Saturday, October 7, 2017

Google Home Max vs Apple HomePod – Smart speaker showdown

Google recently unveiled its bigger, beefier smart home speaker – which is set to compete with Apple's HomePod.

The Google Home Max boasts a larger footprint than the Google Home and uses the extra space to cram better speakers and additional hardware into its chassis.

The device is set to launch in December, around the same time as the Apple HomePod.

To see how the smart speakers compare, we looked at their specifications and features – as detailed below.


While the Google Home Max boasts two high-excursion woofers – double that of the HomePod – Apple's device has an array of seven tweeters encircling the speaker's central column.

The Home Max is significantly larger than the HomePod, and subsequently weighs almost twice as much.

Both devices feature Wi-Fi connectivity with MIMO support, and the Home Max has a USB Type-C port and 3.5mm audio jack. The HomePod has no connectivity ports.

SpecificationsGoogle Home MaxApple HomePod
Speaker2x 4.5-inch high-excursion woofers, 2x 0.7-inch custom tweeters1x high-excursion woofer, seven-tweeter array
ProcessorARM Cortex-A53Apple A8
Dimensions336.6 x 190.0 x 154.4 mmDiameter: 142mm / Height: 172mm
Connectivity3.5mm jack, USB-C, Wi-Fi, BluetoothWi-Fi, Airplay 2

Google Max

Smart features

The Home Max is the more expensive option, priced at $399 compared to the HomePod's $349 price tag.

However, Google Home Max buyers will also receive a free 12-month subscription to YouTube Red – which includes YouTube Music.

Both speakers automatically analyse the acoustics of their surroundings, using audio beam-forming technology to optimise their sound.

This means the speakers will always deliver great sound, even if they are placed against a wall, on a shelf, or in the middle of a room.

Google Home Max's voice commands are powered by Google Assistant, while the HomePod is inhabited by Apple's voice assistant, Siri.

The usability of the two assistants depends on which ecosystem you prefer, and this could be a factor in determining which speaker to purchase.

Both devices are priced similarly, feature high-end sound, and aim to be placed as a central smart speaker for your home.

In the end, the biggest influencing factor could be what type of smartphone you have – as those with their information stored in their Google Account would benefit from a Google-powered smart speaker.

The same goes for Apple's HomePod, as users with Apple Music subscriptions and iTunes accounts can integrate the services.

Apple HomePod speaker

Now read: Google unveils new Clips camera

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