Google’s Echo-like smart speaker, the Google Home, is a capable little living room companion that can switch off lights, queue up podcasts, and order paper towels from Walmart. But rumor has it that Google is prepping two new additions to the Home family — the Google Home Mini, a smaller and more affordable smart speaker, and Google Home Max, a stereo-equipped premium version of Google Home.
Exact prices for the Google Home Mini and Google Home Max remain a mystery, but all might be revealed at a Google event on October 4. Here’s everything you need to know.
Google Home Max
Google Home has respectable speakers, but Google Home Max cranks the audio up to 11.
Google Home Max, which a report from 9to5Google describes as “premium” in design and materials, has a stereo setup consisting of a dual midrange driver and a single tweeter. It’s positioned to compete against home speaker systems like the Sonos Play:3 and upcoming Apple HomePod, both of which command a premium for high-quality playback.
The 9to5Google tipster wasn’t able to snap pictures of the Google Home Max, but it might not be long before it breaks cover. The speaker was reportedly included in a recent Google focus group alongside the Google Home Mini and a premium Chrome OS laptop.
Google Home Mini
Google Home Mini, Google’s answer to Amazon’s Echo Dot, has been whispered about for some time now, and new leaks gives us a pretty good look at what it’s supposed to look like.
On Wednesday, September 20, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) listing for a “streaming media device” showed up under Google’s model code (“A4RH0ME”), and while the documents don’t reveal too much, they do suggests that Google Home Mini will support 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy.
According to the leak, the speaker will be available in chalk, charcoal, and coral colors, and based on the leaked images, it seems as though the speaker will be powered, and not wireless. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — the idea here is that you’ll be able to get a speaker for each room.
Google Home Mini’s speaker might not be as loud as the standard Google Home or Google Home Max, but it could be ideal if you don’t need a loud speaker or if you simply want a smart home controller. Of course, if you’re buying one for each room, you’ll probably want something pretty affordable, which the Home Mini reportedly will be. It’s expected to retail for $50.
The Home Mini and Google Home Max should be able to do pretty much everything the standard Google Home can. Both will come with Google Assistant, and will allow users to schedule events, set reminders, and perform other similar functions, just like Google Assistant on the Home speaker and on an Android phone.
Ther are also non-Home speakers with Google Assistant. In the past few months, we’ve seen devices from the likes of JBL, Mobvoi, and Panasonic coming in at different price points, each with unique features and integrations. But time will tell if the Google Home Mini and Google Home Max cannibalize them.
Can’t wait for the new Google Home lineup? Check out our full list of the Assistant-powered speakers launched so far.
Updated: Added alleged Google Home mini FCC filings.
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