After Apple's HomePod delay, Google's $399 Home Max speaker goes on sale

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in General Discussion
While Apple's HomePod couldn't reach store shelves before the end of 2017, Google's competing Home Max speaker has arrived right on time, with orders now being accepted at Best Buy and shipping in time for Christmas.




As of Monday morning, retailer Best Buy is now accepting Google Home Max orders. Units purchased with next-day delivery are advertised to arrive on Tuesday.

Google itself hasn't yet started sales of the speaker, however, as its own online store invites customers to join a waitlist.

First announced in October, the Google Home Max with SmartSound is a direct competitor to Apple's own $349 HomePod. Unlike the HomePod, however, the Google Home Max is shipping in 2017.




Originally scheduled to ship in December, the HomePod was delayed until early 2018, with Apple officials saying the company needs more time to complete the device.

The Google Home Max features two 4.5-inch high-excursion woofers that offer room-filling sound. 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 includes access to YouTube Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, Pandora, and iHeartRadio. It also supports Google Cast, Bluetooth, and auxiliary input, and will connect with Apple devices like an iPhone or iPad.

At $399, it's actually $50 more than Apple's already-pricey HomePod, now coming in 2018. To offset that, the Google Home Max comes with a free 12-month subscription to YouTube Red, which includes YouTube Music ad-free.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    Still it'll never be a HomePod. Apple always watches the competition come out first then puts out a more refined concept later.
    racerhomiewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 30
    imatimat Posts: 166member
    Still no sight of iMac Pro, HomePod, new cinema displays, new Mac Pro.

    I hope with Ive back as chief industrial design things get a true speed bump. Because it seems to take ages for every product nowadays...

    Scot1
  • Reply 3 of 30
    Apple. What have they gotten right this year?

    Edit (okay, I thouht of a couple):
    APFS
    iPhone X
    Multi-task, Files in iOS 11 for iPad (but the delay of Airplay 2, Apple Cash, calculator bug, ZeroDay in homekit, and control center confusion I'd list this as a beta, mabye 11.3?)

     
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 4 of 30
    Lack of audio beam forming and forward facing speakers only means that the Max won't have the ability to do much more adjustment to the room other than volume and equalization. It's a bit of a stretch to claim that it's "much like" the HomePod in that respect. I think Google expected Apple was just going to add WiFi and some updated styling to the old Apple HiFi speaker, thus the Max looking very much like an updated HiFi. Swing and a miss!
    patchythepirateracerhomierazorpitroundaboutnowwatto_cobrafastasleep
  • Reply 5 of 30
    imat said:
    Still no sight of iMac Pro, HomePod, new cinema displays, new Mac Pro.

    I hope with Ive back as chief industrial design things get a true speed bump. Because it seems to take ages for every product nowadays...

    They said when announced the new pro and display wouldn’t be 2017. What year is it? 2017. 
    watto_cobrafastasleep
  • Reply 6 of 30

    Apple. What have they gotten right this year?

    Edit (okay, I thouht of a couple):
    APFS
    iPhone X
    Multi-task, Files in iOS 11 for iPad (but the delay of Airplay 2, Apple Cash, calculator bug, ZeroDay in homekit, and control center confusion I'd list this as a beta, mabye 11.3?)

     
    Why not just list every bug? And for every company. Please. Apple is still killing it...the 10.5” ipad pro is amazing. the X is amazing. I have a AW3 and so far, amazing (blows my series 0 away in responsiveness and features). 8 is great. Airpods are amazing but barely came out in dec ‘16. 
    patchythepirateracerhomierazorpitwatto_cobrafastasleep
  • Reply 7 of 30
    Does it even matter if the Google Max is available? The Pixel 2 XL and Pixel Buds weren't all that great as far as hardware goes. What makes anyone think the Home Max will be some grand device that's better than the HomePod? The Home Max does have pretty decent support for streaming but that's hardly going to hurt Apple's HomePod sales. It will be interesting to see if Apple gives any free streaming subscription like Google is doing. A whole year subscription isn't too shabby.
    racerhomiewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 30
    As an Apple investor, I really hope Apple gets into this space in a much bigger way in 2018... I want a lot of Homepods. lol

    Stinks that I had to go all-in with Amazon Echo/Alexa for my parents this year. The plan was to go the Homepod route until I read it was delayed...

    I was disappointed but also a bit relieved since they can now have about 5 speakers for the price of 1 Home Pod and they're FAR from audiophiles.

    $450-$500 Cdn for 1 Homepod.
    $500 Cdn can get you: 1 Echo Plus hub, 3 Echo speakers & 1 Echo Dot.

    It's good value for most people.

