There's a race underway to claim the kitchen counters of America, with Silicon Valley's tech giants rushing to introduce smart speakers that respond to voice commands, while tying users into a big ecosystem of services and products.

On Wednesday, Google unveiled a pair of smart speakers, which will sell alongside the Google Home, $129, that the company introduced last year.

The Google Home Mini, which hits the market on October 19 and is available for pre-order today at $49, does many of the same things Google Home does. The Google Home Max, pictured above and set to arrive in December at $399, is designed to deliver high-quality sound—a clear challenge to Apple’s HomePod speaker, also due in stores that month.

Google revealed several other new products at the event, including a pair of Pixel smartphones, an upgraded Chromebook, a pair of earbuds the company says will translate speech into 40 languages in real time, and a tiny camera geared toward capturing life’s spontaneous moments.

Little Speaker, Big Speaker

Sleek and smooth, the Mini is reminiscent of Amazon’s budget-priced Echo Dot, which is designed to pair with separate Bluetooth speakers. Despite its small size, Google says, the Mini offers 360-degree sound that remains crisp no matter where in a room a listener is seated.

The Max sits on the higher end of the spectrum for price and, according to Google, sound quality, too. At $399, it's slightly more expensive than the Apple HomePod, $349, which is also being promoted for high-end sound.

Both may have to compete with yet another smart speaker entry unveiled on Wednesday: the Sonos One, $199, which will support multiple voice assistant services, according to Sonos.

If the Max's sound-quality claims are confirmed once we get the speaker into our labs, it would amount to a notable improvement over Google Home, which did not impress our audio testers.

In addition to 4.5-inch woofers designed to crank up the base and minimize distortion when the volume is turned up high, the Max employs artificial intelligence to automatically tune itself. As it learns more about your home and your routine, Google says, it may lower the volume in the morning. Or turn itself up when the dishwasher is running. If you move it, it should adjust to the new surroundings in just a few seconds.

According to the company, the Max should also learn to recognize your voice, so that it can cue up your personal playlists on command. The free and paid versions of the popular streaming service Spotify are both supported and a 12-month subscription to YouTube Red comes included with the purchase of the Max.

New Phones, Chromebook and More

Google’s other offerings announced Wednesday include the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones, which set themselves apart from the recently released iPhone 8 and 8 Plus with OLED HD displays. The Pixel 2's is five inches and the Pixel 2 XL's is six inches.

Google says the phones also have cameras that can produce high-quality portrait mode photos with a single lens, as opposed to the two lenses employed by the 8 Plus.

The company also introduced a new, powerful Chromebook. The Pixelbook, $999, is a super-thin laptop—the first to have Google Assistant built in. It's available for preorder now and goes on sale October 31.

Google says its new, Bluetooth-enabled Pixel Buds earphones are optimized to work with Google Assistant. They are supposed to have a 5-hour battery, with the included charging case carrying enough juice to last 24 hours.

The Buds also work with Google Translate, so when you speak into your earphones, your phone's speaker will translate what you say into one of 40 languages. (This technology should sound familiar to fans of Douglas Adams' sci-fi saga, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.")

The Buds, $159, can be preordered today and will hit stores in November.

Finally, Google Clips are small, hands-free cameras that will sell for $249, but it’s unclear when they will go on sale. The company also introduced the Daydream View virtual reality headset, which works with various smartphones and will sell for $99.