It's been a long time coming but now, eight months after it debuted in the US, the Google Home Max is available to buy in the UK. Hot on the heels of the Sonos One, Riva Stadium, Bose Home Speaker 9000, it's the latest smart speaker that wants to impress you with its full and throaty audio when playing your favourite tunes.
Starting today, UK buyers can pick up the Google Home Max at the Google Store and at John Lewis for £399. And of course, the product Google will really have in its sights is the HomePod, from arch-foes Apple.
That's more expensive than the Apple HomePod, which retails for £319. Or the same price as two Sonos Ones (they're £199 each), to put it another way. Or the same price as the cheapest Bose Home Speaker, the Home Speaker 500, to put it a third way. Anyway, what this means is that for £400, UK buyers can now choose the smart assistant they're happiest using without having to compromise on audio output, which is nice.
Google Max is what Google calls its "best-sounding, most impactful Google Home yet", offering dual 4.5-inch high-excursion woofers, for deep bass that will make your dubstep go wub wub wub wub. Additionally, the Max is seriously loud – 20 times more powerful than the original Google Home, in fact.
The Max is also Google's first speaker with Smart Sound, which uses AI to adapt its sound for where you place it in a room, so if you decide to move your speaker a few feet, it will tune itself within seconds.
Google Max works with services including YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Deezer and Spotify, and also features Bluetooth and a 3.5mm audio input for what Google probably calls 'legacy devices'.
Just like the rest of the Google Home range of products, Max has Google Assistant built in, so you can get answers from Google, and control your smart home devices using your voice. It comes in two colours – 'Chalk' and 'Cheese'. Okay, we mean 'Charcoal', not Cheese. But the other one really is called Chalk.