    I signed them up for Amazon Music and SiriusXM which is what they'll mainly use it for. My wife and I bought them an Ecobee which will be a nice addition.
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 9 of 30
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,154member
    It's kind of sad when Apple started this whole Voice assistant thing with Smartphones, and then lags behind in this area for some things. Now I'm a Homekit house. It's great using Siri on my Apple Watch to control everything. Siri is with me everywhere I'm at because of it. But I'm the only one with the Apple Watch at my house. So anyone else is using their iPhones. For me SIRI in general works great. It answers my questions and does what I need it to. It's not playing Games and other crap like the others are doing.

    This is the problem, Apple is really LATE to the game with the HomePod. We already know it'll be limited to Apple Music. It's a $350 item and that's the only option. Now for me, I want to play around with these devices, so I have Alexa on my Ecobee 4 I just got recently which supports everyone, I normally use Homekit with it, and I just got a Google Home Mini.

    This is a BIG problem for Apple. I can get a Amazon Echo Dot or a Google Home Mini right now for $30. You can walk into a Best Buy and pick one up for $30. I can buy 11, almost 12 of these things for the price of a single HomePod. Where's Apple with at least a $60 Something SIRI device??? (Apple is almost always more money, so I doubled the price) This is a huge APPLE FAIL. It just is. So I've had some issues with the Google Mini, with connection issues. I'd have to reboot every day to get it working again. I just switched from the 2.4Ghz to 5 Ghz Wifi so I don't know if that will fix the issue I'm having or not. But the rest of the time it works great.

    I havn't really gotten into testing, comparing yet. But I'll ask the Google Mini a question and then Siri the same question and compare the answers and so far it's a tie. Maybe even Siri a slight edge in the responce to the question so far. It was Easy enough to get it setup on my Ecobee 4, which only a few weeks ago gained Google Home Support. After having Amazon Alexa, Samesung's Smartthings, and Apple Homekit, along with IFTTT. It also now supports Amazon's Echo's ESP. (Echo Spatial Perception) which you want if you have more then one Echo.

    For me, Apple has been in this game with the Apple Watch. I just lift my wrist and I can do pretty much anything those other devices can do, but not locked into a room by a power cord. But it's not a cheap $30 device. Or a normal $50 device. Apple has turned into Microsoft, ..SSLLLLOOOWWWWW to do anything. Look how long it's taking to get this $350 Homepod device out into the market. A Device I have ZERO interest in getting. The Google Mini sounds all right to me. I don't have the volume turned way up, just at a normal level and it sounds just fine, even for music.

    One girl at work is buying 18 Amazon Echo Dots to give out as gifts!!! 18!!! I know as I ordered 6 of them for her which is the limit you can buy Online. Where's Apple???

    For controlling my Ecobee 4, I think Siri works easy and So far Google works as good also, Alexa, kind of more of a pain. It's not as natural. I have to Ask or Tell it and to use the Ecobee, where Google and Siri are smart enough to know I'm talking about the Ecobee. Currently my Ecobee 4 is the only device I can play around with all 3 Voice controls, Siri, Alexia, Google. Early next year I'll have Voice control on some of my Blinds also which will also be able to use all 3. Why Apple can't have a small low cost Siri Box out now?!?!?! If ever?!?!? A Watch, it's a 1 person device. These other things, the whole family can use. The HomePod is not the answer. It's a Sonos Speaker with Siri on it. That's a far smaller market. I really just don't get it.

    What's worse, Apple Announces their HomePod Speaker, and shortly after, here's Google with the Home MAX, and Googles comes out the same month the HomePod was suppose to come out, and Apple is delayed until Next year sometime. Apple has turned into a SNAIL and not in a good way. I just got a great 12.9" iPad Pro a couple months ago. I'm a Apple house, but come on Apple, the shine is wearing off on people.

    Still nothing on the new iMacs!!! Those were suppose to come out this month. Is this another release a few on the last day of the month and say they came out??? What is going on. Is their head in the game anymore? I'm not going to be a blind fool to Apple.
    allmypeoplepatchythepirateavon b7muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 30
    jbdragon said:


    This is the problem, Apple is really LATE to the game with the HomePod. We already know it'll be limited to Apple Music. It's a $350 item and that's the only option. Now for me, I want to play around with these devices, so I have Alexa on my Ecobee 4 I just got recently which supports everyone, I normally use Homekit with it, and I just got a Google Home Mini.

    This is a BIG problem for Apple. I can get a Amazon Echo Dot or a Google Home Mini right now for $30. You can walk into a Best Buy and pick one up for $30. I can buy 11, almost 12 of these things for the price of a single HomePod. Where's Apple with at least a $60 Something SIRI device??? (Apple is almost always more money, so I doubled the price) This is a huge APPLE FAIL. It just is. So I've had some issues with the Google Mini, with connection issues. I'd have to reboot every day to get it working again. I just switched from the 2.4Ghz to 5 Ghz Wifi so I don't know if that will fix the issue I'm having or not. But the rest of the time it works great.


