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Hands and ears on the Google Home Max

Take a closer look at Google's $400 smart speaker tailored for audiophiles.

andrewgebhart.jpg
andrewgebhart.jpg

Andrew Gebhart

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1 of 10 James Martin/CNET

Sound quality to the Max

Google's latest smart speaker has the specs to appeal to audiophiles. The $400 Google Home Max takes the same digital assistant from Google Home (called Google Assistant), and adds premium sound tech for better music playback. Google's high end smart speaker is available now from the company's site as well as Best Buy and Verizon

google-home-max-7059
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A more powerful Google Home

If you just want Google Assistant, you can spend much less on the original $130 Google Home or the $50 Google Home Mini. The Max offers extra oomph if you're particular about sound quality.

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3 of 10 James Martin/CNET

Adapting to your space

Specs include:

Six onboard microphones for far-field voice control
Two 4.5-inch (114 mm) high-excursion dual voice-coil woofers
Two 0.7-inch (18 mm) custom tweeters
Inputs: USB-C (for separate Ethernet and digital audio dongles), 3.5 mm auxiliary, Bluetooth
Acoustically transparent fabric in two colors: chalk and charcoal
Silicone base

The Max will also adapt to the room it's in -- subtly adjusting the bass and treble mix on its own depending on the reverberation it senses from nearby walls. 

Google Home Max
4 of 10 James Martin/CNET

Stereo or Mono

The Max will also act differently if it's placed vertically instead of horizontally. When horizontal, it's left and right sides will play sound in stereo. If you turn it on its side, the Max will switch to mono sound. 

Google Home Max
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Inputs

In addition to a spot to plug in the power cable, you can also connect an auxiliary cable to the back of the Max and it has a USB-C port. 

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Charge your phone

You can use the USB-C port to charge your Google Pixel phone. 

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Chalk

The Max comes in two colors. Here's the chalk. 

Google Home Max
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Charcoal

Here's the charcoal. 

Google Home Max
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Stereo pair

If you have more than one Max, you can pair the two together to play music in stereo. 

Google Home Max
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Ready for the audiophile

You'll be able to tailor the Max to your space to fine tune your listening experience. 

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