Google is expanding its footprint in the smart speaker space with two new products. The Google Home Mini is a puck-shaped option priced at $49. It seems like a rival to the Amazon Echo Dot, designed more for voice controls than for music playback. The Google Home Max is a larger version of the original Google Home with a more powerful sound system. Unlike many smart speakers, the Home Max does have an auxiliary port for connections to traditional speakers or other physical music players. This device will become available in December for a price tag of $399.
The Amazon Echo line has been the market leader thus far, and coupled with a head start on sales, it’s a compelling thought exercise to consider how Google or Apple might be able to pull even. While the interest is very high in this segment, most anecdotal evidence shows that there is still plenty of finesse to be had in voice-activated assistants. If Google is able to offer a big breakthrough in the comprehension abilities of voice tech ahead of its competitors, that may give it a bigger edge than any of the other specs of its growing speaker line.