The Good The Google Home Max builds the convenience of Google Assistant into a plus-size speaker that can fill a room with excellent sound. The microphones respond well, even when you're blasting music.
The Bad The sound can be a little too revealing, and guitar lines in particular can sound a little too piercing for comfort. If you mainly want background music, you should spend half as much on the Sonos One.
The Bottom Line Although too expensive for mass appeal, the Google Home Max is the best-sounding smart speaker yet.
Harder, better, stronger sound comes to Google Home
The Google Home Max is not the first smart speaker to aim for better audio quality, but it sounds better than any of the ones I've heard. And at twice the price of my favorite, the Sonos One ($198.00 at Amazon.com), I'd expect nothing less.
Like the cheaper Google Home ($79.00 at Google Store) or Home Mini ($49.00 at Dell Home), the Max builds in Google Assistant, the search giant's voice-operated digital concierge. Just say "OK Google" out loud and stuff happens -- and the Max is great at listening, even when it's playing loud. Still, if you just want background music, or you think the Home or Amazon Echo ($129.00 at Adorama) sound "fine," the Max isn't for you. This is a speaker designed from the ground up for people who demand bigger sound.
The Max's real competition includes high-end "dumb" single speakers like theand . In my comparison listening tests, Google's big speaker beat the Bose handily and matched the Sonos in many areas, with a powerful, spacious sound that fills a room well for a single speaker. I still prefer the Sonos by a nose overall, since it sounded less edgy with some styles of music, but both are excellent for this type of speaker and earned the same rating for sound quality.
Sonos temporarily halts advertising on Facebook, Google
In a small protest over whether Silicon Valley is doing enough to safeguard customers' privacy, the audio company is briefly cutting off advertising to several digital tech platforms.
Spotify Connect: What it is and how it works
If you want to unshackle your Spotify collection from your phone and play it on your home stereo system, Spotify Connect is the way to go. Here's everything you need to know.
One Apple HomePod vs. two Sonos Ones: Which sounds better?
You can buy two Sonos One smart speakers for a bit more than the price of a single Apple HomePod. So which sounds better?
Apple HomePod: Everything we know about the launch date, specs and price
After months of leaks and delays, the intriguing smart speaker is now available for preorder.
You can now preorder Apple's $349 HomePod
Apple's first smart speaker finally emerges, well after Amazon's Echo speakers and the Google Home family dominated the conversation.
Get two Sonos Ones for the price of one Apple HomePod
A pair of our favorite smart speakers -- with Sonos multiroom and Alexa built-in -- is now on sale for $50 off. Take that, Siri!
Here's why your next wireless speaker will listen to your every word
Commentary: Speakers with integrated voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant will soon become the norm, not the exception.
Klipsch's The Three ain't your grandma's smart speaker
Klipsch wireless smart speakers blend vintage looks with cutting-edge technologies like Google Assistant and multiroom audio.
Best Wi-Fi speakers under $200: Sonos, Chromecast, Bose and more
Whether it's a smart speaker with Amazon Alexa onboard or a model with Chromecast multi-room, these are our favorites under $200. And no, Amazon Echo and Google Home didn't make the cut.
Sonos speakers can now be controlled by Pandora app
It's similar to how Spotify Connect works.
Google Home Max smart home speaker takes on Sonos
Google has unveiled its potential Sonos killer, the Google Home Max.
Sonos One speaker blends Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri for $199
The wireless whole-home audio company has a new speaker that can work with all the major digital voice assistants, with Amazon's Alexa available now and Google Assistant and Siri via iOS coming in 2018.