One of the unique features of Google's Home Max smart speaker is that it has an auxiliary (line-in) port, allowing customers to connect a turntable, cassette tape player, or other external music device. Part of Google's hope is that being able to use its Home Max will make it popular among musicians and DJs as a studio monitor, though the presence of a slight delay when using the audio port is curbing those plans, at least for now.
For home consumers who are mostly interested in playing music, the small delay, which amounts to a few milliseconds, is not a big deal. However, it is a major annoyance (and deal killer) for DJs who use a mixer to preview the next song to play, as the delay makes it difficult to match the rhythm of what's currently playing over the speakers. Even just a little bit of latency throws things off in a noticeable way.
"We’re aware of a slight delay with aux-in," a Google spokesperson told Variety. "The delay is in regards to how long it takes for the music to start playing, and does not affect synchronization of sound across home devices—which is near perfect for most setups."
Though Google acknowledged (and downplayed) the latency issue, the company did not make any indication that was a fix was in the works. That is not to say there will not be one, but for now, there is no resolution in sight. DJs and other audio engineers who might be affected by the small delay should probably hold off on buying a Home Max until Google announces a fix, otherwise it's a roll of the dice.
Everyone else need not worry about the issue, as it does not affect the music listening experience.