    What's worse, Apple Announces their HomePod Speaker, and shortly after, here's Google with the Home MAX, and Googles comes out the same month the HomePod was suppose to come out, and Apple is delayed until Next year sometime. Apple has turned into a SNAIL and not in a good way. I just got a great 12.9" iPad Pro a couple months ago. I'm a Apple house, but come on Apple, the shine is wearing off on people.


    Although, I want a Homepod, I agree with your sentiments. 

    Above I detailed how Alexa/Echo was perfect for my parents.  5 speakers for the price of 1 Homepod. Like most people, they aren't audiophiles so they'll find the sound great especially with speakers doubled in the areas they entertain. The Echo Dot sound sucks but I ordered an additional one for them this morning so they have 1 for their bathroom and one for their bedroom. Basically just morning radio, traffic & weather. But I'm sure Apple could make a MUCH better sounding Echo Dot competitor and sell for $99.

    On the other front, Apple really needs to start taking the lead on some of this stuff. I don't think they have to be first right out of the gate, but they need to be faster.

    Scot1muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 30
    Won't sell well. This product is aimed at the Android market where people won't buy it unless they get one free. Google made its bed years ago and will continue to sleep in it.
    fastasleepwatto_cobraevilution
  • Reply 12 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,932member
    Still it'll never be a HomePod. Apple always watches the competition come out first then puts out a more refined concept later.
    What makes you think it's supposed to be a HomePod? Google Home wasn't intended to compete with Apple. Google Home Mini wasn't intended to compete with Apple. I don't think Google Home Max, which obviously is a product they've been working on for awhile, is meant to compete with Apple either. Sure looks closer to a Sonos competitor.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,932member
    Lack of audio beam forming and forward facing speakers only means that the Max won't have the ability to do much more adjustment to the room other than volume and equalization. It's a bit of a stretch to claim that it's "much like" the HomePod in that respect. I think Google expected Apple was just going to add WiFi and some updated styling to the old Apple HiFi speaker, thus the Max looking very much like an updated HiFi. Swing and a miss!
    Have you ever heard/had great sounding speakers that faced forward and didn't have "beamforming"? I have. I don't think Google had Apple in mind when they designed the Max. Sonos? Yeah that "sounds" more likely since Amazon and Alexa partnered up early with them. Unless someone has no interest in music other than Apple-supplied the HomePod and Home Max should attract a different category of buyer anyway. 
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 14 of 30
    leptonlepton Posts: 111member
    Do speakers like this and HomePod do stereo? Do they have any separation?
  • Reply 15 of 30
    Weee weeee weeee, if you like Amazon echo that much and Googles then go get it, its cheap and dont wait for Apples.....cause I will and I am not complaining, I wanted it to be perfectly done as design. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 30
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,979member
    I don’t care how the Home Max sounds, it’s fcking eye sore, ugly piece of gadget to look at! Seriously, do you really want to place that speaker in the living room? Also, the directional smart speaker is a step backward. I won’t even buy it at $249!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,932member
    lepton said:
    Do speakers like this and HomePod do stereo? Do they have any separation?
    The Home Max is a stereo speaker, twin woofers and twin tweeters. No idea about the separation but you could try one for yourself, return it if you don't like the sound. Based on the product that Apple demo'd, but which might not be what they actually bring to market, the Home Pod will be certainly do pseudo-stereo, true stereo if you buy a pair of them. You could then have as much as separation as your room allowed.
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 18 of 30
    the shazam purchase is going to line up pretty well once the homepod finally comes out.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,932member
    Note that this is one large speaker. No doubt in my mind at all that Google wasn't designing this with Apple in mind. At. All.  The Home Max is built for big sound, not finesse.
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 20 of 30
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,694member
    Lack of audio beam forming and forward facing speakers only means that the Max won't have the ability to do much more adjustment to the room other than volume and equalization. It's a bit of a stretch to claim that it's "much like" the HomePod in that respect. I think Google expected Apple was just going to add WiFi and some updated styling to the old Apple HiFi speaker, thus the Max looking very much like an updated HiFi. Swing and a miss!
    Does any hardware produced by Google have serious, thoughtful, rigorous engineering? This speaker looks like it was created by committee and is filled with buzzword marketing features like "high excursion speakers". A driver with a long throw is great if the rest of the unit components are there to support it. If it's just thrown in there because it can be marketed to know-nothings then the product is a fail. As best we can tell, the HomePod is doing some pretty sophisticated stuff and has had a lot of thought put into it. The difference between the two is similar to home design. You can have a house designed by an AIA architect and built by a smart, competent builder who is up date on building science. Or you can buy a house designed by some guy who got a degree in Building Construction and was built by a lowest common denominator, cheapskate builder. One house will be immensely satisfying on an innate and intellectual level and will bring you great joy. The other will be mere shelter which fundamentally disappoints and that you reluctantly and frequently spend money on because it regularly falls apart.
    edited December 2017 watto_cobra
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