Most people thought Google's big event would be sort of lame, since all of the new products got leaked. And then, at the tail end of the Google Home announcement, the thump of a bass showed up. Meet the Google Home Max.
Google Home Max is a smart speaker with better sound than the standard Google Home. The company really emphasised the new hardware's bass, while also highlighting some neat software features that made it easier to play music as well as its Google Assistant features. Essentially, you can say, "Hey Google, play that song that has that has this lyric." And the speaker will play it. Then there was a Diplo video — again, doubling down on bass capabilities of the Google Home Max.
Inevitably, Google's new smart speaker (emphasis on the speaker) is a clear competitor to Apple's forthcoming HomePod. Both smart speakers promise high-quality audio and feature voice-controlled assistants. Google is doubling down on bass, while Apple is just being Apple and saying it's awesome. And, of course, Sonos is somewhere in the back of the room stomping its feet, since it launched a smart speaker just hours before the Google event. Which one is better? We'll see when we test them.
It's also hard not to see the device as something of a jab at Sonos. After all, the thing is a not-so-subtle copy of the Play:5 speaker, down to the ability to use it in both vertical and horizontal orientations.
The new Google Home Max will go on sale in the US December for $US400 ($511) — Australian pricing and availability has not yet been announced. It comes in chalk and charcoal. It honestly looks pretty cool.