Smart & Connected Life Smart Home What Is Google Home Max and How Does It Work? What makes this speaker a smart choice? by Dave Johnson Writer Dave Johnson has been writing about tech since 1990. He's the author of over 2 dozen books and his writing has appeared in Wired, PCWorld, Business Insider, and many other publications. our editorial process Twitter LinkedIn Dave Johnson Updated on June 03, 2020 Smart Home Google Your Best Year Ever: College Tech Tips Amazon Appliances & Lighting Tweet Share Email Google Home Max is Google's largest, loudest Google Home smart speaker. It is an enhanced version of the original Google Home speaker, equipped with high-performance tweeters and woofers for premium sound. Of course, it also includes a virtual assistant in the form of Google Assistant that you can use to control smart home devices, get answers to questions, and listen to music. What Is Google Home Max? Part of a growing family of smart speakers, Google Home Max is essentially the same as the Google Home Mini or Google Home, just somewhat larger (and with a few extra features). Essentially, it is a speaker with an integrated microphone so you can ask questions and issue commands to Google Assistant. Google In addition to those basic features, Google Home Max has built-in Wi-Fi (which is essential for connecting to the internet) and Bluetooth, so you can stream music or other audio from your phone to the Home Max. There's also an audio input so you can plug music sources in using a standard 3.5mm audio cable. You can set up more than one Google Home speaker in your home and they work together as a sort of speaker network. You can use them like Sonos, for example, to play music on different Google Home speakers. How Does Google Home Max Work? If you have any experience with another Google Home speaker, such as the hockey puck-sized Google Home Mini or the original Google Home, you'll find that the Google Home Max works very much the same. It's a stationary speaker (it has no battery, so it has to be plugged in all the time for power) that houses Google Assistant. Because there's no display like the Google Nest Hub smart displays, you interact with the Home Max entirely through speech. It does literally anything that Google Assistant on your phone can do, such as looking up information online. If you have smart home products like a Nest thermostat, alarm system, security cameras, or smart plugs or light bulbs, you can teach the Home Max to operate these devices using your voice. Many manufacturers and app developers support Goggle Home, so there's almost no limit to what you can do with smart devices in your home. You can also connect services like Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube Music to your Home Max, allowing you to stream music to the speaker when you're not using it to hear the news, satellite radio, or other services. How Is Google Home Max Different From Google Home or Google Home Mini? The only substantial difference between the Google Home Max and other speakers like the Google Home is simply a matter of size. Google Home, shaped like a very short vase, and the puck-like Google Home Mini aren't large enough for substantial speakers. Home Max, on the other hand, has two 0.7-inch tweeters and a pair of 4.5-inch woofers. That makes the Home Max suitable for use as a bookshelf speaker, and sounds good enough to fill a room with music. Unlike the other speakers in the Google lineup, you can pair two Home Max speakers, turning them into left-and-right stereo speakers for fuller stereo sound. Who Needs Google Home Max? Because Google Home Max is a rather large (at least by smart speaker standards) speaker, this is a good choice for anyone who wants higher quality sound with an integrated Google Assistant. If you are a true audiophile, you can add a second Home Max to the same room for even better sound, though priced around $400, it is expensive to buy these in pairs, so that option is best if you have a lot of disposable cash to spend on audio. Also, it's generally a good idea to keep all your speakers in the same ecosystem. If you already have a Google Home speaker of some sort, stick with Google. If you have several Amazon Echo speakers, don't add a Google Home Hub to the network. They simply won't work well together.