Representatives of Google at the company’s I/O 2018 conference have reportedly confirmed that there’s a fix on the way for one of Google Home Max’s biggest issue – namely, input lag. It’s a problem that Google has been aware of for quite some time and one that has even been noted as especially bad since it occurs even when a direct line-in is used via aux port. That latency has, in fact, been reported as high as 550 milliseconds. Not only is that a minor nuisance when listening to music but it also makes consuming visual media with the sound linked through Google Home Max a jarring experience in some cases. There have been workarounds that require audio syncing steps in media players and media playback software, but Google is apparently working on a fix that could release as early as the end of May.
With that said, Google Home Max Product Manager Chris Chan says that the latency won’t necessarily completely resolve the issue. The latency is expected to be reduced to just 39 milliseconds, which is a massive improvement, but that likely won’t be enough for those users who are especially sensitive to latency in audio equipment. It will, however, finally open up the possibility that the average user can watch streaming media or play a game on their TV with the speaker hardwired for audio. What’s more, it should eliminate most noticeable lag when switching songs, tweaking the volume, or performing other input adjustments with a connected playback medium.
Bearing all of that in mind, it’s important to note that these kinds of updates don’t always go off without issues. So it’s not improbable that there may be unforeseen obstacles that will delay the release of an update or that the update itself will cause further issues. The Google Home range of devices is the search giant’s first foray into audio experiences and devices. That’s been apparent in not only this Google Home Max issue but with its efforts centered around the Google Home Mini. Specifically, that latter device had a problem with a hardware button malfunctioning to such a degree that Google eventually disabled the button. At very least, it is a good thing that this particular fix doesn’t seem to require such a drastic measure. But it’s also a good idea to keep the hype of a fix via update under wraps until that’s been revealed and rolled out.