The Google Home Max speaker proves that Google doesn’t always want to be subtle about doing things in your home. Yes, the new and adorable Google Home Mini has a small footprint and a light decorative blend-in design — the Home Mini is Google being quiet about its presence in your life. But the Google Home Max speaker shows Google at its booming best. It’s another sign that in following Apple’s lead as a hardware manufacturer as well as a software cynosure, Google means business. The Google Home Max is meant to compete with the much-praised SONOS systems developed to please the sensitive ear of rock star Neil Young.
The Google Home Max is a standalone speaker with Google Assistant built in and can work with Google Play Music or Spotify or whatever you prefer. It does all the Alexa stuff like tell you how far away Mars is and how many followers Miley Cyrus has on Twitter (37 million) — but where it really earns its keep, (and its claim on the larger footprint it needs) is when you ask it to play Miley Cyrus — or better yet, try her godmother Dolly Parton: say “Play Jolene“. Then the two 4.5” woofers start to explain to you — through Dolly or Maroon 5 or Led Zeppelin or Yo-Yo Ma — why the Google Home Max is worth $400. Note: for audiophiles this is aimed at, Google kindly includes an auxiliary port so you can play your vinyl through the Google Home Max. Availability in December. Check the Google Home product page at Walmart for updates.