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Google Abandons the Home Max Smart Speaker

By Rich Duprey - Dec 15, 2020 at 9:38AM

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It will instead continue focusing on its Nest brand of speakers.

Google's Home Max is no more. The Alphabet ( GOOG 0.90% )( GOOGL 0.81% ) division has stopped manufacturing its attempt at a premium smart speaker to take on Sonos ( SONO -2.07% ) and Apple ( AAPL 2.15% ).

According to the website Engadget, Google shut down production of the high-priced audio device and has sold out of its remaining inventory. But because it still produces Nest brand speakers, Google remains in the mix for consumers' ears.

Exploded view of the Google Home Max smart speaker

An exploded view of the Home Max speaker. Image source: Google.

The Home Max was launched in 2017 at a price of $300 in a bid to compete against the Sonos Play:5 and Apple's HomePod in high fidelity audio, but sales never really took off. And given Google's more recent focus on improving the sound quality of its Nest Mini and Nest Audio, it was likely a matter of time before the tech giant killed off the device.

All manufacturers have pursued the enhancement of the audio experience on mini devices as the low-cost end of the market begins to blend seamlessly with premium devices. While audiophiles can probably tell the difference, for the vast majority of users, these mini speakers are more than sufficient.

Moreover, Google's Nest is now considered a leading player in this space when it comes to sound quality. Yet competition is becoming fierce as Apple recently released the $99 HomePod Mini and Google's own Nest Audio goes for a similar price.

Earlier this year, Sonos sued Google, accusing them of stealing its patented speaker technology for their own sound equipment.

Google says existing Home Max users shouldn't worry, since their devices will still be supported and will continue to receive software updates and security fixes.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Apple as a subject of Sonos's speaker lawsuit. The Motley Fool regrets the prior error. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$2,875.93 (0.90%) $25.52
Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
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Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$2,863.10 (0.81%) $23.07
Sonos Stock Quote
$29.77 (-2.07%) $0.63

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