Apple HomePod VS Google Home Max

Which of these smart speakers is best? Let's find out.

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The Good

Apple's $349 HomePod has excellent bass and consistently superior sound quality across a wide variety of music genres. The speaker is easy to set up and Siri can hear you from across a room.

The Bad

You’re stuck with Apple-only audio services when using voice commands and the HomePod only works on iOS. Siri and HomeKit lack the polish and device compatibility of Alexa and Google Assistant.

The Bottom Line

Apple's HomePod doesn't match the features offered on Alexa and Google Assistant speakers. But if you’re an iPhone user who prizes sound quality above all, you should seriously consider this speaker.

Overview

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.

Ratings

Design

Both smart speakers have sleek designs, but the HomePod's compact size makes it much simpler to integrate in your decor.

Features

While Apple's speaker finally supports stereo sound, multiroom audio and calling, Siri still doesn't offer as many features as Google Assistant.

Performance

In addition to not having as many features as Google Assistant, Siri doesn't perform as well either. If you ask Siri general trivia questions, it often can't answer (and, just like on the iPhone, would prompt you to search Google for the answer).

Sound quality

The HomePod's sound quality is truly great, especially when you consider its size, performing slightly better overall than the Home Max. Its sound is even better when you combine two HomePods into a stereo pair.

Overall

Both the HomePod and the Home Max are solid smart speakers. The HomePod brings better sound, but it's locked into the Apple ecosystem, whereas Google's Home Max offers more features and better voice interactions.

Videos / Photos

model White
  • Apple HomePod (Space Gray)
    Apple HomePod - Space Gray mqhw2lla $349

Specs / Prices

model Chalk
  • Google Home Max (Charcoal)
    Google Home Max - Charcoal ga00223us $349
$349
$349
Speaker System
6 microphones array, low-frequency calibration microphone Integrated Components Chromecast, ambient light sensor, microphone, orientation sensor
active Amplification Type active
2-way Crossover Channel Qty 2-way
integrated Audio Amplifier integrated
wireless Connectivity Technology wired, wireless
next track, play/pause, previous track, volume Controls play/pause, volume
Audio System
AAC, AIFF, Apple Lossless, FLAC, HE-AAC v1, MP3, MP3 VBR, WAV, protected AAC Audio Formats FLAC, HE-AAC, LC-AAC+, MP3, OPUS, Vorbis, WAV
smart speaker Type smart speaker
Power Device
AC 100 - 240 V Nominal Voltage AC 100 - 240 V
50 - 60 Hz Frequency Required 50/60 Hz
Integrated power supply Power Source AC power adapter
Header
Apple Brand Google
Apple Product Line Google
HomePod Model Home Max
1 Packaged Quantity 1
Network & Internet Multimedia
Bluetooth 5.0, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Connectivity Interfaces Bluetooth 4.2, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Apple Music Internet Streaming Services Chromecast, Google Play Music, Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, YouTube MUSIC, iHeartRadio
Miscellaneous
white Color chalk
white Color Category white
Driver Details (1st speaker)
tweeter, woofer Speaker Type smart speaker
tweeter driver, woofer driver Driver Type tweeter driver, woofer driver
1, 7 Driver Qty 2
4 m Driver Diameter 0.7 m, 4.5 m
102 mm Driver Diameter (metric) 114 mm, 18 mm
Internet of Things (IoT)
Yes Internet of Things (IoT) Compatible Yes
Apple HomeKit Platform Belkin WeMo, Nest, SmartThings
cloud Communications Type cloud
WiFi Communications Technology WiFi
Siri Intelligent Assistant Compatible Google Assistant
direct Voice Controlled direct
Dimensions & Weight
6.8 in Height 7.5 in
5.51 lbs Weight 11.68 lbs

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