Google’s largest smart speaker, Google Home Max, is dead. The speaker is listed as “out of stock” on store.google.com and the company told Android police: “We’ve run out of Google Home Max and will no longer produce the device.” If you’ve been craving Google’s 12-pound mega speaker, now it’s probably your last chance to go around the internet looking for the latest stock pieces. At the time of writing, Verizon still has a few.
Google Home Max was released in 2017 alongside the Google Home Mini. The Max cost a whopping $ 400, and besides the bigger and better sound, it was the only Google speaker with a 3.5mm aux input. It also had a mysterious USB-C port on the back, which, as far as I know, could only be used for a wired Ethernet dongle instead of connecting via Wi-Fi. (If that was always the intent, why not just give it an Ethernet port instead of USB?) The original Google Home and Google Home Mini have both had a following in the past 14 months, Nest Audio and Nest Mini respectively, but the Google Home Max is about to be killed. I guess Google has never sold so many.
The death of the Max represents Google’s exit from the larger smart speaker market, where it was the most expensive entry by a mile. Its main assistant contest, the $ 300 Apple HomePod and the $ 200 Amazon Echo Studio, will now be left to fight each other. It looks like Apple has also had a tough time in the premium smart speaker market, with the HomePod getting a permanent price drop from its $ 350 introductory price.
Google’s high-end smart speaker is now just the regular $ 100 Nest Audio. Google notes that you can buy two and pair them for stereo sound, but this doesn’t rival the power of the Max. There are also Google Assistant speakers from Google. third parties that offer better sound, most notably the $ 200 Sonos One.
Google says existing Google Home Max users will still be supported for the foreseeable future. “Current Google Home Max users shouldn’t worry as they won’t see any changes in their service. We will continue to deliver software updates and security fixes to Google Home Max devices.”