Google Home
Google is rumored to be working on a new Google Home Max, a higher-end Home speaker that features stereo speakers. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

Google is expected to announce some new devices next week on Oct. 4, including a smaller Google Home Mini. However, it looks like Google is also working on a different type of Google Home speaker that will apparently offer a high-end audio experience.

Google is said to be developing a “premium” Google Home smart speaker. This version of the device will apparently be equipped with a set of stereo speakers and has the tentative name of Google Home “Max,” according to 9To5Google.

The idea behind the Google Home Max is that it will be the company’s way of competing with the likes of the Sonos Play:3, which is able to deliver stereo sound with deeper bass for an immersive listening experience. No exact specifications were given for the Google Home Max, but it will have a set of stereo speakers, which likely means that it will have a singular unit with a couple of mid-range drivers and possibly a single tweeter.

The Google Home Max will likely be larger than the original Home speaker. In case people have forgotten, the original Google Home only featured a couple of 2-inch drivers with passive radiators. If the “Max” model will have a superior stereo setup, then it would certainly need to have a bigger overall size.

As for the design and appearance, the Google Home Max is said to feature “premium” materials. No information was given on exactly what type of materials will be used for the Max model, but it certainly means that it will arrive with a premium price tag. The original Google Home launched earlier this year with a $130 price tag.

With Google seemingly aiming for a premium product, it’s possible that this is also the company’s response to Apple’s upcoming HomePod speaker, as pointed out by Engadget. The HomePod won’t be arriving until December, but Apple is charging a premium price of $349 for the Siri-powered smart speaker. As an additional comparison, the Sonos Play:3 costs $299 in the U.S.

It’s currently unknown as to what stage of development the Google Home Max is currently in, and it remains unclear if it will be announced next week on Oct. 4. What 9To5Google seems certain of is that the device does exist since a product matching its description already appeared in a focus group held by Google earlier this year.

It’s certainly possible that Google could announce the new Home Max speaker next week and simply release it at a later date. This seems to make some strategic sense since the Apple HomePod will be released this coming December. If the company announces the new Max model as early as next week, it could help calm the hype surrounding the HomePod.

Even if Google doesn’t announce the Google Home Max next week, the company still has a lot of new products to reveal. The lineup includes the smaller Google Home Mini, which is currently rumored to only cost $49. It might not be able to stand up against Sonos and Apple’s HomePod, but its affordable price will certainly attract enough attention from consumers.