I’d been following Google Home Max and Apple HomePod for a long time. Today, after experiencing difficulty in delivering these two speakers to Singapore, I finally received them and can compare them to see what the king of the speaker is.

Apple HomePod vs Google Home Max

Setup Difficulty – Apple HomePod wins

Before you can begin listening to music on these devices, you have to configure them. HomePod has an easier setup compared with Google Home Max. Just hold your iPhone or iPad next to the HomePod and then trigger the setup process.

Photo from CNET

In contrast, the setup of Google Home Max is slightly complicated. For example, the first time I used it and didn’t reply to me. I though it was broken. But it turned out its mic is turned off by default, so it couldn’t receive my voice message. So I am reminding those who have bought it to switch on this orange button before you use it.

Privacy – Apple HomePod wins

Google Home Max has a function of voice recognition and allows multiple users’ voices to register. And it will be turned on only if registered users start to interact with it. Also, it can accurately differentiate between people’s voices, so anyone’s request is specific to Google Home Max.

On the other hand, Apple HomPod offers the most privacy of any other home speaker at the expense of convenience. It currently doesn’t support this kind of voice recognition function. So it will initiate its setup simply based on the user’s iOS device. Apple claimed that HomePod won’t monitor user’s life because every message users say to it is encrypted and sent anonymously to Apple’s server. How this works is that every message is tied to a random and alternately ID in Apple’s system. These IDs will live on Apple’s servers only for half a year, and then another year and a half, erased.

Sound Quality – Apple HomePod wins

Undeniably, HomePod has the most impressive sound quality no matter what kind of music is played on it. It has an array of 7 horn-loaded tweeters, each of which has its own custom amplifier. Also, it has 4″ woofer for crisp, clear, distortion-free sound and in turn produces excellent bass.

Google Home Max, of course, is better than Google Home/ Mini. But compared with HomePod, when I start to use Google Home Max on the first day, its bass is strong, but treble is relatively week and unclear. On the second day, its sound was balanced because, with its Smart Sound, the speaker can, based on its location, optimize the acoustics of the room and offer the most balanced sound.

Music Partners -Home Max wins

Google Home Max has many music partners, including Spotify, Deezer, Google Play, Tuneln Radio.

The package of Google Home Max shows its partnered music service.

However, HomePod only supports its own music service, including iTunes and Apple Music. If you hope to play third-party music, you have to see if third-party application providers have optimized its application for HomePod. Otherwise, you can only play music by AirPlay. (Unfortunately, HomePod can’t connect with Wifi to play music.)

Digital Assistant – Home Max wins

HomePod is installed with a six-microphone array for Siri. I asked Siri in English to translate, set up the alarm clock, and send a message on iPhone and it did what I said. However, when I asked if there is any recommended restaurant, it recommended a luxurious restaurant which Singaporeans would usually don’t go to.

Google Home Max has only a two-microphone array, which is less than HomePod. However, I think it is a better assistant than HomePod. I linked my Home Max to my Google account and therefore its recommendations are highly relevant to my interest and past experience. Even from it I can attain correct information that is accessible on the Internet.

So which one is worthier?

If you value music more than assistant functions, you should buy Apple HomePod since its sound quality is better. But if you prefer to have personalized and accurate recommendation service from digital assistant, Google Home Max is definitely your choice.

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