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Innovation

Google's Home Max smart speaker is now available for $399

Home Max is Google's competitor to Apple HomePod and Sonos.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor on
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CNET/ CBS Interactive

Google on Monday made its Assistant-controlled Home Max smart speaker available to customers just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Home Max, a larger and higher-end version of Google Home, is available for $399 through the Google Play Store, Best Buy, Walmart, and Verizon. Home Max is available in chalk and charcoal versions.

Debuted in October alongside the new Pixel, Home Max uses a new technology called Smart Sound to adjust sound quality based on its location in your home. Every time it's moved, Home Max reassesses its location and makes adjustments for optimal sound. It has touch controls on the top and can be controlled via phone app.

Home Max also features Assistant which allows for voice-controlled tasks like weather, to-do list, smart home control and more. You can say requests like "OK, Google, what is the weather today?" to query information.

Other specifications include:

  • Six onboard microphones for far-field voice control
  • Two 4.5-inch (114 mm) high-excursion dual voice-coil woofers
  • Two 0.7-inch (18 mm) custom tweeters
  • Inputs: USB-C (for separate Ethernet and digital audio dongles), 3.5 mm auxiliary, Bluetooth
  • Acoustically transparent fabric in two colors: chalk and charcoal
  • Silicone base

Home Max will compete with Amazon's Echo lineup, Apple's upcoming HomePod, and Sonos new line of Alexa-enabled speakers. Juniper Research said in November that smart speakers will be found in 55 percent of US households by 2022, as popularity of smart speakers grows.

You can read CNET's hands-on for a full preview of the Home Max. Google also offers a smaller and cheaper Home Mini.

Best gifts: Smart speakers for the holidays

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