Google’s new Google Home Max speaker went up for sale Monday morning: The $399 smart speaker, which was first unveiled in October, is now available for sale at Best Buy and Verizon stores as well as via Google’s online shop.
Google built the Home Max not only as a bigger and louder version of its original Google Home speaker, but also added what the company calls smart sound capabilities. This means that the speaker automatically measures the acoustic qualities of a room, and adjusts its audio output accordingly.
To do so, Google trained its machine learning algorithms on thousands of rooms in people’s homes. And as the device gets bought by consumers and placed in new environments, it will continue to improve over time.
That’s similar to what Apple is doing with its HomePod speaker, which the company first introduced in June. Apple had originally planned to ship the HomePod this month as well, which mean that it would have directly competed with the Google Home Max during the busiest shopping season of the year. However, in November, Apple announced that it was delaying the launch of the HomePod until early 2018.
Google introduced the original Google Home as its first voice-controlled smart speaker last year. In addition to the Google Home Max, it also launched a budget-priced Google Home Mini speaker this year. A job offer recently revealed that the company is already working on next-generation Google Home hardware, which will likely feature multi-touch input.