I have told you before that I absolutely love my smart home devices! One of these days I will get around to laying out a map of exactly what we have in our home and how it works. One of they key ingredients to having our smart home actually be functional is being able to control it by voice. I just received a Google Home Max from my friends at Lowe’s that I am going to love using for this purpose and more.
This is not my first Google Device. I have had an original Google Home for a while. We also have a Google Home Mini and a couple of Google Chromecast devices. I have to say that I’m actually starting to find the Google devices more useful than that other popular voice assistant. Why? Better Integration with each other. I’ll have to do a comparison in another post, but read on to find out why I love the Google Home Max.
Until this week, we had the Google Home Mini in our Master Bedroom. And, while the sound was ok for a smaller area, it is very evident that it was not created for booming music. And, at around 19 x 25 our Master Bedroom is actually pretty large, so a more powerful speaker is great. In contrast, the Google Home Max is a premium speaker, made for sound.
I moved the little Google Home Mini to our Master Bathroom. It will be mounted on the wall so I can listen to music and talk to Google when I’m getting ready in the morning, or when in the bathtub.
As for the Google Home Max… WOW!!! I knew that the sound would be good, but it is even better than expected. I called my DJ/music producer husband upstairs to hear it. I then said, “Hey Google, play Pandora.” She then belted out house music on Pandora. His eyes got big, he smiled and said, “Wow! This is what we needed up here the whole time.” Yes, indeed.
- Far-field voice recognition
- Two 4.5” woofers
- Two .7” custom tweeters
- Quad-core ARM Processor
- Ambient Light Sensor
- USB-C 3.5mm jack
- Multi-room Audio
- 11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
Although the Google Home Max is a voice assistant, it does not fall short as an awesome premium speaker. The sound is incredible! It can easily fill a whole room or more with rich sound. This is accomplished by the two 4.5” woofers and two .7” custom tweeters. Basically, it’s a full sound system in a small package!
You can play music from Google Play Music Free, Spotify Free, Pandora, and more. The full functionality may depend on whether or not you have a premium membership to those services.
Ability to Pick Up Voice From Across the Room
There are some voice assistants that you may feel that you need to yell at. The Google Home Max is equipped with far-field voice control, so you can speak naturally and it should hear you.
They say that it should hear you while the music is on too. But… this has its limits. If the music is all the way up, she will not hear you. This thing can get really loud! 🙂 This is the only real problem that I have with speakers like this. I can yell, “Hey Google, stop!” and she does nothing, so I have to get up and walk to the speaker anyway. LOL! Of course, if you are streaming from an app on your phone, computer, or tablet, you can use that to pause the music, or turn down the volume.
Some smart devices stand out like a sore thumb. But, the Google Home Max blends in very well. It just looks like a sexy bookshelf speaker. At around 13” you can easily fit it on a bookshelf, kitchen counter, or night stand.
Don’t want it to take up a big footprint? Flip it upright, which brings the footprint down to only 7.4”. Just be sure to attach the included magnetic pad which stabilizes it and helps to reduce vibrations for better sound.
And, it is available in chalk or charcoal, so you can get whichever best fits your decor.
I actually tried it out in several spots around the house before settling on the Master Bedroom, and it looked great no matter where it landed.
Easy to Use Controls
Ok… while I love my Google Home Mini, let me be honest… it is not as user friendly. It took me a while to get the hang of swiping my finger around the right way to turn the volume up and down. There were many times when I swiped the wrong way, or it just was not working for me.
The Google Home Max does not have that issue. There are easy to use controls right on top, or on the side, depending on your orientation. You can touch to pause or play, and slide your finger across the top increase or decrease the volume.
Whole House Audio Without Wires
The Google Home Max allows you to easily add rich, full featured audio anywhere in your home as long as you have a power outlet. You can even put it on the patio for outside parties.
Once it’s connected to your home networking, it works with your existing Google Home devices and Google Chromecast devices to create a whole house audio experience. This means you can have music in every room if you want, without running wires everywhere. Of course, each unit can also be controlled independently if you only want certain sounds in certain rooms.
Cool Features You Need to Know About
- Voice Match
- Control Your Smart Home
- Control Your Smart TV
Setup Voice Match for Multiple Users
The Google Home Max (and other Google Home Assistants) are smart enough to work with multiple users. You can set it up to recognize your voice, your husband’s voice, and even your kids’ voices.
Keep in mind that if no one links their voice and the person who set up the device allows personal results, anyone can access those personal results. This means that your family can see your calendar, and access other personalized results. This setting is fine if you choose to use the Google Home Max with a general family account, which I recommend.
Control Your Smart Home
We all know by now that Google Home devices can control our smart homes. But, are we really using them to their full potential? I know I’m not yet. But, over the next couple of months I am out to fix that.
But, I have gotten a really good start! I can control my lights, start my iRobot robotic vacuum, turn on the TV, play music, arm my alarm, get the status of the washer and dryer, and more…. All with my voice! The possibilities are becoming endless.
Control Your Smart TV
Quite a while ago, I received a 50” Vizio Smartcast television for review. They recently added the ability to control my TV with the Google Assistant. Say what?? I gave it a try! I can actually say, “Hey Google, play Stranger Things on Netflix.” The TV will turn on, open the Netflix app, and start playing Stranger things. This is so cool! I can also use the voice function to pause, resume, rewind, or fast forward content. This is awesome for movie night in the dark when I might not know where the remote is.
The Google Home App
The Google Home App is the heart of all of your Google devices. It is what you use to set them up and control them all. From here you can add new devices, turns lights on or off, or cast to Google enabled devices around your home.
A few months ago, Google completely revamped the Home app. I opened the app on my phone and said, “Whoa!” While setting up my Google Home Max I took a few minutes to really check it out and I must say that it’s so much more useful!
Now, the Google Home App allows you to control your devices. However, you don’t have to use it once everything is setup. You can just talk. And the Google Home Max makes this so easy.
There is so much the you can do with the Google Home Max. This includes playing music, listening to audio books, checking the weather, settings alarms, and more Check out the full list of options and commands on the Google website.
The Google Home Max is available from Lowes.com for $399 in chalk or charcoal. This is a great addition to any home for a music lover, or anyone who might need help around the house, like the elderly. Consider getting one as a gift for your loved one this holiday season.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lowes. All opinions are my own.