Google Home Max Announced at Made by Google Event

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It'll mostly be used for turning volume up or down, but you can also tap to pause. The firm's Wednesday hardware event hence managed to surprise many industry watchers, with the tech giant launching a gadget that's meant to be its most premium Google Assistant-enabled offering to date. The rounded-edged speaker can be flipped to sit horizontally or vertically, depending on where you have it in your home. The search giant says the yarn for the fabric was developed exclusively for the devices to allow sound and light from the four status LEDs to pass through. "All of the Max's power goes into a speaker setup with a pair of high-excursion 4.5" woofers and two 0.7" tweeters. They are essentially representations of your voice's characteristics that help the smart speaker to differentiate between various people. The speaker is covered nearly entirely in fabric dyed in chalk (light gray), coral (red), and charcoal (darker gray) colors.

It's about a fifth of the size of the standard Google Home.

Internal breakdown of the Home Max. Like the rest of Google's home products, it should blend into most environments - though a speaker this large isn't going to be almost as invisible as the standard Home or Amazon's new Echo. In addition to connecting Home Max to a device with Cast or Bluetooth support, it also has an auxiliary port so you can connect it to a turntable or other speaker. The speaker marketing was a clear Apple HomePod rip-off with Smart Sound that will readjust sound using beamforming technology. It's the shape of a smooth stone and should look perfectly unobtrusive on your nightstand near the newly announced Google Home Max.

Google Home Max will launch in the USA for $399 and comes with 12 months of ad-free YouTube Music. Google is providing users a free 12 months subscription to YouTube Red.

The new Google Home Mini costs £49 in the United Kingdom and $49 in the US. Chief among those is Google's claim that the "Smart Sound" tech will automatically optimize audio for where you place the speaker (something that Apple says the HomePod will do, as well).

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You can then ask it all many of questions, commands and more, from controlling various smart home devices such as lighting, Chromecast and thermostats to playing games, getting the news and weather and finding out the answers to question. As Google reps said on stage, this will likely be a hit with parents and a nightmare for children. Much like the iPhone with Siri, the phone comes equipped with Google Assitance that makes things easier when it comes to hands-free navigation.

Better still, the hands-free calling feature that was only available in the U.S. and Canada is now coming to the United Kingdom, too.

Finally, Google introduced its Pixel phones 2 and 2 XL, both Daydream ready.

But back to Google Home Mini for a moment. Pre-orders start today with customer deliveries beginning on October 19.

In the U.S. the Max will cost $399.