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When google announced their google home max they said they set out to make the best sounding speaker they could. So I wanted to see how the google home max stacked up compared to some popular options out there like the Bose Soundtouch 30, JBL Boombox, and everybody’s favorite the JBL Xtreme. Lets see how good the Google Home Max really is.
If you want to pick either of these speakers up I’ll have links in the description below, and if you use either of the links it really helps out the channel. Before we get into the sound test lets go over whats under the hood of each of these speakers, cause it matters. You may know by now that the google home max has dual 4.5 inch woofers and dual .7 inch tweeters. And it also has the advantage of google’s smart sound which uses machine learning to automatically adjust its EQ depending on its environment. The JBL boombox is the most rugged speaker in this group and it has a built in battery. Its also rocking dual 4 inch woofers, dual .8 inch tweeters, and dual passive radiators on each side. The Bose Soundtouch 30 is the most expensive, biggest and heaviest speaker in this line up weighing in at 18 and half pounds. Where as both the max and boombox weigh just a little under 12 pounds. But even though the Bose Soundtouch 30 is the biggest and heaviest speaker in this line up, it has the least amount of hardware generating its sound. The Bose has dual 2 inch tweeters and one 4.5 inch woofer. And I’m also going to include the JBL Xtreme in this comparison cause a lot of people love this speaker and its one of the best speakers you can get right now especially since its on sale. The Xtreme has a similar set up the Boombox expect smaller. It has dual 2 and half inch woofers, dual 1.4 inch tweeters, and dual passive radiators on each side.
Now that you know what each of these speakers is packing we can get into the sound test. In order to make this as fair as possible all of these speakers are playing at the same loudness, in the same room, playing off of the same device, and at the same distance away from the same microphone. So hopefully the only difference here is sound quality. But if you want you can also skip to this time code and get my thoughts on each of these speaker’s performance and final verdict.
First off lets answer a very common question that a lot of people are going to ask, and thats which speaker gets the loudest. The Bose Sound Touch 30 gets the loudest in this group living in the low 90’s decibel range. But at that volume you’re going to get a lot of distortion. Where as the Max is the second loudest and sounds the best in this group at max volume. It does a much better job of preserving the integrity of its sound integrity.
Like I said in my initial review, the amount of bass the Google Home Max has is what amazes me the most. This speaker has the deepest lows and punchiest bass in this group. And it also has good instrument separation, but the mid and vocals are a little pushed back. And as a result the max can get over powered by its own bass if the bass really gets going.
The Bose Soundtouch 30 is all about vocals. Vocalists are front and center on this speaker, but instruments and anything else in the mid aren’t as well defined. And the highs can get pretty bright at times. The lows are ok but definitely not as deep as the others and the bass packs the least amount of punch in this group.
And when it comes to the JBL boombox, its a pretty good middle ground between the Max and the Soundtouch. Low end performance is very similar to the Google home max but the bass is not as punchy. And the Vocals aren’t as pushed back as the max but aren’t as forward as the sound touch. Vocals are exactly where they need to be and everything else in the mid is still present. But in JBL fashion, this speaker does have a lot of treble.
And when it comes to comparing the JBL Xtreme to the Google home Max, the low ends and bass of the xtreme are not even comparable to the Max. Although the vocals are more pronounced, instrument separation on the xtreme is no where near as good as the max and the highs are much brighter as well. The Google home max obviously outclasses the JBL Xtreme. And quite honestly I would be shocked if it didn’t.
although I really think the vocals on the Google Home Max need to be brought forward a bit, this is my speaker of choice right now. The Google Home Max is a great speaker for bass lovers and as a result you can really feel the music when using the Max at almost any volume. And thats really impressive given that its smaller than the Boombox and Soundtouch 30. Now does Smart sound play a huge part in the Max’s sound quality? I hostly don’t know, I really don’t notice a difference in performance when I move the Max from one room to another. But like I said in my initial review maybe google might improve the sound quality of the Max through a software update. But for sure google did knock it out of the park on their first try with their Google Home Max. Now I just want them to give me more touch controls on the Max and fix their Original Google Home.
Max: the speaker for bass lovers. Deepest lows and puniest bass. But as a result it can get over powered by its own bass at times. Vocals are the most pushed back in this group. Very good instrument separation. At max volume the Max is able to keep the integrity of its sound quality the best in this group.
Sound touch: the speaker for vocals. Vocals are pushed forward but at the expense of other instruments in the mids. Highs are also brighter. The lows are ok but definitely not as deep as the others and the bass packs the least amount of punch. The sound touch also gets the loudest in this group, but at max volume all you get is distortion.
Boombox: the boombox is a good middle ground between the larger two speakers. Low end performance is very similar to the Google home max but the bass is not as punchy. Vocals aren’t as pushed back as the max but aren’t as forward as the sound touch. Vocals are exactly where they need to be and everything else in the mid is still present.
xtreme: and when it comes to comparing the JBL Xtreme to the Google home Max, the low ends and bass of the xtreme are not even comparable to the Max. Although the vocals are little pronounced, instrument separation on the xtreme is no where near as good as the max and the highs are much brighter as well. The Google home ax obviously outclasses the JBL Xtreme.