Google Residence Max overview: Succesful nonetheless costly

Google Home Max review: Capable but costly


The Google Residence Max lives as a lot as its determine in some methods. As anyone who has ever been seduced by zero-calorie caffeine hit of a Pepsi Max should know that the phrase “max” on the end of a product is further a guarantee of name title value vary than top quality. All of the an identical, throughout the Google Residence Max’s case, every are true: that’s, on steadiness, the right good speaker you should purchase at current, eclipsing every Amazon’s best Echo and Apple’s HomePod.

That prime high quality implies that Google felt match to slap a £399 ticket on it – and with out even throwing throughout the free YouTube Purple subscription that American customers purchased. To put that into perspective, the an identical money would buy you a HomePod with £81 change, or 4 and a half Amazon Echos. You may even buy eight Echo Dots in black and white, and play a extremely restricted recreation of Draughts with them in case you occur to truly wished.

The aim is that’s pricey, so does it justify the outlay? It does not. It’s good, nonetheless not that good.

Buy the Google Home Max from John Lewis now

Google Residence Max overview: Design


Whereas the Google Home and Home Mini did their most interesting to cowl in plain sight, the Residence Max may very well be very exhausting to miss. It appears to be similar to the kind of cumbersome stereo speaker you’d uncover hooked as much as a Whats up-Fi at any stage throughout the closing 30 years – albeit with just a few stylish tweaks. There is not a clunky amount dial or just losable distant, as an example: merely slide your finger alongside the best, and the amount will observe, illustrated by coloured lights beneath the fabric which moreover reply to voice. Equally, a faucet will play and pause music, in case you occur to don’t want to use your voice.

I say ‘the best’, nonetheless that’s not pretty as simple a top level view as a result of it sounds. After I say the best, I suggest the prolonged edge, nonetheless Google lets you place the speaker lengthways or standing upright relying in your home requirements or aesthetic alternative. Whichever methodology you stand it, Google provides a magnetic rubber pad throughout the area which sticks to the underside and offers your surfaces a bit alternative in opposition to vibrations. Given the problem Apple got into with the HomePod leaving marks on wood, this was most certainly a wise switch, although it’d undoubtedly fiddly in case you occur to’re liable to shifting your speaker throughout the room.


The good news is that you just most certainly obtained’t be doing that too usually. This isn’t designed to be transportable – there’s no battery, and it’s not waterproof so it may very well be purely ornamental throughout the park. It is, however, clearly sturdy and successfully made. Give it a faucet, and it sounds tight and resonance-free, and resolve it up and in addition you’ll uncover it a weighty 5.3kg – in regards to the an identical as a median grownup, male cat – albeit a lot much less liable to moulting.

Hidden away from view are various connections: a figure-of-eight mains port, the three.5mm headphone jack missing on the Google Residence Mini (though designed for enter fairly than output) and a USB Type-C socket. Confusingly, the latter of these is simply not supposed as an audio provide, nonetheless for an Ethernet adapter for these having WiFi points. Whatever the extreme worth, Google hasn’t seen match to include one throughout the area, so that you just’ll should provide one by your self.

Google Residence Max: Effectivity


Sooner than attending to the sound top quality, it’s value saying only a few phrases about Google Assistant, because of for my money it’s head and shoulders above rival decisions from Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung. I’ve found it not solely larger at understanding phrases, nonetheless really with the power to deal with them when requested. Working instance, as soon as I used to be testing Google Residence and an Amazon Echo closing yr, I requested: “What variety of hairs are on a cat?” Google’s reply was “On the net website they’re saying there are roughly 60,000 hairs per sq. inch on the once more of a cat, and roughly 100,000 per sq. inch on its underside.” Alexa’s reply was considerably further dopey, however further positive: “A cat has 60,000 hairs.”

That’s only one occasion, however it’s pretty revealing. Every digital assistants consulted the an identical provide by the appears to be of it, nonetheless Alexa didn’t understand context adequate to know that this reply wasn’t merely fallacious, nonetheless totally off.

So the Google Residence Max is sensible. Good. That, as a result of the determine ‘good speaker’ suggests, is a fairly essential top quality. Nevertheless how regarding the second half – how is it as a speaker?

Buy the Google Home Max from John Lewis now


Loud. Very loud. In precise reality, Google boasts that the Max mannequin is just a few 20 situations louder than the distinctive Residence speaker. Most people obtained’t need one of these amount, nonetheless for individuals who do, you presumably can leisure assured that the speaker can cope with a house celebration with out distorting the sound top quality.  

So it could properly enterprise successfully, nonetheless is it projecting the becoming tones? Broadly, positive. Behind the grille is a pair of 4.5in high-excursion woofers backed by a pair of tweeters. They supply fairly deep bass and a rich low-mid range. It sounds good – until it is going to get to the higher frequencies. Keep tracks, as an example, actually really feel like they lack a bit setting.

It’s moreover not as scorching as a result of the HomePod when projecting a range, offering pretty a slim space of sound no matter whether or not or not you might have it lying flat or stood upright. Certain, which may be fixed by together with a second Google Residence Max for full embody sound, nonetheless that assumes you view “searching for one different one” as a viable decision to a minor flaw. Most people wouldn’t when you’re already having a look at a £399 outlay for one.

Google Residence Max: Verdict


Buy the Google Home Max from John Lewis now

And that principally does hit the nub of the difficulty. For all its top quality, the Residence Max nonetheless doesn’t pretty provide the entire bundle you’d anticipate for the worth – and additional damningly, Google has its private decision correct there on retailer cupboards. The Google Residence Mini can connect to any sound system by means of a Chromecast Audio to kick out the tunes, whereas nonetheless responding the every day chores of answering questions and conserving your diary. For one of these money, you would presumably do that and get an trustworthy set of full of life audio system negating the minor flaws of the Residence Max.

That methodology has drawbacks – it nonetheless blows my ideas that Google didn’t assume to include a 3.5mm headphone jack on the Mini, that implies that it could properly’t improve on the Max in every methodology – however it’s nonetheless in all probability a better reply than this.

The Google Residence Max is the right all-round good speaker bundle you should purchase because of its sound top quality and smarts. Nevertheless all that principally proves is that the race for a top-end good speaker undoubtedly well worth the large bucks stays to be massive open.

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