Apple’s only connected speaker is the HomePod (which makes up for Siri’s shortcomings with its excellent acoustic quality). Google, on the other hand, offers several such products geared to “Home” use, with names like Mini and Max. The largest of these products, the Google Home Max, is the one we will be discussing here.
Retailing for around 399$, this connected speaker was engineered to satisfy even the most demanding listeners. In other words… to make you forget about the mediocre acoustic performance of the Google Home (which retails for much less: 129 dollars). A world leader in wireless technology, Google is now seeking to validate its wireless connected speaker. And, after having spent a few weeks testing the Home Max, we have to say that it still has a lot of room left for improvement.
The Home Max isn’t very elegant but it does have some great features
A connected speaker designed to fit in with a person’s interior decor should, above all, be aesthetically appealing. However, it would be fair to say that the Google Home Max is somewhat lacking in this respect. Very massive, the Google Home’s big brother is not very elegant: it resembles a large gray or black brick (your two color options) that sticks out when it is placed on top of a piece of furniture. At least the Home Max has very good finish quality (there’s nothing protruding from the speaker’s case); also noteworthy is its ability to be placed vertically in the manner of a bookshelf speaker. Google also supplies a small, magnetic silicone support to prevent the speaker from being in direct contact with the surface it is sitting on.
We did like this speaker’s front panel: it is covered with thin fabric that is translucent enough to allow the speaker’s four luminous indicators to show through when using the Google Assistant. Of course, the direction of these indicators will depend on the speaker’s orientation. At the top of the speaker (or on its side if it is being used vertically), can be found a tactile surface (distinguishable by its darker color) which will allow you to increase/decrease the speaker’s volume or pause audio playback. These controls work very well and can be used if you prefer not to make use of the speaker’s voice commands.