The new Google Home Max is a whopping $270 more than a normal Google Home

So what the heck does it do differently from the $130 standard Google Home?

Amazon and Google are forcing their voices further into our homes with an ever-expanding range of talking speakers.

The latest? The Google Home Maxwhich Best Buy became one of the first retailers to start selling Monday

It's basically the Papa Bear (to use an analogy that relies on outdated social norms) of Google's home device hubs; the big option compared to the medium-sized Mama bear (the Google Home) and tiny Baby Bear (Google Home Mini).

The Home Minis have been selling for $29.99 recently (though are normally $50). The standard Google Home has been discounted to $79 during the holiday shopping season, a pretty sizable cut from the regular price of $129.

The Google Home Max? It's a whopping $399.99, and thought to be a competitor to the still-unreleased Apple HomePod.


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You could buy a regular-priced Home Mini for yourself and seven friends for that much. Or get five standard Google Homes at the discount price.

So what the hell does the Google Home Max do that makes it cost $400?

$400, really?

In essence, what you're buying is a pretty nice speaker, with the same Google Home tech that's inside the cheaper versions.

So you can still ask it for recipes, check the weather, control smart home devices, shop, play music, etc. It just sounds way, way better, Google says.

It's got a couple of 4.5-inch woofers, "custom tweeters" to keep the higher tones clear, and "rigid housing to keep the audio composed." All told it's more than a foot wide, 7.4 inches high, and 6 inches deep (though it can be rotated to stand vertically too).

The Home Max also promises new "smart sound" technology – the speaker will automatically adjust the sound based on where you put it in the room and what's around it. And it comes with 12 months of YouTube Red

Now, Pocket Lint points out nobody's actually heard the sound quality yet. The Home Max was announced back in October, and just became available Monday.

But "considering the sheer size of the speaker, coupled with the drivers and Google's audio processing, we certainly have high hopes for it," Pocket Lint continues.

Even if it delivers on those high hopes, is it $300 better than the standard, woofer-less Google Home? That judgment will be up to your ears. 

And your wallet.

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