The Google Home Max, our favorite smart speaker for music, gets discontinued

Well, that’s a shame. According to multiple reports, Google says it is no longer making its music-focused Home Max smart speaker, which is—or was—the best-sounding smart speaker on the market.

In a statement to Android Police, Google says that the $299 Home Max will continue to work normally, and that it will still offer software patches and security fixes for the device. The statement also points smart speaker shoppers toward the Nest Audio, a new music-focused speaker with a smaller design and a more palatable $99 price tag. We’ve reached out to Google for more details.

The Google Home Max first shipped three years ago this month. When we reviewed shortly following its ship date, we called it a “sonic superstar” compared to other smart speakers on the market, complete with “excellent sound reproduction” as well as “powerful” amplifiers, not to mention on-board Google Assistant.

But from the very beginning, the Home Max was saddled with a hefty price tag: a whopping $399, which was eventually cut to $299. That’s a lot of cash to cough up for a smart speaker, particularly one that doesn’t have a display.

Another hurdle that the Google Home Max never overcame was its big, bulky design. Measuring more than a foot long and seven-and-a-half inches high and six inches deep, the Home Max certainly lived up to its name. Google execs later admitted that would-be customers frequently noted the speaker’s size when explaining why they decided not to buy one.

So, if you’re in the market for a music-focused smart speaker, what now? Well, there is the new Nest Audio, a great-sounding Google smart speaker considering its $99 sticker price, and if you want something approaching the Home Max’s power, you could always snap up a couple of Nest Audios and connect them as a stereo pair. We’re also fans of the Amazon Echo Studio, a Dolby Atmos-enabled smart speaker, although going for the Echo Studio entails moving to Alexa from Google Assistant.

Finally, if you really have your heart set on the Home Max, now is a great time to buy one. While it’s sold out on the Google Store, you can still find the Home Max at third-party retailers for just $179, the speaker’s Black Friday price.

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