$399 Google Home Max with SmartSound takes aim at Apple's HomePod

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2017
In addition to its budget-priced $49 Google Home Mini, the search giant also introduced a push to the premium end of the speaker market, unveiling the $399 Google Home Max with speakers 20 times more powerful than the regular Home.




Featuring two 4.5-inch high-excursion woofers, the Google Home Max has room-filling sound that dynamically adapts to the space it is in. With a feature dubbed SmartSound, the Google Home Max adjusts within seconds after the speaker is moved.

Modifying sound based on the shape of a room, much like Apple's forthcoming HomePod, the Google Home Max uses advanced sensors and a machine learning model.




It also has intelligent context, lowering the volume in the morning, and raising it when loud noises are nearby, like a running dishwasher.

It includes access to YouTube Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, Pandora, and iHeartRadio. It also supports Google Cast, Bluetooth, and auxiliary input.




Google Home Max be stood up vertically or placed horizontally, and two of them can be paired together for even fuller sound. It also works seamlessly with Google Home and Chromecast speakers.

At $399, it's actually $50 more than Apple's already-pricey HomePod, set to debut in December. To offset that, the Google Home Max with a free 12-month subscription to YouTube Red, which includes YouTube Music ad-free.

Google says that the Home Max will arrive in December.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,909member
    I thought the presentation said available in December but could be mistaken. 

    EDIT: No I'm not mistaken. Google Home Max is announced as being available in December. 
    edited October 2017 derekmorr
  • Reply 2 of 25
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,351member
    Ridiculous! Google should be paying us to use their hardware and services. Sleeze you can feel.
    edited October 2017 williamlondonpropodcornchipjbdragonwatto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 3 of 25
    mercelmercel Posts: 16member
    Spyware costing ME $400?  What kind of crazy are Google customers?  
    williamlondonpropodcornchipjbdragonwatto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 4 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,909member
    sog35 said:
    Giggle is so intoxicated by their own hype.

    They actually think they can sell spyware devices at the same price points as Apple?
    LOL...
     spyware...

    I suppose a lot will depend on the sound quality and how useful the other features including Assistant are. IMHO this is another one of those products that I doubt Google needs to sell a bunch of the next 12 months, more getting their name out for good hardware instead of just a search engine. It's not only AI forum members that recognize Google is too dependent on just ad income.  ;)
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 5 of 25
    LOL...looks like Google was expecting Apple to repeat the HiFi design with standard forward facing speakers. Whoops!
    williamlondonjbdragonmdriftmeyerwatto_cobracornchipargonaut
  • Reply 6 of 25
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,125member
    DOA
    williamlondonmacxpressjbdragonmdriftmeyerwatto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 7 of 25
    propodpropod Posts: 51member
    Google store is coming.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,909member
    LOL...looks like Google was expecting Apple to repeat the HiFi design with standard forward facing speakers. Whoops!
    They've got a couple of different "speaker" products announced today, the smaller one being 360 degree, which makes sense since it's unobtrusive enough to be placed just about anywhere. 

    The bigger one would only be a "whoops" if someone wants to put in in the middle of a room with chairs surrounding it. In that case 360 sound would be preferable, and Homepod or something similar to it might be the way to go. But considering the size I personally would not expect most folks to put either a HomePod or Max in the middle of a room. Those products seem more suited to a bookshelf, end-table or nightstand, maybe a kitchen counter where front-firing is just as effective as 360 degree since you're not going to be sitting or laying behind them anyway.

    While going after the same market they've very obviously not copied Apple's HomePod.
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 9 of 25
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,561member
    cpsro said:
    Ridiculous! Google should be paying us to use their hardware and services. Sleeze you can feel.
    I can see a new I'm a PC type campaign coming which focuses on how Google v Apple makes its $$. Well, maybe Apple is keeping the campaign for when it might matter. For now Google's impact on Apple's business model may no be that significant.
    cornchip
  • Reply 10 of 25
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,759member
    Why do we get the same stupid argument? While Apple is clearly the target (and always has been), Google’s main competitor is going to be Samsung, not Apple. These moronic comparisons to Apple’s products are exactly why these companies are not able to compete. They should be targeting Samsung. All they do is bring attention (mindshare) to Apple.

    This is the prevailing logic on the inter webs...

    Microsoft ONLY competes with Apple.
    Google ONLY competes with Apple.
    Samsung ONLY competes with Apple.
    Amazon ONLY competes with Apple.

