The Google Home Max smart speaker is finally available for purchase, having been officially released through B&H, Verizon, and Best Buy. Both the Chalk and Charcoal variants of the Google Assistant-enabled gadget can now be acquired for $399.99, or $399.00 if you opt for B&H. Originally announced in early October alongside the Google Home Mini and the Pixel 2 Android flagship series, the Google Home Max was presented as the company's ultimate offering in the smart speaker segment, being meant to compete with ultra-premium audio devices from Sonos and Apple.
As is the case with other gadgets from the Google Home lineup, one of the main selling points of the Google Home Max is its support for the Google Assistant that allows you to order the speaker around with your voice and have it command compatible smart home devices. While the $50 Google Home Mini does the same thing, this particular offering will also provide you with high-quality audio that's not just backed by premium hardware but also takes advantage of Google's artificial intelligence technologies like Smart Sound, a solution that allows the speaker to determine its relative position in any space, then tweak its performance so as to fill the entire room with sound in a maximally optimal manner. Support for popular streaming apps like YouTube, Spotify, and Pandora is also part of the package, as is the ability to connect the Google Home Max to the company's other speakers for a surround experience over Wi-Fi.
Being the firm's most expensive piece of audio equipment to date, the Google Home Max does a good job of illustrating the tech giant's rising hardware ambitions, all of which have Google Assistant support as their common point. While the speaker isn't expected to outsell any other Home-branded device from Google, its very existence signals that the company's premium consumer electronics efforts will encompass much more than just smartphones going forward. The Google Home Max is expected to become available in select European countries later this year with a similar price tag. Consumers in Canada should also be able to purchase the speaker before Christmas, as suggested by Google's previous statements on the matter.