Home » Google Launches Two New Smart Speakers

Google Launches Two New Smart Speakers

Google has unveiled a pair of smart speakers, which will sell alongside the $129 Google Home that the company introduced last year. The Google Home Mini, which hits the market on October 19 and is available for pre-order today at $49, does many of the same things Google Home does.

The Google Home Max is set to arrive in December at $399. It is designed to deliver high-quality sound—a clear challenge to Apple’s HomePod speaker, also due in stores that month. Google revealed several other new products at the event, including a pair of Pixel smartphones, an upgraded Chromebook, a pair of earbuds the company says will translate speech into 40 languages in real time, and a tiny camera geared toward capturing life’s spontaneous moments.

Sleek and smooth, the Mini is reminiscent of Amazon’s budget-priced Echo Dot, which is designed to pair with separate Bluetooth speakers. Despite its small size, Google says, the Mini offers 360-degree sound that remains crisp no matter where in a room a listener is seated.
The Max sits on the higher end of the spectrum for price and, according to Google, sound quality, too. At $399, it’s slightly more expensive than Apple’s $349 HomePod, which is also being promoted for high-end sound. Both may have to compete with yet another smart speaker entry unveiled on Wednesday: the $199 Sonos One, which will support multiple voice assistant services, according to Sonos.
If the Max’s sound-quality claims are confirmed once we get the speaker into our labs, it would amount to a notable improvement over Google Home, which did not impress our audio testers. In addition to 4.5-inch woofers designed to crank up the base and minimize distortion when the volume is turned up high, the Max employs artificial intelligence to automatically tune itself.
As it learns more about your home and your routine, Google says, it may lower the volume in the morning. Or turn itself up when the dishwasher is running. If you move it, it should adjust to the new surroundings in just a few seconds.
According to the company, the Max should also learn to recognize your voice, so that it can cue up your personal playlists on command. The free and paid versions of the popular streaming service Spotify are both supported and a 12-month subscription to YouTube Red comes included with the purchase of the Max.

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