With no Google Assistant or Alexa, the Sound X doesn’t offer a truly “smart” experience
Huawei today announced a brand new speaker for the UK market, the Sound X. At first glance, it looks like a rival to Echo Studio and HomePod, but I must point out right away that the speaker doesn’t have the smarts to compete with its Amazon and Apple rivals.
Huawei Mate Xs review: Specifications, price and release date
- Designed in collaboration with Devialet
- Splash and stain-resistant mesh cover
- Dual “60W woofers”
- Six full-range drivers
- Bluetooth 5.1
- OneHop media sharing
- Stereo playback with additional speaker
- UK release date: TBC
- UK price: TBC
Huawei Sound X: Design, key features and first impressions
To elaborate, there’s no Wi-Fi connectivity – that means no Spotify Connect – or voice assistant in the UK model, despite the fact the speaker has full smart capabilities in China. When you consider Huawei already has a smart speaker on the market – the AI Cube – these omissions from the Sound X are a clear consequence of the US Government ban.
That’s a major blow if you were hoping for a speaker you can instruct to play music, set alarms or ask for info about the weather. With no digital input or even 3.5mm port, it’s best to think about the Sound X simply as a powerful Bluetooth speaker, then, albeit without the portability you’d normally associate with such a device.
With that dampener out of the way, on to the good news, which is that the Sound X otherwise looks like an impressive speaker on paper. Designed in conjunction with French audio specialist, Devialet, it comprises dual “60W woofers” and a further six full-range drivers that enable it to deliver 360-degree sound and indeed a kind of pseudo-surround-sound when placed against a wall.
Thanks to the push-push technology used in those woofers, Huawei claims it can go “twice as loud” as its rivals, and without the vibration that afflicts speakers without this design. It’s also possible to pair it with another Sound X speaker to deliver true stereo and it can play hi-res audio formats. When it comes to the audio experience, then, we’re optimistic this Huawei/Devialet collaboration should stack up very well against rival products – just like the Sky Soundbox does, which is another speaker that benefits from Devialet’s speaker technology.
The Sound X connects strictly via Bluetooth 5.1, although customers with Huawei phones will have the most seamless experience, as you might expect. To be more specific, the manufacturer’s OneHop sharing technology lets you start music/movie playback with just a single tap of the device on the speaker.
There’s some handy gesture support too – covering the speaker with your hand mutes the sound – and you can place the Sound X anywhere in your house without fretting thanks to its splash-proof and stain proof mesh design.
Huawei Sound X: Early verdict
In my brief time with the Sound X at Huawei’s recent launch event I thought the speaker sounded good but until I’ve had a chance to truly put it through its paces, it’s difficult to say whether it’ll be good enough to overlook its lack of smarts. Stand by for a full review in the coming months.