Google’s biggest smart speaker, the Google Home Max, is dead. The speaker is listed as “sold out” on store.google.com, and the company told Android Police, “We’ve sold out of Google Home Max and will no longer be manufacturing the device.” If you’ve been wanting Google’s 12-pound mega speaker, now is probably your last chance to scrounge around on the Internet looking for the last bits of stock. At the time of writing, Verizon still has some.
The Google Home Max was released in 2017 alongside the Google Home Mini. The Max was a whopping $400, and besides the bigger, 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 can tell, could only ever be used for a wired Ethernet dongle instead of connecting through Wi-Fi. (If that was always the intent, why not just give it an Ethernet port instead of USB?) The original Google Home and the Google Home Mini both got sequels in the past 14 months—the Nest Audio and Nest Mini, respectively—but the Google Home Max is just getting killed. I’d guess that Google just never sold that many of them.
The death of the Max represents Google’s exit from the bigger smart speaker market, where it was the most expensive entry by a mile. Its main assistant competition, the $300 Apple HomePod and $200 Amazon Echo Studio, will now be left to fight among themselves. It sounds like even Apple has had a tough time in the premium smart speaker market, with the HomePod getting a permanent price drop from its introductory $350 price.
Google’s highest-end smart speaker is now just the regular $100 Nest Audio. Google notes you can buy two of them and pair them for stereo sound, but that won’t rival the power of the Max. There are also third-party Google Assistant speakers that offer better sound, notably the $200 Sonos One.
Google says that existing Google Home Max users will still be supported for the foreseeable future. “Existing Google Home Max users shouldn’t worry as they won’t see any change in their service. We’ll continue to offer software updates and security fixes to Google Home Max devices.”