    See a pattern? Whenever any of these companies releases a new product, it is primarily compared to an Apple product. If Apple was so far behind and so insignificant as everyone loves to point out, why are they the main competitor in this industry?
    leavingthebiggwatto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 11 of 25
    gatorguy said:
    The bigger one would only be a "whoops" if someone wants to put in in the middle of a room with chairs surrounding it. In that case 360 sound would be preferable, and Homepod or something similar to it might be the way to go. But considering the size I personally would not expect most folks to put either a HomePod or Max in the middle of a room.
    What you're forgetting here is that it's a compact unit, so the sound quality to either side of it is going to be an issue vs. HomePod regardless of where you put it. That's the problem that Apple was solving with the circular array of tweeters and beam forming capability, i.e., how do you make a compact system have a wider sound stage and achieve higher quality sound throughout a room. Compact systems with forward facing speakers definitely lose something when you're off to the side of them. 
    watto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 12 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,909member
    gatorguy said:
    The bigger one would only be a "whoops" if someone wants to put in in the middle of a room with chairs surrounding it. In that case 360 sound would be preferable, and Homepod or something similar to it might be the way to go. But considering the size I personally would not expect most folks to put either a HomePod or Max in the middle of a room.
    What you're forgetting here is that it's a compact unit, so the sound quality to either side of it is going to be an issue vs. HomePod regardless of where you put it. That's the problem that Apple was solving with the circular array of tweeters and beam forming capability, i.e., how do you make a compact system have a wider sound stage and achieve higher quality sound throughout a room. Compact systems with forward facing speakers definitely lose something when you're off to the side of them. 
    There will be audiophile comparisons of the two before long. Bloggers can't help themselves. 
    edited October 2017 watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 13 of 25
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,163member
    Mjtomlin, it is because Apple is in their head. Apple is the benchmark of what is a good IT device. So everything released is compared to it, regardless of who it actually competes with. The end result is as you say, a pixel phone is compared to an iphone rather than a galaxy, etc. free advertising for Apple, and excellent positioning by Cupertino.
    You could call it Apple Derangement Syndrome (ADS). The tech world is full of Jan Bradys: "Apple! Apple! Apple!"

    on the the other hand, I can see another market issue arising for Apple, like the tablet market and the larger phone market. Apple always leaves a gap for competitors to grow into, be it larger phones or seven inch tablets. A dedication to what someone like Jobs or Ive see as the perfect size. Even though, believe it or not, there is a diversity of needs. Seven inch android tablets were starting to make serious inroads into the tablet market until Apple released the iPad mini, for example. That killed them off. Android makers have responded with giant phablets.
    In this market it will lose to these new $49 devices as people buy them to see what they are like, and decide they're good enough. Same problem with the Apple TV.
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 14 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,544member
    Are people actually lining up for these things? Or is this another case of Silicon Valley companies chasing their own tails?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 25
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,022member
    Remember when everyone was mocking Apple when the Homepod was first revealed, stating the price was "insane" and "ridiculous" by comparing it to comparatively garbage speakers like Google Home and echo? Now we see how empty those comparisons were, since when Google decides to make something that is in the same category, they not only can't undercut Apple's pricing, but price it $50 higher. 
    watto_cobrawilliamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 25
    gatorguy said:
    There will be audiophile comparisons of the two before long. Bloggers can't help themselves. 
    Not really an audiophile issue. Google's speaker isn't designed to provide the same sound quality regardless of the listener's position in the room. 
    watto_cobrawilliamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,909member
    gatorguy said:
    There will be audiophile comparisons of the two before long. Bloggers can't help themselves. 
    Not really an audiophile issue. Google's speaker isn't designed to provide the same sound quality regardless of the listener's position in the room. 
    I wasn't aware you had heard both of them in the same rooms. 
  • Reply 18 of 25
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,128member
    I'd say half these announcements will be discontinued within 9 months. Apple's HomePod is going to be huge, the 8/8+/X will have record sales and we haven't even gotten to the iMac Pro line, never mind the upcoming Mac Pro.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,909member
    I'd say half these announcements will be discontinued within 9 months. Apple's HomePod is going to be huge, the 8/8+/X will have record sales and we haven't even gotten to the iMac Pro line, never mind the upcoming Mac Pro.
    I don't really agree with the expectation of most of this year's Google hardware being discontinued within 9 months, but Google's total hardware sales revenue may well be less than Apple earns on the HomePod alone. Silly to even make comparisons anytime in the near future. No company has more dedicated fans with a seemingly insatiable appetite for anything Apple.
  • Reply 20 of 25
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,303member
    mjtomlin said:
    Why do we get the same stupid argument? While Apple is clearly the target (and always has been), Google’s main competitor is going to be Samsung, not Apple. These moronic comparisons to Apple’s products are exactly why these companies are not able to compete. They should be targeting Samsung. All they do is bring attention (mindshare) to Apple.

    This is the prevailing logic on the inter webs...

    Microsoft ONLY competes with Apple.
    Google ONLY competes with Apple.
    Samsung ONLY competes with Apple.
    Amazon ONLY competes with Apple.

    See a pattern? Whenever any of these companies releases a new product, it is primarily compared to an Apple product. If Apple was so far behind and so insignificant as everyone loves to point out, why are they the main competitor in this industry?
    I think Google's main competitor in the home is Alexa.   That's why Google came out with the Home Mini.   I think as an assistant the Echo Plus could be very useful because of the included Zigbee network.   At $399 for the Google Home Max you could get two of the new SONOS ONEs.

    Apple's HomePod will be extremely successful.    Its hard not to think that you need to start out with two of them.   The music quality will be excellent.   The only question is how good will SIRI be compared to Alexa on the Echo.
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