it supports and its sound quality.

Read full review

The Google Home Max is the best all-rounder of the smart speakers produced by the big three: Google, Amazon and Apple. It’s the most flexible in terms of its connectivity; its digital assistant works extremely effectively; and there’s a good balance between the music services and devices it supports and its sound quality.

Read full review

Less

The Guardian

Bigger and smarter sound

from The Guardian

The Google Home Max is one big sound upgrade for Google Assistant, producing powerful, room-filling sound and booming bass. While Google Assistant is the best voice assistant available right now, with the widest range of music services and most capable voice recognition and understanding, the Ho...More

The Google Home Max is one big sound upgrade for Google Assistant, producing powerful, room-filling sound and booming bass. While Google Assistant is the best voice assistant available right now, with the widest range of music services and most capable voice recognition and understanding, the Home Max doesn’t quite match the exquisite audio produced by the likes of the Apple HomePod or Sonos Play:5.

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Tech Guide

Huge speaker, huge sound and the smarts to back it up

from Tech Guide

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.

Read full review

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.

Read full review

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